Monday, August 19, 2013
The believer must guard his thought life at all costs.
I was thinking how important it is for the follower of Jesus Christ to guard and protect his thought life. We should all be aware that our actions are preceded with a thought, an idea, a whisper in the ear. Our thought life is secret, it is veiled to those around us, which leaves open for us to be one thing on the outside all the while being someone else on the inside.
The Bible is filled with admonishments, instruction, and charges for the believer to be aware of his thought life. That old sage Solomon gave us great advice when he told us "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life" (N.L.T. Proverbs 4:23). Keep in mind that the Hebrew thought of heart included the whole of the inner life: mind, emotions, and the will. It is not wise to separate the inner workings of our life, for they are intertwined and the parts make up the whole.
The follower of Jesus while being given a new nature (2 Cor. 5:17), still carries with him the old man with all of his dirt and baggage. David in Psalm 139:23-24 asks God to look deep into his inner life and shine the light of his holiness, listen to what David asks God to do, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way."
When the Christian understands just how deeply sin has affected him---his emotions, will, and thought life he is better equipped then to put up the proper guards to deal with sins devastating consequences. Keep in mind that the role of sanctification has a duel role; the believer is to work out his own salvation (our part) while God is working in us to do his good pleasure (God's part) Philippians 2:13.
One of the old saints made the theological mistake of seeing the fall as only affecting the will of man while not touching the mind of man. St. Augustine did not see the fall as having a total affect on man---he maintained that the nature of man remained untouched by the fall, and is all that man needs is God's grace to help him along. In other words man is not totally depraved, just semi depraved---our theological understanding of the fall has deep and far reaching consequences into all of our theology.
When the Reformation came to Europe initiated by John Wycliffe, John Huss, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Huldrych Swingli they brought with them the theological idea that the fall affected every part of the whole. They called this teaching the total depravity of man; that is man's will, emotions, and thinking (logic) have all been touched by the fall.
What this means for the follower of Christ is a due diligence in paying attention to his thought life---as God tells us in 1 Peter1:13 "gird up the lions of you mind, " the free online dictionary tells us that this phrase "gird up"comes from the Bible, where girding up your loins meant to tie up long, loose clothes so that they were more practical when you were working or travailing.
There is truly a "battle for the mind" of the believer. The believer must strive will all diligence to live a life where his inner life is congruent with his actions or the way he lives on a daily basis. We must strive to have our inner thought life sanctified by the washing of water by the word of truth see John 17:17. "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."
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