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It is amazing how our thoughts sometimes tend to hold us back. The mind will always wander and when it does it tends to think mostly of things that are long gone, especially things we have no business thinking about. The Bible is very clear that our thoughts or what we think about are important to God. The prayer of the Psalmist in Psalm 19:14 says, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” (KJV). This means that all the things we think or meditate about is visible to God and it is important that they also be pleasing to God. And, before a word is on our tongue God already knows it completely (Psalms 139:4), meaning He knows our thoughts.
One thing about fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives in the present time is that we cannot afford to be held captive by our past deeds. If we must live according to our divine calling, we must let the past go. We cannot afford to get so bound up thinking of our pasts that it immobilizes us completely. When we are immobilized by our thoughts, we become captive to our thoughts. The very bad things we have done in the past is the main reason we are held captive by our thoughts. Jesus Christ said He has come to set the captives free (Luke 4:18), so we all need Jesus if we must free ourselves Pastor Simbo Odunaiyafrom this bad idea of thought captivity. Jesus said, no one who puts his hand on the plough and still looks back is fit for the Kingdom (Luke 9:62). Thinking continually about the past is looking back and it will deprive us of the Kingdom that we so long for. As Apostle Paul said we must forget those things which are behind us and move consistently forward into those things that lie ahead of us (Philippians 3:13).
Rather than become captive to our thoughts, Apostle Paul says we must take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5b). As a matter of fact, a picture emerges from Paul’s memo to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. He said, the weapons of our warfare are for pulling down strongholds, casting down imaginations, and bringing into captivity every thought. Naturally, wrong thoughts lead to wild imaginations which can become strongholds in our lives because they render us immobile. We must make sure that our thoughts are brought under control. It begins with how we think about the past. In John Maxwell’s “Thinking for a Change”, he says “if you want to live on a new level, you have to think on a new level”. If we must take advantage of the opportunities of the present time and be ready for where God is taking us in the future, we must think on a new level. We cannot afford to be held captive by our past. “The old has gone, the new is here” (2 Corinthians 5:17b – NIV). If we are to encounter things that are different from the past, we must think in a new way. “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. Otherwise, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse. And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” (Mark: 2:21-22 – NIV). New times require new thinking.
Whenever the past comes into our thoughts, it must be either because there are lessons to be learnt from whatever occurred in the past or in acknowledgement of how God Himself was able to bring us through. In any case, these two are related because one of the best lessons to learn from our past issues is that it was the Lord who brought us through. If He did that in the past, He can surely do it again. So, regardless of our past hurts, we must always remember that God’s promises over our life are guaranteed. He is faithful and we must learn to always trust Him. The word of God says He is “able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (Ephesians 3:20 – KJV). We cannot enjoy the present or change the future without changing our thinking. We must seek the help of God to discipline our minds. We must allow God to transform us completely from the captivity of our past by renewing our minds, so we can take advantage of the vast opportunity that is ahead of us. “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” That is the word of God for us. Old things have passed away.
—Pastor Simbo Odunaiya