Capture Your Thoughts!
It is often the case that when people come in for counseling the first thing I hear is: "I am a really anxious person". Fear dominates their lives and seems to have a stronghold on their mind.
To start, that is not their identity, not even close. To say "I am" an anxious person is inaccurate. It would be accurate to say I feel feelings of fear and worry on a regular basis and I cannot seem to shake these feelings, but to label their identity as such is a lie from the pit of hell.
The distinction is important. It is the difference between having a victim mentality or a victor mentality. To say I am an anxious person is to imply that it's your destiny, that it is unchanging, that you are helpless to do anything about it. To say I feel feelings of fear, worry and powerlessness at least helps to shed light on what the situational problem is that is making you feel that way. Albeit difficult, nonetheless identifies the problem, and most problems have solutions.
For a long time my mantra was "I am tough". It really was a useful belief when I was younger,but as I grew up, it actually prevented me from healing and growing. It was keeping me stuck and unhappy. However, when I began to hold the light of God's truth up to that belief, what I discovered were intense feelings of lack of trust, safety and protection. Which were complete lies from hell.
2cd Corinthians 10:5 states: "[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)".
How do we take every thought captive, sounds impossible! Can we really develop this ability to capture our thoughts. I believe the answer is yes but first we must learn to become still enough to hear what's being said.
In the first example I gave, the statement "I am an anxious person", is not a thought that when held up to the truth of God's word -stands.
It is vitally important to pay close attention to what you are actually thinking and saying, oftentimes it is the voice of the enemy lying to us, or it is an old message from our childhood being mentally rehearsed over and over again. Developing moment to moment conscious awareness of our thought life can start with one simple question: "What am I thinking and is it a Godly or ungodly thought?".
If what is being said and believed is out of alignment with what God says, then it is not true and it is an ungodly belief. It may feel true, but the facts are the facts. If the bible says I am covered under the shelter of the Most High(Psalm 91), then I am covered, whether I feel it or not.
I have to teach my body and mind the truth.
You cannot allow yourself just think anything that pops in your head. You must take control of your thoughts the moment you realize you are believing a lie. That's why you need to pay attention to whats going on in there!
Otherwise, these unconscious, ungodly beliefs are what your brain, already programmed, will continue to create. Your brain, like a computer, has been programmed by your upbringing, experiences and words spoken, to think a certain way. If we do not intervene, it will continue to output the same thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, patterns and behaviors it always has.
Ask yourself: "Do my thoughts pass the Philippines 4:8 test? Philippians 4:8 states: "For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
Are your thoughts fixed on : what is true, what is worthy of reverence, honorable, seemly, whatever is just, pure, lovely, lovable, kind, winsome, gracious, virtuous, excellent, and worthy of praise?
If not, throw it out immediately and meditate on what is true! Hold up your shield of faith and quench the fiery darts of the enemy.
Why does God tells to quench the fiery darts? Fiery darts or arrows are referred to in the Old Testament as wicked words, false testimony, words of deceit(Jeremiah 9:8). They are lies and who is the father of lies?
What quenches fire? Water. Water refers to the word of God. The only way to quench those nasty darts is to wash them with the word of God. Ephesians 5:26 says, "So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word."
Remember Romans 12:2! "Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]."
We also keep our hearts(Proverbs 4: 23). The word keep there means vigilantly guard because out of your heart flows(again the water metaphor) living water. In other words, clean, purified, right thinking flows out if we guard what comes into our minds.
We guard our spirit by meditating day and night until the thoughts in our heads lineup with the truth of God's word.
This is how we establish for ourselves, the mind of Christ(1 Corinthians 2:16). Once established and routed and reprogrammed, watch out, no enemy in hell will stop you!
-Christina Samyan, MSW, LCSW