Stay Free of Stinking Thinking
I grew up in a low social-economic community. Life was hard during those years. My father was the only bread-winner and my mother was a homemaker. My father worked hard to provide for his family. It was difficult financially during those days with a large family. Nevertheless, in comparison to others, I always felt we were slighted by God.
My thoughts about God were so negative. I felt He was prejudiced and cared for others more than He cared for me and my family. Compared to others, I felt we should have had better things in life. I thought God was a respecter of persons and races. I believed God loved others more than He loved me.
When I was older, I had an opportunity to visit Haiti on a mission trip. While riding through certain areas of the city, I observed the living conditions of some of the people. Some lived in homes made with straw or other man-made materials without a solid foundation and some lived within wooded areas. I wept during the entire trip because this was a great awakening for me. After seeing all of the poverty in Haiti, I recognized that all these years of growing up I had developed “stinking thinking.”
This missions trip helped me understand there is always someone who may be worse off. God loves the Haitian people as much as He loves me. I was comparing myself with others, not recognizing God’s many blessings for my family. We had more than enough compared to what I experienced in Haiti.
He has always proven to be faithful. My thoughts about God have radically changed since my mission trip to Haiti and as I grew older I understood God was no respecter of persons. He is a respecter of faith. I remembered the countenance on those families was joyous because they had love and each other. Material things do not make a family, but love and unity do; and even when we did not have a lot of material things, we had lots of love.
So when the enemy tempts you to compare yourself with others and think negative thoughts that God doesn’t care or is not listening to you, begin to reflect on the good things God has done for you and praise Him. Then the light will burst through your darkness and the glory of God will shine on your situation.
Philippians 4:8 says, “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.” (NKJV)
When we think on the good things God has done, the joy of the Lord will arise in our hearts and thanksgiving on our lips. The peace of God will rest in our hearts. Read 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 when those negative thoughts begin to attack your mind:
“… 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, …” (verse 5)
There are sinister forces that seek to destroy us, but we must allow the Holy Spirit to empower us to maintain a renewed and godly mind. Our enemy has been defeated and we do not have to compare ourselves to others. God is good to us all and wants the best for us. We, as children of God, must have the mind of Christ. Stay free of stinking thinking and let us ponder how God thinks; and by so doing, act like His children.
A single eye and simple faith
By: Charles Spurgeon
Suggested Further Reading: Philippians 3:17-21
God will say to thee, “Take no thought for the morrow, be careful for nothing;” Mammon will say to thee, “Look ahead, be careful for everything;” and when God says to thee, “Give of thy substance to the poor;” Mammon will say, “Hold it tight, it is that giving that spoils everything;” and when God will say unto thee, “Set not thy affections on the things of earth;” Mammon will say, “Get money, get money, get it anyhow;” and when God saith, “Be upright;” Mammon will say, “Cheat thy own father if thou canst win by it.” Mammon and God are at such extreme ends of the earth and so desperately opposed, that I trust, Christian, thou art not such a fool, as to attempt to serve them both. If thou dost thou hast the worldling’s eye, and thou art a worldling thyself. Remember, too, if thou triest to do this we may suspect thee of having the hypocrite’s eye. As Matthew Henry says, “The hypocrite is like the waterman; he pulls this way, but he looks that. He pretends to look to heaven, but he pulls towards his own interest. He says, ‘he looks to Christ,’ but he is always pulling towards his own private advantage. The true Christian, however, is like a traveller; he looks to the goal and then he walks straight on to it; he goes the way he is looking.” Be then not like the hypocrite, who hath this double eye, looking one way and going the other. An old Puritan said, “A hypocrite is like the hawk; the hawk flies upward, but he always keeps his eye down on the prey; let him get up as high as he will, he is always looking on the ground. Whereas, the Christian is like the lark, he turns his eye up to heaven, and as he mounts and sings he looks upward and he mounts upward.”
For meditation: Not looking where you ought to be going can have disastrous consequences (Luke 6:39-42).
From: Inspiration. org.
“These are all the years of Abraham’s life, 175 years. Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man and satisfied with life.” – Genesis 25:7-8 NASB
The Bible provides an honest account of Abraham’s life, including his mistakes and moments of doubt. Even though he was imperfect, God used and blessed him because he was willing to obey God and live by faith.
The Bible says at the end of Abraham’s life, he was satisfied. He did not just live a long time. His life was full, complete, and rewarding in every sense of those words. He did not die with any kind of discontentment or regret.
Many people are obsessed with prolonging their lives. The Bible reminds us that long life by itself does not necessarily result in satisfaction. The complete satisfaction Abraham found was a life in which he had enough of everything and maximum contentment. His life was filled with peace because it was a life spent trusting God.
How did Abraham become so satisfied? By examining his life, we realize he was willing to follow God where He led him, even if this meant leaving everything behind. He recognized God had a call on his life and tried to follow that call, putting God above everything and everyone else. Abraham always sought to do His will.
When Abraham made mistakes, he allowed God to correct him. When given a choice between accumulating wealth or following God, he chose to follow God. Most importantly, he learned to walk by faith (Hebrews 11:8-10), trusting God to meet his needs and direct him.
If you want maximum satisfaction, seek to follow Abraham’s example. Dedicate your life to serving God. Surrender your life to Him. Trust Him. Walk by faith, and trust Him to direct your steps.
Reflection Question: Are you satisfied and content with your life? Why or why not?
God in Everything – Streams in the Desert – September 17
- 202217 Sep
“It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good” (1 Sam. 3:18)
See God in everything, and God will calm and color all that thou dost see!” It may be that the circumstances of our sorrows will not be removed, their condition will remain unchanged; but if Christ, as Lord and Master of our life, is brought into our grief and gloom, “HE will compass us about with songs of deliverance.” To see HIM, and to be sure that His wisdom cannot err, His power cannot fail, His love can never change; to know that even His direst dealings with us are for our deepest spiritual gain, is to be able to say, in the midst of bereavement, sorrow, pain, and loss, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath, taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Nothing else but seeing God in everything will make us loving and patient with those who annoy and trouble us. They will be to us then only instruments for accomplishing His tender and wise purposes toward us, and we shall even find ourselves at last inwardly thanking them for the blessings they bring us. Nothing else will completely put an end to all murmuring or rebelling thoughts.
–H. W. Smith