My hubby and I just watched What Women Want, with Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt. If you haven’t seen it, here is IMDb’s short summary: After an accidental slip in the bathtub, a chauvinistic marketing executive gains the ability to hear what women are really thinking.
Can you imagine having the ability to know EVERYTHING someone is thinking? Your spouse? Your teenager? Your infant who cries uncontrollably at 3am? There would be definite perks, but, honestly—would you really want to know what your spouse or teenager is thinking ALL the time?
Let’s turn the tables. What if we all wore a digital ticker-tape that broadcast our thoughts to the world around us—silly, naïve, brilliant, jealous, random, and even sinful thoughts? Such a level of public exposure would be beyond embarrassing. It would quickly deteriorate into shame and condemnation.
But here’s the good news. Only God knows our every thought—and He never shames or condemns.
Beware the Evil Thought Life…
Since my early days as a follower of Jesus, I’ve considered my “thought life” as an area full of temptation and sin. Scriptures like the following, however, have helped me stay strong and positive…
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
And this Scripture has also helped me resist temptation to avoid the sting of final judgment…
“…on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.” Romans 2:16
Please don’t misunderstand. I don’t live in fear of getting struck by a lightning bolt if I have a sinful thought. But I am motivated to guard my thoughts because I know that my mind is the first battlefield Satan uses to infiltrate my heart (emotions), speech, and actions.
Flowers on the Battlefield
While reading my devotional last week (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young), she hatched a concept that rocked my world. She basically said that my thoughts (and yours) are precious to God. So, instead of seeing my thoughts as “the enemy,” I suddenly saw my thoughts as something beautiful to God. Let’s review the concept again…
Your thoughts are precious to God.
How could it be? After years of fighting my thoughts, how could these pesky seeds of depression, these troublesome stems of stress, these naughty weeds of worry be precious to my Creator?
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.” Psalm 139:1-3
Only God and I know my thoughts. It’s a secret life we share together, and I’m safe with Him. He never mocks or demeans me. When I bring my thoughts to Him and ask for help examining them for purity, wisdom, and direction—can you imagine how pleasing that is to the Father? How pleased would you be if your child asked for your wisdom on a big decision?
Our minds are indeed battlefields. Just like the soil of a battlefield is nourished by the blood-soaking and later flourishes with beautiful flowers, so a mind—after its own well-fought battles—flourishes with beautiful thoughts of its faithful God.
But every thought of a child of God is precious to Him because each one trains us for eternity. What we learn on earth can’t be learned in heaven. We must cry now. Have faith now. Fear now. Hope now. Because every opportunity to struggle, fail, and try again will pass away with this earth. What a beautiful opportunity to share every thought with the One who knows them already.
One of the fun things about writing biblical novels is creating the thought life for Bible characters. It’s also a little daunting. I mean—really—how do I know what Moses thought when he lifted his arms and the Red Sea parted? I don’t, which is why we call it fiction! 😉
But it is my privilege and passion to read, research, and write these stories with a Spirit-led version of what might have been. Within that version, I get to consider the character’s thoughts—good, bad, and in-between. Avid fiction readers know that when words in a novel are in italics, a character is thinking rather than speaking. Here’s an example from the Prologue of my March 15th release, Miriam (written in Miriam’s point-of-view):
…as I dab my parents’ brows, creeping dread crawls up my arm like a living thing. Last night’s dreams have shaken our divine union. El Shaddai, Your messages have always been so clear. Why not give the meaning with the dreams?
Throughout the story, Miriam struggles both internally and externally with the idea that God has decided to use her two brothers to deliver the Israelites instead of her. The Bible doesn’t tell us she thought this, so why would I put that thought in Miriam’s head?
Let’s make it a practical, true-to-life modern situation. Think of an eighty-six year-old woman-of-faith you know today. Now, imagine how she might respond if someone she loved—a man who wasn’t as strong in faith as she—came to her and said:
“God told me to call Him by a different name.”
“God is about to do some really scary miracles, and then we’ll leave here forever.”
“You must leave your home and everything familiar and move to a different country.”
Would your faithful elderly-woman friend trust a guy who didn’t know Jesus as well as she did? Wouldn’t she wonder why God told that guy and not her? That’s why I think Miriam had some of those thoughts too.
And Miriam’s thoughts—whatever they truly were over 3,000 years ago—were as precious to God as yours and mine are today.
- Only One knows our every thought—and He never shames or condemns us.
- My mind is the first battlefield Satan uses to infiltrate my heart (emotions), speech, and actions.
- Every thought of ours is precious to God because each one trains us for eternity.
- How does knowing each of your thoughts is precious to God change your perspective on your thought life?