He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart; (Psalm 15:1-2 NKJV)
That last line grabbed my attention. What does it mean to speak truth in our hearts?
After all, when our hearts “speak,” no one hears the words but us.
He not only knows our thoughts, but also cares enough to examine them.
… for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. (I Chronicles 28:9b NKJV)
Why are our thoughts so important? Because they steer the course of our lives.
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he… (Proverbs 23:7a NKJV)
In other words, we’re accountable to God for our thoughts, which ultimately shape how we live. Sobering, right?
Let’s face it. Thinking truthfully is hard work. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of things that cause our minds to wander to places they shouldn’t go. To win a war, leaders have to study and follow battle plans. To have victory in our thought lives, we need to immerse ourselves in the blueprint God’s given us.
A Blueprint for battle
Truth–God’s standard and viewpoint about us–must come first in our hearts and minds if we want to be effective in battle against the enemy.
– Priscilla Shirer
Shirer talks about the reality of spiritual war in Fervent, her book for women on strategic prayer. Effectual prayer involves knowing and applying biblical truths to our circumstances. For example, someone who struggles with purity might find refuge and restoration in the prayer of King David in Psalm 51. Trusting the power of God to transform a heart, he or she can begin a new life of purity.
The battle for our thoughts is real, and the Bible is the weapon God’s given us. His Word can penetrate and bring to light the motivations of our hearts. That’s why spending time in the Bible on a daily basis is so important. We need discernment and direction.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NKJV)
But where to start?
- Confess your struggles to God. Denial gets us nowhere. Of course, God knows what our struggles are, but He wants us to bring them to Him. Confessing them doesn’t guarantee immediate victory, but it does mean we’re no longer fighting alone. God promises to forgive us and begin His cleansing work (I John 1:9).
- Fight untruth with truth. When you’re tempted to believe any ugly lie, quote Scripture that directly combats it. For example, someone who doubts God’s purpose in his life might seek refuge in Philippians 2:13.
- Be accountable. Ask a close friend to be your prayer partner. The purpose of this friend is not to start a gossip “prayer chain” but to provide one-on-one accountability. He checks up on you. She asks how you’re doing (James 5:16).
New each day
Thinking truthfully requires an intentional choice. Every morning. And every minute after the alarm goes off.
It’s not just a switch we flip once and it stays on all day. (Don’t I wish!) So what are some practical ways we can bathe our days with God’s Word when we’re living busy lives?
- Write down the verses that encourage you to stay focused on what God says is true.
- Put the verses on a 3×5 card in the visor of your car, and look at them when you’re waiting at a red light.
- Download the goTandem app on your smart phone. It sends Bible verses to your phone as often as you want (once a day, twice a day or more), and tailors the verses to match your spiritual struggles.
These are just a few tools I use, and they are by no means exhaustive. Now, I’d like to hear from you. How do you keep God’s Word before you? What helps you think truthfully when doubts and fears creep into your thoughts? Please leave a comment below for others; your story may be just what someone else needs to hear.
Thanks for being part of the Think True Thoughts community! Today marks our 100th post, and I’m excited and honored to continue thinking truthfully here along with you.