Scripture reminds us it is not what goes in but what comes out of us that defiles us. Matthew 5 tells us what comes out of us shows us the condition of our heart, what King Solomon calls the wellspring of life. This is never truer than what we believe and profess about God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
So, if our heart reflects who we really are just as a mirror reflects our face, then it is important to know our heart condition begins with our thoughts! It can be said, that as our thoughts go…so go our words, actions, and deeds! Put another way, what we allow our mind to focus on determines our reality.
There are many verses in the Bible that highlight the power of our thoughts. Two of them have made me shudder several times over the years:
For as he thinks within himself, so he is! Proverbs 23:7
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! Deuteronomy 30:19
So, not only do our inner thoughts and beliefs have an eternal impact on us individually they can and do impact our descendants and those God has put before us as well.
As we continue to read through our Lenten study, The Psalm On The Cross, we come now to a point where Psalm 22 pivots and Jesus begins to profess the holiness of His Father that He is the Almighty God who is close at hand and who delivers the soul. As the author, David Roseberry puts it, “Jesus has a strong belief all will be well… [even though] His circumstances have not change. He is still dying… [but] praise, thanksgiving, victory, hope, and joy are filling our Lord’s mind.”
Jesus’ time on the Cross bears witness to His love for His Father and each of us despite all He must endure. Every aspect of His Passion flows from His heart! And as we study and seek after the truths bestowed upon us by His redeeming work of salvation played out upon the Cross, we come to realize how we too must humbly put our dependency upon God, trusting in both the Father’s and Son’s compassion and love for each other and for each of us individually and collectively as well as for the lost.
Like Jesus our minds, and our hearts, are to be filled with God’s Word so we might not sin. By doing so we too will be filled with passionate adoration for God and His people. Goodness filled with immense love for God and compassion for those we love and those who revile us will spring forth. Think about one of Jesus’ last prayers; “Father forgive them they no not what they do.”
To do this we must practice taking each thought captive! But how? I contend the Biblical answer is found in Psalm 46:10, which says “Be still and know that I am God.” We need to spend time in His Word and time meditating on who we are in light of who He is! So, whether you choose to journal, listen to music, partake in personal prayer and meditation, pray the Psalms, or sit in utter silence and solitude we like Jesus must stay connected to the Lord not just learning the characters and stories but focusing on His majestic awesomeness while comprehending our total dependency upon Him. As we do, we will be filled with optimistic faith, understanding He is Sovereign and has it all under control no matter how dire our current hardships or grand our successes might be.
The glorious part of taking our thoughts captive with Jesus the Christ as our plumbline, our heart health is strengthened so we are able to weather the good and bad rightly all the while leaving a lasting legacy of faith and love for those who follow.
Know this: God loves you, He will never leave you or forsake you, He is the deliverer of your soul. He is your Rock, your Fortress and your Shelter from the storm. He is God Almighty!