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!
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.
Catch the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vineyard. (Song of Songs 2:15)
It’s the little things in life that make the biggest difference. Life is the accumulation of little things, little thoughts, little words, little actions and little choices. The pathway to your destiny begins with a little thought. God has appointed you to a vineyard of gifting and responsibility. Ultimately, it’s not the BIG things that threaten the fruitfulness of your vineyard, as it is, the little things along the way that if you don’t catch now can undermine you later. What are the little foxes in your life that are derailing your hopes and dreams? Identify them, catch them and do something about them before they take you out.
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.