Stinking Thinking (ATP)
I grew up around a lot of negativity. In what I know about how the brain works, the more negativity you have around you, and the more negative thoughts you have you physically build neurons and pathways of negative thoughts. It physically changes your brain. I find that when something comes against me that I need to use my faith for I have this battle in my brain of all these negative thoughts. I continually cast them off and rebuke them. I speak out that my God is greater and He performs miracles but they keep coming at me. I feel tormented by them and I want them to stop.
Casting thoughts is an important thing, but casting must be done right. Have you ever seen someone fly fishing? It’s a type of fishing that is all about the cast and must be done in a specific way to be effective. So too we must learn to cast thoughts effectively. Let’s look at how we are to do this. Let me first say that I have learned this truth, Proverbs 23:7, as you think so are you. You are the product of how you think. This is proven naturally and scripturally, so we must learn more about this. When you are born again the rules to your brain change, but there are some things you must do to ensure this.
We get the idea of casting thoughts in 1 Peter 5:7, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” Your care, of course, would be the things that you think about continually. You can read these words and yet forget there is context. Let’s delve a little deeper. 1 Peter 5:5-7 says, “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for ‘God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.’ Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” The steps to casting cares are as follows: submission, humility, patience, then casting. Without doing these things the casting will be pointless.
Are you submitted? Submission to God’s plan, submission to God’s people, submission to leadership are all very important aspects of life. Of course, there isn’t enough space here to go into all of these but we teach them constantly. Ask yourself, “Am I submitted to the word? To others?” Ask God to show you, and ask others who you know will tell you the truth. But here’s the key, be open to hearing even if it’s not what you want to hear. Now, of course, patience comes into play but this is based on what the thoughts actually are. Without specific knowledge of the thought that’s being cast down, it can be hard to instruct exactly what to do.
Another scripture along these lines is 2 Corinthians 10:5 which says, “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” And here is another part of casting, you must know what the knowledge of Christ is. This is His word. Romans 12:2 says to be transformed (or changed) by renewing your mind. Time spent with God’s word, embracing it and letting it permeate your mind is the only way your mind is going to be renewed. Negative thoughts are nothing more than an unrenewed mind. Let me give you an example.
Recently, while I was preaching, the Spirit inspired me to make this statement, “Dwelling on the past only keeps you in bondage, you cannot change what has already happened.” I knew as I was saying it that, though it applies to everyone, there was one person in particular who needed to hear it. As I finished saying it, I noticed the blank look on their face. They did not receive the help God was delivering to them! This person isn’t bad but like many others, so focused on something else that they couldn’t hear their answer. I have seen this so much in church while preaching. People so consumed with their sorrow they forgot why they were at church. If you come KNOWING you’re going to get your help, you will leave with it! All they had to do is recognize that what was being said was true, and the freedom from the thoughts would have begun. To renew the mind you must embrace the truth! How does this look? Recognizing that what is revealed is truth and refusing to think otherwise. You can cast a thought all day long but if you believe it, it will just come right back to you.
Years ago I decided in my heart that the Bible was ultimate truth. I did not at the time even know much of the Bible but I believed this with all my heart. That day I began a journey of freedom in my mind, free from wrong thoughts. Do I still think wrong? Certainly I do, but because I embrace God’s truth above my own thoughts, they cannot stay. I do not give them place. When I hear the truth, I rejoice. I rejoice because I know I have my answer.
In coming to conclusion, I want to reflect on your own question and reveal to you some flawed thinking. Not because I think you’re bad, but to help you think accurately. It’s a good teachable moment. Scientists may say a lot about how the brain works, but what they cannot tell you is how God’s word has the power to change all of that. If you believe that you brain is unchangeable because it has been formed already by life, then you will not be able to embrace the miracle of a renewed mind. You must determine, that it may have been true before but that was before you had the Word.
Only the Word of God can set us free. Until we believe that, casting thoughts will be nothing more than throwing a boomerang. Only things we give entrance to in our lives can gain access. Only things we embrace will determine how we think. To simply cast a thought by saying so is the same as sitting on the bank of a creek saying you’re fishing. No real casting has been done and so no real fish will be caught. When wrong thoughts come, you answer it with truth, His word is truth (John 17:17). Don’t just speak, speak the Word. When you do so, His thoughts will be your thoughts.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.