The power of thoughts
The power of thoughts of a Christian
Psalms 103: 1-5 "Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
It is a Psalm written by David and we understand it from its heading. In the first two verses we can notice that David is calling his soul's attention and exhort it to prise the Lord. Do you notice these phrases "my soul", "My inmost being" "my soul". He is exhorting himself to praise the Lord again and again. Often we find David through Psalms encourage others to praise the Lord. When he come to the Psalms 103, in the beginning he exhorts himself to praise the Lord. Why he is exhorting his soul and his inmost being to praise the Lord?
That is what we are going to meditate today. The reason for exhorting himself to praise the Lord, so that we can also do the same.
We know the life of David. He was called from the state of a shepherd boy to the king of Israel. During the transition, he went through many events. His life was full of mixed events like happiness, sorrowfulness, fearfulness etc. May be those past or present events could be disturbing him from focusing his attention to the Lord.
As we sit inside this church building, there are chances that our mind could be wandering here and there and thinking about the events of the past week or we may be anxious about the coming week. Our mind is like a horse without bits and bridles. It run very fast. It turns from one thought to another very fast. Sometimes it is so fast, some times it is too slow. There is no control and cannot control it. It jumps from one thought to another. Wildly traveling - wanted and unwanted places. We enjoy unwanted, unethical thoughts regularly. We even have thoughts which we ashamed to tell others. I am not going to all the thoughts in detail, which we have. You know your thoughts very well. These thoughts are running wildly in our brain always. There is no rest for our brain.
As a king, David had many affairs to look into. All these affairs could take his attention. Even when he comes for worshiping his God, these wild and hunting thoughts attack his attention. Diverting his attention to many other things. He would not be able to spent some time in the presence of God with a clear mind. In such a situation, he is calling his attention to the Loving Lord... Oh, my soul, oh my inmost being, it is the time to praise the Lord.
Hyper energetic boy or Hyper active boy
Have you ever seen a hyper energetic boy, full of energy, never stop for a minute, until he's knocked out and sleeps. He jumps from chair to table, when he was taken to the mall, he runs around and play. Even in the road he will not stop. Even in the highway, he will be running here and there. So the parents hold him tight. Otherwise his life would be in danger. He is not mindful of the speeding vehicles, which could hurt him or take his life. But his parents hold him tight. Because they know leaving him loose, could be dangerous for his life.
Our thoughts are just like that hyper active boy. We need to control it otherwise, it could be dangerous. Why? Because Jesus said (Mathew 15:19) "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander." All these things could lead us to hell. If we are not holding our thoughts tight, it could causes our spiritual as well as physical death. Eventually it will lead us to eternal suffering - hell!
Now we can understand how dangerous it could be, if we are not able to control our thoughts. It lead us to destruction for ever. It is not only dangerous for the eternal life. Even in this earth, if we are not controlling our thought, it could make our life miserable. It affect our relation. It could affect our family life, marriage. It could affect our career. It could affect you public life. It could affect all walks of your life.
Due to evil and sexual thoughts, many children are not able to focus in their studies. They look for ways not to study and do unwanted things. They like pornographic books and sites and spent their time uselessly. Adults run after women to satisfy their flesh.
Controlling your thoughts, controlling your mind, focusing your inmost being to the Lord is the most important step in worshiping the Lord. 2 Chro. 16:9 says "For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him."
Look at the ship which started from the port aiming to another port. While in the deep ocean, if it loses its focus and run here and there, then there is no hope for that ship to reach the destination. Because it lost its focus during the voyage and moving here and there. Do not be like that ship which lost its focus for the destination.
We are here in this world for a purpose and have a destination in our mind. If you have that focus or destination in your mind you can row your boat towards that destination every day and finally reach the destination safely. Distracting thoughts could alter our focus. So it is important for you to control your thoughts and concentrate your mind towards the Lord.
Many people are not able to control their thoughts. They behave like depressed. Why? Because they allow their brain to think about future and worry about it. In their mind they have different thought playing wildly.
I like to share a quote from the Rick Warren’s The Power To Change Your Life book: "Sometimes you may act depressed. Do you know why? Because you feel depressed. Do you know why you feel depressed? Because you are thinking depressing thoughts. The same is true for anger and worry and all the other kinds of destructive thought patterns."
Now the second part of the first verse of Ps. 103 brings our attention to the positive side of the life. My soul, and forget not all his benefits. In the past, Lord has done wonderful things in his life. Do not forget that days. He exhorts his soul not to forget, that means remember the benefits he received in the past. What are those benefits? He is explaining those benefits afterwards. They are: "and forget not all his benefits—
1. who forgives all your sins and
2. heals all your diseases,
3. who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
4. who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
How marvelous these benefits are!!! There is power in focusing our thoughts towards the good things. Galatians 5:22-23 says "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control." We need to put bits and bridles to our thoughts. Control it to think and produce the fruit of spirit. Then you will see dramatic changes in your life.
2 Cor. 10: 5 "...and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." Here Apostle Paul says that he forcefully take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. That is what we need to do today.
For living a meaningful, purposeful and fruitful life, let us call the attention of our inmost being to the Lord just like David does.
The train that lost its track.
Look at the engine of a train. It is made for a purpose. It can pull thousands of tones of weights. We appreciate the engineers who made it. It has a purpose. Also it has a path. As long as it run on its track, it is good and beneficial. But when it deviate from its track, it causes damage to life and property. We cannot blame the engineers for making it. Because it lost it's track. We are made to run on a specific track. God wants us to run in the track provided to us. Often our thoughts lose its track and run wildly. That is dangerous. It could damage the life and property. So be cautions to maintain the track. It is foolishness to ask the engineers "Why you made it?".
We sometimes act foolishly. We allow our thoughts run out of track. Run wildly. Our thoughts lead us to sin. Then we ask the creator, God why have you made me.. a sinner? Isn't it foolishness to ask the creator, why have you created me? If we are not willing to control our thoughts, we do not have the right to ask God why you created me?
Who is driving your thoughts?
A car is meant for driving. No one would start a car and let it driven by itself. If you do so, it would be dangerous. It will cause damage. Just like that, we need to drive our thoughts. Otherwise it will ram into other vehicles or damage properties as well as take lives. Don't allow yourself be a reason for others to stop living.
There are agents who want to drive our thoughts. Corporations through advertisements, want us to think the way they want us to think and buy their products. They show you things attractively and help you to think the way they want you to think. So that they can sell you their products.
Society want to drive your thoughts. They try to influence you to think the way they live. Not the way you should live.
Your wife want to drive you to buy something for her. She know the appropriate time to express her wishes, which you will not be able to refuse. She take advantage of your love. She say that there is a discount sale going on in the city and wanted to check it out. She also would show you the advertisement of good stuff selling at cheap rate. But when you reach there, you will find that they are selling bad stuff at high price, or she want something which is very costly.
Sometimes your spouse want to drive you crazy. He will accuse you, shout at you, say all bad things against you or even hit you to provoke you. This is the time you have to be more cautious about your thoughts. Don't allow your spouse or children or in-laws drive your crazy.
Bob is a good student. His parents arranged a tuition teacher. But he find that his friends are attending another teacher's class. Bob wanted to join his friends. So he tells his parents that the current teacher is not so good and make complaints about the teacher. His intention is to change the teacher so that he can get along with his friends. He is trying to mislead you to think that the current teacher is not so good. He tells the good qualities of another teacher, who's class is attended by his friends. See how manipulative our children are. This is just an example. They do many different things for you to think the way they want you to think.
Leaders wants to influence your thoughts and act in the way they want you to act. Politicians want to you to think the way they want you to think. Movie makers make movies to influence your thoughts. Sellers, buyers, property dealers, insurance agents all are interested in driving you. In this world all people wants to drive you - drive your thoughts. Your colleagues want to think the way they want you to think. Boss like you to drive in the way he want to drive you, so that the work can be get done.
Preachers and teachers enjoy driving the way they want to drive you. They show you half truth. Beware of such preachers and teachers who does their homework to drive your thoughts.
Boys wants drive girls. That is why they wear attractive dress. I mean, dress in the way they can attract girls. If you find someone dressing awkwardly, sure they are stupid idiots. Don't run after them. Girls, don't allow boys drive your thoughts and make you to do the things they want. They drive you crazy and take advantage of you. Be alert. They act and behave very soft and sweet. But they have something in their mind. Remember, Good people dress modestly.
Girls wants drive boys crazy. That is why they wear bottomless top and topless bottoms and parade in the streets. They expose their body parts. They want drive boys crazy. Boys, be cautious. Don't fell in the trap of these girls. Good girls dress modestly.
If it is so, to whom you want to allow - to drive you? Don't live a life driven by someone else. Lazy people enjoy the life that driven by others. They will drive you straight into that cliff. They love to see you fall from that cliff. If you are not controlling your thoughts, you will end up in that hell. Where there is unquenchable fire.
There is one to whom you can trust and allow him to take the driving seat of your thoughts. Do you want to know who He is? He is none other than Jesus, who laid his life for you. He is full of love and genteelness. He will ride you safe to your destination. He will not leave you half way. He will not drive you to the unwanted places. He will not drive you through dangerous roads. He is gentle and meek. You can trust him fully. It is a joyous experience to walk and talk with him, drive along with him, to your destination.