Have you noticed that you can only think of one thing at a time? Try counting out loud and think about something at the same time. Counting takes thought, especially if you count by twos or threes. However, something like doing the dishes allows us to think at the same time. While driving a car, we can plot our journey. Our ‘by rote activity’ leaves room for our thoughts to flourish.
Think about 2 Corinthians 10:5 that instructs us to take every thought captive. We don’t do that physically, like an officer handcuffs an offender. We do it through our next thought. Here is an example. I am feeling discouraged because of something that happened. If I string some negative thoughts together, I will continue to dwell in that vein. It becomes like a braid. My discouraging thoughts lead off, and my will and emotions follow. However, if in the moment I feel discouraged, I take my next thought into God’s faithfulness, I have captured the next thought that would have been negative.
Do you understand what I just did? By taking my next thought into God’s nature, I became a partaker. I became one with Who He is. We can do this with every situation that we face. It is essential to be aware of what our thoughts are. Hebrews 5:14 says, “But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern between good and evil.”
Matthew 15:19 says, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…” Whatever we put into our heart feeds our thoughts. When we dwell on influences our thought process. Psalm 37:3 says, “Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.” We do this though our thoughts.
Jeremiah is a great example for us. He was in a negative downward spiral through his thoughts. Lamentations 3:20 says, “My soul remembers and sinks within me.” He was thinking backwards into his past. Everything reversed when he took his next thought. Verse 21 says, “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope.” What did he recall?
Verse 23-24 says, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” I love 2 Timothy 2:13. It is one of my anchor verses. It says, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” We can go from one faithless thought, right into being a parker of His faithfulness through our next thought.
What we dwell on in our thoughts influences our actions. Here is the progression. Our experiences form the motives behind every thought. Our thoughts precede our actions. Our actions carry an attitude, which forms our habit patterns.
Colossians 3:16 says, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” If we walked in this verse, we would have no room in our mind to dwell in the negative.