Even if we think our mind can be still, it never is. In a fluid state it is constantly on the move, flowing from one thought to the next. Trying to empty our mind and be still is an intensely difficult thing to do, so as Christians, the important question we must consider is what we should allow ourselves to think about. When our fickle minds are left to their own devices, they will rarely take us to good places. Rather, they are quite wont to wander and frequently lead us astray, dragging us down dark paths of worry, sin, fear, regret, what-if’s, and unhappiness. Before we know it, we find ourselves oppressed by anxiety, depression and anger. Our strength to go on living is gone, and our spirit is broken, feeling the oppressive loneliness of forgetting God in a difficult life. Even though we may have been feeling fine a few moments ago, and nothing has changed since then, we are now panicking as if our life is a mess and everything is about to fall apart any minute. We are sucked deep down in a swamp of the devil’s making, and doing anything except trusting the Lord. Such is the power of the mind, and the importance of our each and every thought. This shows just how much we must bring the Lord into our mind, inviting Him to penetrate and fill every crack, corner, and crevice of our thoughts, emotions, and innermost discernment. Unbridled, our mind can betray us. When we think of ungodly things, focusing on worldly thoughts, it can begin to snowball, causing us to stray from Christ and turn us from living our day in the light of Christ to living our day in darkness, feeling downtrodden and disheartened. With Christ-like thoughts in our minds, we are influenced with hope, but with earthly thoughts in our minds, we naturally lose hope and become pessimistic, conforming to the worries of the world. When we allow the world and the manipulations of the devil to influence our thoughts, we think of our life in worldly terms, and therefor forget that our loving Father is there for us to care for us and provide for all our needs. But when we consciously stay in constant prayer, and think in a Christ-like way, we remember that our life has a hope and a future in His glorious light. As we think, so we become, so much so that when we are negative and worldly in our thoughts, succumbing to the inevitable worldly pull away from God, our actions and way of living begins to follow suit, pulling us further away from a Christ-like life. Yet, when we yoke our mind to the glory of God in every moment, keeping the Lord and all that He esteems ever-present in our thoughts, we can more easily begin to turn thoughts into actions, and live as we think, walking and acting in a Christ-like way and staying more and more in step with the Lord. Because our spiritual health is so dependent upon our thoughts, we must take captive each and every thought, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, and make it obedient to Christ. From the moment we wake up to our last thoughts as we fall asleep, let us keep prayer in our hearts, and thoughts of whatever is honorable, upright, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy in our minds. When we do, we can be transformed by this renewal of our mind day by day, conforming our actions to Christ, rather than conforming our minds to the world. What we think about is a crucial choice presented to us in our every waking moment that many of us do not even realize we are making. As we seize this choice, and actively decide, with trust, to walk with Christ in our thoughts rather than walk in the world, we are rewarded with hope and joy. Only by this renewal of the mind can we begin to have the discernment and good judgement that is so crucial to living in a way that reflects the perfect will of God.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think on these things. Whatever you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, put these things into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5c
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit drains one’s strength. Proverbs 17:22
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2