As a person thinks so is he or she (see Proverbs 23:7). This truth runs much deeper than many realize. Even repentance is based on the change of thought. Understand God is most assuredly in control; however, He gave much control to us by providing us a mind, and yes, a will. We are not robots that are programmed a certain way. Rather, our programming is the result of what’s been inputted into our minds. By and large, God leaves the programming up to us. Just as you have the will to decide whether to follow Jesus or someone else, you can also choose the thoughts which you receive. Those thoughts have influenced your decisions and choices, and they are largely responsible for where you are at this moment. Of course, there are other variables involved, such as the other human beings on the planet along with their decisions and choices. At times, they collide with your life. But, how you respond or react with others is still up to you. How did you make the decisions that got you where you are today? What is your decision making process? Thoughts or the lack thereof played a role in it.
James 1:19Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath. How are your listening skills? Maybe you’re an expert listener, but there is another component to consider: to whom or what are you listening? Whose advice do you receive? Who or what do you allow to shape your thoughts? This is huge! Many know by experience, bad advice can lead to serious trouble. Ironically, bad advice can come from those who care deeply about you -no malice attached whatsoever. While love is vital, it alone does not necessarily qualify the individual to give good guidance. They need to know what they’re talking about, if it is going to be of value. Why do people take counsel from those who lack the needed knowledge, wisdom and understanding required to help in their area of need? Would it be good idea to find someone who has success in that arena? How much good information could you learn about God from an atheist?
If you want to live a godly lifestyle, then it would be best to focus on a godly worldview. With whom you surround yourself is an important consideration. This is especially true for those weak in the faith and easily influenced by others. Beyond that, if you have limiting thoughts which are holding you back, ask yourself where they came from. Question and challenge those thoughts, because they play a role in hindering your success. For instance, ask yourself, Is this thought true? Then ask, What makes it true? This question might help you discover if you have been believing a lie. In other words, you might consider a thought to be true, until you break down. You may find there was no foundation for it to ever be true. It could simply be that the thought came from someone you trusted, and you took to be the gospel. For example, what a parent says out loud often becomes a child’s inner truth. What we say matters! If what was said wasn’t true, that child could grow up believing a lie. In turn, it would negatively impact his or her life choices.
Many are more influenced by the media than they realize. Some believe the world’s report more than God’s. In spite of what so called experts may say, God’s Word trumps science, technology and popular opinion combined. Nonetheless, what you believe will influence what you are able to receive from Him. Even though Jesus could perform great miracles, it did one community little good. Why? Because they did not believe (see Mark 6:1-6). And yet, Jesus said, “Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith” (Mark 11:22-23). Because some believers are so inundated with what the media says, they are limiting God in their lives. Again, to whom or what you listen plays a part in is shaping your life -good or bad.
In relation to changing your thoughts, here are a couple things to consider: first, do your thoughts line up with the Word of God? Secondly, you are not only who God says you are, you can do what He says you can do. Philippians 4:13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. God is limitless. With Him all things are possible; and yet, there two things impossible for Him. One is it’s impossible for Him to lie (Hebrews 6:18). Secondly, He cannot deny Himself (2 Timothy 2:13). Ask God about your thoughts. Romans 12:2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. If you allow your thoughts to conform to His, your life will drastically change for the better!