Guard Against Thoughts That Plant Bad Seeds

Have you seen the images from the Face App that’s going around? This app makes you look old. You upload a photo of yourself and it gives you options to make yourself look old, and it looks incredibly realistic. I noticed that it was mostly people under 40 posting their “old photos” on social media, those of us over 40 didn’t seem to want to see what we looked like even older…LOL.

I didn’t care to see myself as an old person, not because of any superficial issue, but because of what’s going on in my life right now. I didn’t want to see myself that way because I didn’t want to have to fight off the thoughts that may come along with seeing myself that way.

Here’s the issue, my mom is fighting cancer right now. My dad passed from cancer back in 2014, and we have lost two dearly loved church members in the last year to cancer. I knew that if I saw myself looking old I would look like my dad, and I feared the kinds of emotions and thoughts that image might produce, especially given what I’m going through right now.

Fast forward a few days after I started seeing people post their “old photos.” I was at a friend’s warehouse, several folks from our church work there. I drop by on Friday sometimes to hang out and have lunch. They were trying to get me to do the Face App but I told them I didn’t want to. They had no idea why, I just said I didn’t want to see myself that way. They had all done it and were all having a good laugh over it.

One of the guys walked in the office and I knew he had an “old” photo of me. He showed it to one of the guys and they all had a good laugh, they told me I should just look at it because it was hilarious.

At the moment I wasn’t fully aware of what happened, I didn’t even realize it until later, but I made a split decision in my heart that the image would not affect my heart, so I looked at it. When I saw it I looked just like my dad but it wasn’t upsetting, it was funny.

I’m convinced that had I not made that split decision in my heart to not be affected by the photo, it could have planted a seed in my heart that would have started to grow into a mental battle. The battle would have been with the feelings and thoughts of contracting cancer. Given the power of our hearts, those emotions and thoughts may have eventually produced cancer.

I believe we all face these kinds of decisions all the time. We’re faced with situations that plant seeds in our hearts. How we respond to those seeds can be the difference between life and death. They’re certainly the difference between peace and stress.

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

I am convinced of this truth. When we adopt a belief about ourselves, our entire being charts a course to make those beliefs a reality.. Our biology will begin to change and create the environment to manifest the fruit of our beliefs.

We must guard our hearts against lies, no matter how small. We must take great precaution to protect our minds and hearts against the things that can plant seeds of death in our hearts. AND we must be intentional to plant the kinds of seeds that will protect us and guard our hearts. We must plant seeds from God’s Word that resonate His truth throughout our entire being.

Psalm 91

Here’s one way to intentionally plant seeds, specifically seeds about God’s character and who we are in Him. Read through Psalm 91 and see if you believe that God will keep these promises for you. Read each verse and pause to see if it feels true to you. Say the specific promise out loud and see where your thoughts go.

Do your thoughts go to a time when you feel like God let you down? Do you have a clear sense of peace and no issues? Do you believe the promise but think God may sometimes not keep them? What do you feel and think after you read each promise?

Take some time to read through Psalm 91 as a prayer and meditation exercise to guard your heart against anything that contradicts these promises.

Psalm 91

1 Live under the protection of God Most High and stay in the shadow of God All-Powerful.

2 Then you will say to the LORD, “You are my fortress, my place of safety; you are my God, and I trust you.”

3 The Lord will keep you safe from secret traps and deadly diseases.

4 He will spread his wings over you and keep you secure. His faithfulness is like a shield or a city wall.+

5 You won't need to worry about dangers at night or arrows during the day.

6 And you won't fear diseases that strike in the dark or sudden disaster at noon.

7 You will not be harmed, though thousands fall all around you.

8 And with your own eyes you will see the punishment of the wicked.

9 The LORD Most High is your fortress. Run to him for safety,

10 and no terrible disasters will strike you or your home.

11 God will command his angels to protect you wherever you go.

12 They will carry you in their arms, and you won't hurt your feet on the stones.

13 You will overpower the strongest lions and the most deadly snakes.

14 The Lord says, “If you love me and truly know who I am, I will rescue you and keep you safe.

15 When you are in trouble, call out to me. I will answer and be there to protect and honor you.

16 You will live a long life and see my saving power.”

Clint Byars

Believer, Husband, Father