It is so easy for me to let my thoughts run ahead of myself and the situation I’m in and begin to think unbiblical thoughts. I think this must be a pretty common thing because I’m seeing this over and over as I read through the book of Genesis.
Just this morning I read about Jacob being told by the Lord to return to the land of his fathers and then God gives Jacob this promise in Genesis 31:3 “I will be with thee.” You’d think that would comfort Jacob and relieve his worries. Now granted, Jacob had dealt a dirty blow to his brother Esau twenty years before, and Esau had wanted to kill his brother at that time, but Jacob had God’s promise! However, as Jacob and all his entourage near home, Jacob separates his family into two groups so that if Esau killed the first band of travelers, the second company of people could make an escape. (If you want to know who meant the most to Jacob, read Genesis 34:2 – those were the ones in the second group!)
As you continue to read chapter 34 things get intense as you see these two brothers getting closer and closer to each other. A person reading this for the first time would be filled with intensity to finish the story! Let’s stop the caravan here though, and think about Jacob letting his thoughts run ahead of his camels. Did he really need to do all this scheming? Wouldn’t knowing that God was with him be good enough reason not to be afraid? When Jacob had the first thought about “what might happen” when Esau saw his family, he should have talked himself back to reality! He should have reminded himself of the truth. His thoughts should have run to God’s presence with him, the command from God to return home, and the truth that God loved him and would protect him.
It’s easy for me to see what Jacob should have done, and not so easy to remind myself to do the very same thing. Sometimes my thoughts begin taking me down a road I shouldn’t travel. I begin thinking things I don’t know to be true. I could be thinking about something that hasn’t happened yet, something that is possible, but uncertain, or something that I have totally dreamed up! My thoughts then march straightaway to my emotions. I may tear up. I may cry. I may get angry. When I realize that I’m not thinking about things that are actually true my thoughts should be brought to a stop quicker than a train whose emergency pull is employed. It’s then that I need to start talking to myself…
“You don’t know that to be true. What does Philippians 4:8 say? Why are you worrying about things that haven’t happened yet? Matthew 6 says that God will take care of you. God loves you!”
It’s a one-sided conversation that needs to get my thoughts back on the track of Biblical thinking. Without that talk to myself I would be headed for disaster!
We all have to know the Truth so we can talk ourselves back to reality – what we really know to be true. Where are your thoughts taking you today? Are you thinking the Truth about your life and your situation, or are you scheming, worrying, and jumping ahead of God? Stop the caravan and have a good talk with yourself. Talk yourself back to the Truth!