Don't let the enemy leave trash in your thoughts. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Sadie Colbert)

"For as he thinks in his heart, so is he" (Prov. 23:7).

The incredible information that is found in the book of Proverbs indicates that your thought life has the authority to create what kind of life you will live! This is not some New Age philosophy but a God-given determinate for life. If you think negative, critical thoughts, you will become a negative, critical person. Your life will reflect the thoughts that you think about yourself. If you are living in a fantasy world, you will never walk into God's destiny but will find yourself mired in the quick sand of Never-Never Land.

God has a plan for your mind; His ultimate plan is to fill your thoughts with the Word of God and with the power and authority that belong to a believer in Jesus Christ. Just as God, your loving heavenly Father, has a plan for your mind, so also does Satan, the father of all lies. There is a battle going on for your mind between good and evil, between God and Satan, between truth and fiction, between righteousness and fantasy.

One of the challenges in dealing with the thought life is that no one sees your thought life but you! Other sin issues are more visible and apparent than this one that is hidden in the recesses of your brain. If you have a problem with overeating, it shows in the mirror, on the scale and in your closet. If you have a problem with anger, someone you love very much will bear the brunt of that anger sooner or later. If you have a problem with overspending, every bill collector in America has your phone number and takes gleeful pleasure in calling you each evening during the dinner hour.

But if you are embracing the thoughts that Satan is offering, it is easy to camouflage your mind and to pretend that there is absolutely nothing wrong.
May I introduce you to Kathy? She is one of my favorite people in the entire world. She is my husband's first-cousin, although they were raised more like brother and sister. Kathy is an only child, was raised in a pastor's home and is truly one of the funniest people that you could ever hope to meet. Kathy Rae is so filled with sputter and sparkle that I have often accused her of "making coffee nervous." No one does that but Kathy Rae!

Kathy and I had children at the same time and delighted in raising our precious little people together and in being homeschool moms in tandem. Many an afternoon would find us at one another's houses doing a science experiment, creating a craft or just having a much-needed mental break while our children played in the yard.

One lovely autumn day, shortly after school had started, my children and I had spent the afternoon with Kathy and her three children at their home. Kathy has a beautiful piano room that overlooks the street through glistening windows that cover the front of her home. As we stood by the door, saying good-bye for the 10th time, the local school bus pulled up and deposited about a dozen middle school children from the neighborhood in front of Kathy's house. As these future leaders of America paraded off the bus and in front of her pristine yard, they left a trail of homework papers, candy wrappers and pop cans. I looked at Kathy's face and saw her instantly turn an audacious array of colors from pink to red and then to purple. I immediately began praying for those unsuspecting kids.

She threw open her front door with power and no grace and firmly said, "Hey! You need to pick up your trash!"

This group of outstanding young people looked her way but kept right on walking and ignored her firm and easy-to-understand instructions.

Kathy raised her voice and this time shouted, "I said, you need to pick up your trash. Turn around and pick it up."

This time, as the stellar students heard the angry inflection, they started to walk faster attempting to get out of range of her voice which by now was rising in a grand crescendo.

Kathy stomped onto her front porch with her cellphone in hand and blared, "I know all of your names. I know your mothers. I know where you live. Now ... get your trash out of my yard!"

These formerly cocky kids backtracked, picked up their trash, smiled and waved politely as they dashed down the street.

When Satan tries to clutter up your brain with thoughts of worry, fantasy and doubt, you need to stomp and shout with the Word of God in your hands, "I know who you are! You are the deceiver of the brethren and the father of all lies! Get your trash out of my life!"

How absurd it would be to say to these middle school hooligans, "It's OK, you sweet little darlin's. You can leave your trash in my yard. I'll take it all, old banana peels, rotten food, trash from the bathroom and even dirty diapers. Just leave it right here to decorate my yard!"

When we allow Satan to trash talk his way into our lives and then to leave the rotten residue of his cunning in our minds, our lives will exhibit the stench of his existence. Do not embrace the lies of Satan!  Stand toe-to-toe and nose-to-nose with that dirty, rotten scoundrel and spit in his face as you proclaim, "Get your trash out of my life!"

Carol McLeod is an author and popular speaker at women's conferences and retreats where she teaches the Word of God with great joy and enthusiasm. Carol encourages and empowers women with passionate and practical biblical messages mixed with her own special brand of hope and humor. She has written five books, including No More Ordinary, Holy Estrogen!, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart and Defiant Joy! Her most recent book, Refined: Finding Joy in the Midst of the Fire, was released last August. Her teaching DVD, The Rooms of a Woman's Heart, won the Telly Award, a prestigious industry award for excellence in religious programming. You can also listen to Carol's "Jolt of Joy" program daily on the Charisma Podcast Network. Connect with Carol or inquire about her speaking to your group at justjoyministries.com.

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