Take Captive

Romans 12:2 “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”

We have a choice to allow God to change the way we think. If we pay attention, we realize choices shape a lot of our life, even more than circumstances. We are a byproduct of our past but we're not a prisoner of our past. Choices have consequences so if we change our mind, we can change our world.

Stinking thinking is a hindrance. Is there an area where you could use a fresh start? Most of us can say yes to that question. But, before you change your location or your job, change your thinking. The next thing after saying “Yes” to Jesus is to change how you see yourself, how you see your problems, and how you see God.

So, if mindset matters, what are some things you need to be aware of that will help you reset?

  1. Thoughts direct your life.

Proverbs 4:23 (TEV) instructs us to be careful how we think because our life is shaped by our thoughts. How often do you sabotage yourself? Outside of your conversations you have with God, what are the conversations you have with yourself? As you think, you will be. The problem is in your mind.

  1. Struggles happen in your mind.

The mental battle is continuous. Depression, stress, addiction, fear, anxiety, jealousy, resentment low esteem, lies from the devil – these are all mental battles. There is always a battle in your brain. Paul was gut-level honest about his own struggle in Romans 7:22-23 (LB), “I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin.” The battle is intense because your mind is your greatest asset. It matters.  

  1. The mind is where God’s Spirit works.

When we come to belief in Jesus and what He did for us, we invite Jesus into our hearts. The heart is a symbol for the brain. Ephesians 4:22 (CEV) is worth memorizing – “You were told that your foolish desires will destroy you and that you must give up your old way of life with all its bad habits. Let the Spirit change your way of thinking.” When Satan suggests an idea into your mind, we call it temptation. When God suggests an idea into your mind, it is inspiration. Romans 8:6 (NCV) let’s us know that where our thinking is controlled by sinful self, there is death but where it is controlled by the Spirit, there is life and peace.

Nothing is going to change until you change the way you think. When you change your thinking, you can change your life and when you change the way you look at things, the things that you’re looking at will begin to change.

What can you do to transform your mind? One way is to feed your mind with good thoughts. Feed your faith and starve your doubts. Philippians 4:8 shows us how to do that. 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. Does this verse describe the majority of your thoughts? We have to train our thoughts to do this. We have to choose. We need to monitor what we are taking in, - watching, reading, listening to. What's on your mental diet? 

In John 8:31-32, Jesus tells us if we continue to obey his teaching, we are truly his followers. Then we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. He also says if we continue in His word, we're His followers. Would Jesus say you are truly one of his followers? We need to choose every day to feed our mind with good thoughts and choose to free our thoughts from destructive thoughts. Destructive thoughts can be from our old nature that is contradictory to God’s way for us, it can be lies we have believed and held onto, and they can come from the world we live in.

How serious are you about transforming your life? Mindset matters. Investment in changing your mind in order to change your world is worth every effort.