One of the simple prayers has been recommended as a way to start our day is, “Lord, guide my thinking today”.
We have complete and total control over what we choose to think about, so inviting God to guide us is a form of surrender to Him. It is a willingness to think on a higher plane.
Sometimes, ugly thoughts can seemingly come out of nowhere. For instance, just this morning, out of the blue, I remembered something harsh that someone said to me when I was a teenager. That was quite some time ago!
My head began to be filled with all kinds of unkind words that I now believed I should have spoken in response. Fortunately, back then I said nothing, hurtful or otherwise, and instead quietly walked away. Thank you, God, that I have no words to regret having said!
Isaiah invites us to seek the Lord to think and live in a way that pleases Him rather than in a way that seeks retaliation for hurt pride or pursues some other regrettable way.
6 Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the Lord,
And He will have mercy on him;
And to our God,
For He will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:6-7 NKJV
God not only has abundant purity and love that we can draw on, but He also has a lot more information than we do. He knows the causes and reasons that others act the way they do and maintains a more accurate and eternal perspective than we ever could.
8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV
Someone once said, “I can only control from the tip of my nose on back”. I have no control over the thoughts and actions of others. But I can seek to improve the level of my own thinking and actions. Do I want to think, speak, and act as one who has never experienced the goodness and mercy of God, or do I want to do better than that?
In Matthew 13, Jesus told a parable in which there are four kinds of soil, each representing a different response we can have to the “seed of the Sower”, the word of God.
The hard soil hears the word of God, but it does not penetrate the mind and the heart. It soon gets carried away and lost.
Stony soil hears and receives God’s word, but once the seed germinates, there is no depth to let it survive and grow. It is neglected and then rejected at the first sign of trouble. After a while, it is as if the word had never impacted us at all.
Thorny soil represents those who receive God’s word gladly in their hearts, but eventually the thoughts and cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches crowd it out so that any fruit they bear gets choked and dies on the vine.
Finally, the good soil represents those who hear and retain God’s word in their hearts and minds and reflect on it to allow it to bear good fruit in their lives. God uses these people to positively impact and draw others to His kingdom.
A good Bible teacher recently pointed out that we all have a choice over which type of soil we want to be. We can ask God to guide our thinking to become the good soil. By valuing and nurturing His word, we retain it in our hearts and minds. It then is able to bloom and grow, to bear eternal fruit that will bless God’s kingdom and those who are around us.
Lord, help us to live on Your higher plane as You guide our thinking today!
What types of ugly thoughts do I struggle with today? Some common ones are hated, revenge, lust, unhealthy cravings or yearnings, resentment, self-pity, unforgiveness, self-hatred and depression, just to name a few. Lord, calm these unholy stirrings in our minds and spirits. Fill us to overflowing with Your healing love, serenity, and peace.
Lord, guide my thinking today. Help me listen to and understand what You are telling me through Your word today. May I become good soil that will bear fruit to Your glory and to the growth of Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.