“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,…” (II Corinthians 10:4-5 NKJV)
Click on a video of your choice on the basic, free YouTube site and you will notice that they are often preceded by a short advertisement. You are oftentimes confronted with three choices:
- 1. Give the ad some attention, patiently allowing it to play until the end.
- 2. Interrupt the ad by clicking the “Skip this ad” prompt, thereby staying on task.
- 3. Postpone the video you intended to watch by clicking on the ad for more information. (Ah, they got you!) So goes our thought management, even in the spiritual realm. Thoughts of self-loathing. Thoughts of defeat. Thoughts of hatred, racism and bias. Thoughts tempting us to sin and disobey God are all thoughts that if focused on or when acted on, grieve the Holy Spirit.
If the wind blew the seeds of ugly weeds along with the seeds of beautiful, flowering fruit trees your way, which would you like to catch and plant? We’d all rather have flowers and good fruit than weeds. Our thoughts are like those seeds in transit. We can have ugly, choking thoughts that are destructive and we can have beautiful, healthful thoughts that honor God, benefiting ourselves and others. Like the wind, we may not be able to control when thoughts first come into our minds, but we CAN sift them, deciding which thoughts should stay and take root within our spirit and which to throw away.
We have tools: Ephesians 6:14-18 lists how to use godly attributes to armor-up and protect ourselves from the evil of the world. Not only that, but the Apostle Paul, in the fourth chapter of Philippians presents the lens with which we should filter the world’s glare: truth, honesty, justice, purity, loveliness, worthiness, virtuous, praise (vs 8).
So, with regard to my original analogy, when a destructive thought presents itself in your mind, interrupting your godly focus, you don’t have to give it space to germinate. There is a better option that will lead to joy and will honor God:
- 1. Judge the worth and value of the thought based on what God’s best is for you and for others.
- 2. Catch and toss it aside if it is sinful or selfish.
- 3. Give virtuous thoughts a home and act on them.
As Believers, remember we are new creatures in Christ (II Corinthians 5:17). We have the power to choose what is right. You CAN skip that ad.