When your thoughts run wild…
Change your Stinkin’ Thinkin’!
Have you ever been mindlessly going through your day and suddenly you realize you’re all worked up over something? I know that in my life I have – and sometimes find myself doing it too much. I stop and ask myself “How did this happen, why is my heart racing and why am I getting angry or worried about this?”
I heard a phrase many years ago by my pastor and he was talking about why we dwell on ungodly things. He called it 1“Stinkin’ Thinkin’!”, and I took that as “Mike, get those bad thoughts out of your mind”!
I’m sure that by now we all have heard the 2proverb “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop”! What the verse literally says is: “A worthless man devises mischief..” It’s what happens when we start running over stuff over and over again, getting more miffed as time goes forward. In my family growing up we called it “stewing and steaming”, but it really is “Stinkin’ Thinkin'”. We need to recognize that the source of these thoughts is the devil. He uses these thoughts to try and drive a wedge between you and the situation or other person. 3He is your adversary and “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” He wants you to become that worthless man the scripture above talks about.
That leads us to what I’d really like us to focus on:
Changin’ Our Stinkin’ Thinkin’!
So what kind of protection does the believer have against the devil and how can we change these thoughts that are in our minds? I’m going to share with you 3 techniques that I believe are the most easily applied and remembered.
Prayer: In your prayer time, ask the Holy Spirit to help you recognize spiritual warfare in your life. We can rest assured knowing that He is 4interceding on our behalf continuously. We must remember to spend time in prayer everyday. No matter what else is going on – make the time no matter what. Seek out Godly prayer partners and pray with them asking God’s protection for them and their needs as well.
Prepare: Be prepared for the battle that is certainly coming your way!
1) Put on the 5full armor of God so that you will be able to withstand the “fiery arrows” that the devil is hurling at you.
2) Fill your mind with scripture! The study of God’s word is crucial to being able to refute the devil and his attacks.
REPENT and REFUTE
Confess: When you realize that you have sinned by dwelling on and enjoying what you’re thinking, STOP IT! No matter what you’re doing, you’ve been given the insight from the Holy Spirit that you have sinned and now 6you must confess it.
Combat: Jesus gave us the best example on how to refute the devil. As he was being tempted, he always quoted scripture. Even when the devil twisted God’s words around, Jesus simply stated the truth of God’s word and the devil was forced to leave and flee.
REMAIN ALERT and RE-FOCUS
Be Aware: Don’t let your guard down, Satan surely will look for another weakness in your life and will do everything he can to exploit it. In 1 Peter 5:8, Peter reminds us to “Be sober-minded; be watchful..” Remember when Jesus was in the wilderness and being tempted, he rebuked the devil and the bible says that 7Satan left him looking for a more opportune time. If he came back after Jesus, surely he’ll come back after you and me.
Have a Plan: Re-focus your thoughts once you recognize what is happening. Ask yourself if your thought is coming from the Holy Spirit? If it is not say out loud “This is another lie of the Devil. James 4:7 says resist the Devil and He will flee from you”. Remember what Philippians 4:8-9 says about what to think on and then think on those things!!
I hope that some of these things I have mentioned in this post will help you as it has certainly helped me in my life!
1: “Stinkin’ Thinkin'”, Rev Ken Forrester, Rocky Creek Baptist Church, Greenville SC
2: Proverbs 16:27 (TLB)
3: 1 Peter 5:8 7
4: Romans 8:26-2
5: Ephesians 6:10-17
6: 1 John 1:9
7: Luke 4:13