James H. Cagle
The Bible says, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Pro. 23:7).
Science attributes the brain as the creator of our thoughts and the originator of our thinking.
But the Bible (KJV) tells us that thinking originates in the heart instead.
The “heart” in the Bible is the spiritual part of man. It’s the immaterial part of man that only God can see. It’s the actual person, the individual that’s clothed with a physical body.
The brain is part of the human body, is physical, and is therefore servant to the human spirit like the rest of the body. Whereas science makes the brain master of the body, the Bible makes the spirit master, and the body, including the brain, its servant.
The Bible says, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Pro. 4: 23). We keep watch over our heart, by guarding what goes in it through the eye and ear gate, and by what comes out of it and produces the life we live. The state of our heart will determine the quality of life we live. And the life we live reveals to others the state of our heart.
Jesus said, “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Mt. 15: 19). In other words every physical act has a spiritual source.
The heart first has an evil thought, and then spans the gap between the spiritual man and the physical man and secretes that thought into the brain. The brain then articulates that thought and turns what was spiritual into physical by directing the body so as to put those thoughts into action. Those actions may be murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, or blasphemy.
Man is a moral agent, has a moral sense of right and wrong, and everything he does has moral value, including his thoughts.
Solomon said, “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord” (Pro. 15: 26). And, “The thought of foolishness (silliness, perverseness) is sin” (Pro. 24: 9). Before any overt act of sin had been committed against God or another human being God saw and judged the moral value of the covert thought and called it sin. If we think it, it’s the moral equivalent of actually doing it (Mt. 5: 21, 22, 27, 28).
We to are to judge our thoughts and to use only those thoughts that will best serve us to live a life pleasing unto God (2 Cor. 10: 5; Phil. 4: 8). We may accept being told what to do, but not accept being told what to think. But if we do not recognize the Lordship of Christ in our thought life His Lordship will not be seen in our practical life. We cannot think one way and live another way. Surrender and servitude to Christ begins in the heart.
In judging our thoughts we must, as God does, examine them for their moral value. This is called meta-cognition. This process is illustrated in Romans 2: 15.
We may have many thoughts about how to respond to life’s situations, but if we want to please and honor God, we choose that thought that as a consequence of putting it into action will be a holy life. This process is called cognition. It’s the actual course or plan of action we decide to take. This process is illustrated in Psalms 119: 59, 60.
The life we live originates in the heart. All the activities of the body are decided by the activities of the heart, beginning with our thoughts.
Lord Hold Me a Minute
When a little child would skin his knee,
Or fly his kite into a tree,
Receive unkindness from a friend;
Then he will think life’s much too big,
And run to safety on mother’s knee.
There within her arms enfolded,
Fear is conquered and peace returns.
Confidence comes, pain is vanquished
Hurt and tears are soon forgotten,
And a willingness to try again returns.
Though sometimes it may take hours,
Often just a minute or two he stays
There in the arms of love and comfort,
To rest his head upon her shoulder,
And know the care that ran the day.
Sometimes, Lord, I feel like this child.
Some days it’s hard to run life’s race.
I too get hurt, and often discouraged;
‘Til life seems much too big for me,
And then I seek Your gentle embrace.
I know I’m never out of Your sight
Especially when I fall and skin my knees.
Whenever because of sin I’d stumble
And I’ve fallen down and can’t get up,
Lord scoop me up to sit on Your knee.
Those times when life just hurts so much,
When I’m so disappointed and confused,
Then I find myself inside Your arms
Sheltered from the perilous storm,
And protected from my enemies abuse.
Oh the pain, the tears, the sorrow;
The many disappointments, and the fear,
That so often comes to Your children;
And would have crushed them with defeat,
Had You not come to heal and to cheer.
Those times when life seems out of control,
Though I’m striving your will to obey,
And I’m o’er whelmed with life’s enormity,
Please help me realize that You are near,
And that Your power is running the day.
If I must stay with You for several hours,
Because so far from Your side I’ve trod;
Or if I start to leave before I should,
Please hold me close a minute, and whisper,-
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
Then I too will know that blessed renewal
As I’m held in Your tender embrace.
There enfolded by Your love and comfort,
‘Til all my fretting and fear has melted away,
And I’m ready to get back in life’s race.
James H. Cagle