Philippians Part 9- Cleaning our Minds
At her rental house, which she named "The Critter Café," Christine Bishop was a well-intentioned rescuer of stray cats, dogs, and lost ducks. Then someone dropped off a cage of pet rats. Soon neighbors were complaining of a stench from the house and could see rats running outdoors.
When officials entered the house, they found the rats had totally over-run the house. They initially removed 1,500 and estimated that at least a 1,000 remained. The property-owner, Dale Carr, says the rats are feral, so "they'll bite, carry ticks and fleas, and are susceptible to rabies and disease." Township Supervisor Brian says that this number of rats "… can breed 1,500 rats every three weeks, so if they're not removing them at a rate of 500 per week, they're not making progress."
You can’t just leave the rats alone and expect them to go away. They won’t go away, they’ll take over, they’ll pollute their environment and eventually they will destroy their environment.
Rats are cunning, resourceful and know how to find loopholes, short cuts, and escape routes. They can not only produce a new litter every 3 weeks but also can have multiple gestations resulting in 2 simultaneous litters of different ages.
The next step in the plan is to wrap the house and fumigate it, which "could cost the owner nearly $30,000, not including cleanup and disposal cost." Quite costly, and it all started with a couple of rats.
Your thoughts, your bad thoughts that cross your mind, your wrong thoughts that enter your thinking and all impure/unholy thoughts that tease and tempt your brain are like rats. Maybe nice and controllable at the beginning but in the end costly.
This is our 9th message from Philippians, and it is entitled Cleaning our minds, based on the Bible text, Phil. 4:8.
-let’s brooch this topic of our minds and rat thinking in the Old Testament.
Proverbs 4:23 (New Century Version)
“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”
“As a man (person) thinks in his heart, so is he."
-you are what you think.
Q1 who are you?
Q2 tell me what you think about, and I’ll tell you what you are.
“As a man (person) thinks …, so is he."
Every word that comes out of your mouth comes from a thought - whether consciously or subconsciously. Our thoughts will make us or break us. Our mind has incredible power, so be careful about what you’re thinking.
If we think good thoughts, our words will be good. You see, at every point Right living begins with right thinking. Each of us has a unique perception of the world we live in. This is because we have created it - by our past thoughts.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “You are what you think all day long.” As a therapist, Emmerson tried to teach his clients that their thoughts profoundly impact their moods and shifting emotions, their behavioral choices, their self-confidence, …, and their feelings of self-worth and self-esteem in all arenas of life. Repetitive negative and/or wrong thoughts can have a profound destructive impact on our lives, both in the present and in the future.
The Destination of a thought, is profound, it starts as a seed in one’s mind and grows into a life.
Plant a thought and reap a word; and words lead to action;
Repeated words and repeated actions lead to habits;
Habits lead to and reaps a character;
And character leads to a life à your life.
Q question is always, what are you thinking, what thoughts have lead you to where your life is now?
The Battlefield is in our mind, in our thoughts.
The spiritual battle is always in the thought –world, in the mind. True spirituality, always begins inside, our thought –world. When we think right thoughts, we do right things, and we have right feelings. But when we think wrong thoughts, we do wrong things and have wrong or unpleasant feelings. The rats are loose when our thoughts are not right.
-The key to being an overcomer in the spiritual realm is learning how to take control of our thoughts and align our thoughts with God’s Word. The key to righteous living is right thinking, righteous thinking.
- it is important for us to speak in line with God’s Word,
- it is important for us to have strong faith and rely totally on God
- it is important for us to operate on Biblical principles in order to be virtuous and upright,
BUT understand this, that being honourable before God begins with the way we think. Your thoughts under God’s control is VITAL…..
-Our life goes in the direction of our most dominant thoughts. You cannot expect to be kind, gentle, loving, or patient without thinking the right things. You also cannot expect to live a life of righteousness, pleasing to God while entertaining bad, wrong, evil, lustful or unholy
Remember Proverbs 23:7
“As a man (person) thinks …, so is he."
“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions; à
watch your actions, they become habits; à
watch your habits, they become character; à
watch your character, for it becomes a life. à your life”
These words are profound. They describe, in detail, our life journey and the significance our thought life has on our future.
-before you watch your mouth and watch what you say
à watch your thoughts, watch/guard what you’re thinking!
Get a hold of your mind!!! Capture and cast down bad thoughts.
We are taught in 2 Corinthians 10:5 “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;”
Hence, the rat trap -capture the rats and cast them down/away
Whenever we have a negative thought that seeks to depress us, we must immediately capture it and cast it down, replace the rats by thinking on God’s Word, on good thoughts.
Whenever we have a lustful thought that seeks to distract us, we must immediately, capture it and cast it down, replace the rats by thinking on God’s Word, on good thoughts.
Whenever we have a hateful thought that seeks to enflame us, we must immediately, capture it and cast it down, replace the rats by thinking on God’s Word, on good thoughts.
Whenever we have a worrisome or fearful thought that seeks to take our peace away, we must immediately capture it and cast it down, replace the rats by thinking on God’s Word, on good thoughts.
Whenever we have a hurtful thought that seeks to wound others, we must immediately capture it and cast it down, replace the rats by thinking on God’s Word, on good thoughts.
Even careless evil thoughts, or untrue thoughts, or unwholesome thoughts, or contentious thoughts and any impure thoughts,
Capture them, arrest them, and cast them into prison for life.
Don’t release them for any reason or grant them parole. Never.
2 Co 10:5 bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
-We do not instinctively know how to do this. Most of us have for years, as Christians, lived with the minimum of discipline in our thought lives. This must change, for our good. This must change today. Let the reconstruction of our mind begin today..
-We all have to be disciplined to think consistently on God’s thoughts and not to be driven to think on the thoughts of this world
or on our self-centered thoughts, our fleshly thoughts
or thoughts from the devil himself.
If we want to constantly have peace of mind and live in God’s presence (practice His presence) it is essential we humble ourselves and discipline our minds to think God thoughts, good thoughts, right thoughts. Take every and all wrong thoughts (capture and cast) and replace them with good Godly thoughts.
What kind of thoughts should we have then?
Think right and be righteous.
Finally, we end up on the text for today which tells us what to let our minds think about. It’s Philippians 4:8, all day long.
New International Version
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.
8 Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].
We must read God’s Word in order to get it rooted deep in our hearts to think the right things. Psalms 119:11 states, “Your word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Plant God’s Word deep in your heart in order to think the right thoughts.
Then, you will recognize lies because you know the truth
àlearn God truths
We must learn to be selective with the thoughts we allow to circulate in our minds. God’s Word instructs us to do this. Filter each thought through the lens of God’s word. Does it align or does it not align.
You see, every thought has an agenda which is to shape our philosophy of life and prompt us to move in some direction.
-We must filter our thoughts with truth, God’s truth. Otherwise, our feelings will control our minds and eventually produce words and actions that take us in a direction we will finally regret.
-To move in the direction God intended, we must begin by finding out what God thinks and think that way. As you and I think about His thoughts, we will find that His Words begin to shape our thoughts. Remember words follow thoughts and our words lead to action. Eventually, our thoughts shape our lives.
If you are struggling with wrong thoughts of any kind, God can help you change your thinking but only if you are willing to change your thinking.
Col 3:2 Set your mind (purpose to think) on things above, not on things on the earth.
you must purpose to think right. WILL YOU??
Evil seeks to control us with its thoughts.
- God seeks to free us with His thoughts
Evil is any thought opposing God’s will.
- Good is any thought conforming to God’s will/way
As we think on good or evil thoughts àso we believe,
as we believe so we are, good or evil
The wicked won’t forsake their thoughts.
The righteous think on God’s thoughts.
The battle for our eternal soul is fought out and won or lost in our thought life.
Prov 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart (in his mind), so is he…
Isaiah 26:3 God will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind (whose thoughts) is stayed (is fixed) on God, ...
WILL YOU -Set your mind (purpose to think) on things above???
Riverside Oct 29, 2023