By Brooke Holt
“O God, from whom all good proceeds: Grant that by your inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by your merciful guiding may do them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” Book of Common Prayer, p. 239
While preparing for a teaching last week, I came across a short devotional entitled “A Thought is a Terrible Thing to Waste” by Joseph Acton. He writes, “As long as you are going to be thinking anyway, why not choose what you think rather than have the world, the flesh, and the devil determine your thoughts? Don’t let the devil live rent free in your head! Choose to think God-glorifying thoughts of blessing, joy, praise, and thanksgiving” (A Powerful Joy: Lessons in Healing). I love and value good common sense, logical, and applicable instruction. This is about the best I have read in quite some time!
Your thoughts are vitally important to your life and your faith. Do you acknowledge this truth and then live into it? To simplify it more, are you thinking God’s thoughts or, as Acton says, the thoughts of the world, devil, or flesh? Quite often, your thoughts will inform your actions and your emotions. Who or what is guiding those actions and emotions? We need to ponder this important question.
As you ponder, re-read The Collect for today. In it, you pray that God would inspire you to think God-glorifying thoughts and that through his mercy that you may act on those thoughts. These actions mark God’s intention for your life! He longs to fill your mind with his truth so that you know who you are, how deeply loved and valuable you are to him. It will also help equip you to live into his plans and purposes for you. God’s plan offers you the abundant life or life to the full (see John 10:10).
Thinking God’s thoughts transforms you more into the image of his Son. Can you imagine how glorious that is to him and to this world? Jesus brought light into darkness. He brought truth, love, healing, and freedom. Those things you deeply desire are yours in him and through him. Then, you are his vessel to share his truth, love, healing, and freedom to this world.
If the devil is living rent-free in your head, now is the time to evict him and invite the Lord back into that space. You are his beloved child, and he alone wants to inform your thoughts and actions.
As we have all heard many times throughout our lives, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”. Take some time today to assess your thought life. Are you thinking God’s thoughts and allowing those thoughts to guide your actions or are you allowing the world, the devil, or your flesh to dictate your thoughts and actions. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Our honest prayer before God is evidence that we understand the ways He loves, cherishes, sees, and hears us. Through prayer, we can acknowledge with Hagar, “You are the living One who sees me” (Genesis 16:14). When we pray, we are affirming the same. Why do we often hide from this privilege? Why do we avoid God, the One who sees us as we are and stands ready to provide and answer us in his holy, timely way? In this 8-week study on the prayers of Job, Ruth, Hannah, and David, grow your prayer life by facing your honest need and bringing your whole self before God. Acknowledging God as the One who guides your path can change your heart. It can take you past fear and into faith, strength, and hope. Learn more about Honest Prayer.
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