Daily Spirit & Word, 444: “As a Man Thinks in His Heart, So IS He”
Principles and Precepts to Live By.
Good morning my friends, I was preparing my message from Daniel this morning and fell down a rabbit hole, not literally, but I was sidetracked by my study. Praise the LORD! I was thinking about the consequences of Nebuchadnezzar’s delusion; how he thought that by his own strength and will power he’s achieved the success and admiration of the whole world at the time. His foolish thinking led him to believe that he’d become a god, then God Almighty stepped in and revealed Himself to him. Finally Nebuchadnezzar repented and acknowledged God for who He is. That’s an awesome story from Daniel 4, read it again.
But then I was led to Proverbs and a little verse popped up in a side note; Proverbs 23:7 “For as the thoughts of his heart are, so is he: Take food and drink, he says to you; but his heart is not with you.” But it was only the words, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (KJV)
This little part of a Proverb has been used and abused for over a hundred years now, because from this verse sprang up the “Positive Thinking” movement. It was popularised in a little book by a man called James Alen, but the full effect of his writings didn’t even happen in his own lifetime, he died young. He wrote the little book “As A Man Thinketh” and it took off in the 20th Century. His main thesis was, “What you think about, so you are or become” Also that man (human beings) are the directors of their destiny. He called it a ‘Divine Law’. Was he right? Well we’ll look at that in a bit, but from his writings and the Positive Thinking Movement, it has infiltrated the church and so many are duped by the ‘spirit’ behind the movement. “You can have what you want if you just think the right way”…The POWER of Positive Thinking.
Many Pentecostal and even mainstream ministries are founded upon these principles: “Name it Claim it”, “Sow your seed, reap your harvest”, “Faith / Word Ministries” and most fully perverted in the false teaching behind the “Prosperity Gospel” in the messages of many prominent preachers today. Countless Millions of poor and foolish believers have poured their life savings into these ministries in the hope that if they just “sow their seeds”, they’ll become very rich indeed. Their conferences a full because there is such desperation, depravity and need in the world today and many want to become wealthy. You’ll also get others from this school of thinking that proclaim, through the power of positive thinking you can become “Healthy”, “Wealthy” and “Wise” of course they couch it in different terms and label it ‘Biblical’ to give it an authenticity, but the teaching has it’s roots, not in the Bible, but firmly and deeply embedded in the Positive Thinking Movement.
There IS and ARE Principles within God’s Word that we can live by, but you’ll normally see them in different places in God’s Word:
They’ll be illustrated in the Old Testament and Explained and Applied in the New.
Biblical Principles and Precepts will be Illustrated in the Old Testament and Applied and Explained more fully in the New Testament.
So is the precept / principle; “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”, revealed in the lives of Old Testament Characters? Yes it is, obviously and many times too: Just think about Nebuchadnezzar. Did Jesus teach about this Divine Principle and Precept? Oh yes he did, He said, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45
Does the New Testament further teach or apply this principle?
The most explicit verse for the Principle of Positive Thinking is
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
If we take the teaching of the Proverb “what you think about you become” and Apply it to the Philippian reading we get;
- When you think about TRUTH: You’ll become truthful.
- When you think about Noble Things: You’ll become noble.
- When you think about Right (Justice): You’ll become just yourself.
- When you think about Purity: You’ll become pure.
- When you think about Lovely things: You’ll become lovely.
- When you think about Admirable Qualities in Others: You’ll become admirable too.
- When you think about Excellence: You’ll become Excellent or you’ll excell in all you do.
- When you think about what’s Praisworthy: You’ll become praiseworthy yourself.
Is this true? To see if these things are true, I encourage you to go back again to the Old Testament to see if these Principles based upon right thinking are true. Then when you’ve done that, go and look at what Jesus has said and then to the New Testament writings for application and teaching. You see what I’m saying, the Bible is consistent and if a principle or precept is from God it will be an ETERNAL principle throughout His Word.
Now we must look behind the motives and the teachings of those who tell us or encourage us to ‘Become Wealthy, Healthy and Wise.”… Also the more recent movements; “Success and Achievement”. They are all appealing to the FLESHLY side of Human Nature that’s within each and every one of us, it’s the spirit of the world, Satanic… Perhaps God does want you to become rich, but He never, ever tells us to have our thinking upon money or wealth, in fact the Bible teaches expressly the opposite. Think about what Jesus said in the parable of the man who wanted to build bigger barns to store his abundant grain. He also told us NOT TO WORRY about our life, “who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” He told us not to run after all these things, and He gave us the reason that answers the question; why? Because your Heavenly Father knows that you need them.
What should be our motivation and thinking then? To be with God. Our focus should be upon Jesus Christ and our Eternal Destiny. When we get our focus and being right, we’ll soon notice false teaching. Most Christians KNOW; we shouldn’t store up things here on earth, but in heaven. We’ve got so much good we can do down here on earth every single day, that doesn’t cost a single penny to do. Are we living for God or are we living for ourselves. Be careful then, who you listen to and watch out when someone offers you and uncharacteristically generous gifts, because they may not be thinking at all about you, but about their own schemes and plans. I’ve had that myself and it does indeed, as the Proverb tells us, leave and very nasty taste in the mouth.
Here is the Proverb in full, look at the principle and the precept and live it, but beware of false teachers.
5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
6 Do not eat the bread of a miser (literally; one who has an evil eye or is a known covetous person), Nor desire his delicacies;
7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you.
8 The morsel you have eaten, you will vomit up, And waste your pleasant words.
Did you see it in context: He’s greedy, covetous, deceitful, miserly. When he’s offering you a gift that goes against his known character, you’ve got to ask yourself the question; “WHY?”… Don’t eat it or you’ll be sucked into his own, evil, plans for you.
Have an AWESOME Thursday my friends.
Stay close to Jesus and be filled with the Holy Spirit today.
From today’s message you’ll see why we need Jesus every day and the fullness of His Holy Spirit.
Repent and Confess ANY known sin in your own life.
If you’ve been duped by false teachers in the past, no matter how glossy and sparkly they looked, turn again to Jesus.
Trust ONLY Him and His Word.
Note: I’ve not named or shamed any false teachers here. Why? Because when your walking with Jesus every day you don’t need me to point them out to you, you’ll know in your Spirit that something is not right in what they are saying or doing. Get out of there quickly and follow the Spirit’s lead to a fellowship that follows Jesus and His Word and wants you to be filled with the Holy Spirit.
As A Man Thinketh: Was brought to you by Don Davis.