Tag Archives: thought life

Think Differently

Several years ago, Apple was floundering as a company. They had lost their soul and direction. They decided to bring Steve Jobs back as the CEO to see if he could turn it around. One of the things he did after revamping their product line was to change advertising agencies. The agency that won pitched him the idea of the now famous “Think Different” campaign. The commercial showed different geniuses from history with a voice that started off, “There are people who see the world differently. They see things in new ways.” While the commercial went on to advertise Apple, it reminds me that you and I as Christians are called to think differently.

Proverbs 23:7 tells that our thoughts determine who we are. We must then learn how to control them or at least stop the negative thoughts that lie to us. 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us that we must bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. We can’t just allow idle thoughts or negative thoughts to float around in our heads. We must capture them and change them. It’s easier said than done, I know, but it starts with challenging the thoughts that don’t line up with what God says. When those thoughts come in, you counter with who God says you are and what He’s promised to us as believers. God knows that one way to change our lives is through changing our thoughts.

Isaiah 8:11 says, “The Lord has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does” (NLT). Why would God do that? Because we are called to be and live differently than the world. We are to be set apart and to see the world in a different way. We are to change culture rather than to be a reflection of it. The only way to do that is to think differently and to see the world as God does. He transforms us by the renewing of our thoughts and in turn, we transform the world. Don’t get caught up today thinking and seeing the world the way others do. Pray and ask God to change how you think and see so that it reflects how He thinks and sees. In turn, you’ll begin to fulfill your purpose and help others along the way.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Set Your Mind

I enjoy watching competition shows like America’s Got Talent. When magicians come on, I try to keep my eyes on their hands knowing they rely on distractions to do some of their tricks. Sometimes I even watch it in slow motion trying to see how they pull off these tricks. Even with my utmost concentration, I still miss it at times. I think that’s why the Bible tells us so many time to set our mind and to fix our thoughts. God knows our enemy is great at slight of hand and distraction. He’s trying to get our minds off of the truth in order to fall for his shell game. When we take our mind off of heavenly things, we can fall for temptation, lose trust in God and make wrong choices. It’s critical that you and I set our minds on the truth of God’s Word.

Here are some Bible verses on setting your mind.

1. Brothers and sisters, do not be children [immature, childlike] in your thinking; be infants in [matters of] evil [completely innocent and inexperienced], but in your minds be mature [adults].

1 Corinthians 14:20 AMP

2. For those who are living according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh [which gratify the body], but those who are living according to the Spirit, [set their minds on] the things of the Spirit [His will and purpose].

Romans 8:5 AMP

3. Keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.

Philippians 4:8 TPT

4. So then, have your minds ready for action. Keep alert and set your hope completely on the blessing which will be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.

1 Peter 1:13 GNT

5. Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value].

Colossians 3:2 AMP

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Changing Your Thoughts

Growing up, I was taught that what I thought about mattered. In children’s church I memorized Philippians 4:8. It says, “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (NLT). If I said something or did something that was out of line, people at church understood it was a reflection of what was going on in my mind. They would then ask, “Is that true? Honorable? Right?” They would go down the list. It created a filter to run things through as thoughts entered my mind.

Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks within himself, so is he” (TPT). You will always become a reflection of your thought life. If you’re constantly thinking about issues, problems, lies, revenge, etc., your life is going to show it. Those things get into your heart and show up in your actions. If you think about things that are true, honorable, right, pure, etc., those will also get into your heart and show up in your actions. The things you dwell on in your mind can have a positive or negative affect on your life and your relationships with others. It’s important to develop a filter from God’s Word to run your thoughts through. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ” (NLT). It takes some discipline to capture thoughts and realign your thinking.

Everyone of us face situations that are out of our control. Situations create internal feelings. Those feelings create thoughts, and those thoughts create actions. If you want to change how you react or behave, you have to change those thoughts. If you want to change those thoughts, you have to change how you feel because you can’t change the situation normally. You have to capture those thoughts and feelings when they come in. Challenge them by holding them up to the standard of God’s Word. If the don’t align, then you must change them to dwell and think on what is true. Insert what God says about the situation rather than what your feelings say. Remember how and what you think will affect every area of your life. Creating a standard to hold your thoughts up against before you let them filter into your life will change your life.

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Empowered For Victory

Fear. Worry. Addiction. Self destructive thoughts and patterns. Insurmountable odds. Our past. These are things that many of us battle on a daily basis. They are mentally and physically taxing. It’s hard to sleep when these battles loom over us because they’re all we think about. The idea of getting free of them rarely enters our mind anymore because we’ve given up hope of overcoming them. They are powerful and make us feel powerless against them. We yield to them because we know it’s useless. So we live under their cloud in a defeated life without hope of winning victory over them.

If you struggle with these things, you’re not alone. Millions of people live just like that believing they’re the only ones going through it because the enemy of their soul has lied to them. He knows if he wins these battles, he can sideline you for a lifetime. But God has not given you a spirit of fear, nor has He abandoned you. He has given you the strength and the tools to break every chain and every stronghold that tries to hold you down and keep you from the life He created you to live. Remember that our weapons are not carnal, but are mighty through God (2 Cor 10:4)!

Psalm 18:35 puts it this way, “You empower me for victory with your wrap-around presence. Your power within makes me strong to subdue, and by stooping down in gentleness you strengthened me and made me great!” (TPT) Yes, you were made to be great and victorious through God. When we spend time in His presence through prayer, reading His Word and in praise and worship, He envelops us with the power we need to overcome. You don’t have to be a prisoner to these other things because you’ve been empowered for victory. Capture the thoughts that are not from God, and change them to what God’s Word says.

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Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Pursuing The Right Things

Chris Hodges, pastor of Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, likes to say that the systems in your life are designed perfectly to take you where you are today. If you want to change your direction or outcomes, you will need to change the systems you have in place. If you want to climb Mount Everest, you would need systems in your life that would prepare you physically and mentally to make such a climb. Climbing Everest is a pipe dream for most people because all it is is a dream to them. When it becomes a goal, that’s when you put a system in place to begin accomplishing it. The things that you are accomplishing right now are a result of the goals you have in your life whether they’re conscious goals or not. What you are accomplishing right now is a result of what you pursue. If you don’t like the results you’re getting, change what you pursue or the systems you have in place.

In Matthew 6:21 Jesus put it this way, “For your heart will always pursue what you value as your treasure” (TPT). Too many times, you and I are valuing the wrong things or we’re not valuing the things we should enough. When we’re easily distracted or constantly changing our mind, we find ourselves going in circles in life. We’re constantly moving, but find we’re going nowhere or we’re way off target. The things we have and where we are in life are based on what we pursue, value and think about most. Brian Tracy says that we are like a magnet in that we attract things into our life based on our most dominant thoughts. If we want to change the things in our life, we must change our thoughts.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “So above all, guard the affections of your heart, for they affect all that you are. Pay attention to the welfare of your innermost being, for from there flows the wellspring of life.” The Good News Translation says, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.” What are you pursuing right now? Is it money, better cars, better relationships, a closer walk with God? What do you think about most? Paying your bills, a better life, how to make more money or bringing God’s Kingdom to earth? Are your thoughts and pursuits of your heart in line with what God wants? If not, begin to change what you think about and pursue. Ask God to show you what He wants you to value and think about. The systems in your life may be great at getting you the things you want, but they’re ultimately unsuccessful if they’re not valuing what God does.

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Think About Your Thoughts


When I was a kid, and was wrong about something, I would start off my sentence with, “But I thought…” My dad would always be quick to say. “That’s what you get for thinking!” He was being humorous of course, because thinking is all we do. Sometimes we over think things, and other times we don’t put much thought into what we are doing. Either way, thinking is not just what we do, it creates who we become. 

The way we think is so powerful that few of us grasp it. I love how Henry Ford described the power of thought. He said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” Our thoughts control our belief system, and our belief system controls our actions. That’s why I would always start my sentence with, “But I thought…” It’s so important that you and I control what we think about, and thereby control what we believe. How we live and who we are is a result of the sum of our thoughts. 

The Bible has a lot to say about our thoughts. Here are a few verses. 

1. The weapons we use in our fight are not the world’s weapons but God’s powerful weapons, which we use to destroy strongholds. We destroy false arguments; we pull down every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey Christ.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 GNT

2. Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].
PHILIPPIANS 4:8 AMP

3. Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.
Romans 8:5 NLT

4. Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts.
Proverbs 4:23 GNT

5. Therefore if you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, sharing in His resurrection from the dead], keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind and keep focused habitually on the things above [the heavenly things], not on things that are on the earth [which have only temporal value].
COLOSSIANS 3:1-2 AMP

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Hidden Sins


Years ago, I found myself sitting in my room holding a loaded 12 gauge shotgun. I had two people in mind as I sat there knowing where and when they’d meet. At that moment, I realized that every sin lives in me. It’s only waiting for the right circumstances to be woken up. It scared me to death that I could be capable of such a thing. I put down the gun and drove for over an hour away. I then parked on the shoulder and sat there fighting the mental battle to not return home. I didn’t want to make an emotional decision that would affect the rest of my life.

David knew that struggle as well. The wrong circumstances plus the wrong thoughts equals the wrong action. In Psalm 19:12-13 he prayed, “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin” (NLT). He found that certain circumstances awoken hidden sins, and the more he thought about it, they became deliberate sins.

I think this is something we all struggle with at some point in our lives. We get caught up in a moment and time, combined with our emotions, our thoughts have the ability to run wild and direct our actions. A momentary weakness creates a lifetime of regret. A hidden sin in our heart, when woken up, can cause us to do or want to do the unthinkable. David prayed against those. He didn’t want to be controlled by thoughts that caused him to sin against God and others. That’s why he continued the prayer to go a step further.

He prayed, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.” If thoughts control your actions, why not pray that your thoughts would be pleasing to God? What we think and meditate on grows in our lives. We can choose to entertain thoughts that develop hidden sins or we can choose to meditate on good things. Proactive prayer can keep us from the hidden sins lurking in our hearts.

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