Whatcha lookin’ at?

I have always loved gymnastics. I took lessons at the YWCA, and I tried out for the team in the 6th grade…and I made it. I was so happy! During my very first back handspring of my very first practice, my arm landed funny…and it broke. I mean really broke it. Both bones in my forearm snapped in half, and my wrist was lying on the floor somewhere back by my elbow. (Gross, right?) The gym was full of girls…crying girls at this point. We were all traumatized. At my first visit back to the gym, some of the girls told me they couldn’t get the sight of my arm out of their head. They couldn’t get that sound out of their head of my bones snapping in half. They couldn’t stop thinking about it. Even 20 years later, I ran into a girl that was there, and she told me, “I will NEVER forget that day!” What we see and what we hear impacts our thought life….

I have always loved gymnastics. I took lessons at the YWCA, and I tried out for the team in the 6th grade…and I made it. I was so happy! During my very first back handspring of my very first practice, my arm landed funny…and it broke. I mean really broke it. Both bones in my forearm snapped in half, and my wrist was lying on the floor somewhere back by my elbow. (Gross, right?)

The gym was full of girls…crying girls at this point. We were all traumatized. At my first visit back to the gym, some of the girls told me they couldn’t get the sight of my arm out of their head. They couldn’t get that sound out of their head of my bones snapping in half. They couldn’t stop thinking about it. Even 20 years later, I ran into a girl that was there, and she told me, “I will NEVER forget that day!”

In Don’t wake up the storm! we looked at how our thoughts impact our lives. If we don’t take our thoughts captive, they will take us captive! We need to control the storm of thoughts in our heads!

But we don’t have to wait for it to turn into a storm before we try to control it. We can take our thoughts captive on the front end!

Wait..what? Yep. Take our thoughts captive on the front end. I tell my kids all the time when they wake up tired that they can fix that problem by sleeping in on the front end….go to bed earlier! (They don’t usually like that idea, but it’s the truth!) If you go to sleep earlier, you are not as tired when the alarm rings at early o’clock in the morning!

Our thoughts are formed by what we see and what we hear. My broken arm dominated the thoughts of those girls on my gymnastics team for a few days. Once they saw it, they couldn’t “unsee” it. It’s the same with what we see and hear on a daily basis. We fight thoughts in our heads we don’t ever have to let in to begin with.

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. (Colossians 3:1-2)

We can control it on the front end by doing what the Bible says here….by setting our sights on the realities of heaven and thinking about the things of heaven.

Let’s think about what we are thinking about. How many times have we watched something scary on TV and then had a hard time falling asleep because we were scared? And then we start quoting scriptures on peace and overcoming fear. Well, hello! If we don’t let it in to begin with….there are no fearful thoughts to battle.

How many people battle lustful thoughts because of what they saw on their computer? If we guard our thoughts on the front end by guarding what we see, the battle of our thoughts becomes much less of a battle.

And what about Eve?

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. (Genesis 3:6)

That word “saw” means to behold, consider, gaze upon with regard. She didn’t just glance at it. She considered the lies the enemy told her; she gazed upon and considered the fruit, and she ate. And we were all done for. Until Jesus.

What we let into our thoughts through the windows of our eyes and the speakers of our ears matters. It matters. We won’t let strangers into our houses. We even lock everything up tight and install house alarms so that no one can get in. We need to be just as diligent about what we let into our minds. What we see and what we hear become our thoughts and mindsets and beliefs.

Let’s set a guard over our eyes and ears. Let’s do what Colossians says and set our sights on the realities of heaven that we find in the Word. Let’s fight this battle on the front end and not even let it in! Amen?

My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:20-23)

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