All Words Come From Thoughts

Simeon said this to Mary in Luke 2:35 about Jesus, “…that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.” The Greek word for thoughts is dialogismos. Does that sound like dialogue? According to Strong’s it means inward reasoning, questioning, consideration, and deliberation; turning thoughts over in  the mind; reckoning by mental questions, opinions, designs, and disputes.

It carries the same thought as what God told Peter in Acts 11:12. He was to doubt nothing. Strong’s definition denotes a conflict with oneself, in the sense of hesitating, having misgivings, doubting, being divided in decision making, or wavering between hope and fear.

These definitions took me to James 1:6. We are to ask for wisdom in faith without doubting. Verse 8 says that one who doubts is double-minded and unstable in all their ways. We need to be resolute in our thoughts in order to be resolute in our words and actions.

Romans 14:1. It says,  “Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.” Verse 4 says, “Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.” 

Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according tot he flesh, but according to the Spirit.” It is too easy to ‘condemn’ another in our thoughts. More on this tomorrow.

Uprooting Unbelief Through Impenetrable Faith

My article was in today’s newspaper. It is a combination of several of my recent devotionals.

How does unbelief creep in? I felt this question pop into my mind when I read Matthew 17:20. Jesus was answering His disciples’ question. He said, “…for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, move from here to there, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

The issue is not the size of our faith. Unbelief creeps in when we allow the devil’s fiery dart-lies to penetrate our mind. It also comes in when we waver in what God’s word instructs us to do.

James 1:8 says that those who waver are double-minded and therefore unstable. Their faith borders are not secured. Faith is a resolute, unshakeable, and steadfastly rooted truth that is hidden in our heart. It is surrounded with thankfulness. 

In Colossians 2:5 Paul commended the church, “…rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.” He went on in verses 6-7 to say, “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” 

2 Corinthians 10:5 says to take every thought captive. That does not mean that we take every thought apart to see if it has a lie in it. It means that we hide God’s truth in our heart. It is this inward truth that will rise like a sentinel to thwart any lie from entering in the first place.

Those lies that we dialogue with become part of our own thought processes. They seed into the soil of our hearts unknowingly. That is the stealth activity of our enemy. It is essential to remember that not every thought is of our own origin. As each lie is hidden, it is gathered into a stronghold which wars against us from inside. 

All fiery darts come from the outside. Ephesians 6:16 was written so we could stop them from entering. It says, “Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”

How then does our faith quench fiery darts? Quench means to suppress, thwart, and extinguish. It’s a word that describes how our enemy seeks to destroy our faith. The opposite of suppress is to express. The opposite of thwart is to succeed in victory. The opposite of extinguishing is to ignite.

We are warned in 1 Thessalonians 5:19, “Do not quench the Holy Spirit.” Ephesians 4:30 says to not grieve the Holy Spirit. Verse 31 listed the enemy’s tactics. He works through people that are under his influence through the lies they have believed.

It says, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice.” Verse 32 helps us to come in the opposite spirit. It says, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another; even as God in Christ forgave you.”

Paul’s further instructions are in Colossians 3:12-13. It says, “Therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”

The underpinning of our faith is forgiveness. As we are forgiven, we are to forgive in the same manner. Matthew 18:35 says that unless we forgive from our heart, God the Father will send tormentors. 

Could the Lord be using folks in your life that you are at cross purposes with? What He allows always has His purpose ingrained in the fabric of the trial. It is tightly woven so that nothing can thwart it.

Proverbs 27:17 Amplified says, “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend (to show rage or worthy purpose).” We are to be iron sharpeners not friction igniters.

Proverbs 15:1-2 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.” We are to exemplify the Lord’s character at all times. He uses adversity to reveal the hidden lies that undermine our faith.

What Do Your Words Frame?

Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.” Couple this with Romans 4:17 says, “…God…calls those things which do not exist as though they did.”

I started reading Hebrews 11 but only got as far as verse 3. I wrote these two questions down in my journal. What do my words frame? What doesn’t exist yet I talk like it is present?

Since resentment starts as a seed, it will fall into the soil of our heart. It will not germinate if we don’t water it with our thoughts. Nurtured negative thoughts become matured spoken negative words. When we continue to resent something that happened (past tense) then we are living in sin.

2 Corinthians 5:17 needs to be indelibly written in our hearts. It is such a familiar verse, that it is easy to miss how essential this truth is. It says, “…old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” Our past is passed.

We do not live in the past and the present at the same time. The minute that I typed this line, it has not been relegated to the past. Our flesh perversely hangs onto our past. Our spirit knows the truth. We cannot walk in the Spirit and walk in our flesh at the same time.

Galatians 5:17 says that the Holy Spirit resists our flesh, and our flesh resists the Holy Spirit. Think of two magnets. When turned opposite of each other, there is a magnetic field that forcefully keeps them apart.

What do the words, “I can’t” frame? What do life-giving words frame? They are polar opposite. “I can’t” frames hopelessness and defeat. Life-giving words impart grace. They encourage and strengthen.

Any words spoken from a resentful heart will be caustic, derogatory, and defiling. Matthew 15:15-16 says, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…”

If we don’t confess our resentment as sin, it will become full blown bitterness. It will defile those around us, as well as cause chemical changes inside our body. We will bear the fruit of disease that will also poison those who eat it.

Resentment Starts As A Seed

This morning (last Thursday) I was thinking back about some of my Monday events. When I realized what I was doing, I said: Marilyn, why are you going back to Monday? It is in your past. Right. Why was I rehearsing something that had already taken place? It was over and done. There was no need to bring it back up.

I unconsciously went back in my mind. That is what happens when a seed of resentment is dropped into our hearts. It happened, but we choose to mull it over in our mind until we own it. That seed will then become a root of bitterness if we don’t resolve it.

We have no reason to resent anything. If God allowed it, then His purpose is stamped on it. Resentment is a fleshly indulgence. We have the power within to resist it. The more we walk in the Spirt, the more quickly we will recognize when our hidden flesh rises up.

Self-protection is a lie. We have a Defender, who is the only One who has the ability. David got it right. Psalm 18:1-2 was his declaration. It says, “I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

Obedience leads to increased discernment. We cannot hear His whispered words when we are in sin. As we walk in the Holy Spirit, our flesh is starved and weakened. When we walk in our flesh, our spirit is starved and therefore weakened. Which one are you feeding?

Psalm 81:13, 16 says, “Oh, that My people would listen to Me…He would have fed them also with the finest of wheat; and with honey from the rock I would have satisfied you.” Our flesh will never be satisfied. 

It is always looking for ways to express itself through taking up offenses, allowing the seed of resentment to flourish into full blown bitterness, and luring us to walk in our own strength. Jeremiah 17:5 says, “…Cursed is the man who trusts in man and  makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs from the Lord.”

One who dwells securely under the shadow of the Almighty has stepped aside from the temptation to harbor resentment. Psalm 91:2 says, “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.”

Jeremiah 31:14 says, “I will satiate the soul of the priests with abundance, and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the Lord.” Psalm 34:8 says, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!”

Several of the above verses bear out the truth that when we are trusting the Lord and not ourselves, we will not fall prey to satan’s effective weapon called resentment. Remember, it all starts with one thought that we accepted and entertained.

Repurpose Emotional Energy

After typing the devotionals about resentment, I spent some time confessing my own. I wrote my words down in my journal as I said them. “Lord I ask You to forgive me for the emotional energy I have spent by grousing about something I have no control over.”

Grousing is not a common word in my vocabulary so it gave me pause. As I thought about the word I looked up the synonyms. Do you ever complain, whine, grumble, murmur, bellyache, object, protest, or gripe?

Numbers 11:1 is a verse that we need to keep in our present thoughts. It says, “Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused…” This verse should stop us in our tracks.

Repurpose means to reorient, or give something a different way of expression. How then do we healthfully use our emotional energy? We need to reclaim it and reroute it to glorify the Lord. All thoughts have an intention behind them.

When we start to complain in our mind, we instead immediately reroute it to praise. “I praise You Lord, that You are in control of this situation. I praise You because You are trustworthy, and I can trust You to work this out for my good.”

Praise lifts our thoughts through truthful affirmation, rather than lowering them through negative defamation. We praise His character, rather than defame someone’s actions that we don’t agree with.

Defaming another, who is made in God’s image, even in our thoughts displeases the Lord. It  is a form of cursing. Guaranteed, if it is in our thoughts it will come out of our mouth unexpectedly. It is spiritual slander.

Complaining is an expression of hidden resentments. There is a lot of emotional energy expended, that not only causes inner defilement, but diverts God’s purpose for our lives. We are created to praise Him.

Complaining is satan’s counterfeit to praise. When we entertain thoughts against anyone, ourselves, or our circumstances, we are playing right into satan’s plan. 2 Timothy 2:26 says, “And that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”

Not! We must fight against this insidious way that we have been caught up in. We do that through renewing our mind with His life-giving truth. When that truth becomes our daily experience, it will influence and empower our thought processes. 

Inner truth will help us repurpose our emotional energy. Think about this. When you worship, where is your focus? When you spend time basking in His Presence, what are your thoughts? Our focus and thoughts are only on the Lord. 

2 Corinthians 3:18 says that when we gaze upon Him, He will take us through inner transformation. The verse says, “…are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Hebrews 11:27 Amplified says about Moses, “…but held staunchly to his purpose and endured steadfastly as one who gazed on Him Who is invisible.” Praise will lift us above the things that we have no control over, to gaze upon the only One who is in control of all things. 

Uprooting Hidden Resentment

Resentment that turns to bitterness creates chemical change. It is like a spiritual cancer that eats away. It causes a corrosive acid to drip down upon our brain neuro connective pathways, and begins to destroy our health from within.

How many times have you felt fatigued? It could be rooted in emotional turmoil from a negative inner dialogue. The things that are hidden in our heart, constantly seep into our present thought processes.

We are created to glorify Him (Isaiah 43:7) but hidden sin blocks our fellowship with the Lord. It taints our witness so that we do not represent the Lord as He designed us to. Ephesians 4:31 says, “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.”

1 Peter 2:1 says, “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking.” Romans 13:12, 14 says, “…Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light…put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh.”

Hidden sin, like buried resentments, makes provision for our flesh. Pride rules our heart so that we do not humbly submit to the authority of God’s word. There is only One Who is to be enthroned in our hearts ~  Jesus as Lord.

The fruit of resentment is a grumbling spirit. The opposite is a heart that is full of praise and thanksgiving. The last verse in Psalm 150 (the last Psalm) is, “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord Praise the Lord!

Psalm 146:1-2 says, “Praise the  Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the  Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.” There is not one circumstance in our lives that would keep us from praising the Lord, unless it was instant death.

James 1:2 J. B. Philipps says, “When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into our lives, my brothers, don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends!” All lives are full of trials. We can resent them or embrace them. It is always a choice. 

Praise and thanksgiving will instantly uproot any thought of resentment from being fruitful. Remember what James said about the tongue? James 3:9-10 says, “With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God…My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” Let us cultivate a heart that glorifies Him by confessing our resentments as sin.

Wholesome Thoughts

This morning (July 26) I was thinking again about my present situation. I went to a dispensing optician yesterday to find the color lens I need for my prescription sunglasses. I had my eye exam and my prescription changed. That meant new glasses. They had no American made frame available. That was shocking to me. 

I said to the Lord, “I resent the government that set up this biological warfare.” The moment the words were out of my mouth, I knew it was a hidden sin that the Lord just exposed. I wrote in my journal: what does this kind of resentment do?

In truth, I have no control over anything, and need to release it to the Lord Who does. I looked up the word resent which means to feel bitterness or indignation at a circumstance, action, or a person. 

I picked up on the word ‘bitterness’ and knew my resentment was a hidden stressor that I did have control over. Resentment is a negative emotion. If left inside our hearts it can destroy our health and our sense of well being.

Resentment uses emotional energy about something that we have no control over. It circles the wagons in our thought processes. Hebrews 12:15 says that bitterness is an inward defilement that also affects those around us. 

Resentful folks seek to control others through their negative criticism.

Resentment is seeded when we judge another through our negative lens. They didn’t measure up to our flesh-driven standard. Matthew 7:1-2 says, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.”

I believe that the Lord has used the worldwide pandemic to reveal the hidden in every heart. I say this from my own experience. The Holy Spirit has convicted me numerous times through thoughts that came into my conscious awareness. 

He uses adversity to set us free from what binds us. Interpersonal relationships have had heated arguments, churches have been divided, and sides have been taken. We are created for unity.

The body of Christ is one body with many members. We each have a strategic function. 1 Corinthians 12:14 says, “For in fact the body is not one member, but many.” In verses 15-26 Paul wrote about how our physical body parts are necessary. 

Verse 25 says, “That there be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another.” Verse 27 says, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.” 

Colossians  2:19 says, “…holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.” More on this tomorrow.

The Spirit Behind Wholesome Words

Proverbs 16:21 says, “The wise in heart will be called prudent, and sweetness of the lips increases learning.” Verses 23-24 say, “The heart of the wise teaches his mouth, and adds learning to his lips. Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.”

Are your bones thin and porous? You might want to ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern the spirit behind your through and words. Natural honeycomb is filled with little chambers. The inside of our bones is structured like a honeycomb. The honeycomb mesh is what gives strength to our bones.

Here is a verse from a new song called Rejoicing Bones. When I thought about my circumstances I became gloomy inside. My heart was getting heavy and my peace destroyed. Then in Your Word You revealed the secret of health. My bones are affected when my heart is in despair.

Proverbs 3:5-7 was written by a man that was more wise than any before or after him. Let me summarize health from these three verses. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, not leaning on your own understanding. Acknowledging Him in every step you take. Living in a lifestyle of worship, rather than being wise in your own eyes.

The fruit of this wisdom is found in verse 8. It says, “It will be health to your flesh and strength to your bones.” Job 21:24 Amplified mirrors what health looks like. It says, “His pails are full of milk (his veins are filled with nourishment), and the marrow of his bones is fresh and moist.”

Are your thoughts undergirded with truth from God’s word? David wrote Psalm 51 after his sin with Bathsheba. Verse 6 says, “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” 

Verses  7-8 say, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice.” The children of Israel had lost hope. Ezekiel 37:11 says, “…Our  bones are dry, our hope is lost…” Dry bones are brittle and break easily.

Through salvation we have been given a living hope, according to 1 Peter 1:3, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Isaiah 12:3 says, “Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.”

No matter what our circumstances are, we can always draw water from the well of salvation in our heart. Our circumstances are always under God’s watchful eye. He will not allow anything that is not useful for conforming us to His image.

Our adverse times cause things that are buried and hidden from our conscious mind to surface. Our trials are God’s way of exposing and removing the dross that would taint our testimony. The fiery trials are essential for our spiritual growth. Let us embrace them with a heart of worship to the One Who deserves all glory, honor, and praise.

Discerning The Heart Of The Matter

Proverbs 20:27 says, “The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the inner depths of his heart.” The literal  for ‘inner depths’ is rooms of the belly.. You might be thinking of another verse. 

Proverbs 18:8 says, “The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.” Proverbs 12:18 Amplified says, “There are those who speak rashly, like the piercing of a sword, the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

It is imperative that we listen to what we are saying, in order to discern the spirit behind what we said. Rancor means: bitterness or resentfulness, especially when long-standing. Proverbs 4:23 uses some other words. It says of our heart, “…for out of it spring the issues of life.”

Hebrews 12:15 says, “Looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble; and by this many become defiled.” Do you realize that your caustic, bitter, resentful, and words that lack grace, will not only wound someone but also defile them?

Many years ago I was counseling a young woman in another state. Her hair was falling out and her husband was very concerned. The Holy Spirit revealed roots (plural) of bitterness from her childhood traumas. Her response was, “I think I have a whole garden of them.”

Through forgiveness, her garden of bitter roots were uprooted and destroyed. That fallow ground in her heart was cultivated through the truth of God’s word. As Hosea 10:13 says, she had plowed wickedness and reaped iniquity. She had eaten the fruit of lies because she dealt with her past in her own way. She stuffed it so that it remained unresolved.

Her husband had discerned that her heart was not right and sought help. Matthew 12:33 says that a tree is known by its fruit. Verse 35 says, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings for evil things.”

For years I skipped over Matthew 15:19 when I came to it in my daily reading. It gave a list of things that didn’t pertain to me ~ I thought. Yet one day the Holy Spirit stopped me when He said that all negative thoughts were evil.

Here is how the verse began in explaining how our heart gets defiled, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…” I was busted because countless times I had thought and spoken death words over my body. “I hate you body” were caustic words that I would speak as I looked into the mirror.

Self-hatred and self-rejection are evil. How dare we defile our body which is His temple! We are all created in the image of God. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Or do you not know…you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Honing Discernment

Walking in the fear of the Lord will give us the wisdom we need in the moment that we need it. Psalm 34:11-12 is a great exercise to put into practice. Verses 13-14 say, “Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.”

Here is another way for us to hone discernment. Ask yourself these questions. Is what I say and do exemplifying the Lord? Am I truly representing Him to others? We may be the only spiritual connection to Him in the marketplace.

As we spend time reading His word daily, we are training our heart in discernment. New tellers are trained with real money. The more they handle it, the more quickly they will be able to discern a counterfeit.

So it is with false teaching. Unless we rightly divide God’s word, and understand how to apply it to our lives, we can be led astray. Peter wrote about this from experience. Do you remember the sheet full of unclean animals?

In Acts 10:13-14 Peter made an adamant statement to the Lord’s command of, “…Rise, Peter; kill and eat…Not so, Lord!…” In verse 15 God said, “…What God has cleansed you must not call common.”

Through Peter’s obedience, Cornelius and his household were saved. The gospel was preached in an Italian centurion’s home. Verse 34 recorded Peter’s opening words, “…In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.”

Beware. Our discernment can be clouded by preconceived ideas, pet inner rules, dogmas, assumptions, and negligence in reading God’s word daily. Discernment is also a spiritual gift that the Holy Spirit dispenses freely.” (1 Corinthians 12:10)