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Where Your Mind Goes, You Will Follow

January 11, 2014

A new year is here. The great thing about the New Year is that with just a flip of the calendar, we have an opportunity for all things new. Our day to day lives may continue to follow the same pattern but for those willing to put forth the effort, things can begin to change. For any change to occur the first step is always to change our minds. Our lives and how we live them are the result of how we think. How we think determines what we believe, how we view people and situations and ultimately how well we live this Christian life.
What stands before each of us is 365 days. Each of us has the same number of days and the same number of hours. Much will happen in each of our lives in this coming year and none of us knows what truly lies ahead. But how we face what lies ahead and how we succeed or fail does lie within our power to affect. In large part it begins in our minds.
The Bible tells us that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. So a good place to start is by renewing our minds. What does this mean and how does it happen? Many of us suffer from some form of incorrect thinking. OUR thoughts must be replaced with GOD‘S thoughts. Our thoughts cannot be based on our own experiences, cute Facebook sayings, what “everyone” else thinks or how we feel. Our thoughts must be based on what God SAYS. To know how He thinks or what He says we must spend time in the Word. Our time in the Bible cannot be a routine habit or function merely to check off our quiet time quota. We must dive into it to know Him. We must know what His thoughts are. Who does He say He is and who does He say you are? What does He tell us to think on and how does He say we overcome?
When we face situations and people this coming year how well we succeed and overcome will be in a very large part based on how we think. Because how we think determines how we believe and then how we act.
Depression, anxiety and feelings of defeat should have no place in our lives. Hurt feelings, resentment and bitterness should have no hold on us. If you are struggling with any of these, it is not the situation or the people who need to change but it is time to change how you are thinking. It is time for you to think God’s thoughts and not your own.
Most Christians set resolutions or determine at the start of a new year to read the Bible more. I encourage you to do this also but not for the sake of just reading the Bible more. Ask God to change your approach. Ask Him to help you seek Him within its pages. Find key verses that are ways you should be thinking as opposed to how you currently think and write them down or memorize them. When you begin to think a regular thought that normally defeats you, pull out that card and say what God says. Renew your mind. Begin to say and think what God says not what you see or feel. For thought patters that have deep roots in us we MUST be tenacious. We cannot allow our wrong thinking and feelings to take us wherever they want. We must renew, renew, RENEW.
I have a very important warning to add. What you watch, listen to or look at is what you will ultimately think about. Who you hang out with will also affect your thinking. To be successful in removing old patterns of thought we also need to remove those things in our lives that have fostered those patterns. Do not be deceived into thinking that you can continue to watch the same garbage on TV and renew your mind. Hanging out with toxic friends will also keep you right where you are now. Unfortunately for your flesh, you are going to have to make some hard choices to eliminate the sources of wrong thoughts and feelings. Just as an alcoholic cannot expect to overcome while sitting on a barstool, you too must choose to eliminate the things that ultimately harm you.
Each day God says, “Choose this day whom you will serve.” So it is up to us each and every day. Will you serve your flesh and feed it the things that keep your mind in defeat? Or today will you choose to serve Him and say to Him what Ruth said, “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”

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