Revelation #3 - REIN IN YOUR THOUGHTS.
Every day I have opportunities to think negatively or positively about people and events. If I focus exclusively on what the world around me is doing and saying, I will likely often be stressed, fearful and depressed. If I practice the attitude that regardless of what happens in my day or in the world at large, God is looking out for me and He will take care of me, I can reduce or eliminate my stress level.
We must stop meditating on our problems, negative memories or even our feelings. Feelings can swing all over the map. As Christians, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus and all that He has provided for us in the Atonement. The Bible tells us to walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). Whether you feel it or not, Jesus died for your sins and rose from the dead so that you could be saved. Salvation consists of more than eternity in heaven; it includes everything you need to live a life of wholeness and well-being on earth as God’s child.
If you want to see the Greek/Hebrew explanations of salvation in this blog, it’s here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
Many people including Christians are not living a life of wholeness and well-being. In my own life and childhood, we were not taught to really TRUST God; we were not trained to EXERCISE FAITH and PERSIST in faith. We were not taught to meditate in God’s Word and RENEW our minds according to Romans 12:2. I remember distinctly asking questions about our New Testament readings in class as a child; the teachers told us that most of the things in Scripture were “figurative.” Maybe God would answer your prayer, and maybe He wouldn’t. I had no real concept of faith for most of my adult life. Yet the answers ARE in the Bible if you will look for them.
Now understand, my parents were loving, God-respecting people but their knowledge of Scripture was limited. They were operating from the perspective of how they were raised and taught. They knew about religious practice but didn’t understand about relationship with God. My Dad only learned of this shortly before he passed and my Mom some years after his passing. Yet they did the best they could to instill a love and respect for God in us.
Your mind can be a doorway to success or to failure. We must learn to dwell in the secret place of the Most High (Psalm 91). Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” If you keep your mind on the Lord and His ability (and His love for you), and not on the problem, you will have more peace and you open the way for God to work. When your mind is governed by God’s Spirit and filled with His Word, you will not worry and be depressed about the situations that Satan throws in your way.
We need to get it in our hearts that God is greater than any problem Satan creates. We need to build intimacy with God; this will build trust so that you can take refuge and rest in His Word, which will cause the roots of depression and fear to shrivel up, taking their negative fruit with them - fruit of illness, despair, and every negative thing. I am not saying we will never have problems again because we still in a fallen world but you will improve in how you deal with the things that come your way, and you can win the battles.
In John 16:33, Jesus warned us that trials and tribulations would be a part of life but He never intended for us to glorify the suffering and troubles. He said, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have perfect peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”
See that? He is telling us to be of good cheer – not because we have the problems – but because He has already defeated the source of the problem, and so you can be assured of victory!
Part of reining in our thoughts involves making conscious decisions daily – if something agrees with the Word of God, we accept it. If it doesn’t, we do not accept it. The Bible calls this “casting down imaginations.”
In 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, NKJV version, it says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 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.”
In other words, when a situation, or a something or someone comes against us and threatens or attacks us, we first need to evaluate the situation. Is this a real threat? Is this a full-on attack against me in some way? If so, then I need to know what God’s Word says about such a matter. If I have done what God has told us to do, then I should be acquainted enough with His character and His Word to either already know what God has said, or to know where to find what He has written.
My ammunition is spiritual; I ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance and I gather up a list of Scriptures that pertain to my situation or to the perceived threat coming against me. I read those Scriptures (quietly and aloud), I meditate on them. I think on them. I speak them out aloud over my situation.
From there on, I depend on God’s Word for my situation. I don’t waver off of my faith but I trust that God will help me, no matter what anyone says, or how anything appears to be going. I believe God’s Word over what anyone or anything else seems to be saying to me.
When fear or depression tries to rise up or someone says to me, “BUT this is happening…,” I cast down that imagination by saying, “No, that is not coming against me, this is not going to happen to me, I won't be in fear, I won't be depressed, that person is not going to hurt me, and so on, because my Heavenly Father’s Word says THIS… and you quote those Scriptures you found; you meditate on them. THAT is casting down imaginations that rise against the Word of God. THAT is how you wield the Sword of the Spirit to dispatch the enemy!
I like part of the Message Bible’s wording of 2 Corinthians 10:3-5… it speaks of our using God’s spiritual weapons to “fit every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.”
You grab hold of every errant thought, every argument, and every proud thing that raises itself against the knowledge of God, coming your way from somewhere else, or from within yourself, and you capture it! You turn it around, you make it give up and bow to the Name of Jesus! If you will exercise faith and patience, and persist, you will see the victory, and fear and depression will have to give up.
Until the next posting in this series, be blessed!
For Part 1 of this blog Overcoming Fear & Depression, look here:
This blog is part of an overall Walking by Faith series that began on April 12, 2013. The introductory blog link is below, and blogs in the series follow from there in numbered order: