Dominant Thoughts

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These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. – Matthew 6:32, NLT

Wildfires. Earthquakes. Hurricanes. Pandemic. Politics. The Taliban.

There’s a lot on our minds if we are watching what is happening in the world around us. It gets close to home with all of our various ways of trying to deal with COVID – or pretend COVID isn’t something with which to deal.

If you know me at all, you know I love the interactions, relationships, ability to share, and opportunities to encourage others on social media. The truth is that it is all becoming more a source of weariness than encouragement for me. It’s hard to know what to do about that. Social media is the main way we can keep up with friends and family across the miles. It seems like it has also become the main avenue of discouragement and disappointment with the world around me.

Sunday morning I was contemplating all of this before services. You know the preacher can’t be all down in the dumps on a Sunday morning! (A little bit of a smile there). So I decided to read Matthew 6 in the quietness of my office. I was reading the New Living Translation and verse 32 just hit me differently.

These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. – Matthew 6:32, NLT

What is dominating my thoughts? The same things that the unbelievers are thinking about? More than thinking … worrying. These days I need to pray every day that God would help me refocus my thoughts away from the same things that unbelievers think about and onto the things to which He has called me.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. – Matthew 6:33, NLT

A friend reminded me tonight of Paul’s admonition to think about the things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (Philippians 4:8). Good redirection.

I’m not advocating ignorance. I think we still have to be aware of what is going on around us – that informs our ministry efforts and fills our prayers. But what dominates our thinking? That’s the key issue. Honestly, I’ve experienced some times of sadness lately. In quiet moments as I realize the downward spiral of the world around us, I have found it hard to move on to something else. Paul did teach us, however, that “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5). The AMPC has it, “we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ…” Maybe the strategy is to identify the thoughts that are troubling us and leading them into the presence of Christ, where they are captive in His power and presence.

I’m just thinking about the kinds of things that have dominated my thoughts lately and how I want thoughts about Christ and His Kingdom to dominate over all. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. These are anxious times in which we live. God help us to let the Kingdom dominate our thoughts.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. – Psalm 139:23

What are your thoughts about how to lead your thoughts captive and not let discouragement dominate your thinking?

2 Comments

  1. I still like snail-mail the best. I miss” love in the mail” it got me though a hard time.
    thanks .

    Things are ruff these days , and our thought life can be a downer , specially if I didn’t have Jesus as my life line ! 🙂

    take care
    friend
    hello to Maggie

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