A Phone Line From God

Philippians 4:8 instructs me to take on thoughts that are true and noble, excellent and praiseworthy, lovely and admirable, righteous and pure, all God traits. Scripture lets me know I have the power given by God to throw out useless thoughts (death – isolation from God) and I also have God’s power to take on His view (life – separation to God).  

I also have to guard against the opposite. If I think on wrong thoughts, I respond wrong, attaching destructive passions, and initiating detaching habits. I end up building a nature that sees God as unnecessary so I’m “comfortable” and “good enough” without Him. It rejects God.

 What are these right thoughts? They are the thoughts of God—the Word of God, known as His logos, and His rhema or current spoken relevant word. Rhema is delivered to a willing, listening recipient via His Spirit resident in me. It’s as a phone line from God.

Kent is interimteaches music at Loretta Elementary School in Mandarin. See more devotions here.

Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?

The Omniscient God of Wisdom reminds me in Isaiah 55:8-9, His ways and thoughts are significantly more efficient than mine. His are perfectly suited to fit my situation and give His maximum wisdom. 2 Samuel 22:31 tells me His way is perfect and His word is tried.

Jesus teaches me, in Matthew 11:28-30, He’ll give me rest when I actively prefer Him, especially when I labor and am heavy laden. I take His yoke and learn of Him, and I find rest for my soul. His yoke is easy because it lines up with what He plans for me—round peg, round hole. I will bear witness with it so His burden will be light.

God warns me, in Romans 14:23, whatever thought, passion, and action is not from faith in God’s Word is sin and causes separation from God.

Kent is interim director of music at Church of Our Savior and teaches music at Loretta Elementary School in Mandarin. See more devotions here.

Sweep Baby, Sweep

BroomTo get rid of wrong thoughts like the Polar Bears discussed earlier on this blog, I replace them. Scripture says when I have an unwelcome house guest or an ungodly useless idea, and I sweep my house clean, the person or original haunting meditation will come back with seven pals to overpower me even more. Seven additional trains of thought, often strangulating worry or passionate flesh-pleasing sin, or deeper sensualities will overwhelm that empty house or formerly occupied space in my mind. It will leave me worse off than I was at the beginning, because there are so many other considerations connecting themselves to me and threatening me, or tempting me, along with that original thought.

Scripture teaches when I try to get rid of an unclean spirit or thought, it returns and finds place in the mind and passions where that thought or spirit hasn’t been replaced with the powerful defense of a Scriptural response. This time it can bring seven times as many veins of linked spirits or demonically inspired thoughts, even more wicked than before. This would leave me in a worse state (Matthew 12:43-45).

I think about how to close all the doors to that thought, but end up with a network of devil-initiated lies saturating my mind even more. My goal then is to put new thinking in the place of the cast-out, useless notions, like the college students being introduced to the magazine in the Polar Bear story.     

Though living in a flesh suit, I don’t have to war according to the flesh’s rules.

God’s Word is the weapon of my warfare, not the carnal, but that which is mighty in God for pulling down those strongholds in my thought life. Scripture is used to cast down arguments and every high thing exalting itself against the knowledge of God. It delineates a clear dividing line revealing God versus what draws me away, bringing every thought into captivity to be judged in the obedience to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).

Kent is interim director of music at Church of Our Savior and teaches music at Loretta Elementary School in Mandarin. See more devotions here.

Don’t Think About a Polar Bear

A professor engaged a group of college students in an experiment, and instructed them, “Think about a polar bear and every time you do, hit the bell.” Each student, one at a time, tried the test, and continuously hit the bell. Ding. Ding ding. Ding ding.  

Shortly after, the researchers returned and said, “Don’t think about a polar bear, but if you do, hit the bell.”

The participants considered, “Don’t think about a…” Ding. “Alright, what am I not thinking about? A…” Ding. “A…” Ding. Ding ding. They tapped the bell again and again. That’s like me. The more I try not to think about something, the more I think about it.

The third time the experimenters entered, they said, “Here’s a magazine, and don’t think about a polar bear, but if you do, hit the bell.” The students hit it, “Ding,” as they opened the magazine. Then they started reading and, surprise, there were no more bells!   

The Bible encourages me to rejoice in the Lord always, continually rehearsing confidence in how He’ll manifest His names on my behalf. God tells me not to be anxious or worried about anything. I’m not to rehearse thinking about my own inability and lack of wisdom. No bells are to be rung. Letting my requests for God’s manifestations be known to God by prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving in every situation, relationship, thought, and passion leads me to hear His voice.

My agreement with God’s will, known and unknown, surpasses all understanding, and will guard my heart and mind through the same power Jesus exhibited. That peace or agreement acts as umpire and judge of my thoughts and desires. In whatever state I’m in, I need to be content, trusting God to provide for me that which keeps me linked to Him (Philippians 4:4, 6-7, 11).

Kent is interim director of music at Church of Our Savior and teaches music at Loretta Elementary School in Mandarin. See more devotions here.

Introducing the Cast

God instructs me to cast all my care upon Him, all my worry, thoughts and passions, because He cares for me (1 Peter 5:7}.

When trying to get rid of a pesky, harmful, or useless thought, I know there’s a problem. When I try not to think about something, I think about it even more, like worrying. Worry is defined as being consumed by thinking of doing something about which I can do nothing effective, mainly because I don’t tap into God’s wisdom.

I need to take into account the goodness God has poured into my mind and flesh. 

Kent is interim director of music at Church of Our Savior and teaches music at Loretta Elementary School in Mandarin. See more devotions here.

Up in Arms

The altar call came and a young lady came forward for prayer. The prayer team was called up. My friend Lisa went up to the young lady and, after listening to her with God’s Spirit for a bit, Lisa began to pray for her, then Lisa attempted to encourage the troubled girl to loosen the girl’s stiff folded arms. After several attempts, Lisa eventually got the troubled gal to place her hands against Lisa’s, then Lisa began to move the paired hands up and down until the hurting girl was able to lift her hands to the Lord on her own.

As the young woman let go of the iron hold on her crossed arms, she opened up emotionally and began to release her pent-up feelings. Finally, as she reached to heaven, she completely unleashed her death-grip of control into deep weeping. She gave her situation fully to Jehovah Rapha our Healer, the only One who can heal her and remedy her circumstance. She received mercy from her Comforter and Counselor.

Raising our hands in praise to God and opening up to Him is just that important!