Read Philippians 4:8
I can hear my mom’s words echo in my mind. “You can’t keep the birds from flying around your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.” She was a wise, godly woman who prayed earnestly for my deliverance. As a teenager I was a prisoner to irrational, fearful thoughts. Captivating every thought to the obedience of Christ, as Paul says in 2 Corinthians, was my ticket to freedom. The battle of the mind is powerful. I believe that’s the reason scripture commands us to renew our mind. Part of the renewal process requires us to destroy speculations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God. (2 Corinthians 10:5) But that’s only the first step. Paul’s writing in Philippians 4 shows us step 2. To renew our mind, we must not only remove the old, sinful thoughts but we must replace our mind with new, godly thoughts. Fill the void with praise.
Recently I have been memorizing and focusing on Psalm 71. The chapter is filled with commands to praise God. “My praise is continually of You. My mouth is filled with Your praise and with Your glory all day long. But as for me, I will hope continually and will praise You yet more and more.” (Psalm 71: 6,8,14) Continually, all day long, more and more – those are challenging words. How do we praise God like that? It starts with the attitude of our heart and where we set our mind. Jesus said that the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart. (Luke 6:45) Our mind and thoughts must be set on Him who is worthy of all praise so that our mouth will tell of His righteousness and His salvation all day long. (Psalm 71: 15) When a hurtful, negative, sinful thought enters, we must captivate that thought and replace it with praise.
When my mind wants to default to fearful thoughts, quoting scripture is my rescue. God’s Word, the Sword of the Spirit, is the best weapon for the battle that rages in our mind. What can be more praiseworthy than the Word of God? It’s living, active and divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. Tap into the power of praise and shoo those birds away. Our mind is not a nest or a resting place for negative thoughts. We were created to soar-even on bad hair days.