GETTING RID OF YOUR STINKIN' THINKIN' -Tom Lorimer.
This particular teaching will constantly be changed and redeveloped because the subject matter is soooooooooo important and as we are about to see- imposes on EVERY aspect of our lives . . .
Proverbs 23v7 in the Amplified Bible says: -
7 for he is the kind of man who is always thinking about the cost, for as he thinks within himself, / so he is;. "Eat and drink," he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
This is amazing, because it teaches that what a man thinks in his heart, eventually he will become that thing. Jesus taught that if you hate somebody in your thoughts it's just as bad as killing him and if you lust after someone in your heart it is the same as committing adultery with him or her (Matt 5 v21+22;V27+28). These are very strong words.
We can very easily get into the mindset where we believe we are OK because we haven't done a particular sin when in actuality we have went through the whole process in our minds. We must learn to see things as God sees things and not be content with our own 'reasoning'.
Making this very practical, IF YOU THINK ABOUT YOUR PROBLEM FOR LONG ENOUGH YOU ARE BEING SET UP FOR FAILURE IN THAT PARTICULAR AREA. Where do you think spiritual warfare goes on? Do you think it is in some obscure, metaphysical 'demonic realm'? The place where spiritual warfare takes place is the mind!
2 Corinthians 10v4-5:
4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We 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.
We are to cast down IMAGINATIONS! Thought patterns, ways of thinking! Don't meditate on problems, don't let them get into your heart. If you do they will master you and mess you up big time!
There are many sources of bad thought patterns and we shall consider a few of them here. First, we are going to think about the past.
Some people are brought up to think very negatively. This is not the fault of the person, but when Jesus enters a person's life, he gives them an empowerment (called 'grace') to change mindsets, an armour and offensive weapons to fight against bad thought patterns, and something AMAZING to meditate on (His Word)! Romans 12:2 lets us in on the fact that WE (as God's children) can be transformed by the renewing of the mind, or as the Amplified says; the 'COMPLETE renewal of your minds'. This same verse also teaches us that God's will comes through the renewal of our minds. Yet we have people furiously begging God for Jeremiah 29:11 to come to pass in their lives when really God is saying, 'have your blessing, just renew your mind'!
Your past and your upbringing can not be used as a valid excuse for not renewing your mind. If you have had shame and disgrace in the past, stop and think of this for a while, Isaiah 61v7:
Isaiah 61:7 Instead of your shame you will have a double portion, And instead of humiliation they will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore they will possess a double portion in their land, Everlasting joy will be theirs.
If your parents were bad to you, think on this scripture, Psalm 27v10:
Psalms 27:10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, But the LORD will take me up.
Anything that has happened in the past, when people were bad to you, don't worry, God'll make it up to you!! Think on those scriptures, not the problem - this is where your release is, and this is where your emotional healing comes.
YOUR WORLD IS MADE UP OF YOUR THOUGHT PATTERNS!
Has your salvation reached your mind yet? A lot of the fruit of the spirit has to do with the mind (Gal -23). When we become Christians we are empowered to walk in these attributes. We are no longer bound to satan and all the curses are of no effect to us because we are priests and kings (Rev 1:6), and we are God's special people! To really walk in this we must be agreed with God, Amos 3:3 asks how two can walk together unless they are united. It is only when we get to this place we can run with God. The devil will tell you you're no good, but ask yourself, 'who does Jesus say I am?'!! It here that we find true identity in Christ.
To sum up all we've seen so far, IF YOUR LIFE'S A MESS, IT'S BECAUSE YOUR MIND'S A MESS!
If you have fear, insecurity, stress, low self esteem etc. you are just believing the lies satan is telling you. Ask yourself who you are agreeing with (Amos 3:3; Matt 18v19). The first part of Romans 12:2 could be loosely paraphrased like this: " Don't think like the world; don't talk like the world". Sometimes God's principles make ABSOLUTELY no sense whatsoever to our minds! We just have to believe God!
Consider this: -
The Israelites took 40 years to complete an 11 day trip. This was by-and-large to do with their complaining. Think about how this applies to us as believers and ho this principle applies to our minds.
Suffice it to say, I'd rather be an eleven-day-finish-the-journey-Christian that a 40-years-bitter-complaining-unfulfilled-Christian. Again, it all revolves around the mind!!
WHY? You may scream . . . all they did was complain! Please remember this, COMPLAINING IS THINKING OF THE PROBLEM INSTEAD OF THINKING ABOUT GOD'S ANSWER. This is why God finds our complaining so offensive!
GOD WANTS US TO BE DREAMERS FOR HIM! Dream big and if you only get half you won't be disappointed! Proverbs 29v18 tells us that without a vision the people perish!
It takes PATIENCE to renew your mind and run with God. Hebrews 12v1 tells us to run the race 'with patience', and in chapter 6v12 tells us that the promises of God are inherited via faith and patience!
1 Then Moses said, "What if they will not believe me or listen to what I say? For they may say, 'The LORD has not appeared to you.' "
2 The LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?" And he said, "A staff."
3 Then He said, "Throw it on the ground." So he threw it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from it.
4:But the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand and grasp it by its tail"--so he stretched out his hand and caught it, and it became a staff in his hand--
5 "that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has appeared to you."
On the most basic, practical level, this passage tells me that God can (and probably will) use any pitiful thing. He used a donkey to speak to a prophet; a rooster was used of God to bring Peter under conviction!! NEVER SAY GOD CAN'T USE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NEVER!!!!! BE ENCOURAGED! We find out God's will one step at a time. It is His responsibility to reveal His will to us, it is our responsibility to follow God. He will make a way. Be encouraged by Isaiah 42v16 in the Amplified translation, which says:
16And I will bring the blind by a way that they know not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known. I will make darkness into light before them and make uneven places into a plain. These things I have determined to do [for them]; and I will not leave them forsaken.
Sometimes God doesn't give us a blueprint! In Gen 22 He told Abraham togo to a mountain but didn't specify which!
Here I just want to encourage you to forget about the past and go on to spiritual maturity!!
Read the last 10 words of Romans 8v1 (in the KJV):
Romans 8:1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Phil 3:13 - "This ONE THING I DO"!: -
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead