John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy but I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.”
The thief in this passage represents the Devils agenda to steal, kill and destroy our lives. In contrast, Jesus said he has come to give us life in all of its fullness. Unfortunately, many people get the thief and the Lord mixed up. Too often we withhold from God our trust, availability and obedience because we think we are going to miss out on something. Instead we indirectly give to the enemy our best thoughts, resources and energies by believing lies about God and ourselves that ultimately rob us of the abundant life Jesus made available for us. When it comes to the issue of sin, the thief uses condemnation to destroy us but God uses conviction to promote us into our identity as sons and daughters of God. Don’t get the thief and the Lord mixed up in your life. The thief masquerades himself to be something he isn’t in order to steal, kill and destroy Gods purposes in our lives but God reveals himself as he is to bring us into the abundant life of his kingdom. Don’t get the thief and the Lord mixed up! Explosive insights!
Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
A new year brings with it new hopes and resolutions. The truth is by Feb 1 most people’s new year resolutions are discarded for the onslaught of everyday demands. Don’t let this be you. The bible exhorts us to put off the old self and put on the new self, patterned after Christ. If you are going to embrace the new you in 2015, you need to pay attention to your thoughts. Where the mind goes, the body follows. What is your mind predominately preoccupied with? Faith, hope and love or doubt, fear and hate. The bible exhorts us to focus our minds on the things that are above and not on the things that are below. Millions of people are unhappy and unfulfilled because they only ever look horizontally around them at the things this world is preoccupied with but God is inviting us to get a vertical perspective on life by looking heavenward and seeing life from Gods perspective. Don’t struggle in your strength to put off the old self but ask for Gods help to empower you to be the new you in 2015!
The condition of your heart will determine the content of your mouth. You can only keep quiet on what you really think and feel for so long until the volcano erupts and someone eavesdrop’s in on what is really going on in your personal world. If you want to change the content of your talk, you must allow God to change the theme of your heart. When God changes your heart, his desires become your desires, his thoughts become your thoughts, his ways become your ways and his words become your words.
Charles Spurgeon once said, “The burning heart will soon find for itself a flaming tongue.” When your heart burns for God, your words will ignite and inspire passion in others.
As a man thinks in his heart, so is he. (Proverbs 23:7)
You might have heard the saying, “You are what you eat”. Helpful advice but not as helpful as “You are what you think”. Your thoughts determine the outcome of your life. Thoughts lead to words, words lead to actions, actions lead to habits, habits form character and character informs your destiny. Your destiny is shaped by where your thoughts are taking you. If you don’t like where your thoughts are taking you, it’s time to think another thought. True but not easy. There’s so much cultural noise around us that reforming our thought life is no easy task. We must enter into Gods exchange program, old thoughts need to be replaced with new thoughts. Take stock of the most consistent and dominant thoughts in your mind and if they aren’t promoting God and his purpose for you, replace them with promises from Gods Word. When doubt enters your mind, replace that thought with, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. When fear enters your mind, replace it with, “I have not been given a spirit of fear, but power, love and self-control”. The most important discipline you can develop is the renewal of your mind because your thoughts control your life.
From Genesis 3, back at the beginning of creation, the devil has been lying and casting doubt on the truth of God’s Word in our lives. His strategy hasn’t changed and he’s still undermining people’s faith with his constant condemnation, negativity and hopelessness.
Satan’s whole agenda is to steal, kill and destroy anything that resembles the life of God’s Spirit in you and at work in our world. Never has there been a more important era of human history than now to know, think and speak God’s truth about ourselves. We are bombarded daily with hundreds of mixed messages. Deciphering God’s truth can be a challenge without being intentional.
Satan is an anchor that is always pulling you back down from heading out into the adventure that God invites all of us onto. If you entertain the negative thoughts, words and opinions that weigh you down too long, it will become your new norm and limit your capacity to believe for God’s impossible to work in your world.
The challenge is if we haven’t undergone a renewed mindset then we don’t so easily distinguish between the lies of the enemy and our own thoughts. The truth of God’s Word really does set us free and we need to immerse ourselves in a daily diet of God’s truth so that we will not be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Pay attention to the messages you entertain in your brain and heart on a daily basis. As you think, so you are. What negative self-limiting ideas have you allowed to preoccupy your thinking? It’s time to uproot and replace with God’s truth!
Philippians 4:8 “… think on these things.”
As you think, so you are! What you focus your mind upon determines who you ultimately become. I think we have under-estimated how pivotal our thinking is to our quality of life and contribution to the world around us.
Fleeting thoughts that are out of alignment with the truth of God’s Word can too easily become a mindset that negatively affects our lives. A stronghold is a mindset, embedded in our un-conscious mind that is based on anti-truth and needs to be broken by the power of God’s Word.
If all of your thinking has brought you to a place you don’t like, have another thought.
Having thoughts in your head that don’t take you anywhere, aren’t of God. We have to confront negative patterns of thinking because they are not going to go away all by themselves. We have to decide to think another thought and then feed our minds God’s thoughts that will reprogram the way we live our lives.
We have to make our mind up about our story. Transformation after the new birth is primarily through the renewal of our mind. Our mind’s didn’t get saved when we were born again, our spirits did. After the new birth our minds are still conformed to the pattern of this world and needs to be reprogrammed to God’s way of thinking. His thoughts aren’t our thoughts and his ways aren’t our ways (Isa 55:8-9).
What are you feeding your mind? What thoughts are constantly traveling through your head? What are you permitting in your personal world? Are you discerning and intentional about what thoughts you tolerate or do you just leave the gate of your mind open to any fleeting thought that comes your way?
It’s time to get another thought and think upon those things that will build you up and not tear you down.