In this series we have talked about fortitude, the steel that we are made of, and character which are the things that mold, shape and temper the steel.
So in essence we have the sword and armor which make up those of us who walk the servant warrior path.
Now that we have these, how do we ensure that we use our fortitude and character for good? How do we maintain the path of righteousness that the servant warrior chooses to travel?
We do this through right thinking. Simply put, we think about the things of God and not the things of the world.
Paul stated it this way:
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Paul spelled it out very easy and simple for us to understand, but it is the doing which can be hard.
To be honest it is easy to just go through life and not think about these things.
I am talking about those Christians who are on “autopilot”. All they really want is to be saved, sanctified and satisfied.
These sorts of “autopilot” Christians do not want to serve on the Lord’s battlefield. They don’t care that they have no skin in the game.
Basically they jumped through the right hoops and they got their fire insurance, and then they stopped.
That is why I say that the servant warrior is the superior person. They strive for more so that they can please their Lord and live for the king.
See, the Lord’s battlefield has no need for “autopilot” Christians. But He does have a need for the servant warrior.
But to be and remain being that servant warrior, our thoughts need to be holy and acceptable as we are told in Romans 12:1-2. They must remain good and pure so that we will remain in His Will and not backslide. Or worse.. compromise and just accept what the “autopilot” life has to offer.
Just saying that is so…Sub-standard.
Accept the “autopilot” lifestyle?
Here we have the chance to serve the King of Kings, the creator of the universe, to help spread His glory to the world.
He gave His very life so that we might live forever with Him.
We are called to live for Him, it is our reasonable service.
My life for you Lord, “Here am I, send me.”
Are you thinking True thoughts?
The sad thing is that in today’s world that we live in people do not ask, “Is it true?” What matters to those of us in the “ME” generation is, “Does it work?”
See, it does not matter if something is true or not; the outcome justifies the means.
Are you thinking Honest thoughts?
I hate lying. It is something that has become very hard for me to do. First of all, lies always get you in trouble, then you have to cover up the lie, which usually means more lies. After a while, you have a very deep hole of lies that you must cover up. You have created your own mess and there is no way to get out of it.
Now the word “honest” literally means honorable. We are to be thinking things that are honorable. I used to tell my kids, “Always do the right thing.” When you are thinking honorable thoughts, those thoughts come through as honorable actions.
Are you thinking Just thoughts?
This word “just” means straight, as in always doing what is right. This is a lot harder to do than you would think it is. The opposite of straight is crooked. So are you thinking crooked thoughts? Would we be where we are today if Eve maintained “just” thoughts while looking upon the fruit of the tree of good and evil?
Genesis 3: 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
It is our just thoughts that keep us on the straight and narrow path. When we waver from these thoughts, sin gains a foothold and we stray from the straight path, and onto the crooked path. It is a slippery slope once we step foot on it. And when we do, we often fail. This is why it is so important that our thoughts remain just.
Are you thinking Pure thoughts?
Pure thoughts means thoughts that are not polluted or better yet contaminated. In the days of animal sacrifices, one was to offer up a pure lamb, without a spot or blemish. That is how our thoughts are to be, without a spot of blemish. Again, when we allow the pollution of the world into our thoughts, that pollution will manifest itself in our lives. There is an old computer lingo, “GIGO – Garbage in – Garbage Out.”
The enemy does a great job of masking the pollution.
You hear guys saying that they don’t look at Playboy or Penthouse magazine. But they have Victoria Secrets catalogs or Maxim magazines laying around.
HEY…Pollution is pollution, it contaminates no matter how much is ingested. Eventually it poisons everything and poison does one thing and one thing only, it kills.
If we work to keep our thoughts pure, then there is no contamination, no pollution entering our minds.
We serve the King of Kings, Lord of Lords. Use our thoughts to worship Him. Like the pure lamb that was offered to God, let your pure thoughts be a means to give God honor and worship.
Think of it this way. Could you take that thought that you just thought and say, “With this thought Lord, I worship you.”
Are you thinking Lovely thoughts?
This is an interesting use of the world “lovely.” Here scripture is not talking about how pretty a rose is or how pretty the scenery is. Here Paul is referring to us having a friendly and pleasant manner. It literally means causing you to love.
John Gill’s Notes on The Bible states the following…
whatsoever are lovely; which are amiable in themselves, and to be found even among mere mortal men, as in the young man whom Christ as man is said to love, Mark 10:21; and which serve to cultivate and increase love, friendship, and amity among men; and which things also are grateful to God and lovely in his sight, in opposition to all contention, strife, wrath, and hatred:
Do we work to have love between one another? Or do we work to bring division between the brethren or even other people? If we are sowing seeds of discord, then, it is wrong. We are to think about things that cause us to move in compassion toward our others.
John Gill mentioned Mark 10:21. I love this example because we see what true love and compassion really is.
Mark 10: 21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
Here we see that Christ had compassion and loved the rich young man enough to tell him the cold hard truth. He did not sugar coat it, making it easy on him. He told him in a loving manner what he had to do to gain heaven.
We learn in the result in the following verse.
Mark 10: 22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
The young man did not like what he heard.
Now as a side note, I am going to let you in on something here. See the rich young man knew exactly who he was speaking to.
Christ even corrected him, saying that there is no one who is good except God.
The rich young ruler knew that he was addressing the Messiah. That is why he knelt before Christ and called him “good”.
So when the young man left upset, it was because he knew that he was addressing the Messiah, the Son of God, and what is worse is that he rejected him. .
He had heaven at his fingertips, but he could not let go of the world in which he lived. He chose the world over Christ.
Are you thinking thoughts of Good Report?
In our thinking do we take the high road, or do we take the easy way? Do we always think the best of a person? Do we think the best of a situation? Do we look for the silver lining in things or do we just instantly give up and say, ”No one loves me, everyone hates me, I’m just going to sit and eat worms.”
Another way of looking at this is thinking positively.
No matter what is happening, God is always in control. Christ is at the right hand of God and there isn’t a thing that can take place without God’s knowledge.
God always has his best intentions for us.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
The key to this verse though is to be on called according to “His” purpose.
To be called according to His purpose, we need to be acting, thinking and walking a life that is holy and acceptable unto Him. When we are doing this, we naturally start doing things according to God’s ways versus the ways we think things should go.
To walk the servant-warrior path, one has to maintain right thinking. To fail at this will always cause us to fall by the wayside.
I know that this sounds strange, but the best way to not think bad thought is by not trying to think bad thoughts.
Here is an example of what I am trying to get at.
OK….Try not to think about an airplane right now.
Now, are you sure you’re not thinking about an airplane?
See, the only way not to think about an airplane is not by trying not to think about an airplane, we do it by thinking about something else.
Romans 12:21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
Learn to think God’s thoughts.
How do we do that?
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We think right thoughts is by renewing our minds. We renew our minds by being in His Word. After a while our thoughts start to reflect what God’s Word says, and not what the polluted, contaminated world wants us to think.
When we maintain a renewing of our mind, we ourselves testify to what is good, acceptable and perfect in God’s Will for our lives.
The path of the servant warrior is not easy. But it does get better the further down the path we travel. We have to consciously work at it every minute of every day for the rest of our lives.
Starting out, there is pain because God is being the master armorer. He is molding, shaping and tempering the steel which we are made from. It entails putting us in the fire, hammering out the imperfections, tempering and hardening our steel. Sometimes that is easy, most times it is tough. But the wonderful thing is that once we go through the initial molding, shaping and tempering, a lot of the hard parts are done. That is as long as we stay upon that servant warrior path. AND that is where right thinking comes into play and why it is so critical to the servant warrior.
The more we think right thoughts, the better our lives become. I am not saying that we will no longer experience trials and tribulations. But because we are thinking right thoughts and God is working in our lives, those trials and tribulations are not the horrible mountains we thought we had to face. They start to become small hills and at times just a speed bump in our lives as we walk the path of the servant warrior.
Fortitude, Character, Right Thinking is the path of the Servant Warrior. It is the path of righteousness and a path of our choosing. The path is narrow and at times tough, but the rewards we reap both here and in heaven are eternal.
I have no king but King Jesus.
I have no other path but that of the Servant Warrior in the service of my King, my Lord, my Savior.
By Ray Gano
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