A Godly Thought Life

How to Change the Mind

Psalm 19:14

October 30th 2011 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I. Introduction (Psalm 19:14; Philp 4:6-8; 2Cor 10:5)

A. What a command! “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

B. Do you ever think about what you think?

1. Have you ever given much thought to how your thought life affects your fellowship and ultimately your walk with God?

2. The Bible has many references to the believer's thinking. Some of the references are to bad thinking and some references to good thinking.

C. In the book of Proverbs, Solomon is teaching his son a timeless principle of God.

D. Proverbs 23:7, for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...

1. The writer makes this statement in the middle of speaking about moral, ethical, and spiritual precepts.

2. He tells his son this and then notice what he says in verses 12, 15, and 23, Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge. My son, if thine heart be wise, my heart shall rejoice, even mine, Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

3. All of this deals with thinking.

E. The battle ground for the Christian is the mind because the devil works upon the mind. He knows if he controls the mind of the person, he controls that person.

1. Each Christian has to realize that once we are saved we are in a spiritual battle.

2. Really, for you and me life’s battles revolve around how or what we think.

3. Men today battle not on foreign fields, or in war trenches, but in their minds! Pornography, adultery, young people lusting and living in fornication

4. Women wrestle giants of depression and anger and envy

F. What is correct thinking? If I do not think correctly then how am I to think correctly? What kind of thinking does God want me to have?

G. Is such a thing even possible today? YES!

II. Message

A. Folks, We are what we think!

1. What we are thinking today will be what we are tomorrow!

2. Our thoughts truly show what our character is. We may try to hide, disguise, ignore or justify this kind of thinking, but we are fooling ourselves if we think we may indulge in wicked thinking without it affecting our walk with God.

3. Galatians 6:7-8, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of his flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

4. Folks, the kind of thinking I just described, is selfish, lustful, and ungodly thinking.

5. And, MOST of the thinking today is carnal, worldly, ungodly, and uncontrolled.

6. That’s why our society is this way!

B. It’s a Problem from Childhood (Gen 8:21; Pr 22:6)!

1. Part of the training up of a child in Proverbs 22:6 has to do with teaching him or her how to have a godly thought life.

2. Most if not all of us missed this training!

3. Many lives and homes are destroyed because of the ungodly thought life of the parents, especially the father.

C. An Ungodly Thought-Life

1. Most Christians have had their lives destroyed because of an ungodly thought life.

a. Christians think no one else knows, but God does!

b. They are out of fellowship with God and do not understand why things are not spiritually happening in their lives. They go to church, read their bible, and pray but have an uncontrolled thought life. Everything is done mechanically with no spiritual power.

c. Romans 13:14, But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

d. 2Corinthians 10:5 tells us, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

2. Fantasies are no game!

a. Men, the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 5:28, But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

1) With wicked thoughts people fantasize about sin that we want never to be caught doing in real life.

2) Really, fantasy thinking is a type of secret, virtual reality that someday will become visible reality for all to see.

3) Many times people will fantasize about women or men in an impure fashion and secretly wish their life was like that. However, it is an escape mechanism to a lustful life.

4) The Christian may not think it is harmful, but it grieves the Holy Spirit and makes them powerless in their walk with God.

5) Galatians 5:16-17, This I say then, Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

6) Would you be devastated or humiliated if those closest to you knew everything you were thinking? (Think about it!)

7) If that kind of wicked thinking came out it would crush your family members.

8) The question comes to mind here, whom are we actually sinning against when we refuse to bring out thoughts into captivity? God!

9) Folks, the Apostle Paul said, Every thought to the obedience of Christ. It does not mean we can keep the secret, impure thoughts to ourselves and serve God!

10) Guys, do you understand how this kind of impure thought life will eventually crush our wives?

3. Ladies, you are no different – you just have different fantasies!

4. Let me ask you this? What secrets are hidden in your private life? What do you know about yourself and what does God know about you-that no one else knows?

5. Folks, ungodly, uncontrolled thinking will be a tremendous hindrance to you spiritually, your wife, husband, and your children.

D. It is a Spiritual Issue

1. In reality, an uncontrolled thought life is a spiritual heart issue.

a. Ephesians 2:3, Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

b. The Christian MUST have a real, intimate, personal, passionate relationship with God to replace our old lusts.

c. In Romans 12:1-3 the Apostle Paul deals with this: I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me , to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

2. If a man or woman has a real relationship with God, they will have a mind that is being transformed. Otherwise, they will think more highly of themselves than they ought to think. It leads to uncontrolled selfish thinking.

3. He or she only ends up thinking of themselves, their needs and the ungodly desires of their flesh and their mind!

E. Most men today will have to admit that they have been lusting after women since they were boys (and thinking it was normal). While in College, young men lust after women, and are convinced it is just normal). So even after getting married they find themselves looking at pornography on a regular basis. In the end, their lives, their marriages, and their children get destroyed. Yet 99% of all them men will say, I wanted to do right, but my thought life was totally out of control and no one had ever taught me how to NOT have an uncontrolled thought life.

III. Application - How do You have a Controlled Mind Bringing Every Thought Into Captivity?

A. Have a Real Relationship With God

1. You must have a real, intimate, personal, passionate relationship with God (2 Timothy 3:15)

2. A walk with God (Galatians 5:16-25)

3. A love from God that empowers your love FOR God

4. Your THOUGHTS will reveal just how real and how thick is your relationship with God

B. Make Time for that Relationship (Genesis 24:63) – it doesn’t come “naturally”

1. We make time for a lot of things:

a. We make time for school, for studies, for education

b. We make time for sleep

c. We make time for dating, and relationships, and friends

d. We make time for relaxing, and TV, and entertainment

e. People make time for facebook – how many hours a day?!!!

f. We take our minds and thoughts for granted, until they overtake us, and ruin our lives

1) See every porn addict

2) See every angry person, unable to forgive

2. God expects us to make time to think things through, and to use our MINDS, not just our senses, and feelings and emotions (Isaiah 1:18; Mt 18:12; 21:28; 22:42)

a. In other words, don’t just want to have fun

b. Make time to ponder and think about things in your life

3. How to make time

a. By making a time just for pondering – like walking, or quiet times, when you just think and maybe write and dream

b. By falling in love with this book (Psalm 119:97)

c. By making it THE priority (Job 23:12) – the Bible cannot be something second to anything else!

d. By choosing it over the world (Psalm 1:1,2)

C. Use That Time to Think About Right Things

1. Learn about, and ponder the God of heaven (Psalm 63:6; 77:12; 119:15,23,48,78)

a. Remind yourself of God’s goodness

b. Make yourself ignore, mortify the heavy, wrong things that weigh you down (Cf Job 21:6; 9:28)

2. Take the time to ponder all the GOOD stuff coming into your head, and all that is happening around you (Luke 2:16-19; 2:51) – like Mary did. A lot of people sit and “stew” about all the wrong things: Worries; Problems; Fears; The past; Failures

3. Read the change chapter of the Bible, Ephesians 4 over several times, and learn how to make Biblical long term change in your life, Ephesians 4:22-24. You must learn the put off and put on principles with a renewed mind.

4. Why?

a. Because it Helps (Psalm 1:3; Joshua 1:8; Psalm 119:99)

b. It Cleanses You (John 15:3)

c. It Builds Up (Acts 20:32) – builds from the inside, out!

d. It Transforms You (Philp 2:4-9)

e. It restrains the flaws in your heart!

f. Misunderstanding God Will Destroy and Damn You. Cain didn’t think about what he was doing, except how to take revenge (Gen 4:3-8)

5. This is called fortifying and training and preparing your mind for spiritual battle (1Peter 1:13)

6. It is called Walking in the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16-17, 25) A Spirit controlled person is a Word controlled person (including their thought life).

7. Right thoughts result in praise, and thankfulness – not anger and revenge

8. Our thinking has to be transformed to God's thinking. When we spend time with God daily in His Word, we need stop and think about what we are reading. We need to meditate on what God is saying to us through His Word. We need to listen to the Holy Spirit when He wants to show us some thing in God's Word.

D. Fear God’s Judgment

1. God Sees All Our Thoughts (Psalm 5:1; 139:1,2; Mt 9:3,4)

2. The Most Active Place of Sin is INSIDE us (Genesis 6:5) – in HERE!

3. God Will Judge Our Thought-Life

4. Why? Because You ARE what you THINK about (Prov 23:7). The new agers know thins truth and make it their “mantra”

5. David knew his THOUGHTS were just as wicked as his sinful actions (Psalm 51:10,17)

6. Things in his HEART that he thought about and held onto were hindering his fellowship with God, and answers to prayer (Psalm 66:18)

E. Get Forgiveness

1. If we have been thinking dirty, evil thoughts, we need to ask God to forgive us, and then look at God's Word about what He says about that evil thought. Again, our mind has to be transformed, (changed to God's thinking on the matter). We need to forsake the thought (repent and turn from it). I John 1:9, Luke 13:3.

2. When evil thoughts come up I need to say, God, please forgive me for this wicked thought, I want to turn this over to you. You may have to do this more than once.

3. It is at such a high cost that it was obtained for you – so go ahead and accept it!

F. Remove yourself from temptation, stay away from it! Romans 13:14. Guard yourself from the television, computer, and anything that would be a temptation to your thought life.

G. Get Under Authority

1. We need to bring ourselves under accountability to someone who can keep us right – just like it is usually someone who pulls us OFF course (Gal 3:1), we need someone who can bring us back ON course!

2. Under your parents – they must be given authority over your phone, your computer, your TV watching

3. Under your mate – wives, obey your husbands and submit to their rebuke

4. Husbands, obey your wives, and submit to their rebuke and concerns

5. Under your PASTOR (Heb 13:17)

H. Remember, that God is what you need for your life! Not a wife, or a husband, or a job as much as you need GOD!

1. HE is your fortress and deliverer

2. You are to glorify Him in your life, including your thought life, I Corinthians 6:19-20. You must be content with His presence in your life and home and discontent with your sin, Hebrews 13:4-5.

IV. Conclusion

A. Make it a priority to teach your children and wife how to have a controlled thought life. This will make the issue more sensitive to you each day when it is on the forefront of your teaching in your home.

B. Remember folks, the one thing that can destroy your home, your relationship with your wife, your husband, your children, and with God is what? Your uncontrolled thought life! I am convinced that the lack of spiritual power we see today goes back to this secret area of the Christian life.

C. The battle ground is the mind

1. Each Christian has to realize that once we are saved we are in a spiritual battle.

2. Really, for you and me life’s battles revolve around how or what we think.

3. Men today battle not on foreign fields, or in war trenches, but in their minds!

4. Women wrestle giants of depression and anger and envy

D. What is correct thinking?

E. Is it even Possible?