Christian Biblical Counsel: THOUGHTS, CONTROLLING

Background

The history of mankind has largely centered around a battle for the mind. What a person thinks is of utmost importance: “He who rules his spirit [is better] than he who takes a city” (Proverbs 16:32). “As he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

Words or phrases relating to the mind, such as mind, thoughts, the understanding, or the heart occur frequently in Scripture. God wants to control our minds; so does Satan.

The Bible describes the unbelieving mind as “hostile to God” (Romans 8:7, NIV), blinded because of sin (2 Corinthians 4:4), and morally defiled (Mark 7:20–22). Even Christians should guard against developing “an evil heart of unbelief” (Hebrews 3:12).

The Bible also mentions the “carnal” or worldly mind (Romans 8:6), which can characterize even Christians.

 

Helping Strategy

 

For the Non-Christian:

1. Explain “Steps to Peace with God,” – Christian Biblical Counsel: STEPS TO PEACE WITH GOD

2. Encourage the inquirer to begin to read God’s Word. In this way, he or she begins to bring his or her mind into subjection to God. Offer – Your New Life In Christ Bible Study – for help in getting started.

3. Encourage daily prayer. The book of Psalms is filled with the language of prayer. Ask the caller to note Matthew 6:9–13 and Luke 11:2–13, where the Lord’s Prayer is recorded. These are good examples of prayers.

4. Recommend seeking a Bible-teaching church for worship, fellowship, Bible study, and opportunities for service.

5. Pray with the inquirer for a renewed mind.

 

For the Worldly Christian:

1. Share “Restoration,”  – Christian Biblical Counsel: SEEKING FORGIVENESS AND RESTORATION

2. Emphasize the need for controlling the mind, using these examples:

A. The Lord Jesus Christ: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).

B. The prophet Isaiah: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah 26:3).

C. The apostle Paul: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).

“. . . casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

 

Scripture

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1–2).

“Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established” (Proverbs 16:3).

“‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8–9).

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8, NIV).

“The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12, NIV).

The Billy Graham Christian Worker’s Handbook; World Wide Publications, 1984, 1996

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