We’re in a battle and the devil wants to take away whatever good things that God has for us. How we think is vitally important to how things will go for us in the battle.
II Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
We all had to forsake our ways when we got saved. We all have to learn to cast down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself above God’s way. It takes hard work and diligence.
Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
You are the only one who has control of your thoughts. It is our responsibility to cast down imaginations, to discipline – to practice controlling our mind. Discipline is hard work. Research of the mind has shown that people have about 70,000 thoughts a day and that 80% of them are negative. When we discipline our mind, we are acting against our feelings because we have a higher goal. We discard anything that would hinder us from staying focused on the word. If something isn’t according to the word of God, we need to cast it down.
Psalm 1:1-2 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Meditate: to think about, to consider, to mull over, to turn over in your mind, to ponder
If we read James 1 for devotions in the morning, we need to meditate on what we read and ask God how to apply it in our lives. Ask God how to show we “count it all joy” when we fall into different temptations.
James 1:1-3 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
James was the first book written in the New Testament. It was written Jesus’ brother who was saved after Jesus arose from the grave. He was not one of the apostles but he had a burden for the church to prosper. He wrote that we should count it all joy in our different trials because it’s working something good in us. We all need more patience and trials will help us have more. God is more interested in us changing our attitudes than in changing our situations. To change our attitude we need to ask God what he wants us to learn in our circumstances. If our meditation isn’t right, our attitude won’t be right. We have to make a conscious effort to not murmur. If you get a murmuring and complaining spirit, you will get bogged down in the trials that come to you. When the people murmured and complained to Moses about the manna God gave them, many were destroyed by fiery serpents (Numbers 21:5-8). God doesn’t want us to murmur and complain either.
Philippians 2:14-15 Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
We need to be thankful in our trials because becoming unholy follows being unthankful.
I Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
We need to meditate on the word, like Mary pondered the things that she saw and heard from God.
Luke 2:13-19 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone…into heaven, the shepherds said…Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they…found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things…told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
God wants us to apply what we read in the word of God so we can live godly, holy lives. When we train ourselves to meditate on the word, we can reflect Christ. If we don’t meditate on the word, we will slip when we face our trials and temptations. We won’t prosper and be successful like God wants us to if we’re not meditating on the word. We need to meditate day and night to prosper.
Joshua 1:7-8 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
God wants us to come to him when we face trouble. He will be our first thought if we’re meditating on the word day and night. David remembered God in his time of trouble and wrote “Selah,” or think on this.
Psalm 77:1-3 I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.
We need to remember how great God is and meditate on his greatness.
Psalm 145:3-7 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts. I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works. And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts: and I will declare thy greatness. They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.
We need to have devotions every day or we will backslide. Whether we feel like it or not, we need to read and meditate on God’s word. When we do meditate on God, our fruit will be holiness that those around us can see.
I Peter 1:13-16 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)