uplifting thoughts and inspiration on faith
We have the ability to take charge of our thoughts and purposefully choose to dwell or not dwell on what comes into our mind. We have the ability to choose what thoughts we meditate on and nurture.
Some people choose violence.
Proverbs 24:2 For their minds plot oppression and devise violence, and their lips talk of causing trouble and vexation.
Some people choose youth.
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].
Some people choose foolishness.
Isaiah 32:6 For a fool speaks foolishness and his mind plots iniquity. He lives in a godless way and speaks falsely about the Lord. He leaves the hungry empty and deprives the thirsty of drink.
Some people choose to believe in created gods and idols.
Isaiah 44:19 And no one considers in his mind, nor has he knowledge and understanding [enough] to say [to himself], I have burned part of this log in the fire, and also I have baked bread on its coals and have roasted meat and eaten it. And shall I make the remainder of it into an abomination [the very essence of what is disgusting, detestable, and shamefully vile in the eyes of a jealous God]? Shall I fall down and worship the stock of a tree [a block of wood without consciousness or life]?
Some people choose to listen to their own voice instead of God’s voice.
Jeremiah 7:24 But they would not listen to and obey Me or bend their ear [to Me], but followed the counsels and the stubborn promptings of their own evil hearts and minds, and they turned their backs and went in reverse instead of forward.
Some people choose to go back on their word and their minds are filled with disloyalty.
Jeremiah 34:11 Afterward, however, they changed their minds and took back their male and female slaves they had freed and forced them to become slaves again.
Jeremiah 34:16 But you have changed your minds and profaned My name. Each has taken back his male and female slaves who had been freed to go wherever they wanted, and you have again subjugated them to be your slaves.
Some people choose their power.
Habakkuk 1:9-11 They all come for violence; their faces turn eagerly forward, and they gather prisoners together like sand. They scoff at kings, and rulers are a derision to them; they ridicule every stronghold, for they heap up dust [for earth mounds] and take it. Then his mind changes, and they sweep by like a wind and pass on, and they load themselves with guilt, [as do all men] whose own power is their god.
Some people choose to change their thinking and turn their thoughts towards God.
Matthew 3:2 And saying, Repent (think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Matthew 3:11 I indeed baptize you in (with) water because of repentance [that is, because of your changing your minds for the better, heartily amending your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins]. But He Who is coming after me is mightier than I, Whose sandals I am not worthy or fit to take off or carry; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.
Some people aren’t sure what to think or which thoughts to believe.
If you give Satan an inch he will take a mile. Open the door of doubt a crack and he’ll barge right into your thoughts. Doubting and questioning are two of Satan’s favorite weapons because we make it so easy for him to use them against us. In order to stamp out doubt and limit our questions we must make up our minds to believe God Is Who He says He Is and will do what He says He will do. It is a choice we reinforce through an intimate, personal relationship with Him through His word, prayer, and The Holy Spirit living in us and working through us.
A heart that is seeking God and desiring His leadership will make a concerted effort to recognize and deal with doubt and useless questioning.
1 Chronicles 28:9 And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father [have personal knowledge of Him, be acquainted with, and understand Him; appreciate, heed, and cherish Him] and serve Him with a blameless heart and a willing mind. For the Lord searches all hearts and minds and understands all the wanderings of the thoughts. If you seek Him [inquiring for and of Him and requiring Him as your first and vital necessity] you will find Him;
Nehemiah 6:8 Then I replied to him, “There is nothing to these rumors you are spreading; you are inventing them in your own mind.”
Psalm 86:2 Preserve my life, for I am godly and dedicated; O my God, save Your servant, for I trust in You [leaning and believing on You, committing all and confidently looking to You, without fear or doubt].
Proverbs 10:20 The tongues of those who are upright and in right standing with God are as choice silver; the minds of those who are wicked and out of harmony with God are of little value.
Proverbs 31:18 She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust].
Matthew 14:31 Instantly Jesus reached out His hand and caught and held him, saying to him, O you of little faith, why did you doubt?
Matthew 21:21 And Jesus answered them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith (a firm relying trust) and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, it will be done.
Mark 2:8-12 And at once Jesus, becoming fully aware in His spirit that they thus debated within themselves, said to them, Why do you argue (debate, reason) about all this in your hearts? Which is easier: to say to the paralyzed man, Your sins are forgiven and put away, or to say, Rise, take up your sleeping pad or mat, and start walking about [and keep on walking]? But that you may know positively and beyond a doubt that the Son of Man has right and authority and power on earth to forgive sins—He said to the paralyzed man, I say to you, arise, pick up and carry your sleeping pad or mat, and be going on home. And he arose at once and picked up the sleeping pad or mat and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and recognized and praised and thanked God, saying, We have never seen anything like this before!
Luke 12:29 And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind.
Acts 2:36 Therefore let the whole house of Israel recognize beyond all doubt and acknowledge assuredly that God has made Him both Lord and Christ (the Messiah)—this Jesus Whom you crucified.
As these thoughts came into Peter’s mind, a mind that was devout and resolved to follow God, he had to spend some time evaluating them because they did not seem to line up with his Jewish beliefs.
Now [living] at Caesarea there was a man whose name was Cornelius, a centurion (captain) of what was known as the Italian Regiment, a devout man who venerated God and treated Him with reverential obedience, as did all his household; and he gave much alms to the people and prayed continually to God.
About the ninth hour (about 3:00 p.m.) of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God entering and saying to him, Cornelius! And he, gazing intently at him, became frightened and said, What is it, Lord? And the angel said to him, Your prayers and your [generous] gifts to the poor have come up [as a sacrifice] to God and have been remembered by Him. And now send men to Joppa and have them call for and invite here a certain Simon whose surname is Peter; He is lodging with Simon a tanner, whose house is by the seaside.
When the angel who spoke to him had left, Cornelius called two of his servants and a God-fearing soldier from among his own personal attendants. And having rehearsed everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
The next day as they were still on their way and were approaching the town, Peter went up to the roof of the house to pray, about the sixth hour (noon). But he became very hungry, and wanted something to eat; and while the meal was being prepared a trance came over him, and he saw the sky opened and something like a great sheet lowered by the four corners, descending to the earth.
It contained all kinds of quadrupeds and wild beasts and creeping things of the earth and birds of the air. And there came a voice to him, saying, Rise up, Peter, kill and eat. But Peter said, No, by no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common and unhallowed or [ceremonially] unclean.
Peter’s mind was trained on thoughts of God and God’s word and God’s will. For this reason Peter immediately cast down the thought to do something he had been raised not to do and believed was wrong.
And the voice came to him again a second time, What God has cleansed and pronounced clean, do not you defile and profane by regarding and calling common and unhallowed or unclean. This occurred three times; then immediately the sheet was taken up to heaven.
Now Peter was still inwardly perplexed and doubted as to what the vision which he had seen could mean, when [just then] behold the messengers that were sent by Cornelius, who had made inquiry for Simon’s house, stopped and stood before the gate. And they called out to inquire whether Simon who was surnamed Peter was staying there.
And while Peter was earnestly revolving the vision in his mind and meditating on it, the [Holy] Spirit said to him, Behold, three men are looking for you! Get up and go below and accompany them without any doubt [about its legality] or any discrimination or hesitation, for I have sent them.
Peter knows what he believes but he also trusts God and the Holy Spirit to guide him so his vision has given him some trouble. Peter was earnestly revolving the vision in his mind and meditating on it. Peter had a desire to do anything God would have him to do but he did not want to be fooled into doing something that was not from God. This is where time alone to study God’s word, pray, and meditate help us to grow and to become attuned to how the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts.
Then Peter went down to the men and said, I am the man you seek; what is the purpose of your coming? And they said, Cornelius, a centurion (captain) who is just and upright and in right standing with God, being God-fearing and obedient and well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, has been instructed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house; and he has received in answer [to prayer] a warning to listen to and act upon what you have to say.
So Peter invited them in to be his guests [for the night]. The next day he arose and went away with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him. And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for and expecting them, and he had invited together his relatives and his intimate friends.
As Peter arrived, Cornelius met him, and falling down at his feet he made obeisance and paid worshipful reverence to him. But Peter raised him up, saying, Get up; I myself am also a man. And as [Peter] spoke with him, he entered the house and found a large group of persons assembled; And he said to them, You yourselves are aware how it is not lawful or permissible for a Jew to keep company with or to visit or [even] to come near or to speak first to anyone of another nationality, but God has shown and taught me by words that I should not call any human being common or unhallowed or [ceremonially] unclean. Therefore when I was sent for, I came without hesitation or objection or misgivings. So now I ask for what reason you sent for me.
Because of Peter’s relationship with God and his trust in God he allowed God to show him something new: God has shown and taught me by words that I should not call any human being common or unhallowed or [ceremonially] unclean. Therefore when I was sent for, I came without hesitation or objection or misgivings. Because Peter trusted God to lead him in the right way he did not hesitate to obey.
And Cornelius said, This is now the fourth day since about this time I was observing the ninth hour (three o’clock in the afternoon) of prayer in my lodging place; [suddenly] a man stood before me in dazzling apparel, And he said, Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and harkened to, and your donations to the poor have been known and preserved before God [so that He heeds and is about to help you]. Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is surnamed Peter; he is staying in the house of Simon the tanner by the seaside.
So at once I sent for you, and you [being a Jew] have done a kind and courteous and handsome thing in coming. Now then, we are all present in the sight of God to listen to all that you have been instructed by the Lord to say. And Peter opened his mouth and said: Most certainly and thoroughly I now perceive and understand that God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons, But in every nation he who venerates and has a reverential fear for God, treating Him with worshipful obedience and living uprightly, is acceptable to Him and sure of being received and welcomed [by Him].
Peter could have spent a lot of time questioning.
What if this is not really from God? What if I am wrong? What if I mean well but I do the wrong thing and God is mad at me? What if I have become so pious that I think I am hearing things that God is not saying? What if this is Satan trying to get me to do the wrong thing?
The mire of WHAT IF? will immobilize you with fear, hesitation, doubt, and inactivity.
Peter could have spent a lot of time reasoning.
But that is not what I was taught. But I don’t agree with this idea. But why would God change His mind? But I am afraid. But I don’t want to do that. But that is not what I had planned. But I am not trained for that.
You can drown in the deep waters of BUT.
Peter’s close relationship with God, knowledge of His word, dedication to time alone in prayer and meditation, prompt obedience to the urging of the Holy Spirit, and desire to grow in his knowledge of God’s will allowed him to be taught a new thing, to accept as true the thoughts he was having in his mind, and to rest assured that God was behind all of it. Peter did not have to fear that he did the wrong thing or made the wrong choice, or gave a wrong message. He could through faith rely on God to be in control.
Acts 11:12 Then the Spirit told me to accompany them with no doubts at all. These six brothers accompanied me, and we went into the man’s house.
Romans 4:16-21 Therefore, [inheriting] the promise is the outcome of faith and depends [entirely] on faith, in order that it might be given as an act of grace (unmerited favor), to make it stable and valid and guaranteed to all his descendants—not only to the devotees and adherents of the Law, but also to those who share the faith of Abraham, who is [thus] the father of us all.
As it is written, I have made you the father of many nations. [He was appointed our father] in the sight of God in Whom he believed, Who gives life to the dead and speaks of the nonexistent things that [He has foretold and promised] as if they [already] existed.
[For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, So [numberless] shall your descendants be. He did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah’s [deadened] womb. No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God, Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised.
1 Timothy 2:8 I desire therefore that in every place men should pray, without anger or quarreling or resentment or doubt [in their minds], lifting up holy hands.
Hebrews 6:17 Accordingly God also, in His desire to show more convincingly and beyond doubt to those who were to inherit the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose and plan, intervened (mediated) with an oath.
James 1:6 Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.
James 3:17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it is peace-loving, courteous (considerate, gentle). [It is willing to] yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity).
Think Before You Speak
The Voice of God
God’s Voice is Truth
Choosing to Hear and Obey God’s Voice
God’s Voice Leads you, Comforts you, Blesses you
Learning to Hear and Trust God’s Voice
God is Sovereign
God is in Control
God Has a Plan for Your Life
God is Trustworthy
God Sees A Bigger Picture Than We Do
God Teaches the Cycle of Trust
God Strengthens Us
God Fights For Us
God is Bigger Than ANY Need We Have
God Never Puts Us Where He Can’t Keep Us
Standing on the Promises
Body Soul Spirit
Armor of God