On top of my world: Master my mind
It can seem obvious to say that our thinking is important, but we so often forget this and let our minds run away with unhelpful thoughts. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t you’re right.”. Proverbs 23:7a says
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he”
referring to the deep, heart thinking that profoundly impacts how we think of ourselves and ultimately can change our life outcomes. Having satisfying answers to the questions “Who am I?”, “Why am I here?” and “Where am I from?” is important. To be on top of our world we need to learn to govern our thinking by bringing every thought captive to Christ, renewing our mind with the Word of God and setting our minds on Him.
IT'S A JUNGLE IN THERE
Human minds are so easily distracted, and we end up down a seemingly unrelated rabbit hole wondering “How did I get to thinking about this?”. Over the years, there are many influences to our thinking and not all of them are good (Song of Solomon 2:15). Two destructive things that can lodge in our thinking are lies and lenses (or how we perceive things).
- Lenses such as anxiety, fear and shame can filter and distort the way we see the world around us. Sometimes these begin through a trauma resulting in stress and fear. But these lenses can contradict what God says about us - God loves and cares for you.
- Lies can come from other people (Proverbs 12:18, 18:21) or are initiated by Satan (as the Father of Lies – John 8:44). Too often the soundtrack of our minds determines the soundtrack of our lives. If what we think about ourselves and others is wrong, then our lives are shaped by the lies we believe.
MASTER YOUR MIND
Take Every thought Captive
First comes the decision. Decide that you won’t believe the lies or let the lens stay in place and that you want to learn to deflect, diffuse or destroy the negative thoughts that undermine us (Philippians 4:8). We need to exercise self-discipline to control our thinking (2 Corinthians 10:4-5) and Jesus will help us – anything you decide to bring to the feet of Jesus, can change. We need to renounce and repent of past bad thinking. We literally ‘break the agreement’ with things we have previously declared and decide to change direction.
Renew Your Mind with the Word
The world tells us that if you believe a lie then you can’t change but God shows us that this isn’t true. When a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, it isn’t because some wings get added – it is a complete transformation. This powerful metamorphosis process is available to us with the Word of God (Romans 12:1-2). Positive self-talk and thinking is not enough. The Word of God is alive, truth, light and it gets in deep. It is a weapon to replace lies in our thinking with God’s truth. If we find relevant scriptures and meditate on them, God can pull apart the lies and create new, healthy blueprints in our thinking.
Set our Minds on God
Last week we learnt that everything flows from the heart – including our thinking. If we work on issues of our heart, our mind will also be changed. If our hearts desire the things of God and to walk in His Spirit then we set on our minds on Him (Romans 8:5). To choose to live in relationship with God doesn’t just take away problems, it is opening up the door to all His blessings and the ‘heavy artillery’ to bring about positive change in our lives (Isaiah 26:3).
SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT:
- Have you experienced a transformation in an area of your life through replacing a lie with God’s truth?
- What are some practical ways to meditate on God’s truth to transform your thinking (post-it notes, reminders, texts from friends)?
- Share if you are comfortable, a nasty thought that you just keep returning to and brainstorm together some scriptures to meditate on to dismantle it.
- Who are the people in your world that you see being fed lies about who they are (ugly, stupid, a mistake)? Consider how, as a connect group you can talk to them about how God sees them. Christmas is a perfect time for this.