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The Power of the Mind
“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (Luke 6:45 NIV).
I think we are all pretty much aware of the importance of good mental health and the power of positive thinking. However, the importance of our thoughts also has a profound effect on our spiritual health. This point is made clear in Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” God is clearly encouraging us to focus our thoughts on things that are good and decent.
This is important because the mind is a battlefield of positive and negative thoughts. God is introducing positive thoughts and the enemy is sneaking in lies and negative thoughts. Both God and satan know the power of our thoughts and hence the battle for control. Also, both know the Holy Scriptures, although satan will misinterpret and misapply scripture as he did to Jesus after He fasted for forty days in the desert. The importance of our thoughts is evident in Luke 6:45. “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” This point is further amplified in Proverbs 18:21. “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” In summary, what goes into the brain is what comes out of the mouth. Have you ever noticed that over time you begin to take on the accent and other mannerisms of your close friends? For example, if you visit Boston for an extended period you will likely return with a different accent, particularly if you are actively engaged with the local population. Feed yourself “spiritual milk” and walk with confidence as the children of God. Speak words of life to all that you meet, especially those that belong to the body of Christ.
Action step: Take each thought captive and examine its origin. Godly thoughts will inspire, encourage, and strengthen you. Godly thoughts will give you confidence and an inner peace that transcends all understanding. Thoughts from the enemy will cause discouragement, self-doubt, resentment, worry, and embarrassment over past decisions. These thoughts are meant to divide and destroy.
Next steps: Who do you surround yourself with? What do you read, watch on television and the internet, and listen to on the radio? What books, newspapers, and magazines are you reading?
Give praise for Godly thoughts and rebuke in the name of Jesus those from the enemy. Be in the Word and the Word will be in you and you will have the only offensive weapon in the armor of God. Be actively involved in authentic, confidential, Christian small groups. Pray for God’s protection of your heart, mind, and soul from the enemy. Moreover, do the same for those you love and those that seek to harm you.
Prayer: Dear God, Please help us to take each thought captive. Amen.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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