Imagine knowing how to control your thoughts. Learn how according to the Word of God along with some practical application.
One evening my son came to me with a low-spirited demeanor. Those thoughts were bothering him again. I could see he was getting discouraged since he had come to me a few days in a row. My husband and I had both talked to him, encouraged him, and prayed with him. I even taught him how to encourage himself in the Lord.
You know what he responded to all that? He pleaded, “I don’t think I know how to hear God’s voice yet. Can you pray and see what God says?”
That’s when I knew it was time for him to learn to fight this on his own. I taught him the keys outlined in this post and he is putting them into action now.
Getting Control of Your Thoughts
Everybody deals with undesirable thoughts. You’ve probably heard some wisdom that goes something like, “You can’t help the bad thoughts that fly by your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.” It’s true if you know how.
However, implementing the simple truth that we have the mind of Christ takes time to learn. Renewing your mind, and learning to wield your sword of the Spirit takes practice. In order to build these habits, you need a clear picture of what the Bible instructs you to do.
The Word of God contains practical wisdom that you can plug right into your daily life. When Jesus went back to heaven after rising from the dead, He didn’t forget all about you and leave you to live in frustration. Instead, He sent the Holy Spirit (John 14:16) and continues to intercede on your behalf (Romans 8:34). The Holy Spirit is praying for you as well (Romans 8:26-27).
Besides their prayers and the power of the Holy Spirit, you have the Word of God to teach, reprove, correct, and train you (2 Timothy 3:16). Your thoughts are very much a part of your humanness, but you are in a spiritual battle. I love that the Bible is my spiritual sword. It reminds me that I have to fight against my flesh (or the devil).
In that case, a strategy is needed!
3 Keys to Control Your Thoughts
Here are some key truths I like to focus on when my thought life needs attention:
- Get protected.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:17
The helmet of salvation covers our head. That means if you remember to put on (use) your armor, it will cover your thoughts. The simple act of obeying what the Bible says will fight the enemy.
The word “take” in the Greek means “to take hold of.” The Word of God is your source of protection. Take hold of it.
- Take thoughts captive.
For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 ESV
When that thought hits, stop and ask, “What does God say about that? What is really true?” When you identify what is coming against what you know to be true, what God says about you, then you are taking those thoughts captive.
For example, if the thought, “I am weak. I can’t do what God wants me to do,” comes, I know that is not true. If I know Psalm 18:2 and 46:1, then I know I have God, and He is my strength.
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. Psalm 18:2 KJV
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1 ESV
The fact is God is my strength. I have to say what is true:
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my God, my strength, and I trust in Him! He is my buckler, the horn of my salvation, my high tower! he is my refuge and strength, and He is present to help me in whatever trouble I face!
Remember, the Bible is a spiritual sword because you are in a spiritual battle. God will help you destroy anything that has a strong hold on you. Obey Him by taking every thought captive. That means you aren’t going to let it have control over you. You won’t let your mind continue to think about a bad thought.
- Choose what you think about.
You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3 ESV
Choosing what you think about is, in essence, meditating on the Word. When you keep your mind on God, and trust in Him, He promises you peace. That’s much better than bad thoughts, isn’t it?
This verse is my go-to verse when anxious thoughts come when I’m trying to sleep. I wrote about how it works like a sleeping pill in my post Surprised By Meditation. Try it!
Thoughts of Victory
This process is what I have tested and proven in my life to be true. You can always depend on God’s amazing wisdom to have thoughts of victory. Protect yourself with God’s Word. Identify what’s attacking your mind and cast down anything that’s not of God. Then choose to replace those thoughts with the promises, truths, and commands found in the Bible. Remind yourself that you are being prayed for every day and that you are loved beyond measure.
What thoughts have been plaguing your mind that you could tell to go because God says otherwise?When that thought hits, stop and ask, “What does God say about that? What is really true?" #ThrivingInChrist #ThoughtLife Click To Tweet
I believe we are to impart into the next generation. Here’s a free download of the lesson “Slicing Up Bad Thoughts” (includes printable worksheet), that you are welcome to use to teach kids. Parents, don’t think that you can’t teach your kids because you’re not qualified. That would be a bad thought. 😉 The truth is you can teach them the commandments of God because God commanded us to teach our children (Deut. 11:19).Check out this free download to help kids learn how to control their thought life. #ImpartingVirtues #ThrivingInChrist Click To Tweet
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