Archive | February 7, 2013

Thought Patrol – Change Your Life by Changing Your Mind

Thought Patrol

There’s Power in Policing Your Thoughts: Take Ownership of Your Life’s Story – Pt. 1

When an individual decides that they want to change something in their life, they must first recognize they are the author of their story. This is true for any area of life they desire to change – their money story, as well as relationships, and career or wellness stories. Taking ownership of your story is the first step and it is a crucial one.

Don’t misunderstand me. It is true that there are things that have happened to us that have been out of our control. You can’t do anything about the family you were born into, where you were born or when you were born. We also may not have control over experienced losses in income or physical disadvantages. If you were treated well as a child or abused as a child was not something you were able to regulate. We have all had sins done against us and some have been no less than horrific!

Yet how many MORE things have happened to us AFTER those events as a result of our beliefs concerning them. You see, it is not the events or situations themselves that have brought us to the place we find ourselves today. It is the beliefs we hold about them. It is how we have responded to them and what thoughts we have hidden concerning them into the depths of our minds. In other words, it is how we chose to think about God, our own value and identity, and even life itself as our take-away about the event we experienced or the circumstance we are challenged to overcome. Some people have allowed the situations of life to catapult them into their God-ordained destinies, while others have allowed their circumstances to hold them back.

Thoughts can enter our minds in three ways: from God; from our own brain functions that release the thoughts we have pondered in the past, and, therefore, stored in our physical brains; and from demonic spirits. Wrong thoughts do us no harm, nor are they accounted as sin to us as long as we judge them for what they are, and send refuse to keep them.  However, those thoughts that are more than fleeting – thoughts we allow to stay and make their home in our brains, are another thing. They begin to write our life story and direct the path it will take in the future. What I am saying is our thoughts have actually shaped our adult lives and created our life stories. Proverbs 23:7 tells us that as a man thinks, so he is. Therefore, in order to decide what needs to be changed in our lives so that we may live a more joyous, free, and successful life, we must first take ownership of our story.  We must accept that we are responsible for the thoughts we have pondered and allowed to become a part of who we are. Many times, these thoughts became attitudes and then directed our actions and speech, leading us to our present situations.

However, if you are breathing today, your story can still be changed – with God there is always HOPE. Our God renews and restores as we cooperate with Him. God wants us to become one with Him, to connect with Him not only in our spirits but with our minds. We do this by policing our thoughts. I call it Thought Patrol. We can review and evaluate our life events and gain insight as to what we took away from each. As we do this, we discover hidden themes and recurring patterns that have occurred due to what thoughts we pondered, thus creating a default way of thinking and responding to anything that reminds us of similar types of situations.  This pattern is embedded in our physical mind. We are able to then reflect on aspects of our identity, including the ROLES by which we define ourselves, that are associated with our thoughts about ourselves. We begin to undo all the false thought patterns we have developed and make new patterns of thought that are in alignment with God’s thoughts (Phil 4:8).  In order to do this, we must determine to pay close attention to what we are thinking (police our thoughts) and begin to make (requires effort) intentional changes in those patterns (2 Cor 10:5 and Romans 12:2).

Think about these verses. They give us direction for living free, purpose-filled, and successful lives before our God:

How we are to think: Philippians 4:8 – “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.” (Think good pure thoughts).
How we can think this way:
1.     2 Corinthians 10:5 – “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedientto Christ.”
(Determine to police our thoughts, take captive those thoughts that are out of order because they deny God’s presence in our lives, they deny who He is and who He has made us to be; refuse to think upon them.

2.     Romans 12:2 – “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, pleasingand perfect will.” (Replace those harmful thoughts with the good thoughts of God. Don’t think about your situations the way those without God would do. Instead meditate on God’s revelation of Himself (His sovereignty and love) and of who you are in Christ. New patterns of thinking will begin to develop and life begins to change and reflect God’s presence).

Every thought that enters your mind this week, I hope you will apply Phil 4:8 to it. If the thought is not good and encouraging, then take it captive and put it down according to 2 Corinthians. Replace it with thoughts from God you find in Scripture.

Let’s interact. Would you share a thought concerning who God is and/or who He says you are in Christ? Please feel free to comment on the post, ask for prayer, or ask questions throughout the week. I will do my best to answer you. You might want to subscribe to the feed for this series to ensure you don’t miss a thing. Also, it would be wonderful if you would invite others to join us. Meanwhile, I am praying for you.

Next week, we will talk more about how our roles in life have defined us.

With Sister Love,

Sarah Goebel