Think on These Things
By Pastor J.D. Link
Php 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
“Think on”: means to deliberate, consider, meditate on. Deliberate synonyms include: ponder, mull over, contemplate, chew on. Antonyms include: disregard, ignore, overlook, dismiss. Here, the Holy Spirit, speaking through Paul, instructs us on what we are to habitually meditate on. God is the original teacher of “positive thinking”. However, unlike the unchristian idea of positive thinking, the Christian’s positive thinking is based on eternal truth.
Victory in any area of your life will begin in your thoughts. Success in any area of life by anyone has begun in the individual’s mind. Why? Because thoughts are the building blocks of life. Thoughts become words; words become actions; actions become habits; habits become character; character becomes destiny. Our thoughts will ultimately determine our destiny.
Thoughts become words (Luk 6:45). “Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” Whatever we think on will eventually come out of our mouth, and we give life to it. Words become actions (Ps 39:1, Ecc 5:6). Our mouths can cause us to sin. Wrong thoughts lead to wrong words, and become wrong actions. Actions becomes habits (Luk 4:14-16). An action repeated over and over becomes a habit. This works in the good and bad. Jesus’ “habit” was to be in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Is being in the Lord’s House on the Lord’s day your habit, or an occasional thing?
Habits become character (Pro 20:11 – Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.). Habits begin to shape who we are, and they become what we are known by. When our name is mentioned, there are usually thoughts associated with our name based on our character. Character becomes destiny (Prv 23:7, 4:23). As we think in our heart, so we are. We must keep our heart with all diligence, for out of it flows the issues of life. We will go in the direction we think in our heart. If we only knew how powerful and life-affecting our thoughts truly are, we would never think another negative thought again.
It’s what we do with a thought that will determine if there will be a chain of events that follows. It is when a thought gets into our heart that it will become who we are. Any thought not in line with God’s Word must be taken captive and cast down. Any thought in line with truth must be taken captive and exalted (2Co 10:5). If a thought contrary to God’s truth pops in our mind, then we are to cast down this imagination (false mental picture), and replace it with God’s Word. By doing this, we will prevent wrong thoughts from getting into our hearts and becoming what we truly believe. If we don’t take the wrong thought captive, and we yield to it; it will get into our hearts, and bring the fruit of death (Jam 1:14-15).
How do we then change our thoughts? Rom 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…”. What does this verse tell us? It tells us we think wrong, and we need to be transformed in our thinking. We are not to think like the world, but we are to think like God. The only way this transformation will come, is by renewing our mind through reading and meditating on God’s Word. God’s Word is spirit and life (Jn 6:63). It is a living thing that produces change. It is a seed, that when planted in a receptive heart, will produce spiritual fruit (Lk 8:11, 1Pt 1:23, Mt 13:23, Gal 5:22-23).
Before we come to Christ and start meditating on His Word, our “hard drive” is full of wrong info. Full of worldly corrupt files; viruses; malware; Trojan horses; spyware; etc. It needs to wiped and correct info reinstalled. If we do not daily read, study and meditate in God’s Word, the corrupt files in our hard drive will continue to process wrong information – and we’ll keep getting what we’ve got, because we’ll keep thinking what we’ve thought. We must be transformed!
As there are no short cuts in agriculture, so there are none in the spiritual life. Seedtime and harvest are laws of the kingdom. The proper seed (God’s Word) must be planted, and over time it will produce the fruits of righteousness. Unlike salvation, this is not instantaneous – but rather a process. You can’t think on right things for one day or one week, and expect a bountiful harvest (though some positive results will manifest). Like with fitness, you can’t eat twinkies all week and then eat one salad and expect to enter the ironman competition. Day in and day, year after year, read and study God’s Word. It will produce the right thoughts, and ultimately result in the right destiny. Selah.