The average person speaks approximately 16 000 words in a day. But our inner voice: our voice of reasoning or self-talk speaks over hundreds of thousands of words in a day. Your inner critic is basically your thoughts. This continuous chatter can be motivating but often it can be profoundly immoral and wicked.
The power of the mind is a resourceful tool. It’s the blueprint for creative inventions and can also be the workshop for premeditated crimes. Many of us can go through the day not really paying attention to our inner voice, the self-talks that go on in our mind.
But are most of these thoughts or self-talks good and positive? Or are you struggling with your greatest enemy: yourself.
Proverbs 23:7 King James Version (KJV) says: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” We learn from this scripture that whatever you think about is exactly what you will become. To put it plainly: you are what you think you are. As negativity begins to fester in our minds, our outward behaviour will soon reflect what goes on in our thoughts. Every second of each day, our thoughts are dominating and controlling our behaviour. Our brain is constantly picking up signals from our surrounding environments, and our brain reacts by popping thoughts into our mind. We think and then we do, and most times this impulsive behaviour has a negative impact not only on ourselves but on those around us as well.
The inner voice
Now, I am no better than any of you; my inner voice can keep me on my toes most of the time. Sometimes, my inner thoughts are helpful, driving me to push harder, but then there are definitely times when it tells me to just give up. The big voice of criticism. The judge and jury. It is at that point I find myself on the couch saying to myself that I cannot do this anymore. Thoughts of doubt, failure and discouragement creeps in, creating a cripple effect on our bodies, slowing us down, forcing us to take the easy way out. Words like, “You can’t do this, you’re not smart enough” or “What will people say?” Does this sound familiar? Your inner critic sure has an opinion of its own, an opinion about yourself and about everyone around you.
Our inner voice can be terrifying and powerful. But what is more devastating is when we put life into these thoughts. We are going to have negative thoughts, we are human after all, and we do get angry. I mean, at times we get furiously angry! Our thoughts are like a horror movie in our minds, thinking of ways to vent the anger and the rage we have towards the person that has inflicted hurt and pain over our lives. But this needs to be controlled and overcome using the power of God’s word.
In a world as sick as ours, it has become the norm of life where children and women are raped, racism and xenophobia dominates the news, and people, land and animals are exploited for the greed and ambition of man. It’s extremely difficult not to think hateful thoughts against these perpetrators. But I strongly believe that these acts of violence started off with negative thoughts in the first place, premediated acts.
Will our evil thoughts destroy our world like in the time of Noah?
Well, according to Genesis 6: 5-8, God destroyed the earth all because of man’s evil thoughts. Can you imagine that? Genesis 6: 5-8 New International Version (NIV) “The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The LORD regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the LORD said, ‘I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.’ But Noah found favour in the eyes of the LORD.”
Right now I am writing to you during the time of the Covid-19 Lockdown. This pandemic has globally infected over 2.5 million people, with over 179 000 deaths. I can’t help but ask this question: Did our evil thoughts bring this upon us? Have we displeased God in any way? Genesis 6:11-13 (NIV) “11 Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. 12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. 13 So God said to Noah, I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.”
In the time of Noah, only Noah and his family of eight were saved in the ark that God instructed him to build. God literally reset the earth by causing a great flood to destroy both man and animal. How painful it must be for God to have regrets over his own creation of man.
Imagine if we could put an end to all negative thoughts… thoughts of murder, rape, lust, theft, wars, greed, envy, jealousy, pride, and temper. Or imagine if God can hear it all and know it all.
According to Psalm 94:11 (KJV), He knows them anyway. “ The Lord knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.”
We may never be able to silence our inner voice totally but we can overcome negative thoughts that may control and dominate our lives.
Here are 7 ways to overcome these negative thoughts:
1. Remind yourself of who you are in Christ.
This must be a daily practice if you are struggling with negativity. Pray this prayer: Lord I am your child, created in your image and your likeness. I believe that You are the Son of God, and that You died for me. You became sin so that I could be free of sin. You dwell in me. My body, my mind and my spirit belongs to You. You are the author of my life. You know my thoughts; therefore I hide nothing for You. Because You are the host of my life, I choose this day to walk, think and speak in a way that will bring glory to You. Amen.
2. Submit yourself to God.
James 4:7 (NIV) “ Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
The word ‘submit’ means to accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person. We firstly simply accept and yield to Christ, and then the next step is to resist the devil. We cannot resist the devil without being under the authority of Christ. Notice that in this scripture we must resist the enemy; we refuse to give in as Jesus has already overcome him. We just need to remind the devil of where his place is in our life and that is under our feet! Thereafter, when he pollutes your mind with ungodly thoughts, resist him in the name of Jesus and God promises that he will flee.
3. Renew your mind.
Colossians 3 1-10 (NIV)
“ Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. ”
The beauty of this walk with Christ is that the day we accepted Him into our lives our old self died on the cross with Jesus. And when Jesus rose from the dead, we rose as a new creation. The same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you. Each day, you awake knowing that today your mind is renewed by God’s word and His presence in your life. “Put to death” everything that is foul and ungodly.
Romans 12: 2 (NIV) “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
4. Take into captivity every thought and make it obedient to God.
2 Corinthians 10: 3 to 6 (NIV)
“3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 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. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.”
We learn through this scripture that we need to take action. No one else is going to do this for you. Not your pastor, your spouse, or your friend. You need to man up toward these thoughts and take the control back. See these negative thoughts as intruders in your mind. We know that when a thief enters your home, the law has been broken and the law deals with this by prosecution and arrest. So, you too need to arrest these thoughts and imaginations. Your warfare with the devil begins here. Pull down, cast down and bring into captivity every thought that does not please God. You have been in captivity for far too long to allow the devil to lie to you. The war is on!
5. Detox your thoughts by reading His word.
What do you feed your mind? Keep track of what you are filling your head space with. My mum always said to me that your brain is like a sponge; it will absorb what you feed it.
Hebrews 4:12 (KJV)
“12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
So let His words saturate your mind. Start with the book of Psalms and Proverbs if reading the Bible is overwhelming for you. I am sure you will be encouraged and enriched. Read aloud if you have to; you are on a mission!
6. Speak positivity
Proverbs 18:21 (KJV) “21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”
The power your mind holds can be altered by the power of what you speak. Make a change today. Choose to speak positivity even when your thoughts let you down.
“God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.”
7. Pray, it will soothe your mind
Lock yourself in the presence of God through prayer. I’ve found that my most precious times with the Lord are early in the morning and late evenings, when the world is a bit quieter. I allow His presence to soothe and heal my mind. Slow quiet prayer of love and adoration.
Let’s pray together:
How beautiful are You Lord, that you know my thoughts and my anxiety. You knew me before I was even conceived in my mother’s body. If you could calm the raging storms in Mark 4:39, then I know that You can also calm my mind. Remove all doubts and fears, according to 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) which says: “7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” I thank You Jesus for a SOUND MIND. In Jesus name. Amen.