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  • Writer's pictureJill Jarrell Newsome

Change My Thoughts, Oh God

Granny used to tell me about her Aunt Myrt (pronounced "ain't mirt" (like dirt)). I think her name was Myrtle. Aunt Myrt never married or had children but she took in my Granny and her four siblings, for a while, after their mother died. She had 13 children living with her and she loved them all. They would all go play and Aunt Myrt would tell them not play on the railroad tracks. They would all give her their word that they would not and off they would go - to the railroad tracks. Granny said the tar on the tracks was soft and they would chew it! One of Granny's favorite kids at Aunt Myrt's was a little boy with learning disabilities. On the way back from the rail road tracks they would tell him that he could not tell Aunt Myrt where they had been. He would promise them he wouldn't. Granny said as soon as they got in the house Aunt Myrt would ask them if they went to the railroad tracks. This little guy would look up at her and smile, saying, "no mam" with tar all over his teeth. They would all get in trouble.

I think that sounds a lot like me. I think, most of the time, I do a good job with my mouth and holding back. At least to most people. I have a few confidantes that I can share it all with. But the worse parts are my thoughts. I do not have to smile for God to see the tar on my teeth. He knows my every thought and that is scary! In Luke 5: 22, we have evidence of Jesus knowing people's thoughts. Luke 5: 22, "Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts?"

We are foolish if we think we can hide anything from God. God knows all man's thoughts. Luke 6: 8, "But Jesus knew what they were thinking..." 1 Chronicles 28: 9, "And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever." God knows all of our good thoughts. Malachi 3: 16, "Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name." And God knows our bad thoughts. Psalm 94: 11, "The Lord knows the thoughts of man, That they are futile." David believed this truth when he said, "You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar" in Psalm 139: 2.

Job realized that God was not pleased with his thinking and Job was sorry. Job 42: 6, "Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes." While it is frightening to know that God knows our every thought, we must remember God promises grace and mercy. Ephesians 2: 8-9, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works, so that no one can boast." Hebrews 4: 16, "Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." 1 John 1: 9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." Titus 2: 11, "For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people."

The same old thinking gets the same old results. None of our thoughts is too much for God to handle. He understands us better than we do! He can help us transform our thoughts. Romans 12: 2, "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will." I think this is one of the hardest things to do in the Christian life. Ephesians 4: 23, " be made new in the attitude of your minds..." We aren't just to set our minds on good things but CONSISTENTLY set our minds on them. Philippians 4: 8, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things." We are to consistently set our minds on Christ. We must find those things that make us want to kneel down and give thanks to our Creator!

Let's imitate David when we approach God. Psalm 139: 23-24, "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." We must manage our minds because our thoughts control our lives.


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