Thursday, 12 July 2012


Cavemen pointing out to the preacher that he's gone overtime!It's a commonly held belief that we cannot control either what we think or feel. But both of these assertions are false. We can most definitely control what we think - and we can most control how we feel. And learning to control one actually affects the other (the Bible reveals that the heart and the mind are intrinsically linked.) It takes practice though. But here's some tips that can help you cultivate the way you think and therefore which thoughts most fill your mind.
Matthew 16:23 But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man."
Feelings follow actions. Do something and you'll soon feel something. Conversely don't do something and you won't feel something. Those who struggle with exercise understand this. When you just "do it" you start to willingly do it and some say that they even enjoy it. But if you stop (or never start) it's likely that you won't feel like doing it.
Therefore, don't be surprised if your heart is turned toward the one who does something for you. The actions of others for you has an affect on your heart. If you can realise this, you can harness it to improve your marriage. When you feel as if the passion has gone out of your relationship - do something. Husbands, buy your wife flowers; take her out on a date; buy her a gift; do what she's been asking you to do, and then marvel how it will change her heart.

Feelings follow actions. What you do affects how you feel. But your thoughts follow what you feed your mind.

Many things in life depend upon your perspective!Your mind is like a pianist and your brain is like a piano. Scripture tells us to renew our minds (Romans 12:2) and guard what we think (Romans 12:3) and to take every unhelpful thought "captive" (2Cor. 10:5). When you find yourself thinking about something that is unhelpful, you can stop this train of thought and switch to thinking about something beneficial for you.
Philippians. 4:8 ¶ Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Of course, the best way to feed your mind is by feeding it what it needs. It is designed to think on the Word of God. It actually craves to be filled with the Word of God. The Bible actually instructs us to think about the works of God (natural sciences), others, those things which will draw our focus more clearly onto Christ (such as: good books, sermons, films, art).
Second Timothy 2:7 Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.
How you think affects what you do. What you do affects how you feel. This is the conncetion between the Mind and heart. And this connection is emphasized by God in response to the question about the greatest commandment- You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart ... and mind. Interestingly, the Bible says as a man thinks in his heart.

The next time you find your mind wandering into unhelpful thoughts, take those thoughts captive by an act of your will and deliberately choose to think on beneficial things. Some time ago I was injured deeply the actions of another person. By the time I came home and Kim saw me, it was obvious that something serious had happened. She asked what had happened. I told her the facts. She enquired how I was handling it and said that I needed to focus on something else right now rather than dwell on the pain I was feeling. It was difficult. As I went to bed that night it was still in the forefront of my mind and again I had to deliberately think on something else. I asked God for help. I asked Him to fill my heart with peace. That night I slept well. I awoke thanking God that He was in control and resting in His Lordship. Remarkably by midday the next day, the entire situation was redeemed. I can't begin to tell you how much easier it became at that point to thank God compared to my feeble efforts to thank Him the night before.

I know that training my heart and mind does not come naturally. The most natural thing I can do with my heart and mind is to let it wander where ever it wants to go. To train my mind and heart takes discipline and practice. I like the word "practice" because it's different to "doing". "Doing" leaves no room for failure. "Practice" gives me permission to try and fail. I love that God expects me to practice before I do.
Philippians 4:9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Practice feeding your mind with godly songs, books, Scripture, advice from brothers and sisters in Christ. Practice doing the things that will train your heart to love. This is how we can mind our hearts.
Psa. 34:8 ¶ Taste and see that the LORD is good.
Oh, the joys of those who trust in him!

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