Getting a Grip on Your Thoughts

Getting Right Thoughts from the Bible – Part 2

Various Scriptures

August 8 2021 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.     Introduction (2Corinthians 10:4,5)


A.   2Corinthians 10:4,5  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

B.   God gave us some weapons, some tools, that are powerful that enable a Christian to “cast down” some out of control things going on in our heads, and bring EVERY thought into obedience to Christ! Wow!

C.   What are Imaginations?


1.    Things that we dream up inside our heads

2.    They may be memories - Or they may be desires

3.    Sometimes we come up with our own imaginations – dreams

4.    Other times we think thoughts that are not our own


D.   What does Casting Down Ungodly Imaginations Mean?


1.    Throwing them down – From their perch – from their height – from their power - knocking them off their throne of power and authority over your life

2.    Demolishing, disassembling the Strongholds – fortresses – of dominion and control over your life


E.   Who is supposed to be in charge of what you are thinking?


1.    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.

2.    A woman should not be advertising…

3.    But every man is responsible for what they think about and lust about in their heart

4.    Jesus explains that both of them have committed adultery in their heart, even though they didn’t do it in a bed!


F.    So, Let’s take control of our thoughts in Jesus’ name


1.    So that we can let God fill our hearts and mind with right things

2.    Not emptying it like new age religions teach, but filling them with good things


II.   Message


A.   Recognise Wrong Thinking in You


1.    This seems to be the most unpleasant chore these days…

2.    It is easy to believe what we feel


a.     “Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.” ― Francis Bacon

b.    1Samuel 27:1  And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.


1)    That was not true – but David wanted it to be true!

2)    He wanted an excuse to run away from the will of God and hide like Jonah

3)    So he believed what his heart was telling him, not what God had told him


c.     We often take our own thoughts, urges, emotional sensations, impulses, feelings and desires, and assume they MUST be true

d.    Why is that?

e.     Because people generally follow their experiences, their peer group, and their heart, and end up believing only what they feel – not what is really true


1)    If they feel oppressed, oh they ARE oppressed

2)    If they feel they are being watched, then to them, it is true - paranoia

3)    If they feel worthless, then no amount of encouragement will change their reality

4)    If they feel fine living in sin, then no amount of Gospel preaching will move them to do something about their sin

5)    Feelings are how we decide things now

6)    And no one worries about it!


f.     It is called ‘Self-Image’ – we choose to see only what we feel

g.    But the truth is


1)    You are not what you think are!

2)    You are what GOD says you are!


a)    He knows what you are, because He knows you inside and out

b)    He designed you, and made you for a purpose

c)    And He has written everything in one Book that exposes us as we are

d)    If we would only allow ITS truth to overrule our own feelings, we would become free from the bondage of our feelings, and the devil’s lies!


3)    Only fools reject God, and follow their own feelings (Psalm 14:1)  The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God…

4)    And it results in a wasted, ungodly life… They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.


3.    There are consequences for just believing our feelings / our heart


a.     We all know what evil men in the past thought was sinful


1)    Definitely what Hitler thought about Jews was sinful

2)    Definitely what Darwin thought about the negro race was sinful – that they were an inferior race – THAT is the foundation of evolution!

3)    And a lot of what CHRISTIANS think about each other, and about themselves, and about God is downright sinful!!!

4)    And there are serious consequences to what we are thinking


b.    Yet modern Christians do NOT believe that what they could be thinking and believing is also sinful and destructive of their life


1)    Listen to Jeremiah 6:19  Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit [RESULTS] of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.

2)    Matthew 15:18  But those things which proceed out of the mouth [WORDS] come forth from the heart [THOUGHTS]; and they defile [RUIN] the man.


c.     If I think what I think is okay, when God says it is NOT, then say goodbye to being heard by God when praying! (Psalms 66:18)  If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

d.    God is not blind - He sees your thoughts – He sees them as plain as day – no hiding them. Scary isn’t it?


1)    Matthew 12:36  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Idle words are words that flow from our heart without thinking about what we are saying


e.     But more importantly, God knows where your thoughts are leading


1)    That’s why the courts want to know what someone was thinking when they committed a crime

2)    If not pre-meditated, then an accident

3)    If planned and schemed and pre-meditated, then it is a punishable crime


f.     He also knows where you got your thoughts – years and years of ungodly TV watching, youtubes, internet sites, ungodly friends


4.    So, the first thing you and I have got to do is Compare our thinking with God’s way of thinking and God’s way of seeing things


a.     One way of thinking is feelings based, and the other is absolutely true

b.    How do you Compare our thinking with God’s way of thinking?


1)    To KNOW counterfeit money, you need to get to know the real “McCoy”

2)    So, get to KNOW the real truth – not the “felt”-truth of today

3)    Store this entire Book into your heart and mind so you can recognize a lie


c.     That’s when you will be able to Examine your thoughts…

d.    Anything that contradicts what God SAID, is wrong thinking! Repeat!


1)    Like, “I hate myself” – what does God say? (Psalm 139:14-17)


a)    Psalm 139:14  I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

b)    Psalm 139:15  My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

c)    Psalm 139:16  Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

d)    Psalm 139:17  How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!


2)    Like, “I wish I had never been born” – what does God say?

3)    Like, “I shouldn’t have married so and so” – what does God say?

4)    Like, “My life is so unlucky” – what does God say? Do you even KNOW how blessed you are if you are saved?

5)    How about, “I sure do not want God to call ME into the Gospel ministry” – what does God say about that? It is THE highest calling!

6)    And then there is the thought… “That person is not capable of changing” – not worth my time


5.    The Holy Spirit does NOT stir up in you evil thoughts about ANYBODY – He does just the opposite! (Matthew 5:43-45)


a.     God actually gives you right thoughts, and merciful thoughts about even your enemies for you to think


b.    Matthew 5:43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

c.     Matthew 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

d.    Matthew 5:45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.


6.    The written words of God, when learned and understood by you, will cut you and expose wrong thinking IN YOU – guaranteed!


a.     Romans 1:21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

b.    Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

c.     So don’t be so proud that you ignore and reject the word when it hurts!

d.    Let it cut and expose out in the open what is wrong in your thinking


7.    So, Compare what you are thinking about with what Jesus said and did


a.     Are you constantly Angry? or Grateful? Which one was Jesus?

b.    Are you generally Judging people’s flaws and faults? Or are you Fearful of God’s judgment ON YOU first?

c.     Are you Discontent with what God has given you, or Satisfied?

d.    Are you constantly arguing and rebelling against where God has you right now? Or are you yielded to His will as perfect and right?

e.     What a challenge!

f.     But THAT is the thought life of the Bible believer!


8.    Important truth… most people know when their thoughts are messed up, but they do not think they CAN think differently. And the truth is, you can’t think right without the work of the word of God in your mind, and the help of the Spirit of God in your heart!


B.   Reject Vain Thoughts in Your Head and Heart (Psalm 119:113)


1.    Psalm 119:113  I hate vain thoughts: but thy law [BIBLE] do I love.

2.    Vain thoughts are Self-centred, empty, wasted thoughts on yourself


a.     Probably half of our thoughts are “stupid” vain, wasted thinking

b.    Thoughts that should not ever pass through your mind


1)    Thoughts that are only about you

2)    That focus on you first, and your needs first!

3)    That only make you feel better at the expense of everyone else around you

4)    Thoughts that go against the words of God


c.     Living in “fantasy-land” (like what is in movies and social media) – never in reality

d.    Vain thoughts that are out of control that turn to depression, to bitterness, and ultimately to sinful actions and attitudes towards everyone including God!


3.    Wrong thinking about your spouse, your home, your past, your problems WILL destroy your marriage and your relationships and even your church!

4.    So, it is time to start to reject any thought that puts yourself first instead of your wife, your kids, the will of God, and your neighbour!


C.   Repent - Take Responsibility for your wrong thinking (Isaiah 55:7)


1.    Isaiah 55:7  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

2.    Your evil thoughts came from YOUR heart, so take responsibility for them


a.     Mark 7:21  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,…

b.    It used to be normal that a parent took responsibility for the actions of their children – now they excise them

c.     Now, no one wants to take responsibility for anything


3.    Be quick to constantly repent of the lusts and desires and messed up thinking that fills your head! Lazy thinking, bitter angry thinking, lustful thinking, hurtful…

4.    If we change our wrong thinking, we will begin to change our wrong actions


D.   Return - Get Right With God About Your Thoughts (Isaiah 55:7)


1.    Isaiah 55:7  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

2.    It is an open invitation – it is not hard to come back to God

3.    Do you ever yearn to Return to a closeness with God?


a.     You used to have it, if you are saved.

b.    There was a time when you were so close to Jesus and it showed and you loved it – and then you backslid.

c.     It is time to repent and then return!


4.    Or at least maintain a right relationship with God?

5.    He is not far


E.   Raze - Cast down wrong thoughts before they become actions (2Corinthians 10:4,5)


1.    The most important part

2.    2Corinthians 10:4,5  (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

3.    ‘Casting down’ means… to tear something down; demolish; level to the ground – raze – cut down like a RAZOR


a.     Wrong thoughts, bondage thoughts, lies need to be knocked over and destroyed


1)    Pulled down from their “exalted” perch – from their power over you

2)    Throwing them down – knocking them off their throne of power and authority over your life

3)    Demolishing, disassembling the Strongholds – fortresses – of dominion and control over your life


b.    There are so many strongholds today in people’s minds


1)    Fear is huge – hundreds of fears fill people’s thinking and worrying

2)    False beliefs – people are raised to believe without any choice or study

3)    Finances – money (or lack of it) holds a tight grip on people’s thinking

4)    Faults – sins that we used to tolerate, now control us – lust, porn, bitterness, etc

5)    Friends and even family – hold a grip on your thinking so you cannot obey God

6)    Falsehoods – lies about ourselves,

7)    Unforgiveness, and bitterness

8)    Pride is the biggest stronghold we carry

9)    Past hurts are the second biggest

10) Occult activities - Wicca, Fortune Telling, Black or White Magic, Spiritism, conjuring spirits – all are like hooks in our lives and our homes!


c.     It often starts with a wound, a hurt or disappointment that makes our heart open for seeds of lies to be planted by the devil. Our hurts are the foundation that our enemy the devil begins to build on, brick by brick

d.    Soon, a wall of lies appears in our thinking.


1)    Inaccurate ideas about who God is

2)    Erroneous interpretations of Scripture

3)    Prideful thoughts – that you are not that bad of a person

4)    And distorted perceptions of how God sees us and feels about us when we sin.

5)    And that is when the devil moves in and starts taking control!

6)    For example, when someone you trusted deeply betrayed your trust and hurt you, you probably decided that no one could be trusted and your life collapsed. You in turn then become fiercely independent, so much so that you have trust issues with everyone that is even the slightest like the person who hurt you, which then results in a struggle to trust God’s promises in your life!

7)    See how that works?

8)    When we buy into these lies and agree with our enemy, we are giving him control, and that area of our lives becomes his fortress/stronghold, which Satan will vigorously defend from then on!


e.     Each fortress must be rejected, lie by lie, feeling by feeling and razed to the ground

f.     Clear everything out so new thinking can be built – can’t do it otherwise


4.    Wrestling your old, habitual thoughts in your head is time well spent


a.     Do you just let your children, or grandchildren walk right out the front door?

b.    I didn’t think so. Wrestling with your children’s will is time well spent to protect them, and train them to obey and stay ALIVE!

c.     So, Take every thought captive – put each into a headlock, and place under the control of our Sovereign God

d.    Don’t just let any old thought become words that come out your mouth! Wrestle them into obedience to the word of God!

e.     And don’t complain that it is too much effort! Keeping your family, your sanity, your joy, your fellowship with God is worth every bit of struggle!


F.    Replace (Rebuild) Wrong Thinking with Biblical Thinking – for Next Week


III.         Conclusion


A.   What goes on inside our heads and hearts is so important


1.    Don’t you think it is important that children have good, sound, healthy thinking?

2.    Why not us?

3.    The devil has been allowed to feed our thinking for way too long


B.   God gave us the responsibility and the tools to change our thinking


1.    Recognise Wrong Thinking in You – it is there!

2.    Reject - Hate the Vain Thoughts

3.    Repent - Take Responsibility for Your Wrong Thinking

4.    Return - Get Right With God About Your Thoughts

5.    Raze - Cast down wrong thoughts no matter how entrenched

6.    Replace (Rebuild) Wrong Thinking with Biblical Thinking – memorizing and meditating on Scripture


C.   Does it actually work? Yes!

D.   That is what that Book can do for you!

E.    It comes as a package with your Bible (2Timothy 1:7)  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

F.    It is free for the taking TODAY


1.    Not from yoga meditation, or Tai Chi meditation, or Transcendental meditation.

2.    It comes FREELY from faith in Jesus Christ!

3.    You just need to trust HIM – call on Him to save you from your sinful heart


IV.Do You Know…


A.   That God wants you to know Him (Jer 29:13)

B.   That He loves and wants you (John 3:16)

C.   That Jesus lived and died in your place on the cross – paying the penalty for all your sin – death! (Romans 6:23)

D.   That THAT death was enough to make you righteous before God

E.    All that is left for you to do is turn to God, and believe it! (Mark 1:15)

F.    It is like accepting a gift of a million euros! Just accept it!

G.   And you will have eternal life (1 John 5:13)