Suppose you’re old enough to remember the sitcom Danny Thomas starred in from 1953-to 1957. In that case, you’ll appreciate the loving, caring father image he portrayed as the all-American dad with each episode of Make Room for Daddy. As he tried to balance his career and family through life’s situations, he somehow managed to emerge as the family leader, provider, protector, counselor, and problem-solver no matter what happened.
The title lodged in my brain, and I began thinking of our heavenly Father—our Abba. The Greek meaning of Abba is Daddy. How much room in our hearts, minds, and lives do we make for our heavenly Abba? It’s interesting to examine how to make room for our heavenly Daddy in our minds. If we have success with that, our speech and actions will follow through with making room for Abba.
Imagine the mind as a large room. From the moment we enter the world, and before we can even communicate verbally, the door to the mind-room is wide open to outside stimuli. Heat, cold, pain, hunger, and fear quickly barge into the mind-room, and we do whatever is necessary to provoke a response from those around us—cry, kick, scream, burp, etc. Thoughts of being afraid, hungry, or lonely dominate our mind-room until our need is met. Peace is restored temporarily with a bottle, blanket, or mother’s touch, and satisfaction and contentment enter the mind-room to settle things down.
As we mature, life happens, and the mind-room fills up with more varied and complex thoughts, good and bad. Opposing forces like depression, fear, hopelessness, guilt, envy, jealousy, hatred, failure, and so on complicate our thoughts, and the mind-room becomes cluttered with troubling, anxious thoughts. Self-help books, meditation, and mind control techniques are the enticing answers the world offers, but they are temporary remedies. They can result in more confusion and mental upset than those that initially crowded the mind-room.
1 Corinthians 3:19-20 tells us why: for the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, "He catches the wise in their own craftiness," and again, "The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile." Of course, some secular counselors and therapists are very proficient and helpful, but man’s ways of dealing with problems don’t always address soul issues, including our mind, thoughts, and emotions. Therefore, problems can persist because the root causes are not resolved. A skillful counselor will address such aspects of weakness.
The inherent sin nature that we are born with produces wrong thoughts and can ultimately lead to death, both spiritual and, in some cases, actual physical death, as in suicide, which begins with a negative thought pattern. The Apostle Paul explains the process in Romans 8:6-8 (NLT), so letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will.
Paul himself must have wrestled with tormenting thoughts. Maybe he was unable at times to shut the door of his mind-room to condemning thoughts of his disdain and mistreatment of Christ’s followers before he became a believer. Guilt and remorse for past actions can completely overtake the mind-room if left unchecked. Earlier in this passage, He confessed, “I love God's law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me” (Romans 7:22-23). What to do?
Enter Abba. Ahhhhh…His thoughts are SO different than ours! When we make room for our heavenly Daddy, peace, wisdom, joy, humility, understanding, and righteousness burst into our mind-room, and if we allow them, they will take over and push the negative thoughts out of the room. You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You! (Isaiah 26:3 NLT). How often our thoughts fill every space in our mind-room, and God can hardly get a foot in the door.
Abba brings so much into a room when He comes through the door, and it’s all good! "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts," says the Lord. "And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT). Incredible concept! Incredible truth! We do not think like God unless we apply ourselves to learning about Him by spending time in prayer with Him and reading His Word. Then His thoughts come in through the door and begin renewing our minds.
There’s so much in the Bible about the importance of allowing God to occupy our minds. Meditate on these verses as you open the door and make room for Daddy:
Colossians 3:2 (ESV) Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
Ephesians 4:23-24 (NKJV) …be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and [that you] put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
1 Corinthians 2:11-12 (ESV) For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also, no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. The take-away from this is that the more the Spirit of God dwells in us, the more we understand how and what He thinks.
Psalm 92:5 (ESV) How great are your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep! Sometimes our thoughts are troubling, anxious, and shallow—far from deep. Make room for Daddy!
Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV) For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Ask Him what those thoughts are, and make room for Daddy.
Psalm 139:17-18 (NLT) How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! Sounds like a lot of thoughts He wants to fill your mind with, doesn’t it? Make room for Daddy!
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You! (Isaiah 26:3). There’s the key. I have many permanent fixtures in my home—it takes effort to remove them, and I count on them staying fixed. Imagine the chaos if light switches, door knobs, toilets, and wall cabinets moved. The more we permanently attach ourselves to the Lord, the better we know Him and become like Him. We even start thinking like Him. The door to negative, harmful invading thoughts is slammed shut every time we make room for Daddy!
© 2022, Chris Werre