Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts. Proverbs 4:23
A common complaint heard in our nation concerns our government’s immigration policies. These concerns include the lack of enforcement at the border, the violent crimes, the generous rights and welfare that strain our schools and social services, and the difficulty of acquiring citizenship through legal means.
While we complain about what we see as immigration policies that encourage illegal aliens, we often ignore a more personally devastating immigration which we ourselves can control: alien thoughts. We allow to invade our mind all kinds of conclusions, ideas, philosophies, fears, perceptions, desires, and allegiances that are alien to God’s will for us. We not only don’t control the border of our mind very well, our sinful nature actually encourages these thoughts to enter through wide open doors. What we watch, read, listen to, as well as the company we keep, are all entrance points for these alien thoughts.
The results are predictable. Discouragement, anxiety, vanity, deception, pride, discord, resentment, lust, greed, and lack of self-control exert undue influence on our mental and spiritual health. It hurts families, marriages, churches, vocations, and our self-confidence when we don’t guard our hearts and minds.
But there is Good News. Philippians tells us that when we pray about all things the anxieties that have crept in through alien thoughts will be replaced by the peace of God that will guard our hearts and minds. Christ’s victory over sin and death by way of the cross and the empty tomb tells us that our past is not our future. He is mighty to deliver us from the alien thoughts and heal us from their devastation.
But this is not a passive event. By daily repentance we take inventory of those ports through which we have allowed the alien thoughts to enter our minds and influence our lives. We seek God’s discernment and his desire to encourage the good thoughts and counsel of his Word that will bless our lives. After Paul invites us to pray and receive the peace of God he tells us how to keep that peace. Finally, brothers and sisters, keep your thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honorable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable. 9 …Then the God who gives this peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
Pastor Tom Konz