Mark 8:34 34And Jesus called [to Him] the throng with His disciples and said to them, If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself [forget, ignore, disown, and lose sight of himself and his own interests] ……..
When we last talked about denying ourselves in the area of our thought life, we focused on not dwelling on the negative thoughts that come into our minds. However, I also want to take a few minutes to talk about what thoughts we should be thinking on. Denying ourselves is just as much forcing our minds to think the right things as it is not allowing ourselves to meditate on the wrong things.
The scripture that immediately comes to mind is Philippians 4:8 For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. We have to continually set ourselves to focus on things that are worthy of our attention.
1 Peter 5:8 issues us this warning 8Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. The first place the enemy can get a hold on our lives is in the area of our minds. If we aren’t continually fixing our thoughts on things above, we can open the door for him to get a foothold. Not only do we have to resist the negative thoughts that try to enter our minds, we have to take it one step further and override the suggestion with something that is kind, lovely, gracious……
Remember when I gave you the example of my husband saying something I didn’t like, and how I had the choice to dwell upon how mad he made me all day, or forgive and forget? Not only do I need to forgive him for upsetting me, I then need to begin focusing on everything about him that is good, and true and excellent. I need to spend my day not only thinking, “I forgive him”, but also, “I appreciate what he does for our family.” “He’s a man of integrity and character”. And “I’m so thankful that God gave me a husband who reverences and fears the Lord”. The scripture in Philippians says if there is ANYTHING worthy of praise, that’s what we need to fix our minds on.
What are you thinking today? I challenge you to not only avoid wrong thoughts, but to think right and good thoughts, on purpose!