I’ve been reading A. W. Tozer this week, and I was struck by his words about our thoughts:
To God, our thoughts are things. Our thoughts are the decorations inside the sanctuary where we live. If our thoughts are purified by the blood of Christ, we are living in a clean room no matter if we are wearing overalls covered with grease. Your thoughts pretty much decide the mood and weather and climate inside your heart, and God considers your thoughts as part of you.
Thoughts of peace, thoughts of pity, thoughts of charity, thoughts of God, thoughts of the Son of God —t hese are pure things, good things and high things. Therefore, if you would cultivate the Spirit’s acquaintance, you must get hold of your thoughts and not allow your mind to be a wilderness in which every kind of unclean beast roams and bird flies. You must have a clean heart.A.W. Tozer
As I read these words, I’m reminded of these thoughts we must always ask God to purify:
- Thoughts of lust. Every man I know struggles at some level here (and, increasingly, we’re learning of women who also struggle). Only intentional efforts to “get hold of” our thoughts can make a difference.
- Thoughts of bitterness and unforgiveness. It’s easy to feel justified when someone’s wounded us, and we choose not to forgive – at least not for now, and probably not until that person’s paid some price for his or her actions.
- Thoughts of unrighteous anger. Some of us almost naturally wrestle with this problem. The littlest things give rise to unwarranted anger.
- Thoughts of selfish ambition. It’s one thing to want God to use us mightily for His glory; it’s another thing, though, when we want God to reward us with public recognition and a larger ministry.
- Thoughts of greed and coveting. Our thoughts can reveal our idols, especially when we won’t be satisfied until we finally get something we’ve really, really wanted — or, when we’re envious because someone else got it first.
- Thoughts of self-justification. Even as believers, we sometimes immediately bow up and defend ourselves when someone else rightly confronts us. We then let, in Tozer’s words, an “unclean beast” roam in our heart.
- Thoughts of fear and worry. When either one controls us, we’ve forgotten to meditate on the sovereign care of God.
- Thoughts of frustration with God. We’re especially prone in this direction when God seems to be delayed in His response to our prayers.
I know there are other thoughts we must surrender to God. Ask Him today to help you “live in a clean room.”