Proverbs 23:7 – “For as he thinks within himself, so he is…” NASB
I, personally, desire to be an eagle and soar to those new and exhilarating and exciting heights that God has for me spiritually, emotionally, etc. I have no desire to fly in a flock and quack with the crowd. I want to rise above the level of mediocrity and the clutter of this distressed world and enjoy God’s best. That is my desire!
However, desire is especially important, but it is not sufficient. If we are to accomplish this lofty goal, we must fight some fierce battles and endure some tremendous struggles. We must realize that what and how we think is important. Additionally, what we think about is important and we must gain control of our thought processes and bring them into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
We will find it necessary to learn to Think Clearly (uncluttered minds), Think Courageously (filled with faith and courage) and Think Confidently (I can through Him. Victorious thinking).
You will not become an eagle by simply deciding you no longer want to Quack with the Crowd or Fly with the Flock. It takes work, effort, commitment, and discipline. It takes determination and it takes courage. It takes Faith. I heard an illustration several years ago, that was incredibly inspiring.
The story is told that Andrew Jackson’s boyhood friends just couldn’t understand how he became a famous general and then the President of the United States. They knew of other men who had greater talent but who never succeeded. One of Jackson’s friends said, “Why, Jim Brown, who lived right down the pike from Jackson, was not only smarter but he could throw Andy three times out of four in a wrestling match. But look where Andy is now.” Another friend responded, “How did there happen to be a fourth time? Didn’t they usually say three times and out?” “Sure, they were supposed to, but not Andy. He would never admit he was beat — he would never stay ‘throwed.’ Jim Brown would get tired, and on the fourth try Andrew Jackson would throw him and be the winner.” Picking up on that idea, someone has said, “The thing that counts is not how many times you are ‘throwed,’ but whether you are willing to stay ‘throwed’.” We may face setbacks, but we must take courage and go forward in faith. Then, through the Holy Spirit’s power, we can be the eventual victor over sin and the world. The battle is the Lord’s, so there is no excuse for us to stay “throwed”!
The world is full of people who give up too quickly and sit back with arms folded, deep frowns on their faces, and skeptical stares in their eyes. Their favorite words are “Why try? Give Up! We can’t do that. Nobody ever does those things. They get all the breaks.” We can rise up and be what God has designed and desired us to be, but It Takes Work!
There are some important things to realize if we are going to Soar Like the Eagle rather than be Quackers in the Crowd.
WE BECOME WHAT WE THINK.
The truth is that we tend to act out or manifest what we take in or focus on. Truly, we become what we think. That is God’s words as seen in our text, not just my personal opinion. In Romans 12:1-2 we are instructed to not be conformed [ducks, geese, turkeys] but transformed [eagles]. This involves our desire and God’s supernatural work. We are to be Renewed (reprogrammed) in our minds (thought processes). That truly is where it all begins. That battle is literally won or lost in the mind before it is won or lost.
There is an interesting passage in 2 Peter 2:22 and I do not mean to be gross, but it reads, “It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A DOG RETURNS TO ITS OWN VOMIT” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to the wallowing in the mire.” The question that comes to mind is Why? Why does the dog or hog go back?
The answer is that they do not think differently, they follow their unchanged nature. You can give a Royals Royce to a person with no concept or appreciation for its worth, how to use or appreciate it and it will be no more than a VW Dune Buggy in short order. Clothes, cars, possessions, or station in life without a change in thinking results in the same destitution as before. We must be Renewed (reprogrammed) with the kind of information that will set us free. We want to become eagles and soar not ducks and fly with the flock, quacking with the crowd.
I have observed that a sizable number of people, even in the church, are entrenched and bound by defeatist thinking. I do not believe in ‘mind over matter‘ but in a very real sense, we think our way out of difficulties. No, thinking will not change things that require effort and work, but it changes our attitude and enables us to focus on Him who brings us victory and shifts our view from the crowd to the clouds.
God, bless you as you embark on today’s leg of life’s journey, and I will have more to say in the next devotional on this matter!