Our minds are our greatest battlefield. it is there that we initially believe in anything. There are a mulitiude of books written on this subject. One that I have read “As a Man Thinketh” By James Allen; This “classic” has been around since the turn of the century and it seems to be even more relevant in today’s stressful and competitive society. As Allen states, “a man is literally what he thinks”, or as the saying goes, garbage in, garbage out! Or put another way, “All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.”
I have learned that I cannot blame others for my life, or my state of affairs – they very well can be my creation, the end product of my thoughts and actions. Allen states that “man makes or unmakes himself by the thoughts he keeps and cultivates. Man truly is his own worst enemy!” Allen goes on the say “Thoughts of doubt and fear never accomplish anything, and never can. They always lead to failure. Purpose, energy, power to do, and all strong thoughts cease when doubt and fear creep in.”
How profound and how true. How we let fear run our lives – again proving how powerful our thoughts can be.
That is what man has to say about preparing our minds. Allen’s self-help style book has indeed helped many find ways to think their way to a positive life, but God has something even more for us. Positive thoughts are great but when we apply His ways and not just the “positive thoughts” what a profound transformation of our minds that will come about; So what does God have to say;
I Peter 1: 13 – 16 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written “Be Holy, because I am Holy.
God and Allen have something in common. Both state that our minds need to be prepared. But they differ in what we are to prepare them with. Allen wants us to replace fear and doubt with “positive thoughts” That can be a pretty wide field, as one mans positive thought might be another mans undoing. But God says: Focus on the Grace I am offering you. Jesus the gift of Grace given you when He was revealed, fill your mind with him. Now that is the true “power of positive thinking”. When I focus on Him, he will remove my fears and doubts and replace them with his protection and will.
I’ve read alot of “self-Help style books over the years, I guess I need to know the “how to”. The Bible is one of the best self-help books I have ever picked up.
I Peter 1: 13-16 lays it right out there. It starts with telling us we need to be self-controlled, not in a self over God way. But in a submitting self to God way, as we can never truly control our selves. It’s when we submit self to the Holy Spirit we will be able to begin to prepare our minds, then we are to focus on His grace, which then will lead to living obediently, and not conforming to this worlds evil desires. And then Peter ends with; In all of this he longs for us to be Holy as He is holy.
We start with Prepare your Mind and end with Be Holy. That’s a huge undertaken if done in the flesh. There are not enough “positive thoughts” I could fill my fleshly mind with to produce Holiness. I pray that as I focus on His Grace I can then be Holy as He is Holy.