We are talking about mindset in this series. What we think about is essential to what our lives become. Our choices impact our behavior and our situations. Changing our mindset means changing what we are thinking about. To help you with that, text ‘godspromises’ to 689-214-5554. As you meditate on these things that God has in His mind for you, you will get hold of them in YOUR mind for you.
Choose to feed your mind daily with the best thoughts. Resolve to free your mind from destructive thoughts. Feed your faith and starve your doubts. “Those who are dominated by the 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)
You have got to fight to free your mind. Focus every day. Focus on what matters the most. How do you make your mind mind, especially when your thoughts often disobey you. Do you find, for example, that when you want to read your Bible or pray, your mind drifts away? Or do you spend a chunk of time worrying about something that never happens? Defeat in life comes when we don't know how to fight the battle of the mind.
One battle of the mind is with temptation. When temptation comes, it follows a process described in James 1:14. Desires entice us and drag us away. Temptation starts in desire.
Desires are not inherently evil. They are usually natural desires that are a part of life. They are God-given. There is nothing wrong with a desire for food or sleep for instance, but if desire grows beyond control, it becomes destructive.
Doubt follows desire that has gone rogue. Doubt in what God says, the truth we find in His word, leads us further into the temptation process. Maybe we decide that He doesn’t really mean what He has said about a certain topic. We doubt the truth and give way to deception.
As a person doubts God’s word and what He has to say about the area we are struggling in, we begin to settle for lies. These may be justification for the uncontrolled desire or they may be a lie about not really having a choice in the matter. Maybe it is a lie about how others will feel if we don’t participate with them. Remember too, we have an enemy and Satan will use just the right bait to draw us in. He always has a hook that will snag us.
Disobedience is the step after doubt. Scripture says that the truth will set us free. If we depart from truth and yield to deception, we will lose our way. Disobedience to the truth causes departure from healthy, life-giving behavior and good choices will be forfeited for behavior that brings defeat.
As defeat becomes reality, we are in full-fledged sin which leads to death. Attraction leads to action and that's where the problem lies. Whatever you flirt with you will fall for and the end result is death. Death does not mean you quit breathing necessarily, but it definitely means you are not living the life God has in mind for you. You are not making choices that satisfy your soul and birth abundance into your life.
Make up your mind to obey - no matter what (Ps 119:112). Have you made that decision? You become what you think about the most. What you think about the longest becomes the strongest focus of your mind. Heavenly minded people tend to be of more earthly good. A lot of us are too earthly minded to be of any heavenly good.
So, why are certain behaviors, that are not doing you any good, hard to change?
- There are thought patterns you've had for a long time. Some are survival tactics you developed as a child. They may be thought processes that don't really work well, that are obviously harmful to you and others, but they are like old friends.
- Some are perceived identity. An example would be “I'm a workaholic.” Or “I will always be overweight.” Those defects are not your true identity. Your identity is in Christ and it is what He says about you and what He has authored in you, that is the truth. However, what you expect with confidence will become your self-fulfilling prophecy. Listen to your self-talk and what you say about yourself. It can be very revealing.
- There is a payoff - emotional, relational, physical… You're “rewarded” for that bad habit and whatever gets rewarded, gets repeated. Ask yourself what the payoff is from a thought process you're trying to change. Your thinking leads to behavior and behavior is reinforced when it “works for you”. A good example is a mother calling family down for dinner. She tries nicely several times even adding that the food will be cold if they don’t come eat. Finally, she yells and that is the behavior that gets results. The reward is that when she yells, the family comes to dinner. Another way to say it is that we get our way when we act out. If you can't get approval, you'll get attention.
- Satan wants to keep you stuck. It is his constant goal to keep you from reaching your God-given potential. He is the accuser of the brethren. He can't control your mind but he can drop negative, accusing thoughts into your mind.
Change starts with choices. What are you choosing to think about? Since you've heard about Jesus, throw off the sinful nature let the spirit work (Ephesians 4:21 27). Join me next week to learn how to make lasting changes. Meanwhile, don’t forget to download the Promises Over Problems ebook by texting godspromises to 689-214-5554.
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