Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4:23, NIV)
If you’ve ever been bombarded with ads while on the internet, you realize how important pop-up blockers are. Pop-ups are extremely intrusive and distracting and can take you away from the article you were trying to read online. I liken pop-ups to negative thoughts that we can sometimes allow to dance around in our minds, intrude on our lives, and distract us from God’s Purpose for us.
If we are to stay focused on God’s Purpose for our lives, we must not allow pop-ups, i.e, negative thoughts, to take control. Realistically, we will occasionally have negative thoughts to take up space in our minds, but we cannot allow them to take up residence. They must go! We have to use pop-up blockers for the negative thoughts that pop up in our minds.
Here are some things I believe can help us on our journey to block out negative thoughts that satan plants in our minds and focus on the thoughts that God would like for us to have.
#1. When we start to feel ourselves be negative and think negative thoughts about ourselves, we can read and study God's Word. I say study God's Word because sometimes just reading isn't enough. Even if it's just mulling over the same scripture over and over again and digesting what it means so that we can apply it effectively in our lives.
Here are a few scriptures that can help block negative thoughts when they "pop up."
"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy." (Psalm 94:19, NIV)
"Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually." (I Chronicles 16:11, NIV)
"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal." (Isaiah 26:3-4, NIV)
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3: 5-6, NIV)
There are some great books that I've shared on my Home page that you can find here under "Highly Recommended." These resources have really helped to shape my prayer life and my thought life. I simply cannot think the same way about life since reading these books.
#2. Another pop-up blocker for negative thoughts is to listen to or watch inspirational teachings. I promise you, sometimes when I'm need of some help to rid myself of negative thoughts, I can turn on some of my favorite Bible teachers and receive a Word from God that seems tailor-made for me and I'm sure I'm not the only one. God does use people to share His messages on Earth and He will always send them at the perfect time.
Some of my favorite Bible teachers are Clinton McFarland, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, and E. Dewey Smith. I must warn you though, these are some DYNAMIC messengers, so be sure to have pen and paper ready to copy their many noteworthy points!
#3. Finally, we can use community and church involvement to block out the negativity that can arise in our mind. Being around people who love God or being able to help people in need is a great way to keep our minds off of ourselves and focus on meeting the needs of God's people. It's hard to be depressed about our feet hurting when we meet someone who doesn't have decent shoes or no shoes all. It's hard to be upset about not having a baby when we've met a mother who's child was violently taken from her. It's extremely difficult to be mad about having too much housework when we meet someone who does not have a place to live. Being involved with our community and church organizations will help us to focus on what truly matters...meeting the needs of God's people.
Let's make a pact. The next time thoughts of doom and gloom, rejection, or inferiority pop up in our minds, let's use one of our pop-up blockers to stop those negative thoughts in their tracks. By blocking those thoughts, we will be able to keep our peace, strength, and joy. Sound like a plan? Great!
I'm praying for you while we continue to P.U.S.H together! (Pray Until Something Happens!)