The correlation between what we think and how we live is undeniable. Reckless words from a parent, friend, or teacher can impact our thinking for a lifetime. Our upbringing, culture, clicks shape us, and this directs our thoughts and motivations. This thinking can bring insecurity, pride, shame, and self-sufficiency. What most dominates our thinking will directly impact the quality of our living!
Your thinking guides your decisions like a river cuts a path in the earth – only a radical intentional shift can redirect the course of your life. What rolls through our minds will be lived out in our lives! Just look at what Paul says about the impact of your thinking on the course of your life:
- Romans 1:28 - “Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done.”
- Romans 8:5-6 – “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”
- Romans 12:1-2 – “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
How does our mind get aligned with God, his Son's teaching, and the Spirit's leading? How do we begin to know the perfect will of God? Renew your mind with truth.
The study of God's word will set us free, but only if we reshape our thinking with the truth. God understood the radical intentional shift we need. His answer...Meditation! Meditation is not emptying our minds of everything; it is filling our minds with the only thing that can change us – truth. Meditation is far more than just memorizing truth. It involves speaking the truth to ourselves. The Hebrew word most associated with meditation is Hagah - best-translated murmur. Yes, God wants us to speak truth to ourselves, so our mind begins to think differently – our life cuts a new and holy path of joy and victory. What we hear murmured matters – what we murmur to ourselves matters more! Check out these two compelling examples of meditation and the promises directly linked to this new thinking.
- Joshua 1:8 – This Book of the Law must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in all you do.
- Psalm 1:1-3 – Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
Change your thinking...change your life! You can start right now. Below you'll find some of the most common destructive thoughts that are shaping your life. Try this for yourself. Identify one or two of these destructive thoughts, read the text aloud, and begin to murmur these truths throughout the day. As the habit grows, you'll find yourself using many other truths of God's word to carve a new path of abundant living.
- Fearful – II Timothy 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power, love, and self-control."
- Angry – James 1:19-20 “My beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for man's anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires."
- Insecure – I Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”
- Vengeful – Romans 12:19 “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
- Timid – Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
- Prideful – I Peter 5:6-8 “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
- Deflecting – James 1:13-14 “Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.”
- Anxious – Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
- Ashamed – I John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I pray God is freeing you right now and more with each passing day as you murmur truth and watch God radically shift your thinking – changing your life.