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Consider the Source

Consider the Source

James 1:16 Do not be misled, my beloved brethren.

Thoughts Have Different Origins

The Holy Spirit can prompt us with thoughts from God to give us direction or to comfort and strengthen us. We know any thought that comes from the Holy Spirit is true.

Galatians 5:5     For we, [not relying on the Law but] through the [Holy] Spirit’s [help], by faith anticipate and wait for the blessing and good for which our righteousness and right standing with God [our conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action, causes us] to hope.

Satan plants thoughts in our minds that are intended to cause fear, anxiety, shame, guilt, and pain. Satan’s thoughts are lies meant to deceive and discourage. Satan’s thoughts lead us in the opposite direction of where God would have us to go.

Ephesians 5:17     Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is.

The Mind Deceives

We alone, without the help of the Holy Spirit and without the help of Satan, are quite capable of coming up with our own thoughts, desires, reasonings, and intentions based on our own purposes. These can be for good or these can be for evil. If for good then our thoughts should be based on what scripture tells us is good to think on and should be strengthened with prayer for guidance from the Holy Spirit into God’s will. If our thoughts do not align with scripture and God’s perfect will then one must be prepared for the consequences that come with nourishing ungodly desires.

Isaiah 47:8     Therefore now, hear this, you who love pleasures and are given over to them, you who dwell safely and sit securely, who say in your mind, I am [the mistress] and there is no one else besides me. I shall not sit as a widow, nor shall I know the loss of children.

Isaiah 47:10     For you [Babylon] have trusted in your wickedness; you have said, No one sees me. Your wisdom and your knowledge led you astray, and you said in your heart and mind, I am, and there is no one besides me.

Jeremiah 23:17     They are continually saying to those who despise Me and the word of the Lord, The Lord has said: You shall have peace; and they say to everyone who walks after the stubbornness of his own mind and heart, No evil shall come upon you.

Ephesians 2:3     We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also.

Ephesians 4:17     [ Living the New Life ] Therefore, I say this and testify in the Lord: You should no longer walk as the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their thoughts.

Philippians 4:7   and the peace of God, that is surpassing all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

Thought Origins

God As the Source of Thoughts

God inspired thoughts come to mind through the working of The Holy Spirit in the inner being of a child of God.  Keep in mind also, that God is sovereign, and He does as He pleases.  God moves in the hearts and minds of those who do not even believe in or acknowledge Him.

Isaiah 45:1-7  [Cyrus King of Persia did not believe in or worship God]
Thus says the Lord to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held to subdue nations before him, and I will unarm and ungird the loins of kings to open doors before him, so that gates will not be shut.
I will go before you and level the mountains [to make the crooked places straight]; I will break in pieces the doors of bronze and cut asunder the bars of iron.  And I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, Who calls you by your name.  For the sake of Jacob My servant, and of Israel My chosen, I have called you by your name. I have surnamed you,though you have not known Me.  I am the Lord, and there is no one else; there is no God besides Me.

I will gird and arm you, though you have not known Me,

That men may know from the east and the rising of the sun and from the west and the setting of the sun that there is no God besides Me. I am the Lord, and no one else [is He].  I form the light and create darkness, I make peace [national well-being] and I create [physical] evil (calamity); I am the Lord, Who does all these things.

2 Chronicles 21:16     The Lord put it into the mind of the Philistines and the Arabs who live near the Cushites to attack Jehoram.

2 Chronicles 36:22     In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, the word of the Lord spoken through Jeremiah was fulfilled. The Lord put it into the mind of King Cyrus of Persia to issue a proclamation throughout his entire kingdom and also to put it in writing

Ezra 1:1     In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, the word of the Lord spoken through Jeremiah was fulfilled. The Lord put it into the mind of King Cyrus to issue a proclamation throughout his entire kingdom and to put it in writing

Ezra 7:27    Praise Yahweh the God of our fathers, who has put it into the king’s mind to glorify the house of the Lord in Jerusalem

Jeremiah 31:33     But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Jeremiah 51:11Sharpen the arrows! Fill the quivers! The Lord has put it into the mind of the kings of the Medes because His plan is aimed at Babylon to destroy her, for it is the Lord’s vengeance, vengeance for His temple.

Led and prompted in our inner being by the Holy Spirit 

Romans 8:10-17     But if Christ lives in you, [then although] your [natural] body is dead by reason of sin and guilt, the spirit is alive because of [the] righteousness [that He imputes to you]. And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you.

So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh. For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father!

The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God. And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.

Romans 8:26-27     So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.

And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will.

1 Corinthians 2:4     And my language and my message were not set forth in persuasive (enticing and plausible) words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the [Holy] Spirit and power [a proof by the Spirit and power of God, operating on me and stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them]

1 Corinthians 14:15     Then what am I to do? I will pray with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will also pray [intelligently] with my mind and understanding; I will sing with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will sing [intelligently] with my mind and understanding also.

Ephesians 1:18     I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints

Philippians 3:15So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this mind and hold these convictions; and if in any respect you have a different attitude of mind, God will make that clear to you also.

Colossians 3:15-16     And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always]. Let the word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds] and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts.

Fearful thoughts, anxiety, weakness, and chaos do not come from God. The Holy Spirit as Truth, Guide, and Comforter fills our thoughts with love, a sense of peace, power, and a calm mind.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

When thoughts come into your mind you can evaluate them quickly based on what they are and where they originate.

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

THOUGHT:  God loves me.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  God is for me.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  God has a good plan for my life.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  My God shall supply all my needs.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  If God loves you so much and is for you and has a plan and will supply your needs then why aren’t you rich?  Why don’t you have more money?  Why do you have to work so hard?  Why do other people who don’t even believe in God have it so good?  Forget all that God stuff and just work harder.  Cheat a little on your taxes.  Do what you see other people doing to make side money.  It works for them.  FALSE.  GET RID OF IT.

Hebrews 8:10     For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord:   I will imprint My laws upon their minds, even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

Nature As the Source of Thoughts

One of These Things is Not Like the OtherTHOUGHT:  Honor God.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  Honor your father and mother.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  Do what is right even when it’s not easy.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  Trust God to give you what He wants you to have.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  Just look at my brother.  He does everything halfway if he does it at all.  He stays in trouble while I always do the right thing.  He breaks every rule.  He is disrespectful.  He gets everything he wants and wastes it while I work hard and never get any recognition.  I hate him.  It’s so unfair.  FALSE.  GET RID OF IT.

Temperament, talents, gifts, faults, flaws, and little idiosyncrasies make up the personal characteristics and behavioral tendencies of each person’s unique personality. Genetics and heredity can play a part but the core of who you are is hard to change. Some people are naturally either optimistic or pessimistic, extroverted or introverted, bold or shy, regardless of outside forces. Some are natural-born artists, musicians, or dancers. Some are natural-born leaders with an innate drive and desire to succeed while others happily enjoy blending into the background with little or no claim to fame. It’s common to meet siblings raised in the same home by the same parents with the same environment but extremely different personalities. Their paths in life seem to be polar opposites even though their beginnings were virtually identical.

Biblically we see the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-31. Two sons, same father, same home, yet one’s thoughts lead them to be impetuous, impulsive, and foolhardy, squandering his inheritance. The other son, choosing to stay home, be respectful and obedient to his father, seems more planned and careful in his actions. Ironically, as the story reveals, the foolish son ends up humble and repentant while the careful son reveals a heart full of resentment, pride, and envy.

Personality can directly affect the way you think. It is wise to be aware of any limitations your particular personality may be having on your thought life and to make sure your thoughts are aligned correctly.

Nurture As the Source of Thoughts

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

THOUGHT:  God loves me.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  God cares about me.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  God is for me.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  God thinks I am special.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  I am such a loser.  I have the worst family.  It’s no wonder I am weird and odd and nobody likes me.  I have no hope.  I don’t even know why I stay alive.  Nobody would care if I died.  Who would even notice?  If  God really loved me and cared about me He would have given me a good family.  I would have a mom and dad and brothers and sisters who love each other and we would look forward to holidays and enjoy each other.  Instead I dread every special day of my life because I am either alone or in the middle of another family fight.  It’s so embarrassing.  I guess I don’t deserve anything good.  I may be lumped in with people in general God cares about but God doesn’t care anything about me by myself.   FALSE.  GET RID OF IT.

Personal experience plays a key role in how the mind works. One can speak intellectually about love and quote scripture all day long but if you come from a dysfunctional, violent home, or were raised by unbelievers it may be hard to sincerely believe in your heart.

Dorothy Law Nolte (January 12, 1924 – November 6, 2005) was an American writer and family counselor and the author of the well-known poem CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE (excerpt here:)

A child who lives with criticism learns to condemn.
A child who lives with hostility learns to fight.
A child who lives with fears learns to be anxious.
A child who lives with encouragement learns to be confident.
A child who lives with praise learns to be appreciative.

Unraveling the wrongs knit together so tightly in youth takes time, prayer, and a steadfast desire to change and grow. From the moment of belief in Christ a lifelong process of change begins. It is possible to take charge of your thoughts and make sure they are headed in the right direction.

Philippians 1:6   And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

Psalm 138:8     The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy and loving-kindness, O Lord, endure forever—forsake not the works of Your own hands.

1 John 3:2     Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

Philippians 4:13     I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].

Lusts As the Source of Thoughts

LUST:   a passionate or overmastering desire or craving such as a lust for power; ardent enthusiasm;
pleasure or delight; desire; inclination; to have a yearning or desire; have a strong or excessive craving; crave, hunger, covet, yearn; a strong desire or drive;
PASSION:   any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate; strong amorous feeling or desire; lust; a strong or extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything; fervor, zeal, ardor; violent anger; ire, fury, wrath, rage; a state or outburst of extreme anger;

There is nothing wrong with being a passionate person in the sense of enthusiasm or zeal for life and beliefs. There is nothing wrong with intense feelings, goals, or even yearning. Often there is nothing inherently wrong with the object of a person’s desire. Lust and passion become a problem when the cravings are for the wrong thing or they overshadow the One thing that should be your focus: God.

Obviously, focussing on something outside of God’s will is not a desirable thought pattern for anyone set on growing in Christ. Some people find themselves in the trap of being passionate for a “right” thing to the point that it becomes a “wrong” thing.

Some examples might be:

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Finding a home church to participate in as a family can be a good thing.  Becoming so wrapped up in “church” that your alone time with God in prayer and studying His word become a second priority and your family suffers is not a good thing.

THOUGHT:  I am so thrilled to have a church my family enjoys.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  It is good to worship God with others of like faith.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  I love participating in church activities.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  Singing in the choir is so uplifting.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  I really don’t have time to do all I need to do so I think I am going to let choir practice count as my devotions today.  I went to Sunday School this week, that should be enough Bible reading to cover me.  We prayed at every service and before the board meeting at church I really don’t think God wants to hear any more from me right now.   Our new neighbors have lost their minds if they really think their company can park in front of our house.  We need that space for our church people to park when they come visit.  I am going over there right now to tell them to get those cars off our property!   FALSE.  GET RID OF IT.

One of These Things is Not Like the OtherBeing a successful professional, tithing, and giving of your increase as God blesses you can be a good thing.
Becoming so wrapped up in climbing the corporate ladder, getting the next promotion, and letting your title and income define you at the expense of God and people is not a good thing.

THOUGHT:  God has been so good to me.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  God has blessed me with a keen mind for business.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  God has given me a job I just love.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  I have the opportunity to be a witness in the workplace.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  My boss is so stupid.  I really should be the one sitting in that office.  After all, I am way smarter than he is.  I have more education.  I have a better business mind.  He’s just an idiot.  Who does he think he’s fooling?  He’s just lucky to have me to make him look so good.  I really think it’s about time to start schmoozing with the higher-ups and see if I can’t drop some hints that Mr. Manager Man is really a joke.  With my smarts I’ll have him fired and my diploma hanging on my new office wall in no time!  FALSE.  GET RID OF IT.

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Taking good care of your body, eating right, getting plenty of rest and exercise can be a good thing.  Going to extremes, developing a skewed body image that leads you into an eating disorder, pursuing plastic surgery as a means of becoming perfect, losing touch with family and friends, and most importantly, forgetting to let who you are in Christ be your source of self-esteem, is not a good thing.

THOUGHT:  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  True.  Keep it. 
THOUGHT:  God made me just the way I am.  True.  Keep it. 
THOUGHT:  I know it’s my heart that matters most.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  Christ on the inside makes me beautiful on the outside.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  I am not good enough.  I am not pretty enough.  I am not thin enough.  I am so ugly.  I am so fat.  I am a loser.  I hate my eyes.  I hate my hair.  Being nice to other people is a joke.  That doesn’t get you anywhere.  It’s being the prettiest girl at school that matters.  If I can spend more time at the gym and save up all my money I can get enough work done to make me into the person I want to look like and then I can get the best looking mate and everyone will see that I am acceptable.   Dating and hanging out with the prettiest, most popular people is where it’s at.  My goal is to be the best and most popular one of all.   FALSE.  GET RID OF IT.

Numbers 11:34     That place was called Kibroth-hattaavah [the graves of sensuous desire], because there they buried the people who lusted, whose physical appetite caused them to sin.

Psalm 81:12     So I gave them up to their own hearts’ lust and let them go after their own stubborn will, that they might follow their own counsels.

Proverbs 11:6     The righteousness of the upright will deliver them, But the unfaithful will be caught by their lust.

Ecclesiastes 11:10     Therefore remove [the lusts that end in] sorrow and vexation from your heart and mind and put away evil from your body, for youth and the dawn of life are vanity [transitory, idle, empty, and devoid of truth].

Ezekiel 16:30     How weak and spent with longing and lust is your heart and mind, says the Lord God

John 8:44     You are of your father, the devil, and it is your will to practice the lusts and gratify the desires [which are characteristic] of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false.

Romans 6:12     Let not sin therefore rule as king in your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies, to make you yield to its cravings and be subject to its lusts and evil passions.

Romans 7:8     But sin, finding opportunity in the commandment [to express itself], got a hold on me and aroused and stimulated all kinds of forbidden desires (lust, covetousness). For without the Law sin is dead [the sense of it is inactive and a lifeless thing].

Romans 13:13-14     Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.

1 Corinthians 10:6     Now these things are examples (warnings and admonitions) for us not to desire or crave or covet or lust after evil and carnal things as they did.

Galatians 5:16-17     I say then:   Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

Ephesians 4:22     Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;

Colossians 3:5     Therefore, put to death what belongs to your worldly nature:   sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry.

1 Timothy 6:9     But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.

2 Timothy 2:22     Shun youthful lusts and flee from them, and aim at and pursue righteousness (all that is virtuous and good, right living, conformity to the will of God in thought, word, and deed); [and aim at and pursue] faith, love, [and] peace (harmony and concord with others) in fellowship with all [Christians], who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart.

Titus 3:3     For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

THOUGHT:  God loves me.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  God is faithful.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  God is trustworthy.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  God will never leave me nor forsake me.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  I can’t see God.  I can’t feel God.  I never hear God say anything.  I pray and pray and pray and He never gives me anything.  I am tired of waiting on God to do something, I am just going to have to do it myself.  If you want something done you better not wait for God.  You better just get up and get going.  God helps those who help themselves.   FALSE.  GET RID OF IT.

Hebrews 13:5     Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]

James 1:14     But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions).

1 Peter 2:11     Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul

1 Peter 4:2     that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.

2 Peter 1:4     By means of these He has bestowed on us His precious and exceedingly great promises, so that through them you may escape [by flight] from the moral decay (rottenness and corruption) that is in the world because of covetousness (lust and greed), and become sharers (partakers) of the divine nature.

1 John 2:16-17     For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.

Jude 1:16     These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.

Satan As the Source of Thoughts

In Genesis chapter 3 we first see Satan at work in the embodiment of a serpent having a discussion with Eve. As the father of lies his work involves misleading, twisting the truth just enough to create doubt or to plant an alternative choice in the mind.

2 Corinthians 4:4     For the god of this world (Satan) has blinded the unbelievers’ minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and Likeness of God.

[Satan is called the ruler of this world: John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out.]

2 Corinthians 11:3     But [now] I am fearful, lest that even as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, so your minds may be corrupted and seduced from wholehearted and sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

Ephesians 6:16     In every situation take the shield of faith, and with it you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

The evil one is Satan and the flaming arrows are the weapons of spiritual warfare against which children of God fight. These weapons include lies, deception, confusion, distraction, and anything else Satan can plant in our minds or use as obstacles and roadblocks to keep us from growing closer to God.

John 13:2 So     [it was] during supper, Satan having already put the thought of betraying Jesus in the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son

John 13:27     Then after [he had taken] the bit of food, Satan entered into and took possession of [Judas]. Jesus said to him, What you are going to do, do more swiftly than you seem to intend and make quick work of it.

Acts 5:3     But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?”

1 Chronicles 21     Now Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.

Satan uses unbelievers to put negative, fearful thoughts in your head. It is his delight to pervert the truth of a Christ centered life by making you doubt your freedoms as a child of God.

Titus 1:15     To the pure [in heart and conscience] all things are pure, but to the defiled and corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are defiled and polluted.

1 Peter 5:8     Be 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.

Demons In People:

Mark 1:23-24     Just at that time there was in their synagogue a man [who was in the power] of an unclean spirit; and now [immediately] he raised a deep and terrible cry from the depths of his throat, saying, What have You to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!

Mark 1:34     Then He [Jesus] healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him.

Mark 5:2-13     And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.”

For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!” Then He asked him, “What is your name?”

And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country.

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. So all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.” And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.

Acts 16:16-18     Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days.

But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.

Resist Satan

1 Peter 5:8-9     Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.

If Satan is the Father of Lies and we are to reject all falsity then does it not flow that we should reject the Father of Falsity?

Ephesians 4:25     Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another.

Anger and violence are part of the definition of passion and they can leave one vulnerable to being led down a path that is not optimal for successful growth in Christ. Scripture warns that while anger is a natural human reaction to certain events, don’t let it overtake you and thereby give Satan an open door to walk in and lead you astray.

Ephesians 4:26-27     When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].

God knows we are just human with a wide range of natural emotions and hot buttons. This is why scripture advises prayer and alertness as weapons against falling prey to the things that vie for our attention. More often than not it’s not the things themselves that cause the trouble, it’s how we react to them.

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

THOUGHT:  God is Great.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  God is Good.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  God blesses me every day.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  God hears my prayers and answers my prayers.  True.  Keep it.
THOUGHT:  I cannot believe she had the nerve to speak to me that way!  I don’t really care what kind of day she was having.  Does she not know who she is talking to?  I don’t have to take anything off anyone!  It will be a cold day in . . . well, let’s just say she owes me a huge apology and if she thinks for one second I am going to have anything to do with her until I get it she has one more thing coming!  And I don’t want any halfway apology either!  It needs to be a really good apology where she admits to everything she did wrong and lets me know exactly how sorry she is.  She better not call me or try to come see me until she has made this right!   FALSE.  GET RID OF IT.

Matthew 26:41     All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

We know that Job not only revered God but he also shunned evil.

Job 1:1     There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.

Job made a habit of taking precautions. He would rather err on the side of too much than on the side of too little when it came to serving and honoring God.

Job 1:5     So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This Job did regularly.

1 Timothy 6:5     And protracted wrangling and wearing discussion and perpetual friction among men who are corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a source of profit [a moneymaking business, a means of livelihood]. From such withdraw.

Don’t let Satan keep your mind and thoughts distracted from focussing on Christ.

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

THOUGHT:   God loves me. True. Keep it.
THOUGHT:   Because God loves me I love Him. True. Keep it.
THOUGHT:   I have a desire to be like Jesus. True. Keep it.
THOUGHT:   It’s a joy to show the love of Christ to the world. True. Keep it.
THOUGHT:   Those people are not like us.  They need to stay away.  We can be friendly out in public but never actually associate with anyone who is not as ‘Christian’ as we are.  They are a different color.  The believe something we don’t.  We don’t need to help them or go out of our way to be kind to them.  We have new neighbors but I think they live an alternative lifestyle.  I was going to go say hello but you better believe I am not going to do that now!  I encourage my children to show love to all their church friends but I’d really prefer they never invite anyone from school home with them.  What if they brought someone weird home?  That would be awkward.  How would we act?  We saw a couple today at the market with a flat tire.  We were going to stop and help but then we realized they were of different races.  We really just don’t think people of different races should intermarry so we kept going.    FALSE. GET RID OF IT.

2 Timothy 2:23     But refuse (shut your mind against, have nothing to do with) trifling (ill-informed, unedifying, stupid) controversies over ignorant questionings, for you know that they foster strife and breed quarrels.

Society As the Source of Thoughts

The structure of the society you grow up in and are exposed to plays a huge role in how you view the world and take in information. Formal education, Government, Laws, the news, social media, advertising, and your peers all have a deep impact on the decisions you make whether consciously or subconsciously. Different cultures view and promote issues in different ways. What is taboo in one society may be presented as perfectly normal and accepted in another. Around the globe people are exposed to a wide range of freedom and styles of government including democracy, socialism, capitalism, dictatorships, and tyranny. Some people are free to pray, worship, and pursue any form of religious beliefs they choose while others may have limited choices or no choice at all. Even in “free” societies people are still exposed to prevailing opinions of the day and the social climate may still prove problematic towards unpopular beliefs seen as cults or fringe groups.

Acts 14:2     But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up and poisoned the minds of the Gentiles against the brothers.

Acts 15:24     As we have heard that some persons from our number have disturbed you with their teaching, unsettling your minds and throwing you into confusion, although we gave them no express orders or instructions [on the points in question]

When directly and publicly opposed it takes courage to stand up for what you believe.

Acts 26:24-25     As he was making his defense this way, Festus exclaimed in a loud voice, “You’re out of your mind, Paul! Too much study is driving you mad!”

But Paul replied, “I’m not out of my mind, most excellent Festus. On the contrary, I’m speaking words of truth and good judgment.”

Acts 28:14-31     And so we came to Rome. And the [Christian] brethren there, having had news of us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and received new courage. When we arrived at Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard, but Paul was permitted to live by himself with the soldier who guarded him.

Three days after [our arrival], he called together the leading local Jews; and when they had gathered, he said to them, Brethren, though I have done nothing against the people or against the customs of our forefathers, yet I was turned over as a prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans. After they had examined me, they were ready to release me because I was innocent of any offense deserving the death penalty. But when the Jews protested, I was forced to appeal to Caesar, though it was not because I had any charge to make against my nation. This is the reason therefore why I have begged to see you and to talk with you, since it is because of the Hope of Israel (the Messiah) that I am bound with this chain.

And they answered him, We have not received any letters about you from Judea, and none of the [Jewish] brethren coming here has reported or spoken anything evil about you. But we think it fitting and are eager to hear from you what it is that you have in mind and believe and what your opinion is, for with regard to this sect it is known to all of us that it is everywhere denounced.

So when they had set a day with him, they came in large numbers to his lodging. And he fully set forth and explained the matter to them from morning until night, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets.

And some were convinced and believed what he said, and others did not believe.

And as they disagreed among themselves, they began to leave, [but not before] Paul had added one statement [more]: The Holy Spirit was right in saying through Isaiah the prophet to your forefathers: Go to this people and say to them, You will indeed hear and hear with your ears but will not understand, and you will indeed look and look with your eyes but will not see [not perceive, have knowledge of or become acquainted with what you look at, at all]. For the heart (the understanding, the soul) of this people has grown dull (stupid, hardened, and calloused), and their ears are heavy and hard of hearing and they have shut tight their eyes, so that they may not perceive and have knowledge and become acquainted with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their souls and turn [to Me and be converted], that I may heal them.

So let it be understood by you then that [this message of] the salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles, and they will listen [to it]!

And when he had said these things, the Jews went away, arguing and disputing among themselves.
After this Paul lived there for two entire years [at his own expense] in his own rented lodging, and he welcomed all who came to him,Preaching to them the kingdom of God and teaching them about the Lord Jesus Christ with boldness and quite openly, and without being molested or hindered.

Romans 1:28     And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong.

Peers are not always negative influences. This is why it is good and useful to have a circle of like-minded believers along with mentors to help you stay on course and have the right thoughts in your mind as you grow in Christ.

1 Corinthians 4:17     For this very cause I sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and trustworthy child in the Lord, who will recall to your minds my methods of proceeding and course of conduct and way of life in Christ, such as I teach everywhere in each of the churches.

1 Corinthians 10:12     Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin].

We have a responsibility to keep our eyes, ears, hearts, and minds on Christ and not on the thoughts and opinions of others or the prevailing popular culture of the time.

Ephesians 4:14-19     So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, [gamblers engaged] in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead.

Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth [in all things, speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly]. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him Who is the Head, [even] Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts), closely joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly [in all its functions], grows to full maturity, building itself up in love.

So this I say and solemnly testify in [the name of] the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the heathen (the Gentiles) do in their perverseness [in the folly, vanity, and emptiness of their souls and the futility] of their minds. Their moral understanding is darkened and their reasoning is beclouded. [They are] alienated (estranged, self-banished) from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the ignorance (the want of knowledge and perception, the willful blindness) that is deep-seated in them, due to their hardness of heart [to the insensitiveness of their moral nature].

In their spiritual apathy they have become callous and past feeling and reckless and have abandoned themselves [a prey] to unbridled sensuality, eager and greedy to indulge in every form of impurity [that their depraved desires may suggest and demand].

When others do not share your beliefs they are rarely content to live and let live. Satan uses them as willing participants to hinder your desire to walk and grow in Christ. Keep your mind alert to those who would lead you away from the life God wants for you.

2 Timothy 3:8     Now just as Jannes and Jambres were hostile to and resisted Moses, so these men also are hostile to and oppose the Truth. They have depraved and distorted minds, and are reprobate and counterfeit and to be rejected as far as the faith is concerned.

2 Peter 3:17     Let me warn you therefore, beloved, that knowing these things beforehand, you should be on your guard, lest you be carried away by the error of lawless and wicked [persons and] fall from your own [present] firm condition [your own steadfastness of mind].

1 John 2:16     For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself].

Jude 1:19     It is these who are [agitators] setting up distinctions and causing divisions—merely sensual [creatures, carnal, worldly-minded people], devoid of the [Holy] Spirit and destitute of any higher spiritual life.

Body (Flesh) As the Source of Thoughts

The human body is designed to believe and understand what the brain processes. There are only five ways the body can receive information:

  1. What it can touch and feel with the skin
  2. What it can see with the eyes
  3. What it can taste with the tongue and the mouth
  4. What it can smell with the nose
  5. What it can hear with the ears

We are deceived regularly by our five senses. Paul tried diligently to explain this concept to the first century Christians. Yes, we are human. Yes, we have no choice but to exist in this world in our earthly, human, flesh and blood flawed bodies. However, we do have the choice to align our thoughts and our thinking with the thoughts and thinking of God. When our bodies fill our minds with thoughts we must evaluate those thoughts based on what God’s word says and not what our five senses say.

Romans 7:23     But I discern in my bodily members [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh] a different law (rule of action) at war against the law of my mind (my reason) and making me a prisoner to the law of sin that dwells in my bodily organs [in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh].

Romans 7:25     I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I myself am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh, to the law of sin.

Romans 8:1-9Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.

For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit].

For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.

Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].

[That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot.

So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him. But you are not living the life of the flesh, you are living the life of the Spirit, if the [Holy] Spirit of God [really] dwells within you [directs and controls you]. But if anyone does not possess the [Holy] Spirit of Christ, he is none of His [he does not belong to Christ, is not truly a child of God].

1 Corinthians 10:15     I am speaking as to intelligent (sensible) men. Think over and make up your minds [for yourselves] about what I say. [I appeal to your reason and your discernment in these matters.]

Ephesians 2:3     Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind.

James 1:8     [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].

Consider Your Thoughts
THOUGHTS
Take Control of Your Thoughts
What Was I Thinking?
Consider the Source
Renew Your Mind Daily
Think On These Things

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Next:   Renew Your Mind Daily   >

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One comment on “Consider the Source

  1. Blythe
    September 20, 2015

    Excellent web site you’ve got here.. It’s difficult too find excellent writing like
    yours these days. I seriously appreciate people
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This entry was posted on July 9, 2013 by in 1 Timothy, 2 Chronicles, 2 Timothy, Acts, Apostolic History, Armor of God, Benefits of Serving God, Bible Stories, Blessed, Christianity, Colossians, Death, Deliverance, Ecclesiastes, Ephesians, Ezekiel, Ezra, Faith, Faith, Forgiveness, Galatians, General Epistles, God, God, Gospels, Grace, Guidance, Heart, Hebrews, Help, Historical Old Testament Books, Hope, I Chronicles, I Corinthians, I John, I Peter, II Corinthians, II Peter, Inspiration, Isaiah, James, Jeremiah, Jesus Christ, Job, John, Jude, Kindness, Knowledge, Life, Light, Love, Love, Major Prophets, Mark, Matthew, Meditate, Mercy, New Testament, Numbers, Obedience, Old Testament, Pauline Epistles, Peace, Pentateuch or The Five Books of Moses, Philippians, Power, Praise, Prayer, Promises, Protection, Provision, Psalms, Rejoice, Romans, Servant, Sovereign, Spirit, Spirituality, Strength, Thanks, The Holy Spirit, Titus, Trust, Truth, Understanding, Waiting on God, Wisdom Books, Worship and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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