“As we first turned away from God in our thoughts, so it is in our thoughts that the first movements toward the renovation of the heart occur. Thoughts are the place where we can & must begin to change…we are to abhor evil and cleave to that which is good, and the foundation for doing that lies in where we choose to place our minds.” -Dallas Willard
The quote above is from the book Renovation of the Heart, and this chapter was over one’s thought life. Dallas Willard made the point that spiritual formation begins with one’s thought life. He’s not necessarily just talking about evil thoughts or those thoughts that seem “bad” by society’s standards, but focuses a lot on thoughts such as anger or competitiveness or laziness or self-rejection. Those thoughts that for some reason are accepted as “normal” by most people today.
“Self-rejection…is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the Beloved.”
As I spent time trying to be aware of my thought life, God, in his kindness, began to show me where my thoughts are and how they were not necessarily thinking about “things from above”. (Col 3:2) In fact, rarely was I contemplating “things that were true, noble, righteous, excellent.”(Phil 4:8) If my thoughts are the beginning of spiritual formation, then how do I get my thoughts to reflect the glory of God because thoughts enter so randomly and so unconsciously?
This is when worker bee Kari wants to jump in to the rescue and start to simply fix things.
But if I get caught up in trying to fix and replace my thoughts or actions with godly ones instead of simply sitting still with God and getting to know him better, there is no spiritual formation, no permanent change in my thought life. Our thoughts reflect our heart and when we have spent more time conquering life than sitting with God, it is nearly impossible for our thought life to focus on the “things above”.
If, on the other hand, we rearrange life so, although it is busy, we haven’t run ourselves ragged, we can focus on being in the presence of God all day long as we complete everything He has laid before us for that day. The more we sit in the presence of God, the more our thoughts will reflect His presence. and the more we will become formed in Christ’s image.
Sounds simple but we will need to rearranged life in order to accomplish it!
Your Next Step
So that’s our challenge for today. What do we need to rearrange in our day tomorrow so we can consciously be aware of his presence all day long?
Can’t wait to hear ALL your ideas,