What are you thinking?

Hello everyone! Its been quite a while. Hope you are good? Hmmm. So many things happening almost concurrently! News flying here and there. Sometimes, I really have to agree with that saying that, ‘No News Is Good News!’
The missing Malaysian plane with almost 300 passengers is yet to be found. Boko Haram is still at large and wrecking havocs especially in the northern states of Adamawa, Bornu and Yobe in my country, Nigeria. Incidents of rape on the increase all over the nations.
And the latest untimely and unfortunate deaths of some of our youths here in Nigeria; not in the hands of the Boko Haram sect this time around, but in their bid to seek employment via the recruitment exercise of NIS, the Nigeria Immigration service! A stampede broke out in the mammoth crowd of the unemployed youths and some actually lost their lives while so many others were injured! What a waste!

Friends, these and so many more news like these tend to breed morbid thoughts in our hearts. Consequently, these thoughts create a pathway into our souls and cast shadows over our lives. But in all these, one thing remains absolutely indisputable, ‘THERE IS A GOD THAT RULES IN THE AFFAIRS OF MEN!’ I will like to share a post I read recently with you. Its actually from a daily devotional. I pray it blesses your hearts as much as it blessed mine.
Your thought-life can be the incubator for anxiety and depression, so understand this:
1) Your thoughts are yours! ‘My anxious thoughts multiply within me.’ You conceive, interpret, assign meaning to, accept or reject them. So be decisive about which thoughts are, or aren’t, helpful.
2) You become what your thought-life makes you (Proverbs 23:7 NAS). It’s not your circumstances, it’s your thoughts about your circumstances that produce your emotions. Your thoughts trigger biochemistry that determines your feelings, their duration and their intensity. When you begin to think differently you’ll feel differently.
3) Your thoughts are prolific. The Psalmist said they ‘multiply’ within you. Random thoughts may be temporarily upsetting, but they don’t produce lasting anxiety or depression. That is the work of persistent thought patterns – negative thoughts that multiply, repeating themselves within you. You must ‘take them captive’ and ‘bring [them] into obedience’ to Christ-like thinking in order to control your feelings (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
4) You must ‘Let the Spirit renew your (individual) thoughts and attitudes (habitual mind-set)’ (Ephesians 4:23 NLT). Submit your thoughts to God’s Spirit, allowing Him to approve or renew (replace) them with His thoughts. Anxiety and depression cannot continue to control you when you give God control of your mind.
5) People can contribute to your anxiety and depression. They can make you want to live – or die! (Proverbs 18:21). They can reduce or increase your anxiety and depression. Avoid those who speak discouraging words, and spend time with those who speak ‘…a good word [that] makes [your heart] glad’ (Proverbs 12:25 NAS)
‘Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down…’ Proverbs 12:25
Your stomach is in knots, you feel as though an elephant is sitting on your chest, you’ve got the jitters and your thoughts are running amok.
Where can you find relief? Alcohol, drugs, relationships, work, money, sex, etc.? If so, you’ve found relief that simply won’t work long-term. The Bible says, ‘Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down’, causing hopelessness and depression.
What’s the answer? Satan is sometimes the source of anxiety and depression. When King Saul became self- willed, ‘The Spirit of the Lord…left Saul…the Lord had sent a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear’ (1Samuel 16:14 TLB).
Our pride and disobedience also allow satan to invade our thoughts and emotions. But by humbling ourselves and aligning our will with God’s will, we invite Him to reverse satan’s assault, overcoming our anxiety and depression. ‘…Whoever humbles himself will be exalted (lifted up)’ (Matthew 23:12 NIV). You have authority over the devil, but it only kicks in when you’re submitted to God. Here are three steps to victory found in James 4:7:
1) ‘Submit yourselves…to God.’ This step aligns you with God’s Word and power, and gives you the right to exercise dominion over the devil.
2) ‘Resist the devil.’ This is military language. ‘Resist the devil’ implies a courageous, forceful, persistent refusal to let him prevail against you.
3) ‘[The devil]…will flee from you,’ forfeiting his hold on your life and his ability to pour on the anxiety and depression.
So friend, how is your thought pattern? Would you dwell on all these bad news and let your heart fail you? Nay! Let’s encourage ourselves from God’s words and trust Him to perfect all that concern us.
Till my next post…let’s keep trusting God for His help and direction! Love you loads

About Kemi Odutayo

‘Kemi Odutayo, a graduate of University of Lagos, Nigeria is a Practitioner of NLP, a blogger, an author, a counselor and a media consultant. She is the Head of Operations, Me4 Communications, a publishing, marketing and communications outfit specializing in publishing books/eBooks, managing and offering training for social media accounts for individuals and organizations. Kemi and her husband of many years, Kayode Odutayo have a beautiful family blessed with three lovely children.