Acknowledge the Lord in all your ways and He will direct your path. Prov. 3:6
The trouble with our thoughts is that, for the most part, they presume to operate independently of God. And the countless speculations and often short-sighted conclusions they reach on important matters related to self, to others, to life and to God often hinder us from learning directly at the feet of Christ. Paul urged the Corinthians to “take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” (2Cor. 10:5). It implies that we are to bring all things that take place within us into relationship with God. And this includes all the deliberations that go on in our mind.
We get into trouble whenever we venture too far in our thinking without Christ. All on our own, we reach some conclusion on a matter of importance. We then have to live with whatever we believe, even if it is false, until God shows us otherwise. When lies or half-truths get imbedded in our thinking we are most impaired in our spiritual direction. Without even realizing it, we are operating from faulty premises.
It takes a lot more time to undo a lie in our thinking than to be patient beforehand with the conclusions we reach. Better to allow our thoughts to remain uncertain for as long as possible than to prematurely bring our deliberations to a closure. Such a prayerful approach requires faith though, and the ability to not let our anxious concerns regarding the unknown overly dictate our conclusions.
We should be especially careful when this applies to how we think about ourselves. Without God, we can never know ourselves as we should. Better to take all our opinions, speculations and analysis to Christ. Ask the Lord what He thinks of these matters. Do you feel that you need to change? Ask God about this before you jump to any conclusions. Wait, watch and pray as the topic evolves in your spirit. Rather than opting for any of the self-saving agendas that, on our own, we prescribe for our lives, take it instead to the Lord in prayer. Are you concerned about this or that matter? Talk to God about it rather than obsessing about life on your own.
Our thoughts might well contain important data but we should never consider them exclusively on their own. We are wise to hold onto our conclusions lightly until we’ve verified them with God—to simply take the time to find out what Jesus has to say about what we are thinking. Ask the Lord what He thinks about this or that matter. He will either confirm our thoughts or else show us other ways to understand our situation.
As the book of Proverbs so plainly counsels us, we should always be wary of leaning overly to our own understanding. By simply acknowledging the Lord in all our ways we will walk a very different path than the one that we would otherwise define for ourselves.
What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear.
What a privilege to carry, ev’rything to God in Prayer.
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry, ev’rything to God in Prayer.
Joseph Medlicott Scriven