Based on an article from Great Bible Study.com, by Viv White
It is shocking to see how many believers are heavy laden simply because of wrong thoughts they allow to fester in their minds. I can understand that young Christians are to grow into maturity, but I see this problem amongst believers who have been in the faith for many years.
There is a great deal of spiritual victory that many believers can access simply through changing the way they think, and controlling the thoughts that flow through their minds! Read on and I’ll show you how it works.
The purpose of this teaching is to get us to stop and think about what we are thinking about.
What are you paying attention to?
Whatever you pay attention to will become magnified in your eyes and in your life. Whatever you give heed to, will become more important to you.
Let’s take two people:
Johannes thinks about his sins, past and how badly he’s messed up in life.
Elizabeth on the other hand, keeps thinking about how she’s a new creation in Christ Jesus, her past has been washed away by what the Messiah did for her on the cross, and as a ‘born again’ believer she now daily renews her mind to God’s Word.
Johannes has his attention constantly on the problems of his earthly life, so it becomes larger in his eyes and draws him away from ‘holy living’.
Elizabeth on the other hand, doesn’t even see her past, because she’s always renewing her mind in obedience to God, she feels the peace from God within her.
Can you tell me which person is going to go around feeling guilt-ridden, defeated and condemned?
Can you tell me which one is going to feel clean, on fire for God, and grinning from ear the ear… overflowing with the love and victory of God?
So many Christians are living ‘defeated’ lives and walk around guilt-ridden and are lacking that ‘Spiritual strength and joy’ in their lives – and without the joy of the LORD (God Almighty) and the joy of His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah), where is their strength supposed to come from?
After all, as Nehemiah 8:10 tells us, “For the joy of the LORD is your strength.” and in Colossians 1:10-11 we read: “We ask this so that you will live the kind of lives that prove you belong to the LORD. Then you will want to please him in every way as you grow in producing every kind of good work by this knowledge about God. We ask him to strengthen you by his glorious might with all the power you need to patiently endure everything with joy.”
We ask the Father to ‘strengthen us to patiently endure everything with joy’.
The enemy is always ready to get our minds and thoughts derailed away from the truth that is in God’s Word. The World tries to get you to worry about things that in reality, you have no reason to be worried about!
Perhaps one of the biggest differences between a victorious believer and a depressed or defeated believer, is the very thoughts that go through their mind day after day.
Does God want us to be depressed? No! He wants us to be full of joy!
Jesus Christ declares that he wants us to have the same joy as he has in the Father (Luke 10:21) and in John 15:11 he says: “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
Does God want us to be fearful? No!
He wants us to rest in His love, which expels all fear!
1 John 4:17-18 reads: “God’s love has reached its goal in us. So we look ahead with confidence to the day of judgment. While we are in this world, we are like Him [with regard to love].
No fear exists where his love is. Rather, perfect love gets rid of fear, because fear involves punishment. The person who lives in fear doesn’t have perfect love.”
We have not been given a spirit of fear again to bondage, but of power and love and a sound mind! (2 Timothy 1:7).
Does God want us worrying about things? No! His Word tells us not to worry about anything!
Philippians 4:6-7: “Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. Then God’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Christ Jesus”
The vital link between thoughts and feelings.
I believe Philippians 4:8 paints the picture quite well: “Finally, brothers and sisters, keep your thoughts on whatever is right or deserves praise: things that are true, honourable, fair, pure, acceptable, or commendable.”
Refusing to worry about anything opens the door to God’s peace in our lives and set our minds on good and positive things that uplift, strengthen and build us up.
Isaiah 26:3 also makes a vital connection between what we fix our minds on, and how we feel, “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”
Is God worried about it?
Do you honestly believe that your heavenly Father is worried about the things you and I worry about? If He isn’t worried about it, why should we worry about it? Are we not His own children? As a matter of fact, His Word says that He cares for us! 1 Peter 5:7, “Turn all your anxiety over to God because he cares for you.”
What we should be thinking about?
“Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.”
To set your affection on something in the Greek = ‘phroneō’ it means to exercise the mind.
Instead of exercising our minds on negative things and worrying over things we ought not be worrying about, let’s begin to do as God’s Word says and begin exercising our minds on positive things that build us up.
Instead of looking at the ‘worldly’ problems in our lives let’s begin looking at the solutions (forgiveness, blessings, love, etc.), which are in Christ Jesus!
If our affections (our mind) are not on ‘things above’ then we are not ‘Born again’ (only God’s Spirit gives new life), and we will not enter The Kingdom of God!
Read John Chapter 3:1-12 about the conversation Nicodemus (who was a Pharisee and a Jewish leader) had with Jesus Christ.
Let me ask you this… if you could take inventory of the thoughts you’ve been thinking over the past week, what kind of thoughts were they?
Were they mostly negative or focused on problems and ‘TV news bulletins’ of this world?
Have they mostly been thoughts that tear you down and get/keep your eyes on the problem? Or were they positive thoughts that have been building you up?
How much time have you been spending over the past week MEDITATING about the goodness of God and how God is your healer, deliverer, provider, etc…..no matter what!
Or were your thoughts mostly thoughts concerning the cares of this world… aka, problem focused thoughts?
We should encourage each other to stop looking at the worldly problems (1 Corinthians 3:18-19) in our lives, and begin looking at the ‘spiritual solutions’ that God has provided for us as His children!
Get your mind off the problem, and onto the solution!
Begin to research the scriptures to learn what God’s Word has to say about these burdens that we carry.
Deliverance? Same thing! Get your mind off the problem and onto the solution, and seek God and His Word on the matter.
For Jesus said : “Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And the door will be opened for everyone who knocks.” (Matthew 7:8).
Jesus didn’t say “Sit there and think about the problem, and the solution will come on it’s own…”No!… Jesus said SEEK, and THEN you will find”!
May the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.