Thoughts and Circumstances
The mind is like a garden, which may be intelligently cultivated or allowed to run wild. It will produce a harvest either way. If weed seeds are put into it, then the harvest will be weeds. These will continue to produce weeds.
A gardener weeds the garden, and grows the flowers and fruits he wants to grow. In the same way, man can weed the garden of his mind. He can plant the seeds and grow the lowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts.
Jesus told us about the pure and impure thoughts man deals with in his mind. He warned us of wheat and tares (Matthew 13:25). This parable can be applied to our minds. For Jesus said, "…while men slept…". The enemy of man's souls, while men sleep, can plant seeds of fear, doubt and, evil. As a man focuses on those thoughts, they filter down to the heart.
In Matthew 15:19 Jesus told us "…For out of the heart come evil thoughts." This is why Solomon taught in Proverbs to "watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life" (Proverbs 4:23). Thoughts enter your mind, then filter down to your heart. Guard what thoughts you allow yourself to cultivate in your mind. Cultivate pure thoughts in the garden of your mind.
Due to the free will given by God, a man or woman discovers that he or she is the master gardener of the soul, and the director of their life. Man also reveals, the laws of thought. He understands, with growing accuracy, how the mind and thought operate in the shaping of character, circumstances, and destiny.
Thought and character are linked. The outer conditions of a person's life will always manifest according to the inner state. This is what Jesus meant when He said "for out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things from the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him (Matthew 12:34-35). What you say and your actions are direct manifestations of what is going on inside of your heart. You hardly ever need to ask God what is in your heart. You just need to take note of your words and actions.
This does not mean that you have brought about everything in your life. Some things are brought about due to nature or the decisions of others. Your thoughts are so closely attached to your circumstances, they can’t be separated and are indispensable to your development.
Every man is where he is by his thoughts. This law of thought is always true. This is true of those who are not satisfied with their circumstance or one who is totally
A man is where he is so that he can continue to grow. He's called to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18); as you learn life lessons, God will move you to new lessons and new challenges.
Man is shaken by circumstances as long as believes his life is determined by them. When he realizes his destiny isn’t determined by his circumstances, but his creative power, he then becomes his own master, in partnership with the Holy Spirit.
Man was created in the image of God. He has tremendous creative abilities. He can use his imagination and thought processes to imagine and develop creative ideas. But, as he uses his creative powers, they must be used with wisdom that comes from God. As long as he is grounded in God's wisdom, he will be stable and able to flourish in his creative abilities. But, as he moves further from the wisdom of God, doubt and fear will arise, and he'll continue to see himself as the creature of outside circumstances. Then he'll be as a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind (James 1:6).
Man’s outer state is in direct relation to his inner state. So true is this that when a man earnestly applies himself to lift his character and makes progress, he goes through a succession of changes. The remedying of his character must be done through the Holy Spirit. Man can do this to a point himself, but the complete and transforming work must be done through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will transform a man first in his mind (Romans 12:4). Then, through God's wisdom, as a man yields himself to the Holy Spirit, the Spirit will begin developing, in that man, His character (Galatians 5:22-23).
The soul attracts what it holds secretly harbors; the thing it loves, and the thing it fears. It rises to the height of its cherished aims; it falls to the level of its lowest desires,—and circumstanceare the manifested fruit.
Whatever object one focuses on expands, be it courage, faith, or fear. It doesn't matter if one focuses on doing good or doing evil; that which a man focuses on expands. One needs to understand that in the spiritual realm there are also evil, demonic spirits. These spirits will also seek to bring forth in a man's life the evil thoughts he has. James said (James 1:14) a man is dragged away and enticed. Job verifies that what we fear can also come about by focusing on it (Job 3:25).
Every thought-seed sown that falls in the mind, and takes root, will blossom into action. It will then bear the fruit of circumstance. Fruit will be produced according to the quality of thought-seed planted. Jesus Himself said that a man will be known by his fruit. He said a bad tree can't produce good fruit nor can a good tree bring forth bad fruit.
The outer world comes from the inner world. All the circumstances, external to us, good or bad, serve to benefit us and educate us.
Circumstances follow the inmost desires, aspirations, and thoughts, one focuses on. These attract the outer conditions of a man’s life.
No one ends up in jail by accident (unless they are incorrectly convicted). When a person has criminal thoughts, their thoughts begin to lead them down a criminal pathway. A person doesn’t by pure chance or accident, end up going down the path of crime. The criminal thoughts had already been planted in the heart. His circumstances only provided the opportunity for the man to act upon his criminal thoughts. Circumstances don’t make who you are. They reveal who you are. Whatever a man focuses on expands and as it grows larger, he will be enticed to pursue those desires through his actions.
You are the author of your environment through your thoughts. You have the power to shape your environment, and destiny through the garden of your mind. God created man with free will. He can choose to think about and focus on things of virtue or things of dishonor. He can choose to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit or ignore that leading. Beginning at birth, and all through the journey of life, you attract the conditions that reveal themselves; as purity and impurity, and strength and weakness.
You don’t attract what you want, but who you are. Your whims, and ambitions may not come true, but who you truly are will always manifest itself in your outer world. This is what Solomon meant when he wrote as a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).
The power to shape your world is in the garden of your mind. Without the influence of the Holy Spirit, man shuts off the influence of God, which limits yourself.
Only man’s thought and action are the determiners of one’s future. They put you in bondage of they set you free. Without a relationship with God, you don’t get what you wish and pray for, but what you earn. His wishes and prayers only come to pass when they are aligned with his thoughts and actions. If a man is double-minded when he prays, his prayers won't be answered. His double-mindedness is rooted in his doubt about God and His work in him. As a result, he becomes unstable and won't have any of his prayers answered (James 1:8).
In light of this truth, what is the meaning of "fighting against circumstances?" It means that a man is continually battling outward circumstances instead of changing his inner thoughts that cause them. This battle is futile. For example, one may wish to have a body with a low body fat count. He’ll take pills or supplements and eat a very healthy diet. Yet, he refuses to change the lifestyle that causes him to have an unhealthy body.
The same holds true when you want to improve your financial condition. You may want to read financial and budgeting books. You may learn about investing or seek a higher paying job. But you try to take short cuts by going into debt or cheating your employer. You will only dig yourself deeper. You must change your money mindset.
Men and women are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves. Therefore, they remain in bondage. An important principle to remember is things that are seen were not made by things visible (Hebrews 11:3). What this means is the inside, unseen, spiritual dimension dominates the outer world. This principle is very important. Jesus reinforced this principle by saying from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. He went on to say that it was those things that make a man unclean (Matthew 15:19).
The man who does not shrink from self-crucifixion can never fail. Jesus emphasized this by saying that man needs to take up his cross and follow Him. He talked about this "self-crucifixion by saying "if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it" (Luke 9:23-24). One who takes part in this "self-crucifixion" through Him, will be full of life to accomplish the purposes God gives him and will gain the eternal life Jesus promised.
This is as true of both earthly heavenly things. Even the man whose sole object is to acquire wealth must be prepared to make great personal sacrifices before he can accomplish his goal. The same holds true for one who desires a strong and good life.
Let’s take a look at someone who is very poor. He’s anxious to improve his surroundings. But he’s lazy and tries to take shortcuts at work. He thinks he has the right to be this way because of his low pay.
If it's one thing the scriptures warn man against, it's laziness. A lazy man will accomplish nothing and a lazy man will never prosper. Solomon tells you in Proverbs 12:24, that laziness leads one into slave labor. This is seen all the time. A man is too lazy during his working years to save money and build up assets. As a result, he spends his whole life working as a slave to an employer he doesn't enjoy working for. He goes into more debt, trying to look more prosperous than he is. This leads to the man being a slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7) and slaving his whole life away. It's so true that "lazy hands make a man poor" (Proverbs 10:4).
Didn't a man agree to go to work for his employer at the wage the employer is paying him? If so, why is he grumbling about the wage he's being paid? If that man desires to be paid more, he should make himself more valuable to his employer instead of grumbling. Until he improves his knowledge and skills, then as John the Baptist told the Roman soldiers, the man should be content with his pay. For that is the amount he agreed to work for.
Such a man doesn’t understand the basic principles of true prosperity. This is a serious problem. He’s attracting deeper poverty, by focusing on lazy and deceptive thoughts.
Picture a man or woman enduring health problems from unnatural foods and sugar. They’ll pay a lot of money to doctors and books on how to eat healthy. But she won’t change her habits to healthy ones. She’ll continue to eat unhealthy foods. You can’t have both sets of habits and be healthy. He hasn't realized an unhealthy lifestyle will lead to unhealthy results. That man can't continually eat foods full of sugar and are unnaturally processed and expect good health.
Think of a company that pays its employees a bare minimum wage and refuses benefits. The company desires to prosper make good profits, yet wants to pay employees little. An owner of such a company is not fit for prosperity. When bankruptcy hits, he’ll blame circumstances, like a bad market or a recession. In reality, he goes bankrupt as a manifestation from his bankrupt thoughts. He needs to realize he can begin to sow better and good seeds in the garden of his mind.
The law of sowing and reaping is in effect in this man's life. For we sow exactly what we reap in life. King Solomon addressed money that is gathered in a dishonest way (Proverbs 13:11). This type of employer is greedy, as he is more concerned with his profits than with the fair exchange of value. The law of fair exchange is a law that cannot be ignored. Under this law, balance is always maintained. As the employer withholds from his employees, so the prosperity he so readily seeks will elude him as well. A greedy man brings trouble to his family (Proverbs 15:27). An employer such as this needs to remember the laws in effect and a "man of perverse heart does not prosper (Proverbs 17:20).
As the above examples show; our goals must harmonize with our conscious and unconscious thoughts. One will suffer frustration if this isn’t the case in one’s life. The link between thoughts and circumstances are complex. You can’t judge a person’s heart and mind only by the circumstances of his life alone.
One person may be honest and righteous, yet suffer a failed business. One may be dishonest and boasts of great things accomplished, yet his business and life is a success. Yet to draw the conclusion one man fails because of his particular honesty, and that the other prospers because of his particular dishonesty, is incorrect. It’s incorrect because the conclusion is that the one is completely righteous and the other is completely evil.
The dishonest man may have some good qualities, the other person doesn’t have. The honest man may have bad habits the other doesn’t possess. The honest man’s thoughts and actions bring good results. The dishonest man likewise garners his suffering and happiness.
This is the paradox that's in every man's life. Every man is a paradox. Each man has the potential for evil actions and every man has the potential for good actions. The prophet Jeremiah said that the human heart is deceitful above all things. So man reaps the bad results from the deceitfulness of his heart. Yet, at the same time, man is created in the image of God. Through this image, man has the potential for beautiful creativity and imagination. Man will bring forth results from the deceitfulness of his heart or goodness stored within the image of God within him.
It's pleasing to human vanity to believe that one suffers because of one's virtue; but not until a man has destroyed every trace of all sickly, bitter, and impure thought from his mind, and washed every sinful stain from his soul, can he be in a position to know and declare that his sufferings are the result of his good, and not of his bad qualities; and on the way to, yet long before he has reached, that supreme perfection, he will have found, working in his mind and life, the Great Law which is just, and which cannot, therefore, give good for evil, or evil for good. Possessed of such knowledge, he will then know, looking back upon his past ignorance and blindness, that his life is, and always was, justly ordered, and that all his past experiences, good and bad, were the equitable outworking of his evolving, yet unevolved self.
Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results. Apple seeds can’t produce corn and corn can’t produce apples. Men understand this law in the natural world, and work with it; but few understand it in the mental and moral world (though it operates the same way. As a result, they don’t cooperate with it.
Jesus spoke about this. He addressed it very clearly. It's so clear, that no follower of Christ should ever miss it. Jesus addresses this in Matthew, chapter 7. In the context of the chapter, Jesus was speaking regarding false prophets. But, this would apply to our thoughts as well. For we are told in Galatians 6:7, that a man reaps what he sows. If he sows bad thoughts, that will lead to bad actions. Good thoughts will lead to good actions. Jesus said in Matthew 7, a good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. In 2 Timothy 3:1-8, man is reminded that a depraved mind will lead to bad results, with the accompanying consequences.
Suffering is the result of wrong thought in some direction. It's an indication that the individual is out of harmony with himself, and the Law of his being. The sole and supreme use of suffering is to purify, to burn out all that is useless and impure. Romans reminds the faithful man that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope. And hope doesn't disappoint us because God has poured out His love for the faithful man.
An ancient proverb also reminds man that by removing the dross from the silver, out comes material for the silversmith. Suffering ceases for him who is pure. There could be no object in burning gold after the dross had been removed, and a perfectly pure and enlightened being could not suffer. Herein lies the paradox for the follower of Christ. For Jesus said in this life you will have troubles. Yet for many, unneeded suffering comes from making unwise decisions and following unwise counsel.
A man produces bad circumstances resulting from mental discord. Likewise, a man produces good circumstances from mental harmony.
Blessings and favor, not your possessions not material possessions, is the evidence of harmonious thought. Lack of blessings and favor, not poverty and lack, is the evidence of wrong thought. When a man looks at Jesus' teaching in the beatitudes (Matthew, Chapter 5), he can see that blessedness is solely related to the correct attitude or thought.
A man may be cursed and rich; he may be favored and poor. Favor and riches are only joined together when the riches are used correctly. A poor man is only despondent or depressed when he believes his station in life is unjust. A grand mistake is made in equating the blessing of wealth one has with being blessed. Blessedness is God's favor being evidenced in a man's life. Blessedness has nothing to do with wealth. Wealth may be a part of that blessedness or God's favor. But, it would be a very large mistake to count wealth as evidence of blessedness.
Destitution and extravagance are two extremes of misery. Both of them are unnatural and the result of mental disharmony. You aren’t in a correct state, until you’re happy, healthy and prosperous as a result of mental harmony with outer circumstances.
A man only begins to be a man when he quits complaining about his life searches for the hidden justice that regulates his life. The same holds true for a woman. That hidden justice is the justification of the believer. It's called hidden as it's a mystery until it's revealed. Jesus described that hidden as a treasure that was hidden in a field. When a man sold it, he sold all that he had to buy that treasure (Mt. 13:44).
When a person realizes this and adjusts his mind to the hidden justice, that person doesn’t look to others as the cause of life circumstances. She builds herself up in strong and good thoughts. She no longer tries to fight or complain about her circumstances, but uses them to her benefit as aids to rapid progress and discovering latent possibilities within her.
What a man focuses on will give him peace or anxiety. It will lead him to fear or faith. Thus a man is encouraged to focus on things that are noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or, praiseworthy. A man who focuses on such things won't find himself in a state of fear, with accompanying anxieties.
Law, is the dominating principle in the universe; whether it’s a natural law like gravity, or a spiritual law. Justice and righteousness are the guiding forces in the spiritual world.
This is where man often makes mistakes. He too often thinks what he can see with his eyes is the only source of government. But, Jesus introduced a government, which He said wasn't of this world. It is built totally on righteousness and peace. Corruption finds no place in His government. Indeed order is the dominating principle. For one can see from the description of God creating all things (Genesis 1-3), that God is a God of order. He is also not a God of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33).
This being so, man has but to align himself with the immutable spiritual laws to find that the universe is right. During the process of putting himself right, he will find that as he aligns his thoughts towards things and other people, things and other people will align towards him.
The proof of this lies in every person. It’s easily investigated by examining yourself inwardly. Let a man radically change his thoughts, and he will be astonished at how fast his circumstances change. Men and women imagine their thoughts can be kept secret. It’s impossible to hide your thoughts. Your thoughts develop into habits and habits develop into circumstances.
Lower level thoughts develop into habits like drunkenness and sensuality. These change into circumstances of poverty and sickness. Impure thoughts of every kind develop into weak and confusing habits. These habits develop into distracting and unfavorable circumstances. For example, thoughts of fear, doubt, and indecision solidify into weak, vacillating habits. These habits develop in circumstances of failure, and dependence on others.
On the other hand, beautiful thoughts of all kinds develop into habits of grace and kindness. These habits develop into positive circumstances. Pure thoughts form habits of self-control, which solidify into circumstances of rest and peace: (This can only be done through transformation. Romans 12:4, says you should be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
This renewed mind can only come to pass with the help of the Holy Spirit. The help and power of the Holy Spirit will lead a man into having his mind renewed. He'll gradually begin to enjoy habits of temperance and self-control. One of the fruit of the Holy Spirit is self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
Thoughts of courage, self-reliance, and decision develop into habits of strength. These develop into circumstances of success, plenty, and freedom. Pure and righteous thoughts lead to circumstances of joy and abundance.
Those positive habits are the result of a mind controlled by Christ and having the character (fruit) of the Holy Spirit developed in one's life…love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and, self-control. King David in Psalm 128:2 even said; "Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Jesus taught regarding the correct priority a man should have regarding prosperity and riches. "Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourself treasure in Heaven…. (Mt. 6:19-20). This is what is meant by "true riches". Though a man will gain prosperity, he must have the correct motivation for attaining it.
"The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil" (1 Timothy 6:10). Money and prosperity itself isn't the root of evil, but the love for it that causes one to base thoughts and puts the love of money above that of his fellow man and God.
A persistent train of thought, can’t fail to produce its results on a man’s character and circumstances. A man doesn’t directly choose his circumstances, but he shapes his circumstances through his thoughts.
By nature, every man’s thoughts he dwells on will be gratified. Opportunities will come to bring to the surface the good or evil thoughts one has focused on. Let a man cease from his sinful thoughts, and all the world will be ready to help him. Your outside world will manifest what is going on in your inner world. The world is your kaleidoscope, and the varying combinations of colors, which you see at every moment, are the exquisitely adjusted pictures of your ever-moving thoughts. For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).