“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters" - Matt 12:30
Researchers estimate that each of us thinks over 6000 thoughts a day. Despite this figure, the human mind is limited to thinking only one thought at a time.
The Bible continually calls us to engage in spiritual warfare. This can seem like an intimidating topic, but it boils down to one thing, taking control over our own minds. Of these 6000 thoughts, how many originate with us? How many do we want to think?
Spoiler: not many. The vast majority of our thoughts are triggered by our external environment. Like a ping pong ball, our minds spend most our days being bounced around by the world around us.
Jesus clearly teaches that sin does not occur at the level of action, it occurs at the level of intent (see Matt 5:28). Therefore, by solely focusing on our actions, we are one step removed from where our free will truly resides. If we are to be serious about following Jesus we must do our best to orient our minds toward Christ at all times.
I am not talking about thinking about Jesus (though these thoughts are good) I am talking about thinking from the intention of serving Him at every moment. Every thought that is not for the expansion of His Kingdom, is de facto against the expansion of His Kingdom. We should be trying to eliminate as many of these thoughts as possible, while at the same time acknowledging that this cannot be done without consistent prayer and God's grace.
There is no room for fence sitting in the Kingdom of God. Every thought that does not serve God, is opposing God. At all times we are either moving toward God or away from God.
Many people will claim this is too difficult a task - that Jesus would want us to take a break and relax from time to time to think about secular things. This is a lie of the enemy. We can be doing secular things without letting our minds fall asleep to our ultimate purpose. The popular phrase comes to mind, "preach the gospel at all times, use words if necessary."
As Christians, every action we take, every word, we speak, and every thought we think should come from the intention of advancing God's Kingdom. Tom Callahan Sr once said "in auto-parts you're either growing or you're dying." Likewise, Jesus tells us "you're either gathering with me or you're scattering from me." It's up to us to choose - in every moment of every day.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18