Thursday, November 12, 2020

Catching every thought...

 


What we think most about has the power to fashion who we become.

It has power to affect how we feel, the way we view the world, how we respond to others. It also influences the environment around us by the very mood we carry into each moment of every day. 

When our mind overflows with the harsh injustices and ungodliness which the world increasingly throws in our face, it is easy to allow those seeds of anger and despair to take root in our mind and over time grow into weeds which threaten to blind our clarity and unbalance the goodness right in front of us. 

The more we allow negativity and despair to dominate our reading, viewing, thoughts and conversations, the darker the atmosphere we will carry around us, and the less others will want to spend time in our company. That kind of influence filling our heart and mind will almost surely, over time, rob us of living a joyful and abundant life in Jesus.


Recently I was reading 2 Corinthians and could not get past these words -

"...bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ..."

I felt as though the message had lifted itself off the page of my Bible and impressed itself upon my heart, like a budding bloom within a flower press being preserved for life so I'd never forget.

Then I had a vision, fleeting, but quite real and profound. In the vision a bird flew past me and very quickly I reached out my hand and caught it. I sensed the Lord speaking into my heart, instructing me to do this with every negative thought. 

My nature is one where if I'm around too many people who are negative, mean or disrespectful I can become quite sad and downhearted, at times inadvertently opening a door to depression.


When the Lord gave me this vision and the understanding of it, a weight lifted off my heart. In fact it was as though He'd given me a weapon - or should I say, He showed me a weapon I'd always had but never knew about, a weapon to use against those thoughts whenever they return.

The key part of this verse (for me) is "to the obedience of Christ" because it's not just about taking those negative thoughts captive, but comparing them to Bible promises and truths, to what Jesus teaches and to what I know of His character through study of the Bible as well as the everlasting faithfulness He has shown me over many years. 


This was life changing for me, it has altered my personality for the better and given me a holy tool to use whenever my mind wanders where it should not. And it's not just sad or depressing thoughts I must take into captivity. 

I know God is asking me to capture every thought that goes against the nature of Jesus - like envy, greed, disrespect, pride, superiority, and the list goes on. 

The more I have allowed the Holy Spirit to help me recognise my wrong thoughts, the easier it is becoming to reach out and grab those thoughts, to bring them into captivity and compare them to the character of Jesus. From there I can choose to adjust my attitude so that it lines up with full obedience to Christ. 


Friends, I am not perfect and I needed this life-giving lesson. Abiding in it has brought me a new found peace and confidence in God's unseen plans for my (our) life, and His plans for what happens this side of heaven, regardless of what the world throws across my path or yours. 

Only God Himself can show me a portion of one verse, a fleeting vision and the understanding impressed upon my heart all in the space of a minute or less - and with it, change my life for the better. 


Only God.


What is He desiring to teach you today? 

Open the Bible, pray, read, and see what happens.

Our Father in heaven gives wisdom to all who ask.


Your sister in Christ


21 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post. Many times, when I read your blog it seems to speak directly to me. I often allow myself to be overcome by negative thoughts and am judgmental. Being around negative people often leads me to be negative and results in depression. I need to be more mindful of the strength that the Holy Spirit is willing to extend to all of us. God's loving embrace is always ready to enfold us, we just have to be ready to accept it.

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  2. Thank you, Jenny! It was just what zi needed to read tonight.

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  3. I, too, have problems with allowing negativity to depress me. This is a great thought and vision you have had - to capture the negativity and subject it to examination, choosing to cast it out of your life as it doesn't bring you to Christ. Thank you very much! Every morning I read The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. It has so much knowledge in it to help us understand the Bible better. I then read the Bible before I go to bed, I'm in Isaiah right now.

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  4. Thank you so much. This spoke to my heart today. Everytime I'm faced with the news or my husbands cancer updates I've been having panic attacks lately. Your message gave me peace and help to bring my thoughts under control. You are always a bright spot in my day. Thank you!

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  5. Captivating thoughts guided by the Holy Spirit are the most profound. I'm glad for you to have received this understanding. And if I may say so, I find it remarkable that I too received a Word related to a bird... alone on a roof: Psalm 102:7. It is an indescribable blessing to KNOW when God has spoken to our heart.

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  6. Your posts are often so appropriate and timely for my life. This is a difficult time of year for me because the anniversary date of the death of my young son is approaching. I relive the events over and over, it is a long story, but I was going down a very dark path until the other day. I was at my kitchen table fighting back the tears and a beautiful Red Bird Cardinal appeared in a berry thicket outside my window. I call him my messenger. I haven't seen him for a while. That was a sign to me, a sign that I need to find positive ways to endure this grief. 9 years later, it is still overwhelming. Your comforting words are the bright spot of my day.

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  7. We each have triggers that nudge us to depression, mine are specific and I know when they are starting to overwhelm me. I cannot always control them without prayer, support and comfort. I find that here and I am thankful. I have a sweet Red Bird Cardinal that I consider to be my messenger from my dear departed Son. The anniversary date of his passing is approaching and the loss is as strong now as it was 9 years ago. I know that he is no longer in pain and those who passed before him are there as well. Thank you and God Bless.

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  8. beautiful and timely 🤎 my other verse for such truth is Philippians 4:8... whatever is noble... It has spared me from much negativity....

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  9. Years ago, my son was addicted to painkillers. The stress was enormous. One day I had a vision of sitting with Jesus next to a river. He was sitting on a log. I was sitting on the ground with my head in his lap. He would reach in my head and pull out a negative thought or worry and throw it in the river. We would sit and watch it flow away. The vision was so real and it helped me get through a horrible time. Whenever I feel stress, I picture myself with Jesus next to that river. Happily, my son has recovered from his addiction and is living a very blessed life. Thanks and praise to our Lord.

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  10. Thank you Jenny for this wonderful reminder to bring all of my thoughts captive to Christ and focus on the things that are beautiful, excellent, and praiseworthy.

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  11. Awesome devotional! Thank you. I'm printing it to keep with me.

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  12. Jenny, like others who have commented here, I needed this. I was allowing negative thoughts and depression to overwhelm me. This has reinforced to me that we never know what the people we meet are facing. Our troubles seem so large. Theirs may be just as distressing. Yet, we all go about our lives and act as if we are fine - especially Christians, who seem to feel they cannot reveal their stress or heartache. Thank you, Jenny, for a wonderful and uplifting post. God bless you!

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  13. I believe in Jesus Christ and God. During this horrible troubled time that we are experiencing (and ours was different from the Virus) it is very difficult to not sink into the depths of depression and anger when we deal with things that are so wrong. I will keep the words you have printed and try tomorrow to overcome a difficult time I had today, yesterday and will tomorrow. Hugs!

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  14. Wise and good words Jenny! I totally agree with you Sister.

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  15. Thank you for this encouragement post.Love all the beautiful comments too.Hugs and blessings.

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  16. I needed to read this today. I just found out that my best childhood/adult friend (66 years of friendship) passed away today, at home surrounded by her husband (who lost his mother last Friday), their children and grandchildren. She has been suffering for the last few years from scleroderma, so she is no longer in pain, but I will miss her so much. She's with the Lord now and I'll see her again. She makes 8 friends or family members I have lost in the last 14 months. Leaning on the Lord!

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  17. Thank you for the gentle reminder. It is hard when people around you are negative or that is all you hear where ever you go.

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  18. I'm enjoying reading your posts to my friend with whom I'm in Utah for heart consultations. Her name is also Jenny, and she loves hearing what you are learning about Christ, too. We have enjoyed discussing your thoughts, as well. A miracle has taken place for her. When I get home, around the 25th, I will write a note to you and tell you about our time here. It's a gift from Jesus. I love you and continue to pray for you and your family, especially Blossom.

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  19. No words other than thank you!

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  20. Thank you for sharing this... I so needed to read it and take it into my own life. Truly... thank you. Thank God!

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It's always nice to receive feedback on a blog post, so *thank you* for taking time to comment!
I will try to reply via email unless you are a 'no reply blogger' which means you'll have to check for my reply in the comments. Of course, life is a rather hazardous activity, isn't it? So if I don't respond to your comment that's the reason why - life simply stepped in...
hugs
Jenny
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