I saw this meme on Pinterest and it got me thinking. Our thoughts and our words can keep us from living in the freedom Jesus died to give us.
Romans 12:2 tells us, “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.”
Renewing our minds, changing our thinking, is so important! When we receive Jesus as our Savior He releases us from the past and we become a new creation. We receive the Holy Spirit who guides us, teaches us, and convicts us of new sins. It takes longer for our thoughts to change. We have a history of thinking certain things about ourselves. We need to train our thoughts to think the things God says about us. We need to become intimate with Scripture, so it can work to transform the way we think. All to often we think negatively. Certainly the majority of our entertainment contains negative, violent, and crude images and language. Commercials, magazines, and the like are full of ads and images telling us we don’t measure up. That we will be happy if we only buy this product, lose weight…whatever it is they are trying to sell. It’s no wonder we have trouble with our thoughts. Philippians 4:8 tells us, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” This is how we transform our minds, by changing what we think about. Just as our bodies are what we eat, so our thoughts are what we see and hear. The things we watch, listen to, and read influence our thoughts and therefore our actions. The best place to start is with Scripture. Reading studying, and memorizing (hiding it in your heart) the Word helps us to change our thoughts.
When we allow the lies, fears, and doubts the enemy plants in our thoughts to stick around they can render us ineffective for God’s kingdom. Perhaps you’ve been told you’re worthless. Jesus says you are valuable. Maybe you feel lonely and unlovable. Jesus loves you and He is always near you! Whatever lies you’ve been told about who you are, Jesus says, I gave My life for YOU!
Stop owning things by calling them “mine.” My attitude, my anger (I’m Irish or ____, so I can’t help it), my illness, my______, whatever it is, and give it to Jesus. He is waiting to take it all away from you. He says give your burdens to me and rest in my presence. Let me be your Provider, your Healer, your Refuge, and most of all your King. He wants us to let His love, joy, peace, and hope rule in our hearts and minds.
Whether you have been a follower of Jesus for just a short time or many years I would venture to say that there are probably some thoughts, habits, or other things in your life that you have not surrendered to God. Jesus wants every part of us. When we hold back parts of our lives from God we are essentially saying we don’t trust Him with it and making it an idol. Ouch! Maybe you’ve never considered it that way before. When we hold back on God we are only hurting ourselves and our relationship with Him. Jesus is waiting with arms wide open for you to give those things to Him, so you can find rest for your soul. Reach out to him today with your arms outstretched and hands wide open, so He can take those burdens from you and fill you with Himself – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23).
Blessings, grace, and peace,