Day 19 – January 24

Philippians 4:8-9(NLT) And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Where is your mind at? What are your fixated on? What are you constantly thinking about? Have you ever thought about, what you are thinking about? Why are thoughts so important? Because thoughts are not harmless. We are shaped by thoughts, whether they are someone else’s thoughts or our own. As the saying goes: “Wherever the mind goes the man follows.” 

Thoughts occupy mental real estate. Thoughts shape our behavior and control our emotions. If you don’t believe that, you are at best simply naive or at worse deceived. The predominant thoughts in my mind will become the believe system in my heart, which will be the operating system of my life. What I constantly think about in my head, will build what I filter (meditate) in my heart and will determine the habits in my life! I love how the Message Bible states Matthew 5:8(Message) “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

My thoughts will stir my desires and emotions, and I will make the decision to follow those desires. If we focus only on the negative things in our lives, we become negative people. Everything, including our conversation, becomes negative. I challenge you to think about what you are thinking about! You might be discouraged and even depressed and wonder what caused it. Yet if you examine your thought life, you’ll find that you’re feeding the negative emotions you are feeling. Negative thoughts are fuel for discouragement, depression, and many other unpleasant emotions.

Why do you do what you always do? It is because you think the way you always think…A new life can only be shaped by a renewed mind; a renewed mind only comes about by new thoughts.

Someone once quoted: “As you wander on through life, brother, whatever be your goal, keep your eye upon the doughnut and not upon the hole.” (Only 2 more days and you can eat a doughnut) Too many people focus on what’s not there and what’s not right. That means that our thoughts largely determine our destiny. Our thoughts also determine our happiness. So, what’s the conclusion then? We can’t have a positive life and a negative mind.

A toxic mind filled with toxic thoughts, produces toxic emotions. Toxic emotions produce toxic words, and toxic words produce toxic choices, and toxic choices produce toxic habits! There is a better way to live than to have a life filled with negative emotions, negative feelings and negative responses. Instead, we can fix our minds on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. God’s way is always better for you. Being full of grace and faith sure beats being filled with anxiousness and worry!

Right after Paul tells us to fix our minds on that which is good, he tells us to put into practice what we have learned. If that does not show us that our thoughts affect our actions, nothing will. I love how He finishes verse 9: “Then the God of peace will be with you.” When we think right, we will do right, and the God of peace will be right by our side! We not only will have peace, we will have the presence of the God of peace!

How can we fix our thinking? First, we must challenge our thinking. Ask the question – Why am I thinking this way? Secondly, we must change our thinking. Ask – What am I allowing in my thought life? And thirdly, we must consecrate our thinking. Ask yourself – How much of God’s Word do I think about?

This is not mind over matter, this is saying my mind and what it lingers on matter. A changed life is only possible by having a renewed mind. Will you make a decision today, to renew your mind and to fill it with that which is good and honorable, so that your life may reflect it? Let’s get busy, thinking new thoughts, the possibility is endless…

Prayer:

  • Pray and ask the Lord to give you the discipline to build a consistent healthy pattern of thinking in your life.
  • Ask the Lord to give you a discerning mind, so that you may be able to identify, displace and expel wrong, unhealthy, negative and toxic thoughts.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a sound, well-balanced, fearless and loving mind.
  • Pray God’s Word out loud over your life: For EX: Colossians 1:9b-14(Adapted from the NLT) …Father, I ask that You give me complete knowledge of Your will and to give me spiritual wisdom and understanding. 10 So that the way I live will always honor and please the Lord Jesus. That my life will produce every kind of good fruit. As I grow and learn to know You better and better. 11 I also pray that I will be strengthened with all Your glorious power so that I will have all the endurance and patience I need. May I be filled with joy, 12 always thanking You, Father. You have enabled me to share in the inheritance that belongs to Your people, who live in the light. 13 For You have rescued me from the kingdom of darkness and transferred me into the Kingdom of Your dear Son, 14 who purchased my freedom and forgave my sins. In Jesus Name I pray! Amen and Amen.