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Mind Control (And your thoughts are…)

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SIH STSTA ICONWe’ve all heard of the phrase mind control.  In the movie “Manchurian Candidate”, (2004, 1962) the possible use of mind control to aid a political candidate win an election battle.  In the 1962 version Frank Sinatra plays the lead character, whereas in the 2004 version, Denzel Washington plays the lead.  Although these movies are based on fiction, they will leave you with a greater understanding of the danger of sinful mankind possessing the power to control the thoughts of others.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Manchurian_Candidate

The Bible also addresses the issue of mind control… not the ability to control the thoughts of others, but the need to control our own thoughts.   Control of our own thought life  is one of the most important principles that a Christian should master in his walk with Christ.

THE SCRIPTURE:

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Php 4:6-9)

THE STUDY:

In the context of our text, the Lord is addressing the worrisome times in our lives.  During these times there are several keys to minimizing the stress that a Christian may go through.  These keys are clearly presented in our verses:

Be careful for nothing;

The word “careful” comes from a Greek word that means “do not be anxious” or “do not be full of concern”.  As Christians, we should be worrying about nothing… The Lord who has control of all things has promised to be with us and to work everything out for our good and His glory! (Roms 8:28-29, Hebs 13:5-6, Psa 91:all)

Instead of worrying about the issues of life that we face, what are we to do?

Key #1 – Take our concerns to Him, thinking on His greatness and His grace to us.

but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

We are to take all of our concerns and trials to the Lord, placing them at His feet and allowing Him to take care of them for us.  How do we do this?

Through…

“Prayer”:  (Greek – worship, adore Him) – As we bring our concerns to Him we should be thinking of His greatness, His love for us, and His promises to us.  Our attitude should be one of submission and humility

“Supplication”: (Greek – to bring requests, to bring petition) – We should verbalize to Him what our trials are, as well as what we are feeling about this trial.  We should feel free opening up to Him… He desires us to be transparent and reliant on Him.

“Thanksgiving”: (Greek – to appreciate Him) –  We should recognize His grace in allowing us to pour out our soul to Him, and know He will take care of us.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

As we share our concerns with Him, realizing His greatness, His promises and His gracious kindness to us; we can rest assured He will take care of us.  (Job 22:21, 1 Pet 5:6-7, Psa 27:13-14)

Key #2 – We are to keep on our minds centered on that which is pleasing and glorifying to Him.

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

During times of trials, Satan attempts to use our thoughts to discourage and hinder our service to the Lord.  By controlling our thought life, we can find rest in the midst of our life’s storms.   Here is a listing of what we should be thinking of during stressful times:

True – actual to fact

Honest – honorable

just – aligned with God’s law

pure – clean, innocent

lovely – acceptable, pleasing

good report – true through testimony of others

virtue –  excellence, highest point

praise – commendable

Key #3 – Follow the example of other Godly men who have faithfully gone through trials themselves.

 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

Gain from ministry of other Godly men:

Learn from their teachings.

Receive knowledge from accompanying them.

Hear from others testimonies about them.

See example set by watching their lives.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION

For the Christian….

By applying these three keys during times of trials, the Christian is allowing Christ to control His thoughts and, in doing so, alleviating many of the avenues of temptation and anxiety.

For those who have never trusted in Christ…

First and foremost, you must go to the Lord, recognizing your inability to help yourself or give yourself security in your situation.  Without Christ, you have no assurance of the leadership nor accompanying presence of God in your life.  (Eph 2:12-18, John 15:5-7, Acts 4:12, Phils 4:13)

But when we come to Christ, placing our faith in Him to save us from our sin’s penalty, and turning from our sin to living our life for Him, we can be certain He will be always present to help us and meet our every need as we face the trials of life. (Mark 1:15, Deut 31:6-8, 1 Chron 28:20)

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To see this lesson taught on video please go to my Video Blog at  http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

If you have any questions concerning this blog, or if you have a subject you would like discussed, please feel free to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.    I will answer all emails via my blog, email, or both.

Follow my Squidoo Instructional Lens “Presenting God’s Grace” “The Solemn Obligation To Present the Doctrines of Grace to the Lost and Saved Alike” http://www.squidoo.com/presenting-gods-grace

Take A Look At My Wife’s Artistic/Scriptural Devotion Blog http://alivewithchristart.blogspot.com

May the Lord bless your study of His Word.  Like God’s Word… may your soul’s salvation and your life’s faithfulness be “Settled in Heaven.”

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8 Comments

  1. Patti (PJ) says:

    Hey Rob!

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post! This is one of my most favorite (I know that’s not correct grammar as you can’t have a “most” favorite) but anyway, this one is right up there with Matthew 6:33. (Seek ye first the kingdom of God….) .

    I hope you don’t mind, but I am going to link this post to my blog tonight. I have quote that verse SO MANY TIMES to friends and family who have come to me with one thing or another.

    Thank you so much for doing this study. I have wanted to, but I never felt like I could do it justice.

    God Bless,
    PJ

    • Rob Barkman says:

      PJ,

      I am so glad you were blessed by the posting. The Lord certainly is good. And thank you so much for mentioning my blog entry in your posts, it is much appreciated. You are always welcome to mention any post of mine. By the way, sorry I took so long to respond to you… been very busy as of late. Hopefully, I’ll be able to reading some of your newest blog postings later today… looking forward to the blessing.

      May the Lor dbless you,

      Rob

  2. Patti (PJ) says:

    Hi again! I got so carried away the the “grammar aspect” I left out a word! LOL! I meant to say “most favorite” VERSE. Of course I’m sure you understood, but I would have felt remiss if I hadn’t corrected myself. haha!

    Your Sister in Christ,
    PJ

  3. pbus1 says:

    Hello Rob,

    This was a great read. I really enjoyed it! The adage, “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”, rings so true, here. Our minds are the battlefield and Satan is waging war in our minds! That’s why, Philippians 4:6-9 are important Scriptures to memorize and to govern ourselves by, especially during the temptations, trials, and tribulations, that we face! During those times, we must hold on to our faith! We must trust and believe, that God will bring us out with a mighty hand! Then, each time God brings us through a test or a trial, our faith will increase, and become stronger!

    Thank you for the encouragement, to control my thoughts, by keeping my mind stayed and centered on the Lord. God bless you.

    Paulette

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Paulette,

      Thank you for the kind words… I am so thankful the Lord used me to bless you. You are absolutely right about Satan using our mind… Beginning with the very first sin in the garden of Eden, Satan has used our minds to mislead us and work up our desire whihc then leads us to commit the various acts of sin we see in the world today.

      Thanks for your comments and taking the time to add to it. May the lord bless you.

      Rob

  4. The mind – it never stops working and will run off at a tangent in a jiffy.

    All major inventions STARTED in the mind. All powerful good started in the mind – but so did all conceived evil.

    One of my many favourite Scriptures is Romans 12:1-2 and I think now of “Be transformed by the renewing of your MIND.” Then I think of Ephesians 6 where the helmet of salvation is a piece of the whole armour of God and most commentaries seem to agree that this protects the MIND.

    While 1 Corinthians 2:16 tells us that we have the mind of Christ, we know from personal experience that our mind often denies this truth and tries to entice us away from the things of the Lord.

    We need to be so very careful as to what we feed to our minds, for what we allow to enter will gain exit in wrong actions . Your quoted verses in Philippians 4 provide a good menu.

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Angela,

      Thanks for the added info. Especially about what we feed the mind dictates what we end up putting out with our lives. When I was a young man in SS class my youth pastor used to always tell us, as Christians, we have two warring dogs inside us. A dog to obey the Lord and another dog fighting for us to disobey. Whichever dog we feed will be stronger and will win the war in our lives. When I read our comment, it reminded me of this! Thanks alot. May He continue to bless you.

      Rob

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