I read a book years ago by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale called, “The Amazing Results of Positive Thinking,” and I recommend it as an inspiration and encouragement to your spiritual life.
He explains that our mind is filled with all types of thoughts and persuasions, but everyone is held accountable to manage them.
We have the ability to resist and ignore the negative influences that hinder our life and to also embrace the suggestions that are positive and encouraging. I remember after studying about this principle, I had an interesting dream. I do not always place a lot of credibility in dreams because sometimes I think they are related to late-night pizza binges, but on the other hand, the Bible reveals that some dreams have been a legitimate way that God can communicate. Anyway, here was my dream.
I found myself on a dusty construction site and as I looked around, I noticed workers with shovels and they were busy digging up small trees and bushes. Some were driving trucks and others were using chainsaws. In the distance, I noticed a bulldozer was pushing over large trees. They were obviously clearing the land, but I was not sure for what reason. I approached one of the workers and asked who was in charge, but he just kept walking.
For some reason, I sensed in the dream that Jesus was overseeing this operation, and so I started searching for him. I was expecting any moment to see him in a white tunic, sandals and hard hat, but I never did. Finally, I saw a man that was writing on a clipboard and he appeared to be a supervisor. I went over to him and said, “Excuse me, sir, can you tell me where to find the project manager?” As he started walking away he turned his head and calmly said, “You are.” This is the last thing I remember.
There is an old rhyme that says, “Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are seeds, you can grow flowers or you can grow weeds.” This may sound silly, but in relation to our subject, it makes perfect sense to consider that we are the gardener and caretaker of our own mind.
We may not want to admit it, but our spiritual journey was never intended to be a carefree experience but rather to fulfill a destiny of specific meaning and purpose. Since it’s been established that what we think is directly associated with how we feel along, with what we say and do, we can agree that whatever has taken root and is growing in our mind is having a huge impact on who we are.
As the wind and the birds distribute seeds upon the earth, likewise the voices and experiences of this life are deposited within our soul. Each of us is vulnerable to this natural process; however, in the light of free-will, we have been given the authority and responsibility to choose what we think about.
There is an interesting scripture found in Romans Chapter 12 that refers to our mental accountability, as Paul declares in Verse 1 that we should present our lives as a living and holy sacrifice which God expects us to do. Verse 2 continues about how this can be accomplished. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you might prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”
The idea here is that we must awaken and realize as Proverbs 23:7 so clearly declares, “As a man thinks in his heart – so is he.”
When we understand that managing our mind is a crucial priority within our Christian walk, we should be motivated to take more responsibility to develop a stronger mental clarity. But, if we choose to live in a default mode that allows anything to take root in our mind, we are more likely to become overwhelmed with fear, sadness, chaos, and discouragement. Recognizing this spiritual reality and becoming determined to pray and work toward our mental transformation, will help us stay sensitive to His still small voice. We will never become what God has called us to be until the desire to change becomes greater than the desire to remain the same.
DR. BILLY HOLLAND lives in Central Kentucky with his wife, Cheryl, where he is a Christian minister, author and community chaplain. Request a free copy of his new CD at billyhollandministries.com.