In the previous article we discussed the fact that you can’t control the thoughts that come into your head but you can control what you do with them. Can you, however, impact what thoughts come into your head? Are we destined to be slaves to an onslaught of temptations and negative thoughts coming into our head or can we have some level of impact on the frequency and content?
We most definitely can. Your mind never completely shuts down. It is active, active, active. It will find things to occupy it and to fill it up. Others will certainly try to provide material to fill your mind as well. Advertisers, movie and TV show makers, writers, sales-people, and even family and friends will provide much to fill your mind. The Holy Spirit wants to help fill your mind. Unfortunately, so does Satan and his minions. There are constantly attempts at inputs into our minds.
While we cannot control what thoughts come into our minds we can effect them. We do so by filling our minds with good. Phillipians 4:8 says, ”Finally brothers, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” This is a proactive approach. It is a matter of discipline first but then becomes a way of life.
Deuteronomy 6:6-8 states, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” This passage of scripture is telling us to saturate our minds, our lives with the things God has said, even to the point of having reminders around us.
One more verse for us to review is, Romans 12:2. In this verse Paul says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Notice the word ‘renewing’. Don’t miss the three little letters ‘ing’ at the end, telling us it is an on-going effort.
The more we fill our minds with good, even to the point of saturation, the more it will be occupied with such. The negative, tempting thoughts will have less opportunity. We cannot eliminate the negative or tempting thoughts but we can reduce them and lessen their impact. In addition, as our minds are filled with the good it becomes easier to respond to the negative because we are better armed.