LISTEN TO THE EPISODE
It’s important for us to understand how important the mind is. Every battle we face in life at one point or another either begins in or makes its way through our minds. A recent study showed that on average we experience over 6,000 thoughts per day. 6,000 thoughts in a 24 hour timeframe. That’s a lot of thoughts, and all these thoughts ultimately frame your understanding of what’s happening around you, it frames your belief system, it sends waves throughout your body that influence the way you feel and act and react to certain things.
The mind is such a crucial component to not only our bodies but also to our lives to the point that if we do not get a handle on our minds, these 6000 thoughts per day; if we don’t intentionally make the conscious decision to renew our minds daily, so that it is in alignment with God’s will for our lives, we will find ourselves caught in a destructive cycle that just goes on and on and on. And that is not the life that God has called us to live.
Romans 12:1-2 says Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 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.
Do you find yourself ever questioning what God’s will is for your life? Here’s the formula provided by Paul – Don’t copy what the world says or does, or the way they respond to situations. Don’t use the world’s formula to define success but rather follow Godly principles and allow what God says in His word and what God says about you to dictate how you behave. Transform yourself. How do I transform myself? Be transformed by renewing your mind. Change the way you think.
Only when we have a change in mindset, will we have a change in our actions. If you don’t think your vote counts in an election, there is little motivation to get you out to vote. But when you don’t vote and you don’t like the results, we complain. If you don’t think you’re worth more than they are paying you at your job, there will be little hope of you asking for a raise. But then you wonder why you’re at the same salary for years. If you don’t think you need to repent, there will be no repentance. God is calling us to change the way we think.
The first thing we need to change the way we think about is our words. What are you saying on a daily basis?
God has taught me and continues to teach me about the principle of the spoken word and how powerful the words that we speak are. And a lot of us don’t realize it. (Because subconsciously we think it’s harmless. We speak on average 10,000 words per day and that goes up for women. You know we women like to talk. And notice how we talk more than we think – that’s why we need to think before we speak).
The things that we say even if you think you’re just joking around. We have to be so very careful of the things that we say because words are like soldiers that do nothing but take orders. And so when we speak things over our lives, when we say things to our children, when we’re frustrated and we say things out of anger, your words are on assignment whether you intend for them to be or not. That’s why we have to be intentional about the things we say and more importantly the things we don’t say. We have to start transforming the way we think about words. Choose your words wisely because life and death lies in what you say. The enemy knows this as a foundational principle. So he works to get us to self-destruct and speak death over our own lives. How does he do this? By first attacking our minds, our thoughts. When you control the mind, you control the tongue; The thoughts that we allow to linger into our minds take root until they come out in the words we say and when it becomes word, it’s now on assignment.
We must transform the way we think. It begins with our understanding of the principles of God and then applying what God has said in His word.
Paul says in Philippians 4:8, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. And if you feel your thoughts slipping elsewhere, the Bible says to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. That’s an authoritative command we are given. We have the authority and position to take captive every thought that runs in our minds and we make it obedient to Christ. Don’t sit there and let it linger, don’t allow it to take root, don’t even allow it to get from one side of your brain to the next. The Scripture says take it captive and command your thoughts to line up. So when you find yourself thinking and or about to say things like, I’m sick, I’m broke, I’m depressed, I’m never going to learn how to do this. Immediately take those thoughts captive and counteract those words with God’s thoughts about you. I am the head and not the tail, The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights. I am more than a conqueror. Deliberately shift your mindset. If your husband or wife walks out on you, or says something mean to you, if your boss talks down to you and you’re thinking well maybe I’m just not enough. You immediately grab that thought and you declare that I am fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God who formed me in my mother’s womb and had plans for me before the foundations of the world. Because He is more than enough, I am enough.
We take captive thoughts and we bring it to alignment with God’s word. Transform your mind.
The second thing we need to transform our minds with is our time. How are you spending your time? I think on many of our New Years Resolution lists is to spend more time with God. It seems as though with everything we have going on, all the obligations, all the meetings, all the rehearsals, the job, the school, there is not enough time to do anything. But God had to transform the way I thought about time. You have 24 hours in a day. If you’re like me I get aout 5-7 hours of sleep . Let’s even take a typical 8 hour sleep day. That leaves you with 16 hours of uptime. 8 of those you’re probably at work or let’s say school. That leaves you 8 hours. How are you managing your time to where you can’t spare 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour per day to commune with God? Spending time in prayer or His word? He challenged me to change the way I thought about time. I sat down and wrote out a schedule and realized how much more productive I could be if I managed my time better and understood that I have more than enough time to spend with Him. And this also comes with intentionality. Being deliberate about blocking out a certain time of day or evening just for Him. But all this has to come with a change in our mindset. If your mindset about time or anything else we discuss doesn’t change, the zeal and excitement you may feel in this moment will only be temporary.
Why? Because you’re only doing it based on a temporary feeling. Let me give you an example. You go in the bathroom, you look in the mirror. You put on some more pounds, you don’t like what you see, so at that moment you felt like you wanted to lose weight. So you start a hardcore diet plans, 30 day workouts, Weight loss pills. You just want to lose weight. But then we get to the end of the plan, achieve what we wanted BUT 60 days later we’re right back where we started. Weight back on again,why? We didn’t change our mindset about food. We didn’t change our mindset about exercise. We just put ourselves on a challenge. We cut the branches and left the root. The root is your mind.
Here’s another example. We want to save a certain amount of money at the end of the year and we start off strong. But by mid-year or mid-month for some of us, the savings account has been depleted and forgotten about. What is your mindset about money? I had to change my mindset when it came to finances. I had to shift the way I looked at money and looked at myself and looked at my bank accounts. I started to see pass the reds, the negative numbers. I started to understand the principles of giving even in little and how God blesses that. I changed my mindset and reminded myself I was a child of the God that owned everything.
How about tithes and offerings? How is your heart and your mind when it comes to tithing? It’s not about the Pastor. You’re giving to God not to man. It’s not your business nor should it be your concern where your tithes and offerings are going. Those in charge of collection and dispersing of funds will have to give an account to God for how they were a steward over the church’s finances. You will have to give an account of how you were obedient or disobedient to the instruction and principle of giving.
To understand principles and supernatural things it takes a shift in our mindset. When I began to understand Godly principles, forgiving people was no longer an option. Dr. Helga Clarke wrote a book entitled Forgiveness is not an option, if you’re still struggling with unforgiveness, give it over to God and read that book or other resources, shift your mindset and let it go. When you transform your mind it’s no longer about what you see in front of you. It’s not about what they did to you and how they were in the wrong and how innocent you are, it’s about principles. If you do not forgive you will not be forgiven. It’s not a hard thing for me to do, forgiving people comes easy for me. Why? Because I changed my mindset. I am heaven bound and will not compromise or jeopardize that for any small or big situation that happened years ago or last week. I am flawed. I make mistakes. I need grace too. I cannot judge anyone by a stick I cannot hold up for myself. Extend grace, people are flawed, humans are flawed, with deceitful hearts, including our own at times. Forgive. And don’t just do it because I’m saying it, grab hold of forgiveness as a principle and let it seep into your soul and spirit until it changes your mindset. The next time you read your word, ask God to show you something that will help to transform your mindset.
How is your mindset toward hard times? If there were no bad times, good times would not matter. As a matter of fact, gratitude would not exist. If you didn’t experience the removal of God’s hand and favor, if you didn’t experience what it’s like to have nothing, you will have little to no appreciation for having everything. A mindset shift.
There is so much in store for us that we are being held back from because of our attitudes and the way we think. But God is calling us in this time, to look inward and go through repentance and consecration. Ask Him to shine the light on those areas in your life that need a mindset shift and really make the conscious decision to be intentional to transform our minds. Amen.