Be Careful of Your Thoughts: They Control Your Life and Create Your World.
“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.”(Proverbs 4:23 NCV)
“Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words. Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions. Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits. Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character. Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.” (Unknown author)
Art is organized beauty, Music is organized sound; Science is organized knowledge, Government is organized society, religion is the organized Mystery and Philosophy is organized thought. Our thoughts impact how we feel about ourselves and others. We share our fears, our sorrow, our joy, our love and our dreams with our thoughts. Our thoughts create words and action. With our thoughts we can motivate ourselves to do things we never thought we could do. So watch what we think and be conscious of the words that come from our thoughts, and the actions that follow our words which can also move others to step forward and maximize their own potential. Thoughts can calm us or excite us. Thoughts and Words can actually change the direction of a nation.
To live differently, we must think differently, to think differently, we must make a right choice daily. We can choose our thoughts and we don’t have to just think about whatever falls into our mind. Fleeting thoughts could determine the quality of our life. Every word that comes out of our mouth comes from a thought - whether consciously or unconsciously. Our words determine whether you display the character of integrity or not. Proverbs 4:23 NIV says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” In the Bible “heart” denotes the inner man, his thoughts, his will, his inclinations, and his affections; or the human soul with its faculties and operations. The way we think determines how we live and who we are. That’s why we need to think about what we’re thinking about.
The Bible tells us that the heart is deceitful and unsearchable to any but God alone (Jer. 17:9). The first and most important step in seeking a cure is an accurate diagnosis of the problem. If you do not understand the problem, you will not seek the right cure. That is true not only physically but also spiritually. Knowing that indwelling sin occupies a heart that is deceitful and unsearchable should make us extremely cautious. Jesus said, “That which proceeds out of the man that is what defiles the man…….” (Mark 7:20-23). No one commits this outward sin without first having committed them in their mind. So we must win the battle over sin on the thought level because 'Sin' is primarily self-centeredness.
God's two great commandments are first that we love him with all our hearts and secondly that we love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Sin, then, is the reversal of this order. It is to put ourselves first, virtually proclaiming our own autonomy, our neighbor next when it suits our convenience, and God somewhere in the background. Self-centredness is a world-wide phenomenon of human experience is evident from the rich variety of words in our language which are compounded with 'self'.—words like self-applause, self-absorption, self-assertion, self-advertisement, self-indulgence, self-gratification, self-glorification, self-pity, self-importance, self-interest and self-will etc. Our self-centeredness is a terrible tyranny.
The condition of our minds determines the condition of our lives. Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes, and Man is Mind, and evermore he takes the tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills, Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills: —He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass: Environment is but his looking-glass. This is why we ought to beware and aware, what we allow our mind to think about. Proverbs 23:7 says “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." Job said, "The thing I greatly feared came upon me." You will eventually become what you think. If you allow yourself to think negative worried, fearful thoughts, then you will become a negative, worried, fearful person. You cannot think defeat and expect victory. You can't think poverty, and expect wealth. You can't think the worst, and expect the best. Quit thinking about what you don't have and start thinking about what you do have. Quit thinking about what's wrong with you and start thinking about what's right with you. Quit thinking about how big your problem is and start dwelling on the fact of how big your God is.
What we focus on, we magnify; we’re not changing its actual size, we’re simply making it bigger in our own mind. If we stay focused on our problems, on a negative report, what somebody said about us, how we’ll never get out of problems, all that’s going to do is make it bigger than it really is; it’s changing our perception of it. The Apostle Paul warns us in 2 Timothy 3 that there will be terrible times in the last days. Our hope in times of testing is to magnify the Lord to see him as he truly is – which is always bigger than our problems.
God’s infinite power cannot fit into the confines of our finite minds. So what is impossible for us is never impossible for God. Psalm 68:1 says “Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered” when we make God bigger in our life, when we let Him arise, focusing on His greatness, knowing that He’s in control, fighting our battles, making our crooked places straight, and we go out with this attitude of faith, expecting breakthroughs and dreams to come to pass, when we let God arise like that, our enemies will be scattered. Enemies of fear, doubt, depression, sickness, injustice; nothing can stand against our God. He is the all-powerful Creator of the universe. When we let God arise, we can’t stay defeated; healing, help, favor, victory comes. Our enemies will be scattered. Always magnify what’s right and not what’s wrong. The truth has been compromised as the enemy seeks to blind the world and destroy it.
The truth that sets you free and that gives you victory in every area of our life is the word of God. Jesus said "you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32) God alone can help us to know what is truth. The only way to replace the error of the world’s way of thinking is to replace it with God’s truth, and the only infallible source of God’s truth is found in his revealed word. There are no shortcuts. There is no magic formula for renewing our minds. We must fill our minds with God’s word. As Jesus prayed to the Father, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).
The Bible specifically talks about four things we must do to develop a mind that agrees with God. First “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” (Colossians 3:2) second “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) Third “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”(1 Peter 1:13) and fourth “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindsets as Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). Have you ever wondered how this is possible? God created the human mind as a combination of conscious and unconscious processes (thoughts) of the brain that direct our mental and physical behavior. Our thoughts influence our actions. It follows, then, that if we want to act like Christ, we must also think like Him. With the mind we exercise the power of reason, conceive ideas and use judgment. It stores our intellect, as distinguished from emotion or will. To have the mind of Christ, we must think as He thinks. There are many benefits to having the mind of Christ, because “in whom (Jesus Christ) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3).
Three times in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said “Do not worry about your life,” Worry is absolutely useless. It never dried out a tear, lifted a burden, or solved a problem. Worry buries blessing and steals our Joy and strength. Worry is a wound in the heart of God. So Worry is not just a weakness; it’s wickedness. Worry is an insult to God. You can’t live the full life without peace and joy. Isaiah 26:3 says “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you “Notice that the result of focusing our minds on God is peace, the opposite of war. We can be victorious in the battle with worry for our minds. When we are, we will find our minds at peace with God. One method we can use to renew our minds is to meditate on God’s Word. The psalmist says: “My soul is consumed with longing for your laws at all times. Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors” (Ps. 119:20, 24). Like the psalmist, we can find joy and knowledge in the Word when we choose to dwell on it. One of the most important ways we can renew our minds is to think on the things that are listed in Philippians 4:8: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
The mind is like a garden. If a gardener plants mango tree he will get mango. If he plants wheat he will get wheat. Whatever you plant is what you get. Gal. 6:7-8 says "Do not be deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever man sows, that will he also reap. For he that sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap life everlasting." It is impossible for any person to sow to flesh and get a spiritual harvest. God has given you the ability to control what you sow and thereby control what you harvest. If you experience defeat over sin, lack power, and never really walk in the all the fullness of God then it is time to examine your hearts, mind and thoughts. Jesus said that “the good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil….” (Luke 6:45). The good treasure Jesus speaks of comes by God’s grace, but the evil treasure is the best that man, in his pitiful, fallen state can produce apart from God. We must free our mind from destructive thoughts "Those who are dominated by their 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). “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” (Colossians 3:1)
The only way to make a stream pure is to purify the fountain. And the only way to deal with our sin is by having our hearts cleansed by God’s Holy word. This is precisely what the Gospel does. God does not call us merely to stop sinning. He calls us to be transformed from within. And He provides such transformation through the power of the Gospel. This is the new birth of which Jesus spoke in John gospel chapter 3. It means a Natural and carnal mind must be converted and renewed to become Spiritual and the converted mind must beware lest it be corrupted. The converted mind can be conquered. The converted and conquered mind can be controlled by bringing every thought captive in to the obedience of Christ. Every thought that is in rebellion to God must be made a prisoner of war and be made to submit to the authority of God in Christ Jesus as Lord. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds ;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalted itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”The Lord does not treat only our symptoms. He addresses the root cause of all our problems. By the power of His Spirit and His Word, He changes us so that we become “a new creations” (2cor 5:17).
The Scriptures say it is not those who are swift, but those who endure to the end, who succeed. Let people pressure you to release God’s glory. Every one faith will be tested for authenticity. If your faith is authentic, life is going to try it, just to make sure. If a faith is terminated by trials or tests, then perhaps it was not really a living faith from God. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says “For we live by faith, not by sight.” The apostle Paul reminds his readers that followers of Christ must not build their lives around things that have no eternal significance. Rather than pursuing the same things the world pursues, a child of God should focus on the unseen realities of everlasting kingdom. To walk by faith is to fear God more than man; to obey the Bible even when it conflicts with man’s commands; to choose righteousness over sin, no matter what the cost; to trust God in every circumstance; and to believe God rewards those who seek Him, regardless of who says otherwise. When the storms of life hit, they almost always appear stronger to us than God’s Word. It is crucial for us to remember that our perceptions can be deceptive.
Remember there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light God has put within a child of God. The light of God’s revelation and His salvation in your heart is so strong and bright that all the darkness of the planet, all the darkness of people’s opinions, and all the darkness of past failures can never put it out. Keep in mind that when we speak of bringing things into captivity to the obedience of Christ, that it means that we have the God given authority to accomplish that very thing. The imaginations and false reasoning that the enemy seeks to use to defeat us and lead us from the path of righteousness cannot prevail against the authority of Christ anointing in us.
Faith in God requires perseverance. Perseverance actually means “to bear up under pressure.” People who have faith in God are stronger than the pressure life brings. The purpose of pressure is to get rid of what is not of God. Perhaps you’re in the fire right now. It’s a good place to be. No matter what people may say about you, don’t retaliate. Let them talk about you. It doesn’t matter what they think. You can smile, knowing that you will come through the situation. In Philippians 4:8 Paul exhorts us to develop a godly thought life. He says “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”. Practicing above verse is essential if we want to develop and maintain healthy relationships (see Philippians 4:2-3, 5). A godly thought life is also integral to a life of joy (see Philippians 4:4) and peace (see Philippians 4:6-7) in every situation. Since our thoughts form the basis for our behavior, a godly thought life is also essential for the obedience to which Paul exhorts us in verse 9. “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Clearly, Paul’s thought life was at the heart of the contentment he had learned in every situation (see Philippians 4:10-12).
The mind is a person's greatest asset and it is the key to peace and happiness, however, there are three enemies that attempt to take hold of a person's thoughts including a person's past, Satan, and the world's system. The first battle in your mind is with your old self nature, it's the source of all bad habits… We are taught in 2 Corinthians 19:5 “casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;” Whenever we have a negative thought that seeks to depress us, we must immediately cast it down, think on God’s Word, and speak His Word. Plant God’s Word deep in your heart in order to think the right thoughts. The way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel determines the way you act If a person is labeled with negative affirmations during their formative years, they may carry those thoughts into adulthood and see themselves as such, even though they know it to be false.
In the Old Testament, when God was fulfilling his promise to provide a king to his people, Samuel was bewildered that God passed on some mighty good looking candidates. God then let Samuel in on his criteria for choosing a king. But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” – (1 Samuel 16:7) Like it or not, God’s economy is not only different than ours…it is also higher. He is holy; we are not. We see partially, but He sees perfectly. The things that we tend to value by our nature are not the things that are on his priority list. What does that mean? It means we need a paradigm shift. We need a new way of thinking. We need renewed minds.”Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. – (Romans 12:2)
Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. "Satan can't control your thoughts, only you can, and God can't control your thoughts," "If you're having bad, scary, guiltily, lonely, depressed and discouraged thoughts, it doesn't help to say, 'God change my thoughts.' God is going to say, 'it's your mind, you do it.'" How can we renew our minds? It’s as simple as spending time with God, trust and obeys His word. Just as we would get to know a neighbor or a friend, we must spend time with the Lord. As we begin to know him, we gain a much better idea of what it means to surrender to his will and to be found in him. We begin to value what he values, and we begin to see as he sees…not what is temporal and merely on the surface, but that which is eternal and of lasting value. God is far more interested in changing a person's mind than their circumstances. "Your feelings don't shape your life, your thoughts and beliefs do. It doesn't even have to be true, if you believe it, it's going to shape your life," Change always starts in the mind. People have the ultimate power to change their own thoughts, but in order to do so, one must feed, focus, and free their minds on a moment by moment. We must feed our mind with truth, "People need more than bread for life; they must feed on every word of God." (Matthew 4:4)