“Why do I keep thinking about it?” I asked the Lord.
Over and again, day after day, my mind kept going “there.” To something I shouldn’t have been thinking about. To a distraction. To something that was irritating me. Each time, I got upset. Disturbed. Bothered. Annoyed. Provoked. The love and light of Christ in my heart fell under a big heavy blanket of yuck that settled heavily and darkly over it. I was too busy thinking about what I shouldn’t have been thinking about and getting displeased about it all over again!
“It’s Satan dangling a carrot in front of you. Knowing you’ll take it,” the Holy Spirit replied to my heart.
It didn’t dawn on me until some days later why the Lord had replied giving a carrot as an example. I love, love, love carrots beyond description. But some years ago I became unable to digest raw vegetables without having big stomach troubles. Those raw carrots I adored went bye-bye. I know not to eat them.
Just like I knew not to keep thinking about that same situation and those people about which I kept getting so provoked. Riled up to be precise. But I kept going back there in my thoughts anyway! Ugh.
“He is using the same bait because he knows you will keep taking the same bait,” the Holy Spirit continued. “Once you take it, your focus is off of me [meaning the Lord].”
“Once you lose your focus, you are unable to do what I call you to do,” the Holy Spirit said.
“Watch out for when he throws the bait at you. Take every thought captive.”
The Holy Spirit had brought to my remembrance the Bible verse below. A strong reminder that we are not to allow thoughts to exalt themselves above God and His Word. And that every thought needs to bow down to Christ. If the thoughts run contrary to God and His Word, are dishonoring and displeasing to the Lord, do not glorify Him, draw us away from Him, etc., they need to go.
“He is baiting you in your mind,” the Holy Spirit continued. “One of the fruit you are to bear is self-control,” He said. “Use it. Refuse to take what he throws at you. Choose to set your affection on things above.”
References to two more Bible verses. Please find them below. In other words, we are to control our thoughts and choose to focus on the Lord. Surely not what I was doing!
He gave me another verse then. Also below. About our hearts being where our treasures are. Jesus is to be our greatest treasure! Our hearts are to be focused on Him, the Bible, and what the Bible teaches us is good to focus on.
“Focus on me and my Word and what I am telling you to think about in my Word,” the Holy Spirit said.
Now He had reminded me about the verse below from the book of Philippians about what to meditate on in our thoughts. Certainly not what I had been thinking about!
I wish I could tell you I am perfect in getting rid of those wrong thoughts. In not taking Satan’s bait – or carrots in my case. I’m so very far from perfect. But I’m striving to do right in all this. To submit my thoughts to the Lord. And to His Word. And to learn how not to get distracted and upset about things I shouldn’t be thinking about in the first place.
Will you join me, friend, in working on this? I would love the company in so doing!
Father, thank you for this powerful message. May you bring it to my remembrance and that of my readers every time we need it and to put it into practice. Lord, it is so incredibly hard sometimes to resist those wrong thoughts. But in your strength I know we can. Please Lord use the verses I will add to this message at your leading to bring us to a new place when it comes to our thoughts. Drill this into us, Lord. There is so much good and right to think about Lord starting with the most important of all. YOU! Thank you for your patience with us, oh Lord, and for your help in all this. AMEN! P.S. Please, please forgive me and all those who need your forgiveness in this, Lord, for the times we fall short when it comes to our thoughts. AMEN!
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-6
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:34
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” Colossians 3:2
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13