Thinking And Doing
What your mind is filled with, so is your heart--and your actions. Fill your hearts with things that produce good overflow.
Alright, thank you very much, and hello again radio friends. How in the world are you? Are you doing alright today? Well, I trust so, bless your heart. It’s nice to be back with you. It’s your friend, Bob Cook and we’re looking at Psalm 37. We’ve come now to the last half of verse 31, and it says, “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.” There is a connection between your actions and your heart commitment. Well, of course you know that. But so often, we say, “I don’t know how this happened.” Well, yes, really you do, if you stop to think about it. Because, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
I listened not too long ago to the testimony of one of God’s great servants who told a story of what happened in years past when actions that were later to be regretted took place, because the individual had been thinking about it and thinking about it and fantasizing about it, and then all of a sudden, it happened. Now, the sobering truth is that what we think becomes what we do and say. We create circumstances by our thoughts. It’s a frightening thing. We consider that our thoughts are our own private domain. A man’s daydreams and fantasies, a woman’s dreams and hopes, and the things that flip through your mind when it is running…(as my father used to say using the machinist’s term “running loose pulley”) you know, you don’t have to think about anything, so what do you think about then? Oh, to realize that what I have in my heart, what I’m thinking about, actually is created in terms of the circumstances. This makes it all the more important that my thoughts should be stayed on God and His Word. “Thy Word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.”
I have found that memorized Scripture is the best preventative for daydreaming and wandering thoughts. Fill your heart and mind and memory with the Word of God, and the faithful Holy Spirit will crank it out into your stream of consciousness just when you need it. “You who were kept,” says Peter, “by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” God will keep you, God will use His Word if you will read it, meditate on it, memorize it, and put it back into the computer portion of your mind. The Holy Spirit of God will crank it out for you just when you need it. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.” There’s a connection between the thoughts of my heart and the steps of my actions and reactions. We actually create our circumstances by our thoughts.
Some of you may have in your library that book that was written many years ago called “Think and Grow Rich.” Now, there’s a good deal of hype in the book and a lot of hyperbole, you know: exaggeration for effect, is what the rhetoric book calls it. But there’s a basic principle involved, that the man uses and that is that what you think about constantly becomes part of your life. In the book, it tells the story of a sales manager who was faced with the fact that his sales force was doing very poorly, and he called everyone together and gave each of them a slip of paper and said, “Write on that slip of paper what you would like to accomplish in the next twelve months,” and so they did. Now he said, “Put that slip of paper in your wallet and look at it every day.”
Well, remarkably, the sales curve began to turn up. There were more sales made by this same group without any seeming reason for it. The year passed, and he called them together again and he said, “I want to know what has happened with that slip of paper that you wrote upon on which you put what you would like to accomplish.” Well, one man said, “I wrote down, ‘pay off my mortgage,’ and I have.” Another man wrote down, “Buy a new Packard car.” This was a good many years ago when Packard cars were still the top of the line. He said, “I got one.” And so, different ones had different goals, all the way from mortgages to mink coats to whatever, that they had wanted to achieve, and they had achieved them. Why? Because they had looked at that goal and they had thought about it every day, and that resulted in their working more successfully toward it.
Benjamin Franklin did the same thing. He wrote down twelve or thirteen different qualities that he wanted to achieve in his own life and thought about them, and looked at a list of them every day. What you think about becomes what you are; this is so important, then, for the Christian, because you put the Word of God in your thoughts (for the wicked, the Bible says, ‘God is not in all his thoughts.’) Wickedness is simply the absence of God in people’s thoughts. And so you must put the Word of God in your thoughts, like God’s blessed man, concerning whom God says in Psalm 1, “In His law doth he meditate day and night.” Paul said to Joshua, “This Book of the Law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate therein, that thou mayst observe to do according to all that is written therein, for then shalt thou have good success. Then shalt thou make thy way prosperous, and then shalt thou have good success.” I believe the only time in the Bible when the word success is used is right there, connected with meditating upon and obeying the Word of God.
There is a connection, isn’t there? Dear friend, let’s make it a dynamic connection in our lives, shall we? Get a portion of the Word of God every day and plow it into your heart and mind and memory, so that the Holy Spirit of God can have you and have me thinking along the lines of the will of God and thus walking a “non-skid” kind of a path. “None of his steps shall slide.”
What do you do about people who scheme against you? Doesn’t that get you? When somebody is conspiring, somebody in the office is trying to get your job, or go over your head to the boss and bad-mouth you? You can’t really retaliate, because it just makes things worse. That gets to you, doesn’t it? Conspiring against you. Well, here’s verse 32: “The wicked watcheth the righteous and seeketh to slay him.” There is, in every unbelieving heart, the capacity to try to get believers out of the way.
Some teacher spoke to my two older girls when they were in high school, and there was some issue about social dancing and whatnot in connection with their gymnasium classes. We’re not social dancers and so they had mentioned that they were Christians. And this teacher in the presence of the whole class said, “We have a lot of trouble with you Fundamentalists,” and sent them out of the room. Oh, that’s rough, isn’t it? You bet.
There is, I say, in the unbelieving heart, the inbred capacity, it would seem, to try to get believers out of the way. David Morkin, my dear friend of many years, “missionary to the missionaries,” he has been in past years, a man who has spent some years in imprisonment in China after the fall of China and who then helped us set up Youth for Christ in Japan, a man who is full of the Word of God, is a blessed brother. He said to me one time, “The unbelieving heart cannot rest until it is organized in opposition to God.” The wicked watcheth the righteous and seeketh to slay him. Now that’s a rough assignment when you find somebody conspiring against you. What do you do? Strike back? Oh no, you don’t have to do that.
Look at the next verse: “The Lord will not leave him in his hand.” God isn’t going to leave you defenseless while somebody tries to stab you, as we say, in the back. “Nor condemn him when he is judged.” Wait on the Lord; keep His way, “And He shall exalt thee to inherit the land and when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.” You’ll be a witness to what is happening to people who are caught in their own traps. That’s the promise of God: God will take care of you. You don’t have to conspire back at people.
If they are planning to do you in, you don’t have to say, “We’ll get them before they get us.” No, you don’t have to do that. A little boy came home crying and said, “Willy hit me with a rock.” They said, “Oh, that’s too bad.” Then he said, thoughtfully, “But I got back at him.” They said, “How’d you do that, son?” He said, “I hit him with a rock yesterday.” “Do others before they do you” is the twisted version of the Golden Rule.
Godless politicians and Christ-hating people all over the world have used the theory that preventive strikes are the best, you know. Get somebody else because he’s planning to get you. Don’t wait until you’re attacked, but go get somebody else because you know he’s planning to get you. That is the logic of the doomed and godless. You don’t have to do that. He says, “The Lord will not leave him in the hand of the wicked, nor condemn him when he is judged.” He says, you wait on the Lord and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land. When the wicked gets his comeuppance, you’ll be watching. You’ll be a bystander, but you won’t be a victim.
The point I’m making is that you never have to be the victim of circumstances if God is running your life. “Our light affliction,” Paul says, “which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding weight of glory.” If you take all the modifiers out of that sentence and strip it down to its bare parts, what does he say? “Our light affliction” (you could use the word trouble) works for us. Trouble works for us. That’s what the Bible says.
Romans 8:28 is quoted often, without people realizing that that is the exact principle that is in that verse as well. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” You never need to be the victim of circumstances, no matter what they are. They may be heartbreaking. They may be vicious. They may be painful. They may be disagreeable, or all of the above. But you never need to be the victim of circumstances if you’re in God’s hands. Why? Because circumstances work for you when God is running things. Hallelujah! It’s great, isn’t it? Amen.
Dear Father, today we give ourselves to Thee. Run our lives. Control the circumstances and get glory to Thyself through it all. In Jesus’ name I ask this, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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