In my last post I talked about how we think impacts our emotions and our behavior. We all have the ability to control our thoughts and therefore manage our emotions. Today I want to talk about how to impact our thinking and transform our minds, so that we can control those negative destructive thoughts that hurt our relationships.
Much of this I learned from studying the writings of Gary Smalley and the Scriptures. I will be sharing Six Scriptures over the course of this week that we can focus on and transform the way we think. I will talk about two today:
- Ephesians 3:16-20 – “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.
We have the capacity of having unlimited power, love, fulfillment and life when Christ’s Holy Spirit lives inside us. Notice how the Paul the author mentions both power and love three times. Christ’s power within us is evidenced by our love toward others, our ability to live His will for us, our sense of peace and fulfillment on a daily basis and our overall Christ-like character.
With God’s power in us we can do amazing things. We can take control of our thoughts and include God in everything we are trying to do. Whether I am thinking about about talking with my spouse or friend, working on an important project, exercising for 30 minutes, or reading a blog, I’m continually aware of this unlimited power within me. Jesus told us that we would be able to do greater things than He did, can you imagine that? Think for a moment about the incredible power that is available to us every day at every moment. All we need to do is plug into the power source. That power can help us love and serve the way God wants us to.
2. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Because of the great power within us, we can take every one of our thoughts (beliefs, dreams, ideas) captive to the obedience of Christ. That means we can think like Jesus would think, and therefore do what Jesus did. Since all of our emotions, words and actions start in our heart and mind, we can wake up every day with the assurance that we have the power to control how we feel, what we say and how we act all day long. With God’s weapons we can demolish the things that keep us in bondage and hold us back from a fulfilling life.
No one is a victim. If I am on the beach and I notice a beautiful woman with a great shape, I can think that God did a great job in designing her, but if my mind starts to go in a lustful direction, I have the power to say to my mind, NO! That thought does not line up with God’s word. I can tell myself, “Sorry thoughts, I will not allow lustful thinking about this person.” God’s word tells us in Philippians 4:8 “Finally brothers, 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.”
Those lustful thoughts do not fit any of those words. So if our thoughts don’t fit with any of those words, we should not allow those thoughts to continue. Any thoughts that lead to the death or destruction of a relationship is not from God. Thoughts that lead me to commit sin or to do something selfish are not from God either. It may sound impossible, but with the supernatural power of Christ it is possible. On our own we will struggle and fail, but everything is possible with Christ who strengthens us. We need to take small steps in that direction and with each victory our thinking will be transformed. We have the power to control our thoughts.