God's Reign In Our Thought Life
By Richard Jacobsen
Many Christians find that they have problems with their thought life. They find it nearly impossible to control their minds. Many times this is manifested in impure thoughts, but often it is seen in self-centered daydreaming.
This is what I would like to share because the problem of a wandering mind and daydreaming is not only confined to the junior high and high school years. It is a problem in the lives of far too many adults.
Do you find yourself constantly forgetting everything because you are so wrapped up in your work; or do you find yourself constantly forgetting in prayer because your mind is wandering off into other avenues; or do you spend much time wrapped up in an imaginary world where you are someone else, or the perfect you?
We as Christians tend to claim that this is a very harmless habit. Let us look at two reasons why it is not harmless, but in fact dangerous:
1. When our minds quickly run to these daydreams we are often seeking refuge. It is an escape and we are not facing reality. And after all, is not that one of Christianity's strongest points – that we are given the power by our risen Savior the Lord Jesus Christ, to deal with reality!
Our commitment to Christ is not an escape from reality, but our means of dealing with reality. To live in a world of imagination is to deny our Savior of His power in our lives. He wants us to deal with reality, not to escape by imagining our situation to be different or by imagining ourselves to be someone different.
2. Also, God is to have complete dominion of our thoughts and our mind. But when our minds wander in absentmindedness and daydreaming, we are not giving Him the complete dominion of our minds.
Let us look at a few Scriptures that bring this out.
"Casting down imaginations and reasonings and every high thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ'' (2 Cor. 10:5).
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee" (Isa. 26:3).
So we see that daydreaming is not as harmless as we often think. Any area of our lives which is not under the dominion of Jesus has the possibility of coming under Satan's realm of influence. How many times have your imaginations led you into sin, or how many times have your imaginations caused you to deny Jesus the right to use your life?
We can see that this kind of thought life is not God's plan for our lives. But what is? Our Lord's answer is in Romans 12:1-2, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."
Jesus has in His plans to renew our minds, to transform them, to bring into captivity every thought (2 Cor. 10:5).
Remember, though, that this is a process of renewing and transformation. Do not expect it to happen instantly. After all, you have built up this habit over a period of years.
The steps are to:
1. Recognize this self-centered daydreaming as a sin. It keeps you from Jesus Christ, and it keeps you from seeing His full power in your life.
2. Confess it to the Father as sin and ask Him to give you a deeply repentant heart about it.
3. Daily ask Him to remind you when you start to go down those avenues of thoughts so that you can turn that situation over to Him to take care of (1 Pet. 1:13).
4. Spend time in prayer. I find my worst bouts with a wandering mind come when I have not regularly communed with Him in prayer. We need to cultivate that relationship. And is not that a sign of true love? That we want to be united with that person in desire, action and thought?
I believe as you take these simple steps you will find a new freedom in your thought life and prayer life, and a closer relationship with Jesus.
– From The Message Of The Cross.