“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious – the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not to curse.” – Philippians 4:6-8
Research has discovered that the mind of a person is filled with an average of 60,000 thoughts per day. This equals to approximately 42 thoughts per minute. Wow! What are you thinking about?
There are many voices that try to influence our lives on a day to day basis. Most of the time, these voices play over and over in our minds like a broken record on repeat. They tell us to worry about how we are going to pay the electric bill, or whether or not we will overcome a sickness. These are the voices that remind us of our pasts and talk down our futures.
Often times, the things I think about derive from my past experiences taking me on a journey in my mind. Before I know it, my casual drive down the highway turns into a trip down memory lane – triggering a past car accident and crippling me with the fear of another. And in the matter of a minute, my mind has come up with 42 different ways to die – ridiculous.
It’s in those moments that I need to shift my focus to God’s goodness and remind myself, instead of worrying, PRAY! Without the determination to renew our minds, the hurts from our pasts will constantly scream in our heads in an effort to keep us from our full potential in Christ. So whether you experienced a hurtful relationship, or you’re upset because of how you were raised as a child, it’s going to be okay! Those experiences – challenging as they were – are not meant to define you. God wants to redeem the past hurts that we continually relive in our minds. Why? Because your past is something for you to stand on, not something to be buried under.
Believe it or not, your thinking will affect how you live; what you do, say, and how you act. Most of our thinking is connected to how we are feeling, and feelings are wishy-washy and temporary. If we’re not careful and discerning, our lives can start to breed feeling-based decisions. Like yelling at a person who is slowing down the grocery line, or choosing to hang out with the wrong people just because you feel lonely. The voice that derives from our feelings is never a reliable source.
But, there is a voice that wants to overpower the noise; a voice that wants to take over and be the driving force of your life – the Holy Spirit. As we press into God in moments of doubt and uncertainty, He fills our hearts and minds with perfect peace enabling us to change our thinking, switch off the channel of fear, and have a game plan in place to combat the lies running through our heads.
- It’s important to identify the source of our thoughts. Not every thought comes from God; there are multiple voices trying to take over. There is an enemy who does not want to see us succeed. And if we don’t take every thought captive, we can be ruled by all the wrong voices. As we grow in God, we become familiar with His voice. This enables us to shut out the wrong thoughts that are trying to bombard our minds.
- Learn to change the channel in your mind. If you don’t like what’s playing over and over, change it - shift your focus! Having victory over our minds comes from being selective about what we are thinking, listening to, and watching. We have the power to create new channels-channels that are going to build us up, and not tear us down. By deleting previous thought patterns we can make room for new ones.
- Have a meal plan for your mind. What we feed ourselves eventually comes out. And God’s desire is for us to be healthy - mind, body, and soul. This requires intentional effort. As we change channels and delete old ways of thinking, we need to replace those old habits with new ones. Start your day with surrendering your mind to the Lord. Spending time in prayer and reading the word fills our hearts and minds with His truth. It could be something as simple as changing a radio station and putting worship music on, or listening to a podcast. As we create these new habits, our lives will produce the right kind of fruit.
THINK BETTER – LIVE BETTER!