What Is Stored Up In Your Heart?
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil?
For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil."
What we think about continually will not only determine our character but will also govern our destiny (James 1:14-16). Paul tells the Corinthians to take every thought captive to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5) What did he mean and why is it necessary to take every thought captive to Christ? It is important to remember that Paul was a Jew and he had the word of God ingrained in him as a pharisee. He grew up hearing the Shema recited thousands of times (Deut. 6:4-9). As Christians, we too should take heed and be familiar with one of the (if not the most) most important prayers in the Jewish community. In the Shema, we are not only invited to love the LORD with all that we are, but we are also strongly encouraged to think on the things of God throughout the day as we teach them to our children and live out our lives.
Why is that?
As human beings, our minds were created like sponges. We absorb everything in our environment and our experiences are stored in the part of our brain where we hold information (the hippocampus). In a perfect world we would have perfect memories and our perception would be clear and not skewed in any way. Psychologists, however, have found that our memories are not always 100% accurate and are frequently clouded or skewed by what we perceive. If we have a poor self-image or distrust of others due to our experiences, then the way we process the information around us will most likely be colored by our perceived reality. If our perceptions are negative, then chances are that our thoughts will be negative and visa versa.
It is unfortunate, but we do live in a fallen world and life is not always fair, however, we have a Father in heaven that has made it possible for us to cope with the harshness of this world. The word of God allows us to know God which is our best defense in a world run by the prince and power of darkness (Eph. 2:2). Understanding God’s character and nature can only be comprehended through diligent study of his Word. Cherry- picking passages and taking them out of context is not going to help anyone comprehend the Creator or His will for us as his image bearers.
One of the most important things to understand, as a Christ follower, is that the demonic activity that plagues us every day, is very real. No matter how much the culture mocks the spiritual realm, the enemy is real and he will do anything to utterly destroy your life. Demons are spirits and fallen angels that have been on this earth longer than any human activity. They have had thousands of years to study our behavioral patterns and where our vulnerabilities are. They are also aware that the closer we are to our Creator, the less influence they will have over our lives. Without the knowledge of God, a person will no doubt be conflicted about their identity and their place in this universe.
We all doubt ourselves at some point in our lives, but we should not ever question our humanity. It is from our humanity and the imago deo that we ground ourselves in our God-given human dignity. The enemy is well versed at encouraging doubt in humans. This is possible, because we have the ability to think, and critical thinking is required to ward off the suggestions and voice of demonic activity. It is imperative that we seek to understand the one true God, because it is in that knowledge that we are able to better understand who we are as we stand before a holy God, and to exercise the freedom that he desires for us.
We are to take every thought captive to Christ in order to fight off the demonic and the wicked spiritual realm that lurks around us, placing perpetual doubt in our minds and an unrealistic view of self.
Spend time today and everyday getting to know God through His word and prayer, equipping yourself to stand against the weapons of the enemy.