Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ do well to frequently check in with our Heavenly Father, as it were, prayerfully seeking to determine whether we are thinking rightly about Him, ourselves, others, and the issues of our lives.
"Try (test) me, and know my thoughts" (Psalm 139:23).
A fallen world filled with fallen devils and fallen flesh continually presents its perspectives to our hearts and minds. Our enemies are subtle, which means we must recognize their skillful cunning and the thought traps with which they line our paths. "Am I thinking rightly?" Or rather, "Am I thinking in terms of God's existence, presence, involvement, willingness, and promise to be everything I need, in accordance with the authority of the Scriptures?" Few prayers more result in practical benefit as they maintain our attitude of trust in the God to whom we have committed our well being, and the humility that acknowledges our fleshly susceptibility to error. Thereby we avoid many of the snares set by our foes, and also escape ones into which we have already fallen.
Recently, my wife Frances served as the voice of God's correction to me, helping me to avoid a thought trap toward which I headed, and which had already begun to pull me into its darkness (she's often been such a voice to me over the years!). My concern about an issue had resulted in deception influencing my thinking and perspectives rather than truth and confident faith. Frances gently but firmly pointed out how my words regarding the matter clearly indicated faulty thinking contrary to God and His Word. I would be less than honest if I fail to mention the barbs I felt as she reminded me of reality (barbs of truth that struck directly at the point of my unbelief). However, I quickly realized Frances's reminders served as the answer to the aforementioned prayer of David I frequently pray for myself and for all my brothers and sisters. Again, "Try me and know my thoughts."
Are we lying bloody and bruised in a devilish snare? Or are we rushing headlong into a thought trap that awaits? We do well to keep both inquiries close at hand and near in heart as we walk with our Lord. By His Word, His Spirit, His people, and His faithful correction, either rescue or protection will maintain our thoughts in accordance with God and His truth. I'll close this consideration with some questions to consider that can help us to ensure we are avoiding or escaping from thought traps:
Is God present and involved in the situation or condition? "God… worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11).
Is He able do whatever we need in the situation or condition? "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20).
Is He willing to do whatever we need in the situation or condition? "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:19).
Is His Word true regarding this situation or condition? "Thy Word is truth" (John 17:17).
Can I think rightly about the situation or condition? "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheth me… Commit thy works unto the Lord and thy thoughts shall be established" (Philippians 4:13; Proverbs 16:3).
If I have already fallen into a thought trap regarding the situation or condition, will the Lord mercifully rescue me and lead me to think rightly? "For Thou, Lord, art good and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy to all them that call upon Thee" (Psalm 86:5).
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
(II Corinthians 10:4-5)
Weekly Memory Verse
"Lord, Thou hast been our dwellingplace in all generations."