Where thoughts take us – Part 1

The combination of brain and mind are an astounding duo. They are inseparable, interdependent, and operate both consciously and unconsciously. The spiritual heart is the engine that powers up all that we are and do. The heart provides the fuel for our minds to operate on, both healthy and unhealthy fuels. God acknowledges the significance of the heart; above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23 NIV).

Where thoughts take us - Part 1
While many thoughts are determined by us, there are those that simply appear. We don’t always understand our thoughts, some of them just arrive uninvited. To a large degree, it is the heart that supplies the values and beliefs which stimulate our thoughts. Likewise, the heart educates the conscience with values from which it speaks into our minds and thoughts.

Thoughts never leave us stationary or stagnant, but always take us somewhere. They always direct, lead, or invite us down a path of further thoughts. They often leave lingering feelings, they stir up emotions, and ultimately end up materializing somewhere in our attitudes and behaviour. Thoughts unavoidably grow towards a destination within our minds which we can either accept or reject. Just because we have thoughts does not mean they are right or wrong or have authority over us. We all have the capacity to govern and direct our thoughts.

The inner person is multi-layered and complex. Thankfully, God’s Word has much to say about our hearts, our minds, and our thoughts. Scripture provides us with the required truth to understand and educate our inner person so that the Lord’s righteousness can filter through our whole person.

Jesus explained that, of our natural selves, when we are separated from God; out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, and slander (Matthew 15:19). Left to ourselves, the natural human heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9). When we listen to the instinctive voices rising from our hearts, we are often perplexed, and fail to understand why we are the way we are. But God brings the required clarity; humanity has a self-deceiving spiritual heart sickness called ‘sin.’ It is sin which produces evil thoughts. Left to itself, the heart spits out many thoughts which exclude God, which self-harm, and are destructive of others who suffer from the same sickness.

Therefore, Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:3, I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. Jesus Christ is the only cure for the heart disease called sin. A spiritually pure thought life begins with sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

God promised Israel in Ezekiel 36:26-27, I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you… I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. Likewise, all humanity is dependent upon the Lord doing this supernatural work within them. A cleansed and forgiven heart is one that fuels a cleansed mind which produces cleansed thoughts.

For believers, God has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). We consciously put Christ first in our hearts by reading and believing the Word of God, by believing in Christ’s substitutional death on the cross, by worship and fellowship with other believers, and with private and group prayer. These simple faith disciplines are the beginning of an ordered thought life, which is pleasing to God.

To be continued…

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