Keys to Capturing Thoughts: The Right Response When I Fail

In the past, many times when we went to the field to rope cattle my job consisted of two parts – giving the medicine to the sick animals, and when needed…

Hazing.

Hazing meant that I was needed to ride alongside the cow keeping it from veering off into the trees or any other obstacles that would prevent the roper from being able to catch it.  When the rider missed catching the cow, I would try to keep the cow in the vicinity of where the roper was as he or she coiled up their rope.  Sometimes, I was even able to see a bit of a rodeo as a frightened horse tried to escape this “thing” that was trailing after it:D

However, as the skill of the roper increased or the skill of the horse that was being trained for roping increased, I was needed less and less for this job.  The rope horse learned to control the direction of the cow while correctly positioning the rider so that he or she could let the rope fly, and catch the running cow.

There were still times when the cow would escape, but the horse would just slow down for a few strides while the rider coiled the rope, and then they would take off after the cow again.

They didn’t give up.

In the same way, when it comes to controlling my thoughts, there will be times when I fail.  For…

Even when I have the right start and awaken the dawn with God by spending time with Him in the Bible and conversing with Him in prayer…

Even when I have the right tool of His promises and truth so that I can rope those errant thoughts…

Even when I have the right checklist so that I can identify and allow access into my mind those thoughts are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy, while shutting the door on anything that does not meet this standard…

There will still be those thoughts that break free and run out of control in my mind…

  • When someone wrongs me, sometimes it is just so “sweet” to think malicious thoughts of them…
  • When I receive word of a possible threat, conflict or a difficult situation, the thoughts of my mind can quickly gravitate towards what I assume will be the end result (and for me that is often what I imagine will be the worst possible outcome), and I can fall into discouragement…
  • When my needs seem huge, I can “forget” God’s promises and give in to the thoughts of worry that are piling up outside the door of my mind, allowing them access to run rampant…

When this happens, I am thankful that I have Father to whom I can turn and ask for help, because you see, the simple truth is that I am going to trip and mess up.  Instead of meditating on God’s word, I will chew on those thoughts that are not true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy.

When this happens, 1. John 1:9 comes to my rescue.  It says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

By acknowledging and agreeing with God that there are certain thoughts that are not pleasing to Him, and admitting that I sinned by thinking on them, I can come to God with a repentant heart and ask Him to forgive me of my sins.  And He will be faithful and just to forgive me of my sin against Him, and He will make me clean again…

That means He removes those errant thoughts of my mind.

As I learn to keep short accounts with God, my mind more easily recognizes those thoughts that are displeasing to Him.  As I spend time with God each day and get to know Him more and more, I find that I want to less time thinking on those thoughts that are wrong, and allow more access to those thoughts that line up with His standard found in Philippians 4:8.  As my old thought patterns are gutted out of my mind, my mind is renovated with thoughts that are pleasing in the sight of God.

In short, my mind is transformed.

And I am then able to discern what God’s will is for my thought life. (Romans 12:2)

God in His faithfulness and love, turns my mess up into something good…

Just as He promised to do. (Romans 8:28)

So if you find that there is an area in your mind where you have not been keeping your thoughts captive and making them obedient to Jesus Christ…instead you been opening the door on those thoughts and allowing them access into your mind…

Don’t keep conforming to the same thought patterns…

Try putting 1. John 1:9 into practice and take the first step to transforming the thoughts of your mind:D