Everything you think has power – power to destroy or to build up. But…the mind seems to do a good job of only focusing on the negative. If you’re looking for a solution – a way to take your mind captive, get rid of the negative, and replace it with thoughts that build up, you’re in the right place.
Today we’re going to look at God’s word and use it to guide our mind and actions. First, we’ll look at what the Bible says about our thoughts and then use it to bury those negative thoughts.
Ready to know the why, what, and how of “setting your mind on things above”?
Why What We Think Matters
What I’d really like to say to “Why What We Think Matters” is “because”, “just because”. But I won’t pull pain-in-the-rear parent tactic on you. Instead you and I are going to Father God and going to look at what His Word says about “why our thoughts matter”.
Psalm 91:14-15 says: “Because he has focused his love on me, I will deliver him. I will protect him because he knows my name. When he calls out to me, I will answer him. I will be with him in his distress. I will deliver him, and I will honor him.”
- Our thoughts matter because a mind fixed on God leads to deliverance, answers, and companionship.
Do we even need another reason for why our thoughts matter? If you read nothing more, I pray you get what this verse says – ‘focus your love on God’. But (you might be thinking)…focusing love, that’s not thoughts. Yes it is.
Remember when you first fell in love with someone? You “focused your love” on that person didn’t you.
When you focused your love on that person, what consumed your mind?
Yup, your thoughts were all about the person you’d fell in love with.
Truth: If you focus your love on God your thoughts will be consumed by Him.
God’s will for you, His love for you, the things He asks you to do, the things He says about you…they’ll all consume your mind and crowd everything else out.
In Proverbs 5:1-2, Solomon wrote: “My son, stay focused; listen to the wisdom I have gained; give attention to what I have learned about life so you may be able to make sensible judgements and speak with knowledge.”
2. Our thoughts matter because paying attention to Godly wisdom allows us to speak knowledgeably and make sound decisions.
Let me explain. Just the other day someone sent me an email that was politely hurtful. You know those politically correct words and phrases we use to hide what we’d really like to be saying? My immediate response was to ignore it (I don’t like conflict). But it had invaded my mind and thoughts and ignoring it was impossible. What’d I do? Stopped, prayed, and asked the Holy Spirit to guide me. Then I went to my computer, drafted a reply and didn’t send it. Yup – not a good idea to hit send before we’ve had time to walk away and maybe even get someone else’s input. Just so happened I was meeting with a friend the next morning. So – without revealing names and without slamming the original author, I asked my friend to read both emails. After I got her feedback and suggestions, I took it to God once more before hitting send. Wanna know what that did? One – after drafting the first email, I didn’t think about the hurtful email again. After sending the email I was at complete peace and my heart was full of love and respect for the original author.
Truth: Paying attention to Godly wisdom fills our thoughts and mind with positivity.
Now that we know why our thoughts matter (or at least some of the why’s), let’s go back to God’s word to find the “what to do’s” and “how to do’s”.
This is the Action part. The part you need to read, pray about, and put into immediate action.
I’m not naive though – this will not be easy. Change is never ever easy.
It involves changing thought processes that have become habits, habits that’ve likely been in place for most or all of your life.
Don’t give up. Dig your heels in and tackle this with the Holy Spirit. This will mean you’re doing “all things through Christ who strengthens you.”
Your 3 Step What & How to Action Plan
Step 1 - Have a Funeral Service
Colossians 3:2-5 says: “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.”
We all think things that are far from heavenly in nature. For you those thoughts might fall into some of the categories listed in Colossians and for others that won’t be the case.
I’ve got an “uncover your earthly thoughts” exercise for you and I want you to be 100% honest with yourself and God (He already knows anyway).
- Write down everything you think about yourself when you look in the mirror, go shopping for clothes, or get dressed in the morning.
- Write down everything you tell yourself when you’ve said or done something wrong.
- Write down everything you beat yourself up about – everything.
Then I want you to write down every
- “earthly” thought you have about people at work,
- your boss,
- your family,
- the person who cut you off this morning,
- the person who cut in front of you at the grocery store,
- the person at your kids school or sports activity.
Grab a pen and paper or the notes app on your phone and take five minutes, or all day, to brain dump this all out.
If you’re doing this as you go through the day, use the notes app on your phone and do a quick voice note each time a negative or “earthly” type thought enters your head.
Now that you’ve got your list I want you to read it out loud.
Then spend some time in prayer asking God to forgive you and asking Him to give you His thoughts. Ask Him to help you see yourself and others the way He does.
Last, take that piece of paper and bury it. I’m not real sure how to bury a note on your phone – maybe delete it???
Truth: If our lives our hidden with Christ our minds will be set on things above.
Ready for step 2?
Step 2 - Renew Your Mind
Romans 12:2 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.”
Now that you’ve buried all your earthly thoughts it’s time to fill your mind up with Godly thoughts.
There are a few ways to do this but one is way more important than the others – Daily Time in God’s Word.
The only way you’re going to think like God thinks and follow in Jesus’ footsteps is by spending time in our Instruction Manual for Life.
You can read the Bible or listen to it but just get it in your head.
When you know how God says to handle things, what He says He’ll do, and how Jesus dealt with life, you’ll soon find yourself thinking and doing the same things.
Trust me on this one.
God promises to mold and shape us into His image. Place yourself into His hands and let Him do the work.
I know you’re busy and time is a precious commodity but I also know you’ve got 10 minutes.
It’s all a matter of priorities.
- Put your phone down,
- step away from the internet, and put God first.
- Maybe this means you’ll need to set your alarm 10 minutes earlier or not be able to spend time on Instagram or Facebook. That’s okay.
Time with God is way more important. Now for our last step
Truth: When we renew our mind by focusing on God, we will know His will for us.
Step 3 ~ Focus on God
Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You.”
There are so many verses I could list here (they’re all below) but this is a favorite. It’s a promise from God to you and me.
Your mind will be at perfect peace when you focus on (depend on) God.
You’re able to rest, knowing that God’s handling things and that He’ll direct your steps, when you’ve buried earthly thoughts and behaviors and traded them in for the mind of Christ.
A renewed, Godly mind that’s mimicking Christ in thought, word, and deed is a mind at peace.
It’s so much more than a mind at peace though – it’s a life at peace.
When God is your focus life’s circumstances and struggles
- don’t look the same,
- aren’t handled the same, and
- don’t end the same.
You’ve buried old thoughts, renewed your mind, and now you’re focusing on God.
- Take a hard look at your life. What are you struggling with? What burdens do you have? What do you wish was different?
- Write them all down and one by one read them and think about what God would say or do.
- Write that down.
- What do you think God would tell you?
- How would God handle it?
- What might He change?
- I then want you to start speaking God’s Word and His truth over the things you wrote down. Speak positive Godly truth every time a negative earthly thought enters your mind, every time a challenging situation arises.
Declare the things you’re renewing your mind with.
Truth: God keeps our minds at peace when we depend on Him.
Wrapping It Up
God’s ways are far beyond our comprehension so be prepared for Him to WOW you.
- change your thoughts,
- renew your mind, and
- change the things you’ve listed.
It likely won’t be the way you expect though.
Every single day you have to decide to bury earthly ungodly thoughts when they surface and replace those thoughts with Godly thoughts (renew your mind).
This is a choice you have to make and it’s a choice that will change your life for the better. It makes me so excited even thinking about what God’s going to do for you.
He never disappoints and the changes He makes are always for His glory.
You might have to walk through some really really hard things, things that don’t turn out the way you wanted. You still have to focus on God, renew your mind, and think His thoughts.
There’s solid science behind the power of the mind. Your thoughts as you walk through tough things have the power to destroy or build up.
If thoughts and mindset, without Jesus, can bring about weight loss and improved health, imagine what’ll happen when you think Godly thoughts and have the mind of Christ!
Bottom line: When we have the mind of Christ and focus on God’s will and way, positive change happens.
Remember, When you fix your mind on Christ and speak words of life your mindset about life and self will change. Not only that, your life will change. Ready for that?