II Corinthians 10:5 gives us a clear direction for our thoughts.
II Corinthians 10:5:
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
We are to cast down, or demolish, thoughts contrary to God’s Word, bringing every thought subordinate to it. We do this one thought at a time. If a thought does not agree with God’s Word, then we change it. And if our thoughts are fearful, those thoughts do not agree with the Word.
II Timothy 1:7:
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
Changing our thinking can be as simple as changing the channel on our television. We’ve all sat down to watch a television show or movie—either alone, with family, or with friends—only to discover the content is not to our liking. Do we suffer through it? Of course not! We use our remote control to change the channel. When it comes to our thoughts, we can decide to change our mind whenever we find ourselves thinking in a way that makes us fearful. And to what channel do we turn our thoughts? To the channel where the positive truths of God’s Word are being broadcast! With the Word of God in our hearts, we can eliminate fear by lining up every thought with the truths of God’s Word.
Here are two tips to help us with this process: (1) get the Word in our hearts by reading and studying it and then (2) be aware of our thoughts so we can recognize when we need to change our thinking to the truths of the Word.
In order for us to change our thinking from fearful thoughts to the powerful, sound truths of God’s Word, we need to first get those truths into our minds and hearts. Reading and studying God’s Word helps us get it into our hearts. The more of the rightly divided Word that we read and believe in our hearts, the easier it will be for us to dispel any fearful thoughts that are gripping us. The Scriptures teach us of God’s power and protection and love, and by building these truths in our hearts, we can build our believing and trust in God.
By reading and studying God’s Word, we can flood our minds with the positive truths from God Himself and wash away doubt and fear. This is part of keeping our heart with all diligence.
My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.
Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.
For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
With God’s Word in our hearts, we can more readily recognize if a thought doesn’t line up with what God says and then change it. We lead each thought captive, stopping the thoughts from doing any more harm. There is no reason to be held captive by negative thinking. We can “stop the action” of any fearful thoughts as soon as we notice that type of thinking. We can “change the channel.” We just need to pay attention to what channel we are watching.
God’s will is that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds, not conformed to the world. When we think about what we are thinking about, we can do this.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
A simple definition of renewing the mind is to hold the Word in mind and act accordingly. An effective way to eliminate a fearful, negative thought is to replace it with three positive truths from God’s Word—thoughts of power and love and a sound mind (II Timothy 1:7). We can make eliminating fear cards to carry around during the day to refer to if we start feeling doubtful or worried. Then every time we catch ourselves thinking negatively, we can read one of those cards and confess the truth from God’s Word. That will replace the negative with the “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword” Word of God.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner [critic] of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
The Word of God gives us the ability to bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Just as we change the television channel if we don’t like what’s on the screen, we can lead captive any fearful thoughts, which are contrary to God’s Word, and change our thinking. As we read and study the Word, we become more adept at redirecting our minds to get back on track with the truth, “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” We can eliminate fear, thought by thought, with the quick and powerful Word of God in our hearts!