Based in Northern California, the fourth watch is a blog written by Tiffany filbert. Her posts are shared in the hope of heLping others to break the chains of shame, sickness and sorrow that keep them from confidently coming into the calling of the life god has waiting for them. there is freedom on the other side of sharing your story. There is restoration waiting in the surrendering.

Power Guard

What are the first thoughts that greet you when you awaken each morning? How do your thoughts feed your emotions and therefore attitude as you go about your day? Do you wake up exhausted before your toes even wiggle in your bed? This state was all I knew my entire life. The days before I would even open my eyes and my mind was sprinting with worry, stress and heaviness are remembered well. “Rise and shine” was just a skeleton phrase used - no true understanding or knowledge of what it meant. Greeting others with a “Good Morning” held nothing but falsity - always a cover for the nasty and negative remarks that would follow under my breath. I would find myself engaging only with others who like me would be quick to say something “funny” which in reality was really something foul. It’s all I knew. It’s what was comfortable. Through my years of coaching, there was a phrase I began saying during our yoga classes to my athletes as they laid on their mats at the end of their workouts. “Your thoughts are yours to craft and keep” - at the time, I had no idea where that phrase had come from. It just came out of my mouth “in the moment” and I knew it was something I had to carry with me as I lead them over the years. A reminder I was suppose to give these women who were constantly on the go, filling up their schedules, busy and burdened. Fast forward to the present and here I sit in amazement that this phrase wasn’t from me or truly for them. It came from Him and is was meant for me.

This truth concerning thoughts is found all throughout the Bible. The power our thoughts hold is made clear. Our thoughts are manifested in our hearts. Your thoughts are the glasses through which you experience your life. If you look through damaged or broken glasses, your vision is blurred. You wander aimlessly, bumping into things as you go. You experience things for half of what they are. Nothing is clear. Things are distorted. You get use to wearing these glasses and operating in this blurry bubble. Your eyes get tired. Your body overworks. Until the day someone comes and gently removes the broken, damaged glasses replacing them with new ones.

When your heart is not on guard, when it is not rooted in the truth of who you are or whose you are - your thoughts will cause you to aimlessly wander and operate through your day. Your thoughts will prevent you from experiencing the peace that is available to you. Your thoughts will steal the life you were so freely given to enjoy. Your thoughts will distort the image you see in the mirror and the blur the image of those you see in front of you. Your thoughts will steal your energy. Your thoughts will cause you to overwork and prevent you from rest.

Your thoughts travel from your heart to your lips producing words that carry power. If your heart is not on guard, your thoughts are available for the enemy to attack. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. He is clever in his ways and will stop at nothing to find the weak link in your heart so that your words carry death to you and those around you.

Your thoughts are yours. What you think IS within your control. What you say in your heart CAN be taken captive and put to death if it is not nourishing the will He has for your life. It’s a choice. Like everything in life, how we think must be trained so that our thoughts enable us to go forward with strength, vigor, energy and confidence. We train our thoughts by abiding in His word. We must use the sword He has made for us.

If you are struggling in this area, know that you are not alone and that there is hope. I was you. His promises never fail - I am living proof. But it requires your participation. God desires us to be in partnership with Him. He has done and will do His part - if we do ours. I hope the following prayer can encourage you today. If you don’t know where to begin - remember all you have to do is ask Him to help. He will answer the call.

Dear Father - I praise your name this morning. My heart is on guard. I call out to you to fill me with your presence - help me today Lord. I need your Spirit to strengthen my mind and fill my heart so that what comes out of my mouth is pleasing and honoring to You. You have given me a powerful weapon to carry at all times. In a moment, I have the power to give life or to unleash death. My tongue is a weapon that must be exercised for good. The force of an object is dependent on the mass of this object. The force in which my tongue delivers life or death is dependent on the mass of my heart. It is a culmination of what is in my heart. Your word tells us, “For it is from within, out of a person’s heart that evil thoughts come” (Mark 7:21) 

I pray Lord that my heart be renewed this day. That it be filled with your Spirit and that the Spirit works in me to remove all the evil thoughts that may be weighing it down. I pray Lord that my heart be heavy with mercy, grace, patience and courage so that when the times comes I can quickly deliver a forceful release of encouragement to those around me who need it. Lord I also pray that I remember that I am able and equipped to edify myself as I go about this day. You have been so gracious to enable your child to draw on Your Power in times of need through the thoughts that accumulate in my heart. There will be times where no one will do this for me Lord and I recognize that sometimes I am the one who needs to deliver encouragement to myself. Your word in 1 Samuel 30 tells me that even as a faithful servant to you, there will be times of distress. In these times, I am not desolate. You have provided me with a tool to build up the barren through my thoughts which are delivered through my mouth. You have spoken to me truth and it is up to me to believe these truths while I use my tongue. I pray that in the times of distress, I remember your son David and how he found strength in You Lord. “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6) There will be times I will need to speak life to myself as David did with the words you have spoken over and to me. 

Today I declare Lord God that  I am loved, I am chosen, I am powerful, I am of sound mind, I am more than a conqueror, I am right in your eyes. I am forgiven and I am a new creation - praise your name. I am strong in you and I am blessed. I am healed Lord God and my battles are already won. I wear a beautiful coat of colors that radiates wherever I walk. You heed me to obey your word which says to trust in the Lord God, place my confidence in Him, do not fear when heat surrounds me or when drought quenches my thirst. You have given me direction on how to bring forth life and experience victory over death with my tongue - to be aware, to be wise, to be on guard. To utter worthy words, to be your spokesman. To remain open to those wicked ones who reach for me. Lord I pray that my heart is cleansed of all stubbornness and obeys your commands so that I may go throughout my day coated in the blessings of peace and joy you have promised. You have given me the free will to choose. So today Father I choose to obey You. For you are a faithful God and do not lie. I thank you this morning for that Father. I love you. Amen.