Tag Archives: thoughts

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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Filling Your Mind

Have you ever thought of your mind as a gas tank? It can be full or empty, and what you fill it with shows up in your life. Proverbs 4:21 says, “Fill your thoughts with my words until they penetrate deep into your spirit” (TPT). Solomon was teaching this principle to his son. The same applies to us. When we fill our thoughts with God’s Word, we put truth into our mind that cleanses it. We also give the Holy Spirit the opportunity to bring back to our remembrance what God spoke and promised. His truth then becomes what we stand on in hard times, what we think about and what we speak. If you’re struggling in your thought life, begin filling your mind up with the Word of God.

Once your mind is full of God’s Word, it’s time to begin meditating on it. Meditating is simply keeping that verse or story at the forefront of your thoughts. It’s breaking it down, looking at individual words in it and thinking about how it applies to you. As you do that, you begin to change healing for your mind and body. Proverbs 4:22 says, “Then, as you unwrap my words, they will impart true life and radiant health into the very core of your being.” God’s Word is life to all who find them and unpack them. Your thoughts are so powerful that they can manifest in sickness or healing in your body. It’s important that we put God’s Word in our mind and then unwrap their meaning for ourselves.

The next verse, Proverbs 4:23, tell us what happens next in this thought process. It 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.” After your inside is healed, you will then begin to bring life to others. You speak life. Your thoughts have the power to shape your life despite your circumstances, and they have the power to bring life and healing to others. All this starts with you filling them with God’s Word rather than what someone else said. What you think about matters and reflects in your life. Choose carefully what you fill your mind with.

Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

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Perfectly Peaceful

One of the things I’ve learned is that your thoughts affect how you feel. How you feel affects what you do in any given situation. So many times we’ve reacted in a situation in a way we wish we wouldn’t have. If I lose my cool, I feel like I’ve lost the battle. I don’t like that feeling at all, but at the end of the day, it all comes back to how healthy I’ve kept my thoughts. If I don’t like how I react in a situation, I need to change how I feel in it. If I want to change how I feel, I have to change my thoughts. Our thoughts are more powerful than we give them credit for. Scripture dedicates a lot of verses to our thought life because many times they are what’s standing between us and victory.

When we learn to have a healthy thought life, our outlook on life changes. When our outlook on life changes, the things that happen in our life change. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (NLT) When we are at peace in our mind because our thoughts are fixed on God, our minds won’t be agitated by the things we’re going through. We all go through hard times, but those who have learned to keep their thoughts on God and His promises will be kept in perfect peace during those times. They won’t crumble when their world is crumbling. The thoughts of God’s promises produce feelings of peace and peace changes how we react.

Romans 8 assures us that no matter what you go through, it will not separate you from God’s love. That’s a promise I like to think about when times get tough. Through it all, you and I are still loved by God. He doesn’t leave us when times get tough. His love is not dependent on how we react in those situations. There’s peace in knowing that. It’s good to spend time in prayer when times are tough, but it’s even better to spend some time thinking about all God has done for you throughout your life. Keeping your mind fixed on Him will take you from panic to peace. It will keep whatever is going on on the outside from reaching you inside. You can have perfect peace no matter what you’re facing, and it all starts with keeping your thoughts fixed on Him instead of your situation.

Photo by Paola Chaaya on Unsplash

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Protecting Your Mind

When I think of the Armor of God, I don’t think it was an accident that the piece of armor given to us when we’re saved is the Helmet. God knows we need to protect our mind from both outside and inside influences. Our minds are so powerful that if we don’t learn to control the outside influences and our internal thoughts, we can lose sleep, stress out, get sick, get stuck in a rut and invite all kinds of negativity into our lives. Our thoughts determine who we are and how we act. Without that helmet, there’s no protection for our minds. Without understanding the power of our thoughts, we may let our minds run free to jump to all kinds of conclusions. It’s imperative that we guard our thoughts and bring them captive to the obedience of Christ.

How do we do that though? The biggest thing we have to do is recognize when we’re following a chain of thoughts that are leading us down a rabbit hole. We must then disrupt the thoughts and challenge them. Are these thoughts true? Do they line up with what God says? If not, then replace them with the truth of God’s Word. When we change those thought patterns with God’s truth, we will begin to become renewed inwardly and that will reflect in our outwardly life. When we receive salvation, God transforms who we are. We become a new creation from the inside out, and it starts with how we think and see ourselves. Don’t fall back into your old way of thinking. Put a stop to the enemy by putting on the Helmet of Salvation and letting God finish the work He began in you.

Here are some Bible verses on protecting our mind.

1. Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God—what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.

Romans 12:2 GNT

2. Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

Philippians 4:8-9 MSG

3. You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You—in both inclination and character], Because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].

ISAIAH 26:3 AMP

4. Since a great price was paid for your redemption, stop having the mind-set of a slave.

1 Corinthians 7:23 TPT

5. Your hearts and minds must be made completely new, and you must put on the new self, which is created in God’s likeness and reveals itself in the true life that is upright and holy.

Ephesians 4:23-24 GNT

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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What are you Worth?

Do you feel unworthy or just not good enough? You aren’t alone. There are many who see themselves that way and never reach the full potential God has for them. It’s easy to know how great God is and see yourself as small and insignificant, but that’s not how God sees you or wants you to see yourself. Yes, we are to be humble, but we are also to know who we are in Christ.

There is a difference in being humble and feeling insignificant or worthless. Humility is something that God honors. It’s having a right perspective of who we are and that what we have is God’s. Worthlessness is not a trait from God. It is a tactic from the enemy to keep you from tapping into the power of God in you. It will destroy you from within through thoughts that change how you see yourself.

How you see yourself reflects in how you behave and act. If you feel worthless, you draw back from others and become isolated. I’ve watched enough Discovery channel to know that a predator’s first goal is to separate you from the heard. Once you are isolated, he attacks. I Peter 5:8 says, the devil “roams around like a lion roaring in fierce hunger, seeking someone to seize upon and devour.” He isn’t seeking a group, he’s seeking someONE.

If you struggle with those feelings that are isolating you, I’ve been where you are. You can beat it. It’s not easy, but you can. Start with reading God’s Word. A few verses I like to read when I feel that way are Matthew 6:25-34, Luke 12:6-7 and I Peter 5:7. These verses talk about how much God cares for you and how much He values you. You don’t have to be great in the eyes of people to be great in the eyes of God. You are more precious to God than you can even imagine.

Don’t let those thoughts consume you. When they come into your mind, you have to fight back immediately. When Jesus was fasting, He was attacked mentally and each time He fought back with the Word of God. Bring those thoughts captive and speak the truth to them. Tell them and yourself who you are in Christ. Don’t dwell on them because then you start to believe them. You can’t believe the attacks of the enemy, but you can believe God’s Word.

Don’t be a victim, be a victor. There is safety in numbers. Don’t allow yourself to be separated from those who love you and will lift you up in prayer. Share with someone what you are struggling with. They can help you through encouragement, prayer and accountability. It takes some honesty on your part, but that vulnerability is worth more than the cost of succumbing to those thoughts and being devoured. You are a child of God, worth more than anything in this world. When God looks at you, He sees His child, His creation and someone He loves deeper than you can imagine.

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Victory of the Mind

I was reading Romans chapters 7 and 8 this morning. In Romans 7, Paul is very transparent with us. He shares the struggles he faced in wrestling with sin in his life. I always like to think of Paul as a super Christian. The man wrote most of the New Testament in the Bible. But here in chapter 7, he is sharing the inner struggle we all face. It is summed up in verses 19 and 21 that say, “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway… I have discovered this principle of life – that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.”

Does that sound like you? I know it sums me up perfectly. We all struggle with sin because our sin nature still lives in us. We all succumb to it when it rears its head in our lives. In verse 24, Paul used the word “dominate” to describe what his sinful nature was doing to him. It isn’t until we get to chapter 8 until he tells us how to overcome. One of the first paths to victory he mentions is in verse 6. It says, “So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”

That leads me to the question, “How do I stop my mind from being controlled by my sinful nature and start letting it be controlled by the Spirit?” I think it starts with what you choose to put in your mind. What movies, TV shows, books and magazines are you looking at? Are they things that cause you to think about sin? Then you need to watch or read something else so that those seeds won’t be planted in your mind. Controlling what goes in will help control your actions. Switch to watching or reading something more wholesome. Plant good, godly things in your mind.

The next thing you can do is take control over those thoughts. Don’t entertain the thoughts that walk you down the path to sin. II Corinthians 10:5 tells us to bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” If that thought doesn’t belong, take it captive and cast it out. Last week my pastor said when those thoughts enter his head, he says out loud, “You have no right to invade my mind.” That’s how you take it captive and cast it out.

Lastly, we need to have the mind of Christ. Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” We can have the mind of Christ. It’s not easy to get or maintain. It takes a conscious effort to ask for it and then maintain it by thinking good things. Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. If your thoughts don’t line up with these, take them captive when they come in and then consciously force yourself to think on these things.

The battle of the mind isn’t easy. We’ll fight it our entire lives until we are made perfect. Just because we have the sinful nature living in us doesn’t mean we have to be dominated by. We can have victory. These are three things I have found to help me win the battles. I’m curious to know what ways you have found victory in the battle of the mind. Leave me a comment as to what you’ve found and let’s help each other win.

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