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Controlling Your Thoughts - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
October 7, 2023 12:00 am

Controlling Your Thoughts - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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October 7, 2023 12:00 am

You can reprogram your mind to focus on things that honor God and to think more Christlike thoughts.

Running to Win
Erwin Lutzer
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Dr. Stephen Davey

Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. Are your thoughts working for you or against you? Consider that question as today's podcast wraps up the message from Colossians, Controlling Your Thoughts. You and I live in a society and in a time, in a culture that our minds are continuously bombarded by what? Things that we see on the television and the movies, things we read in the newspapers, things or other things that we read, for example, words that you hear, sights that you see. Our mind is always receiving all of these things.

Sometime that's good, sometime it's not so good. The question is, how can you and I live a godly life and think right when we live in a world that's throwing all of these things that are not right at our mind? So, I want you to listen very carefully. What you think today is affecting your life more than you realize. Who you are today is the result of what you've been thinking all these years of your life.

And what you think today is going to determine where you're going to be tomorrow and what you're going to be tomorrow. Because you see, it's our thoughts that cause us to become what we are. It's our thoughts that influence our relationships, our choice of occupation, our marriage partner. It's our thoughts that cause us to move in a certain direction, make certain decisions that affect our finances, that affect every aspect of our life, that affect our relationship to Jesus Christ. Our thoughts are powerful mediums. Now, the problem is, how do I face these situations and circumstances and listen to these words and all the bombardment that Satan and all of his outfit throws at us day by day?

How can I face that and at the same time do what he says, that is, keep on seeking Him, set my mind on Him. And remember this, the mind is like the pilot. The mind's like where the radar is.

This is the captain of your life. That is, what your mind says you're going to do. I want you to turn to First Peter in the first chapter and the thirteenth verse. Look at this.

Here's what he says. Therefore, prepare your minds for action. Keep sober in spirit.

Fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. That is, prepare your mind. That is, I have a responsibility. For example, let's say that you choose to sit down and watch some program on television. And you heard about it and you heard it was sort of questionable.

Well, you have something to have a right to decide whether it was or not. And so, you sit down and you begin to watch it. And what you have to remember is to prepare your mind. You see, if you just sit with a mind in neutral, you're going to be in trouble. But you prepare your mind.

How do you prepare your mind? I prepare my mind that as a child of God, I will be alert to what would lead me into erroneous thinking. I will be alert to what would lead me to want something I don't have any business having. I will be alert to what I hear, to whether it's a truth or whether it's unscriptural. Now, I can't tell somebody else how to live.

I can simply say, here's what God's Word says. Now, a thought reaps what? An action. An action reaps a habit. A habit reaps what? Our character.

And our character reaps our destiny. When you begin to think about something, what happens? As you think about it, before long, if you agree with it, your feelings get involved.

Next thing you know, your whole body gets involved and you're moving in that direction. And then if you just keep on doing that, you and I would say, well, you develop a habit. And if we keep doing that, that habit becomes a part of who we are, so much a part of who we are, it becomes a part of our character. That's what we are.

It's our character. And then, when we reach that stage, that's our destiny. That's where we're headed in life. And so, you might think about that right in the back of your Bible. And remember, when you take a move in a direction as a result of how you think, remember it's going somewhere.

It isn't just stagnant. And He says, our focus, our mindset, what we're seeking in life. And if I were to ask you today, what is it that you're seeking most in life above everything else? Most people, more than likely, would think in terms of security or that it's something material or some relationship, something maybe sensual, or it could be you're thinking about your education, you're thinking about your whole career in life. That is, there's something that absolutely dominates everything else.

But think about this. When your thoughts about Jesus, when your thoughts about God, when your thoughts are spiritual, when your thoughts are Godly, when your thoughts are thoughts of surrender and yieldiness and obedience to Him, and as He says there in Second Corinthians, bringing your thoughts and obedience to Christ, when that becomes the priority of your life, you know what Jesus said? He said, seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things have added to you, which was His way of saying this. When your mind is set on the things of God, you don't have to worry about what you're going to have. You don't have to worry about how you're going to get there, because God, He says, seek ye first the kingdom, that is the rule of Christ in your life. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, the character of God in your life, and all these things will be added to you. That is, God goes to work in your behalf and my behalf when we begin to do what?

Make Him the priority of our life. He wants us to have the things in life we need. He desires it.

He's promised it. But it's a matter of whether my mind is set on earthly things or heavenly things. Children of God, set our mind on the things of God. We enjoy what He gives us, what He allows us to have in life. We enjoy that. We're not anxious, not worried, not fretting, not fuming, not blaming, not doing any of those kind of wasteful things. We're enjoying living our life in the Spirit of God. And so, it's a choice we make. And we can't blame it on anybody else. And remember again, what we're thinking today is who we are. And what we are thinking today is going to determine what we think tomorrow, where we go, decisions we make. And you say, well, what does it cover?

It covers everything. If you start thinking, for example, let's say that I'll say, you know what, I see you sitting out here Sunday morning and this morning you don't look very good. Are you sick?

Do you feel bad? Is something wrong? If I said that to you, you know what you'd start thinking? There must be something wrong with me.

Or he wouldn't say that. And so, you go home and you look in the mirror and you say, well, Dr. Stanley said I didn't look too good. You know what, I don't look very good this morning. My, you know, maybe I better go to the doctor and check me out.

Well, if you go to him, he's going to tell you something's wrong with you. So, here's what happens. The next thing you know, you're just down. And the only thing that changed your attitude about yourself is somebody made a suggestion. Your mind took it, grabbed it, began to consider it.

Next thing you know, you're sick. And then there are people, somebody can say that too, and they'd say, well, you know, you're just having a problem. I couldn't be happier anymore. I couldn't be happier in my life, no matter what you think. And so, it's in your mind. What you think is governing your life. And what I want you to do is simply think rightly. You want to be happy and have joy and peace and happiness in difficult times, hard times, all kind of times in life? A sense of security and confidence that God loves you, He's going to see you through that.

You start thinking the way God wants you to think, and so much of that stuff you're worried about's going to disappear. Now, so how do we do that? I want to give you three things here. And let's start with number one. First of all, if you're going to think right and if you're going to govern your thinking, because you're responsible to do that, what you have to do is this. And that is, you have to screen your thoughts. You have to screen your thoughts. Now, I'm going to give you a list and you're going to be sitting there thinking, well, I will have already thought about it and done it by the time I get through thinking about this.

No, it'd be amazing how fast your mind can work. Screen your thoughts. Now, think about it this way. Here's a grid on your mind. And everything that you think about's got to go through that grid. For example, when you build the grid in your life with Scripture, the Word of the living God, everything that comes your way that's unscriptural, ungodly, what happens? The alarm goes off and you can reject it, but at least you know what it is. The unbeliever still, the unbeliever also has a grid or a screen.

And so, built into his grid or her grid in the screen is what? Don't give me that Bible stuff. Don't talk about church. Don't mix politics and religion. I don't want to talk about spiritual things. I don't believe in church. I don't believe in Jesus. So, anything that hits that screen that's biblically, this is why they say, when you start talking about Jesus, it's like there's this reaction.

Because their grid is so absolutely built to oppose anything that's godly. So, everybody's got one. So, here are some thoughts. Here are some ideas that you're to, I want you to jot them down.

And if you will think along this line. When a thought comes through to your mind, the first question is, I'm going to give you about seven of them. First question is, what's the source? Where did that come from? And sometimes you just know right now, that had to come from the devil. Very evident. First of all, the source.

Where did it come from? Secondly, will this get me where I want to go in life? If I keep thinking this way, where's it going to get me?

Am I going to get in trouble? Am I going to be blessed by God? What's it going to get me? The third question is this, where will it lead me? That is, if I take this step and I begin to think this way, where is this going to lead me in my life?

It's going to lead me somewhere because feelings follow our thoughts and following our feelings, our steps, our footsteps are going to go better sooner or later. The next question is, is this scripturally sound? Is this thought scripturally sound when somebody says to you, well, that's okay because everybody's doing it. Boing, your conscience goes off and what happens?

You know that that is not true. You know whether it's scriptural or not. The next one is this, is this thought going to build me up or tear me down? And when sensual thoughts come to a person's mind, sensual thoughts tear you down.

They do not build you up. Materialistic thoughts of covetousness, for example, and greed and anger and bitterness and hostility and pride, all of these are tear-me-down kind of thoughts. And you have to decide whether you're going to receive them or not. Then, of course, it may be that you have a thought and you ask the question, does this fit who I am as a follower of Jesus? Now, somebody says, no, look, you've given me all these thoughts, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and here comes this thought. Now, how am I going to hold it off and say, wait a minute, here's what's going to happen.

Look at them again. What's the source? Where's it going to take me? Where's it going to lead me now? Is this scripturally sound? Is it going to tear me down, build me up? Can I share this with anybody?

You've made me feel guilty, fit who I am as a follower of Jesus. Here's what happens. When you start thinking that way instantly, instantly your mind is so fast it'll calculate every bit of that and you'll know the difference. Well, the second thing you notice here, we said first of all you've got to screen them, and secondly, you select the thought. In other words, you decide whether you're going to accept it or not. Now, watch this.

You have to watch this. Here comes the thought, and instantly you know what it is. And one of those things are going to pop out, doesn't fit who I am.

What do you do? You just say, I'll just let that go on through. I'll just let that go on through. You can choose not to think about it again. Once you grab it and you hold it there, Satan will throw everything he can throw at you to, listen, to get this thought into your feelings so before long he'll have it in your steps and destroy you.

You just let it go on through. And sometimes, listen, it may not be a matter of right and wrong. It may be a matter of what is God's will and what is not His will, not some sinful action on your part. It may be God says, mm-mm, mm-mm, mm-mm, I got something better.

You'll know. And so, will it get me where I want to go? It may not be an immoral decision, but it won't get you where God wants you to go. And so, He shows you that there's a better way. God will enable you, He has equipped you already to do what? To make wise choices, godly decisions, and to think the way you ought to think. Well, that's one other thing I'd say, and that's simply this, and that is to cultivate those thoughts. That is, once you have a thought and it's of God, for example, if He says to you, you need to be baptized, you need to join this church, you need to start living a godly life. You haven't been living a godly, you need to start living a godly life. Well, you accept that because you know that's true. By cultivating that thought, what do you do?

You start, listen, then you grab that thought and you begin to ponder it and you begin to think about it. And what will God do? He will lead you to do the right thing, lead you to the right decision. So, turn to Philippians chapter four for a moment and just go back from Colossians and go to Philippians chapter four and listen to what Paul says. Because this is what he admonishes us to do. He's been talking about not being anxious about things. Let me just read a part of this passage right here.

Listen to what he says. He says in verse four of chapter four, Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice. Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.

Now watch this. Don't be anxious for anything. When he says don't be anxious for nothing, that means don't be anxious about anything. But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension and puts a garrison around you, guards your hearts and minds, listen as he says, in Christ Jesus. Then, watch this next verse.

Finally, brethren, whatever's true, look at these words, whatever's true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good report, if there's any excellence, anything worthy of praise, dwell on those things. Massage those thoughts. Dwell on those thoughts.

Now watch this. Dwell on these things, the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things and the God of peace will be with you. So, what is our responsibility? He says here, dwell on those things that are good and practice doing what? Practice living out the right decisions, those decisions that you know of God. You have the power to think the right thoughts. You have the power to reject evil thoughts, negative thoughts, ungodly thoughts, or thoughts that are not the will of God. And remember this, who you are today is a result of how you've been thinking all these years. What you're going to be tomorrow and the years to come is a result of what you're thinking right now if you keep thinking the same way. You don't like who you are today, you can change that.

You don't like your present situation, you can change that. That is, you have the power to think godly thoughts and listen to what He said. Seek He first. Make it the priority of your life of doing what? Of allowing Him to control your life. And allowing Him to work in your life. And He says all of these things, these things that you and I need or desire in life that fit His will for us, He said they'll be added to you.

So, let me ask you a question. Had you rather, if you had to have a choice, had you rather have peace, joy, contentment, assurance, confidence, boldness, happiness? Or had you rather have materialism, sensuality, and all that goes with the world? Anybody in their right mind would say, I'll take the first list. Somebody else says, well, I'll take them both.

Sorry. You can't have them both. You're either going to live a godly life and allow God to pour into your life Himself. And allow Jesus to rule and reign in your life. Then all of those wonderful, awesome things can happen in your life.

But it all begins right here. What do you think? Do you think that Jesus will do what He says? Do you believe that? Do you think I can trust Him? Do you think I believe Him? Do you think I'm confident?

Do you think I'm secure in Him? Do you think I know that I'm saved? Do you think salvation? Do you think fullness of the Spirit? Do you think the power of God, the grace of God, the goodness of God, the love of God?

Do you think the kindness of God, the forgiveness of God? That is, what are you thinking? What you're thinking is what you're going to become.

If you don't like who you are, God will change it if you begin to think His thoughts that are all good thoughts. Thank you for listening to part two of Controlling Your Thoughts. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-07 03:02:17 / 2023-10-07 03:10:43 / 8

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