THINK ON THESE THINGS
You have the power to choose your focus in life. When a thought pops into your mind, you have a choice: you can choose to continue thinking about it or you can move your focus elsewhere.
You can choose to focus solely on things that you find in the natural world—thinking only of things that you can sense with your five senses. Romans 8:6 calls this type of thinking “sense and reason without the Holy Spirit.” When you have this focus, you make decisions based on two things: self-preservation and self-gratification.
There are consequences to having a mind that becomes solely set on making yourself happy. Romans 8:6 says that it results in “death,” not necessarily a physical death, but “all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter.”Although ironic, focusing on making yourself happy is the fastest trip to feeling depressed.
Your second choice is to set your thoughts on the things of the Spirit. This mindset involves having an eternal focus—caring about things that will last for eternity. It means that you also choose to care about what God cares about. A mind focused and set on the things of the Spirit is “life and [soul] peace”—meaning that you gain great mental and emotional peace. (Romans 8:6)
Setting your mind on the things of the Spirit is an incredibly powerful process. We become filled with God’s purposes, His love and the joy of helping others. A great sense of purpose rises up in us, growing in ways we never thought possible.
There is also a third type of mindset we can have: a mind that vacillates back and forth between natural, selfish purposes and God’s purposes. James 1:8 (AMP) calls this having “two minds.” It causes you to be “unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything” that you think, feel and decide. It is an awful way to live.
Set your mind on things that will bring peace and joy into your life.
To set your mind on the Spirit, set it on God’s Word. If you spend time reading the Bible and learning what it has to say, you can use its words to replace negative thoughts. For example, if a negative thought pops in your head: “No one cares about me,” you can choose to continue on this train of thought or you can immediately interrupt it, saying “God cares about me. The Bible says that He loves me with such careful thought that He even knows the number of hairs on my head.” (Matthew 10:30)
Choosing to think about God’s Word is much more powerful than merely replacing negative thoughts with positive ones because God’s Word is like seed. When you think about it, this analogy creates a beautiful picture. When you plant a small apple seed under the ground, it has the potential to grow into a tree that produces thousands of apples in its lifetime.
God’s Word is designed to hit you at your deepest level, at the very depths of your being, to cause beautiful things to grow in you. When planted in your mind, it changes your beliefs, creating a harvest of good things in your life. You do not merely replace a negative thought with a positive one; you replace a belief system which controls thousands of thoughts and actions in your life.
As you bring God’s Word into your soul by studying it, focusing on it and listening to the teaching about it, ask God to teach you. He will change belief systems that hold you back and will cause your life to become filled with passion, peace and strength.
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