During the day a lot of things ask for our attention. The media throws things at us. People around us want to make us believe things and voices echo in our thoughts.
Text: Annelies van Walsem
As soon as we start to believe the things that try to enter our minds and let them settle in our hearts as truth, something happens. What do we give room to settle in our hearts? The things that are true, or lies? Things that God says or things that others say?
As soon as I take a look on the internet, I am confronted with things like war, sickness, accidents, inflation, housing shortage. There are so many things I could worry about.
The Bible says that the devil comes to rob, to steal and to destroy. “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10a, NLT). The devil comes to rob your joy and steal your peace. He comes to kill and to destroy. Everything that is good, he tears apart. A lot of people are focused on all the misery of the world and share it with everyone who wants to hear it. “Did you see what they thought about this? Did you hear what is going to happen now? We are going to have a hard time”. One ‘prophecy’ after the other is shared. “Maybe we will not be able to buy soon. Maybe our money won’t be worth anything. Soon we will have a shortage”.
I also used to worry about these things. One day I went to the supermarket and I saw people with a camera in their hands. They wanted to interview people about the measures of the government. It was somewhere in the beginning of 2021 and all of a sudden, I realised what I was doing. I had pointed my magnifying glass at the one who comes to rob and steal and destroy. I knew I wouldn’t be able to give an interview because bitterness would come out of my mouth. I hadn’t filled myself with the things from above, but those of the world. I decided to repent from this. I stopped with giving any attention to the worries of the world. To no longer look at it or be concerned with it. Because as soon as I did, immediately something happened to me. Peace disappeared and unrest filled my thoughts. I started to worry. What an honour the evil one gets when we talk about his so called ‘successes’ all day long.
The Bible says that we have to focus on the good. Think of what is TRUE.
“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8, NLT)
When we focus ourselves on that, we will not worry anymore and we will find joy in the Lord.
“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice! Let everyone see that you are considerate in all you do. Remember, the Lord is coming soon. Don’t worry about anything: instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-7, NLT)
When we focus on these things, are full of joy in the Lord, thank Him for everything, then we will have PEACE that exceeds anything we can understand.
The Bible says that we have to bring every thought under the obedience of Jesus Christ.
“We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NLT)
Thinking about whatever is true, what is honorable, what is righteous, lovely, clean… When a thought tries to enter your mind, bring it under the lordship of Jesus Christ. Is it true? Is it clean? Is it righteous? Often arrows are directed at our thoughts. We are responsible for what we do with them. A lot of people think that they can’t do anything about it and that they have to accept everything that comes into their thoughts. “My thoughts are driving me crazy”, they say. They start to focus on it, and then let it settle into their hearts as truth. Fear, bitterness, anger, and other things like that arise. The truth is replaced by the lie. And what fills the heart, will flow over from the mouth. In Matthew 12:34b Jesus says: “For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.”
When we put the events of the world above the Word of God, we will act like that. The Word of God is the Truth. Replace the lie by the Truth.
“I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do. Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world.” (John 17:14-18, NLT)
When the world says: “It will all become worse”, the Word says: “You are more valuable than the sparrows.” (Matthew 6)
When the world says: “There is shortage”, the Word says: “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19, NLT)
When people say: “You will stand alone”, I know: “The Lord himself watches over me! The Lord stands beside me as my protective shade.” (Psalms 121:5, NLT) “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5, NLT)
When the world says: “You might get sick”, then I know that it is written: “He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” (Isaiah 53:5b)
The world says: “Old age comes with flaws.” Psalm 92:15 says: “Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.”
“The Lord is my Shepherd, I have all that I need.” (Psalm 23:1, NLT)
Hallelujah! When worries come into your thoughts, chase them away and replace the lie with the Truth of God. Be joyful in the Lord! Then your heart will overflow with his goodness. Streams of living water will flow from your inner being, from which everyone will want to drink, instead of smelly, rotting water, where everyone will walk away from. Think about the things that are above and not about the things of earth.
“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” (Colossians 3:1-2, NLT)
Praise the Lord, oh my soul, with everything that is in you, His holy Name!
Prayer of thanks
I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth! He will not let you stumble; the One Who watches over you will not slumber. Indeed, He Who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps. The Lord Himself watches over you. The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night. The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life. The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. (Psalm 121, NLT)