James H. Cagle
There are basically two categories our rational thinking falls into. One is called meta-cognition and the other cognition.
Meta-cognition is the act of thinking about our thinking. It’s objectifying our thoughts and examining them to see what they consist of. During this examination we’ll place moral value on our thoughts and deem them good or bad, based on the standard we have in our conscience. This is seen in Romans two and verse fifteen, “their thoughts the mean while accusing or excusing one another.” This is done while meditating.
Cognition is the actual process of thinking. It’s putting a particular thought that represents an act, forward or in motion, for the purpose of fulfilling that particular act. This is seen in Psalms 119:59, 60, “I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto thy testimonies. I made haste, and delayed not to keep thy commandments.”
With meta-cognition we choose that thought that we’ll use with an understanding of the consequence of using that thought and then with cognition we secrete it into our brain and the brain articulates it into the physical realm and turns it into actions through words or deed.
A.W. Tozer said, “What comes into our mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” It being true that the sin and mistakes in our life are due to our mistaken thoughts about God, it must also be true that the only way of correcting our mistakes is to correct our thoughts about God (2 Cor.10:5).
Orthodoxy is belief in a biblical truth. Orthopraxy is living out that truth in worship and service to God. If our orthodoxy isn’t right, that so-called truth we embrace in our thought life, then our orthopraxy, that life we live, will not be right.
Modern Christianity isn’t biblical Christianity. One look into any churches today will confirm this. To have biblical Christianity you must embrace in the thought life a biblical perception of God. It’s when we refuse to accept God as He presents Himself in the Bible and choose instead to distort the truth and with our imagination conjure up a God made after our own likeness (Ps.50: 21) that the Christianity (if we can call it that) the world sees contradicts that of the Bible.
True Christianity begins in the heart where our thoughts which are the germ of life begin (Pr.4: 23). That’s why we’re taught to think a certain way (Phil.4: 8), not that we might have a pure thought life only but that the life that proceeds from our thoughts will be pure (vs.9).
No thought leaves the meta-cognition stage and enters the cognition stage without our consent. We release a spiritual thought by secreting it into the brain to create a physical act when we accept the consequences we know they’ll produce. We are accountable for selecting our thoughts and the byproduct of those thoughts.
Modern Christianity can become biblical Christianity if Christians will cast down the false Christ created by the imagination and hold only those thoughts about Christ that are biblically true and live according to those thoughts (II Cor.10: 5).
We will follow the false Christ in our mind that we’ve created even though we may have a true revelation of Christ in our hand (KJV Bible) that we have not accepted.
Know and direct my ev’ry thought.
Let my meditations be
On the wonders Thou hast wrought.
Clean out the worldly clutter,
The mildew, and the mold;
Then make my mind a tabernacle
Where Your glory You unfold.
Refine my imagination
And sanctify my dreams;
Then purge my mental vision
‘Til it’s a crystal clear stream.
Awake my passive mind
So I may finally grasp
And magnify, through my life,
The life of Christ at last.
Let me rise with grander thoughts
Of your power and majesty;
Out of vain oppressive thoughts
On this world’s tapestry.
Give me back the narrow mind
Whose central thought is Thee,
And may my focus ever be
On Christ, Who set me free.
Speak clearly in my heart,
From where my thoughts arise;
Be my consuming theme,
Make me noble, pure, and wise.
O, how I must think
And meditate on Thy Word;
For the nourishment of my soul,
I must muse on truth I’ve heard.
Lord, put Your hand upon my mind,
And turn it t’ward Mt. Zion;
Then will my heart enraptured be
As I envision Judah’s Lion.
Arrest and hold my attention,
Abide in all my thoughts;
Be in ev’ry mental picture,
For a man walks after his thoughts.