Three Steps to Renew Your Mind (Part Two)

Have you seen transformation shows on TV? Isn’t it amazing how they transform people, houses, yards, and furniture?  I refinished a lot of furniture in my time, and the part I hated most was stripping off the old paint.  But it was worth the effort when the project was completed.  Renewing your mind is a similar process.  The mind determines what you think, perceive, feel, and believe, which then influences your decisions and behaviors.  So, when you renew your mind you are transforming your life.

First, gather your supplies, in the case of renewing your mind, you must make sure you have God’s forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ.  Read part one if you haven’t already;  Forgiven and Saved? Now Renew Your Mind (Part One)

Next, find out what you are dealing with, ask God to search your heart and mind to show what sinful and wrong thoughts control your behavior (Jeremiah 17:10; Revelation 2:23; Psalm 139:23-24).  Write them down so you know what to tackle first.  To make this job easier, you need to remove pride first, read  The Core Negative Heart Issue

The two tools you need are Scripture and prayer.  The prayer tool is the binding and loosing principle.  Matthew 16:19b and 18:18 states, “whatever you bind (Greek meaning: knit, tie, fasten) on earth will be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (Greek meaning: release, destroy, put off) on earth will be loosed in heaven.”  You loose wrong thoughts the same way you loose and remove rust and old paint, then you bind on truthful thoughts the same way you put on a new coat of paint.  To learn more about authority in prayer read; Four Reasons for Authority in Prayer

Ephesians 4:22-24 explains the instructions, “put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires (lusts), and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” Corrupt in this passage means perverted, which deviates from what is right, natural, or true.  Deceit is the act of representing as true what is false; a lie; a trick.  Lust is an intense desire to gratify the senses; bodily appetite or pleasure.

Do these three exercises to renew your mind and transform your life:

  1. Put off fleshly desires (sin nature).  “For the mind set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.  Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (see Romans 8:7-8).  Gal 5:19-21 states, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Colossians 3:5-7 tells us to, “Put to death (crucify); therefore, what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.  6) On account of these, the wrath of God is coming.  7) In these, you too once walked, when you were living in them.”  We have divine power to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ Jesus (see 2Corinthians 10:3-5). Begin by removing one sinful, wrong thought at a time.  Next, put on the corresponding characteristic of the Holy Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness/meekness, faithfulness/truthfulness, and Self-control found on my website.
  1. Put on your new self, which is the image of God, righteous and holy.  Review Ephesians 4:23-24 above.  Colossians 3:10 also states, “put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator (Jesus).”  Wow!  Our new self is in the likeness and image of Jesus, and we are righteous and holy (see Eph. 4:24)!  Our new self does not automatically happen in one instance, but we transform one thought at a time by renewing our minds with the truth of God’s Word.
  1. Now live according to the Spirit by setting your mind on the things of the Spirit, which is truth.  Just as you live, abide, and spend time in your home, live, abide, and spend time in God’s Word.  Read my post called; Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

John 8:31-32 states, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Also, John 15:7 tells us, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”  What a great promise.

Romans 8:13-14 states, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons [and daughters] of God.

Gal 5:16 states, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”  Live and walk according to the Spirit by showing His fruit in your life. – Galatians 5:22-24 states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24) And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  You keep your mind on the Spirit by turning every thought into a prayer, praising Him, and pondering Scripture.

You also need to renew your painful memories, explained in my book on my website.  Also, on my website is a worksheet for each characteristic of the fruit of the Spirit.  Each worksheet lists wrong thoughts, beliefs, right thoughts, and transformational truth statements.

I hope the information in this post helps you to be victorious over sin and addictions.  Renewing our inner self is a day by day process.  There is hope for complete healing and victory as you submit your mind to God and His truth in His Word.  I appreciate your comments because I like to learn from others.

RELATED POSTS

WHY HEAL YOUR HEART AND PURIFY YOUR SOUL?

Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul

Begin reading my book: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories

Healthy Boundaries for Toxic Emotions and People

What is a toxic person? The answer is simple, a toxic person is someone who has no control over their emotions and thoughts. This person is controlled by subconscious painful memories.  You do not have to be fearful of out-of-control people but put your trust in God.  The Bible says, God has not given you a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind (see 1 Timothy 1:7).  In this post you will learn how to have power, love and a sound mind so you can establish healthy boundaries.  In my last post I shared a study that described how felt love improves your well-being.  Read it here: Are Your Relationships Improving Your Well-Being?.  Being around negative, angry, fearful, and insecure people wear down your well-being.

You can find many articles on how to set-up boundaries for out-of-control people, so I won’t teach that here.  I recommend the book called Boundaries by Townsend and Cloud, which I read when I was married to an abusive ex-husband.  The instructions in the Boundaries book was very helpful, but I couldn’t set healthy boundaries because I was toxic and out of control myself.  Then I read a book called Why Should I Be the First to Change?  by Chuck and Nancy Missler, which transformed my victim mentality.  In this post, you will learn why and how to change yourself before you can set healthy boundaries.

  1. Have healthy beliefs about yourself so you can set healthy boundaries.
  2. Love and respect yourself so you will maintain boundaries.
  3. Apply the truths in God’s Word to heal your toxic emotions and your toxic relationships.

You cannot change how a person behaves, you can only change yourself.  As you change, your unhealthy beliefs, then you can set healthy boundaries on the destructive behavior of others.  Boundaries identify the problem, consequences, and the way to reconciliation, which will help the emotionally unhealthy person see their need to change.  You can pray for God to intervene and change the person, but God cannot change a person’s will if they do not want to surrender their lives to Him and do what the Bible says.

1.  First, you must have healthy beliefs about yourself so you can set healthy boundaries.

Understand why you were attracted to a person who is destructive.  For me, I grew up in an abusive home and had no sense of self-worth and no sense of how a healthy person thinks.  When I first went to a psychologist who understood abuse and the damage it does to the soul, I learned I had an unhealthy belief that I did not deserve to be loved.  And, because I did not love myself, I felt I deserved the abuse.  I believed I needed to try harder.  But I couldn’t because I was a toxic person as well.  As a Christian, I saw my relationships were not loving according to the Bible.  The Bible tells us the kind of love we are to have in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7.  “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (ESV).”  Does your life or relationships reflect this kind of healthy love?

Painful memories cause people to be toxic.  Painful memories generate unhealthy beliefs and wrong thinking, which shows in what we say and do.  To be a healthy, loving person, you need to heal your painful memories and develop healthy beliefs about yourself, others, and even God.  As your memories are healed, oppressive spirits are removed, and unhealthy beliefs are transformed by Biblical truth, then you can set healthy boundaries on your behavior and other’s behavior.  I explain how to do this in my short book called, Hope for Complete Healing.

2. Love and respect yourself so you will maintain boundaries.

When I began to receive the love of God and learn to love myself, I began to see myself as valuable.  I knew I needed to respect myself, but I couldn’t.  So, I began to practice putting boundaries on my thoughts and emotions.  But because I relied on my will-power, these boundaries only worked to a limited extent.  Lasting change came when I healed my painful memories and transformed unhealthy beliefs.  Desiring to love and respect myself forced me to seek God to show me my painful memories and to heal them.  The Bible says I need to forgive those who sin against me as God has forgiven me. So, as I continued to forgive the unkind people in my life and focused on the things I could be thankful for, I felt peace and joy.  When I saw the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, trust, and self-control in my life, then I could respect myself.

The following quote from Eleanore Roosevelt helped me in a hostile work environment, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”  Meaning, I can choose not to feel inferior by those who do not respect me and say unking things.  My psychologist explained that the things my ex-husband was saying about me did not represent the truth or reality.  This helped me to not internalize the unkind things my ex-husband said to me.  I was able to set a healthy boundary around my heart to not internalize unkind words and actions.

3. Apply the truths in God’s Word to heal your toxic emotions and toxic relationships.

Knowing Biblical truths, help you identify the problem and explain why you must set boundaries.  Let them know you value them and the relationship.  The person may get angry or anxious and will try to manipulate you or make you feel guilty, but don’t be afraid.  Depending on God to help you is the only way to have the power to set boundaries and see lasting change.  Be accountable to an older person who knows the truth of God’s Word and is secure enough to point out your wrong thinking.

Recently, I had to establish a separation boundary with a person I thought was my friend but who did not respect or honor me.  This was hard to do because I thought I could help her. Helping hurting people is not a bad thing if they submit to God’s work in their hearts and minds and obey Him.  Feeling the need to support and be loyal to unloving people makes a person co-dependent to that person.  You can read many articles about co-dependency, so I will not cover that hot topic.

You can read how I trusted the promises of God during my divorce and custody battle. Read Trust God to Keep His Promises

OTHER RELATED POSTS:

How to be Self-controlled in What We Say (updated)

Relationship and World Changing Kindness

The Core Negative Heart Issue

Identify and Replace False Beliefs

Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul

WORDS HAVE POWER—PART II: Words Produce Death or Life Energy

Are Your Relationships Improving Your Well-Being?

So, what is well-being and how do you improve it?  Dictionary.com explains it as a state (mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual) characterized by health, happiness, and prosperity.  I told you in my last post, I was going to write about abusive relationships.  This is a very hard topic to write, and though I have the experience, it is still very emotional and hard.  Abuse destroys a person’s well-being.  The opposite of abuse is love and not just love for the sake of love but felt love.  I care about your well-being and the well-being of your family, which is why I have written a lot of posts on how to have a healthy relationship, see POSTS Related to Relationships.  Also, read what healthy love is in Love From a Pure Heart.

So, what is felt love and how does it affect our well-being?  I came across a research article about this topic, and I share it below.


Feeling loved in everyday life linked with improved well-being

Research suggests that those small, but important daily gestures of love and support may be connected with improved well-being.   By Matt Swayne

November 25, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Poets and songwriters may tend to focus their artistry on passion and romance, but it may be those unsung, brief feelings of love throughout the day that are connected with psychological well-being, according to a team of researchers led by two Penn State Institute for Computational and Data Sciences (ICDS) researchers. They added that the findings could one day lead to interventions aimed at boosting well-being.

In two studies, the researchers found that people who experienced higher “felt love” — brief experiences of love and connection in everyday life — also had significantly higher levels of psychological well-being, which includes feelings of purpose and optimism, compared to those who had lower felt love scores. They also found that people with higher felt love tended to have higher extroversion personality scores, while people with lower felt love scores were more likely to show signs of neuroticism.

“We took a very broad approach when we looked at love,” said Zita Oravecz, assistant professor of human development and family studies and ICDS faculty co-hire. “Everyday felt love is conceptually much broader than romantic love. It’s those micro-moments in your life when you experience resonance with someone. For example, if you’re talking to a neighbor and they express concern for your well-being, then you might resonate with that and experience it as a feeling of love, and that might improve your well-being.”

According to the researchers, the baseline of the subjects’ felt love experiences, in general, rose throughout the study, suggesting that the nudges to recognize examples of love and connection during the study may also have gradually increased the subjects’ overall sense of being loved.  Stronger experiences of felt love, in turn, are associated with improvements in psychological well-being.

“It’s something that we’ve seen in the literature on mindfulness, when people are reminded to focus attention on positive things, their overall awareness of those positive things begins to rise,” said Oravecz. “Similarly, just by paying attention to those everyday moments of felt love, we may also increase our awareness of the overall positive aspects of love in our daily lives. This effect replicates in both studies, implying that raising awareness of felt love in day-to-day life may itself be an intervention that raises levels of felt love over a longer period of time.”

The researchers, who report their findings in the current issue of Personality and Individual Differences, added that because the studies have only shown a correlation between felt love and well-being, more research would be needed to establish a causal relationship. If a firmer connection is established, the researchers said possible interventions could be designed, such as sending regular reminders to a person’s smartphone to draw attention to the felt love that they may be experiencing in that moment to raise psychological well-being. Similar interventions have been designed for mindfulness and gratitude.

The team relied on smartphone technology to gather data from participants throughout their everyday lives. In the first study, they recruited 52 people of various ages. The second study consisted of 160 undergraduate students. Participants received six random prompts throughout the day over a four-week period to assess felt love and well-being, according to Timothy Brick, assistant professor of human development and family studies and ICDS co-hire. He added that sending these messages randomly throughout the day was critical to manage the possible effects of expectation bias.

“It’s important from a research point-of-view,” said Brick. “If the participants expect a call or a text at a certain time of day, they are no longer reacting to what’s going on in their daily life but are expecting the prompt and reacting to that expectation.”

Gathering data multiple times throughout the day from more than 200 subjects over a month can produce a lot of data, said Brick. Also, these everyday experiences of love tend to fluctuate during the study, which can result in what the researchers termed “noisy” data.

“It’s often very difficult to measure psychological quantities because we don’t always have a great idea about what’s going on in our own heads,” said Brick.

Oravecz added, “But with the right statistical methods, we can start to get at questions about difficult constructs like love or compassion, and hopefully build interventions to promote them.”

To analyze this large amount of noisy data, the researchers used nuanced statistical tools. According to Oravecz, the researchers specifically used a Bayesian latent stochastic differential equations model to cut through the noise in the data and identify processes happening underneath. This method is especially suited to help scientists investigate intricate social systems, which often involve relationships that generate complex, highly variable data, she said.

According to the researchers, this statistical method may be used more as social scientists begin to gather large amounts of real-world data from sensors on wearable devices. The researchers used computational resources of ICDS’s advanced computer infrastructure for their analysis.

The team also included Jessica Dirsmith, clinical assistant professor of education, Duquesne University; Saeideh Heshmati, assistant professor of psychology, Claremont Graduate University; and Joachim Vandekerckhove, associate professor of cognitive sciences, University of California Irvine.

This research was supported by the John Templeton Foundation.

 

Being Thankful During Hardships

How does being thankful help me?  No one can escape hardships, it is part of living in an imperfect world.  We can’t choose our hardships either, but we can choose how we respond.  Viktor Frankl, a Nazi concentration camp survivor, wrote a book called Man’s Search for Meaning.  The following is a quote, “Even in the degradation and abject misery of a concentration camp, Frankl was able to exercise the most important freedom of all – the freedom to determine one’s own attitude and spiritual well-being. No sadistic Nazi SS guard was able to take that away from him or control the inner-life of Frankl’s soul.”  Though your hardship may not compare to torture in a concentration camp, hardships cause you to focus on your loss, which causes stress on your mind and body.  I must admit, it is hard to be thankful if you are in an abusive relationship.  I will write more concerning this in the next post.  Please understand, Satan wants you to stay focused on your hardship and bring destruction in your life (see John 10:10).  To learn more, read: Four Realities of the Spirit World

No matter the hardship, we can be thankful for something.  Being thankful is an inner-life attitude that determines if we rise above our problems or sink deeper into despair.  You see, it is God’s will for you to be thankful in all circumstances (see 1Thes. 5:18 and Eph. 5:20).  If you find it hard to be thankful, call out to God for help (see Hebrews 4:14-16).  If you want to experience peace in the midst of your hardship, then do what the Apostle Paul says in Philippians 4:6,7Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to GodAnd the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” When I am thankful for God’s love, provision, mercy, and grace and trust Him to take care of my problems, I feel peace and joy. When I focus on my negative thoughts, I became anxious and stressed again.  The bible says God gives us hope, Romans 15:13 states, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”  Also, peace and joy remove the effects of stress in our bodies and minds.

Hardships are the main cause of offenses and resentments, which come from wrong thoughts of unfairness. If you don’t capture and loose these wrong thoughts, they will generate negative feelings and your negative feelings will produce false beliefs, which then direct destructive behaviors like anger fits, drinking, doing drugs, hurting others or yourself, depression, etc.  Being thankful transforms wrong thoughts and results in peace and joy despite the hardship.  I heard from a missionary to China, that the Christian Chinese people are joyful despite their hardships when many times everything is taken from them and they are put in jail.

During my job loss, I focused on God’s goodness, faithfulness, lovingkindness, and how He will cause all things to work together for my good. Romans 8:28 states, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”   Abuse and loss through death is different because that involves a loss of love, which I will cover in the next post.  Being thankful and focused on God and not your loss will fill you with peace and joy.  Read my story called Trust God to Keep His Promises  and how I experienced many miracles despite my loss in my divorce.

So, what can we be thankful for?  You can begin with the following 15 promises.  To learn more about each promise read 15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep

  1. We are saved from sin and death and have the hope of eternal life.
  2. God forgives all your sins and cleanses you from all unrighteousness when you confess your sin.
  3. God will never leave you nor forsake you because He loves you.
  4. You are more than a conqueror through Christ who loves you, and nothing will separate you from His love.
  5. God’s plans for you are for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
  6. God will cause all things to work together for good according to His purpose for those that love Him.
  7. God will supply all your needs according to His riches.
  8. When we come to God and do what He says, we will dwell secure and will find rest, without the dread of disaster.
  9. God is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.
  10. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability to bear it.  With the temptation, He will provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
  11. God gives power and strength and helps us when we trust Him.
  12. God is doing a new thing in your life, and He will make a way where there is no way.
  13. God’s peace will guard your heart and your mind when you trust Him in every situation and pray with thanksgiving as you present your requests to Him.
  14. If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us and if we know He hears us in whatever we ask; we know we have the requests we have asked of Him.
  15. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

Practice makes perfect.  Practice being thankful every day so when hardships come you can be thankful and not let the hardship steal your peace and joy.

RELATED POSTS:

A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGER

Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE

Victorious Thinking to Live a Successful Life

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

Identify and Replace False Beliefs

How to be Self-controlled in What We Say (updated)

A child has no filter when they speak. A child will speak whatever is on their mind. As adults, we think it is cute. When an adult has no filter, it is not cute, just offensive. Self-control begins in your mind. Your mind determines what you think, perceive, feel, and believe, which influences your decisions and behaviors. Your mind stores memories of the past and present that controls your thoughts and feelings. So, to be self-controlled we must transform our minds.

My last two posts explain how and why childhood issues need to be transformed so we can be self-controlled. The Link Between Disappointment, Resentment, and Self-control   and Self-control and Maturity.

Do you know what is in your mind? What you think? How you feel?

To transform your mind, you first must become aware of what is in your mind. Since God is the all-knowing Spirit who created us, ask Him to show you, because He knows all your thoughts and ways. Psalm 139:1-4 state, “O LORD, you have searched me and known me! 2) You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 3) You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 4) Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. Jeremiah 17:9,10 state, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? 10) ‘I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.’” Also read Revelations 2:23. If you do not want to be rewarded according to your evil thoughts, then you need to ask God to reveal them, so you can repent and put them out of your mind. Remember, we reap a lot more than we sow (see Galatians 6:7,8). Psalm 139:23,24 state, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me and lead me in the way everlasting!

How do we transform our minds?

The bible says a lot about how we are to think and be self-controlled in all areas of our life. In fact, Romans 12:2 tells us “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Transforming your mind happens as you look to Jesus for help as you read the Scriptures. Transform means to take another form and renew means to make new. The phrase, “that by testing you may discern” is also translated in the King James Version as “that you may prove.” The meaning of these two phrases is commonly applied to testing the quality of metals by fire. Spiritually, these two phrases indicate, as your mind is renewed you will be able to pass the test and understand the will of God, and what is written in the Bible. So, as your mind is renewed you will become more self-controlled and will be able to love well. My short-book on my website explains the scientific and spiritual research for why and how to transform our minds to achieve a self-controlled life.

How to control your tongue.

When we control how we think with the help of God, then we can control how we speak, and be mature. This can only be done by continually abiding with Jesus in the heavenly places through prayer, which can be accomplished by turning every thought into a prayer. See my post called, Can You Be Too Heavenly Minded?

The Bible says we are to bridle our tongue to control it, like we bridle a horse to control it. James 1:26 states, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” And, James 3:2,3 state, “For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle (control) his whole body. 3)  If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.” Some people have problems gossiping, complaining, being critical, and arguing. Why?  How can we live blameless lives before God (Philippians 1:9-11)?

(Update:  I know I am being vulnerable, but I hope it helps you in some way.  A few days after I posted this, I wrote a negative venting email to my friend while under the control of my feelings, and spoke negative about my someone.  I felt the conviction to not write what I did (should have heeded the Holy Spirit), but I did it anyway.  At 4:30 a.m. the next morning, God put His finger on my heart about it.  I repented and ask Him what I could do to not let my feelings control my responses.  God said (paraphrase), talk to Him first.  A few hours later, I had the opportunity to do just that.  I prayed about a difficult situation I was getting emotional about and WOW, it worked.  I was able to respond logically and under the Holy Spirit’s control.)

It is one thing to know the right thing to do and say, but another thing to do it.  For example, I wrote a helpful post called Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without   so I know what I should be thinking, now I need to discipline myself to do this daily.  You can never be perfect at something unless you practice all the time.  You have my permission to print out my post on “Thoughts that Create Peace Within and Without” to practice training your mind.  The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:9: What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

When events don’t go as planned is stressful, and we sometimes, or often, lose self-control of our feelings and do and say things we shouldn’t.  The next time you are tempted to lose control of your emotions, excuse yourself from the situation and answer the following questions to bridle your tongue before your mouth spills hurtful words.

What is the expectation not being met? (Take a deep breath and accept the disappointment and the fact that not everything will go the way you want it to.)

  1. What are the wrong thoughts I need to capture and loose from my mind?  (Take a deep breath and ask God to show you.  It may not be right away, but He will.)
  2. What is the false belief or offense driving my thoughts, which need to be loosed from my mind?  (Take a deep breath and ask God to show you, and the memory that needs to be healed.)
  3. What is the problem that needs to be solved?
  4. What are some solutions?
  5. What are Biblical truths I can bind to my mind to renew it and transform my attitude.
  6. What can I be thankful for?

There is hope for complete transformation of your reactions when you depend on God to show what is in your mind and seek His help to renew your mind through the Holy Scriptures. You can be self-controlled in what you say as your mind is transformed by God’s love.

Helpful posts to read:

POSTS on Thoughts

Why, What, and How to Submit to God and be FREE

A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGER

Five Steps to Heal Your Heart and Purify Your Soul

Psalm 91:5-6 – DO NOT FEAR THE UNSEEN

When we find refuge under the wings of God’s truth and faithfulness, we do not have to fear the unseen. To fear is to feel anxious or agitated by the presence or nearness of real or imagined danger, evil, pain, etc.

Psalms 91:5-6 states, You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day; 6) nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.”

Albert Barnes wrote in his commentary that the Septuagint (one of the first Bible translations) and the Latin Vulgate interpret verse six as “Nor of mischance and the demon of noonday.” Mischance means an unfortunate accident or bad luck. I believe the earlier translations are closer to the original text because I see this Psalm describing how we are protected from the demonic spirits that attack our minds. Also, I interpret the terror of the night as bad dreams and discomforts Satan puts on us while we sleep. The next two testimonies illustrate this.

Mark Brubeck believes that many afflictions are from demonic attacks. In his book, The Adversary, he wrote the following account. His daughter was 11 years old when she became afflicted by fears, physical nausea, and colitis symptoms at bedtime, which became progressively worse as the night went on. Medical professionals could not help her. Mark and his wife suspected demons were to blame. So, they prayed over her commanding the demon(s) causing the fear, nausea, colitis, destruction, and deception to come out of her. The demon(s) left her, and she had no more fear and digestive issues during the night. Brubeck believes Satan will use every opportunity we give him to claim ground against us. Fear opens our mind to allow demons to access our emotions and physical health. So, we should verbally pronounce God’s protection over our minds.

Maxwell Whyte shared the following incident in his book, Demons & Deliverance, of a demonic attack that happened to him and his wife. One night, he felt his life was being choked out of him to the point of near death. He wrote that he cried “the blood” three times, and a demon departed. The next night the same thing happened to his wife, and she called on the blood of Christ. Whyte believes no demon can afflict those who apply by faith the blood of Christ and testify of God’s protection (see Revelations 12:11). Remember, our words have power, especially when we use the name of Jesus and the authority, we have in Him.  I explain this in greater detail in the book listed on this website.  2–Removing Blocks to Healing

I interpret the arrow that flies by day as the lies and accusations Satan shoots into our minds (see Ephesians 6:14-17).  He also puts false beliefs into our minds that do not line up with the truth of God’s Word. The pestilence that stalks in darkness is the shameful allurements Satan uses to cause us to want to sin. Remember, all actions begin with a thought, which we can take captive and make it obey Christ Jesus. We don’t see deception coming, but if we continually hide in the shelter of God through prayer, praise, pondering, and believing the truth, then we won’t fear because we will be under His protection.

Fear should alert us that we are not praying and trusting God. Fear is believing and confessing wrong thoughts and false beliefs. 2 Corinthians 5:7 states, “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” Faith is the opposite of fear. Faith finds refuge in the promises and truths of God.  On the other hand, fear focuses on the problem which makes us vulnerable to being wounded in our souls.

For example, David did not deny the existence of the giant (see 1 Samuel 17). He compared the size of the giant to the size of God. By faith David chose to believe the promises of God and defeated the giant.  In the same way, Satan attempts to paralyze us with fear so that we lose our confidence in God. The story of David and Goliath is a classic example of being paralyzed by fear. Goliath used the power of his words to intimidate and inflict terror on the Israeli army, which immobilized them.

The prophet Elijah was paralyzed by fear when Jezebel vowed to kill him after he had slaughtered the Baal prophets on Mt. Carmel (see 1 Kings 18). Ironically, he became fearful after God demonstrated His power on Mt. Carmel. What did he fear? Did he not believe God could deliver him from the hand of Jezebel? Words have power, and they create thoughts in our minds which then control our emotions and actions. We can take those thoughts captive by loosing them and binding in the truths found in the Word of God.

[!] Do you find yourself being immobilized by a fear that prevents you from being able to reason normally?

Fears can be overwhelming. Most fears, especially irrational fears, originating from what we watch on TV or in the movies, or what we read. For example, irrational fear controls the decisions of people who are preparing for the worst disasters that may never happen.

!! Ask God to show you any words spoken or things you have seen that cause you to fear.

!! Use the power of your words to loose the memory of these words or images from your mind.

Read through all the Psalms and note every passage related to protection, deliverance from troubles, and God as our refuge. This exercise will greatly encourage you and strengthen your faith.

Other Related Posts

Four Realities of the Spirit World

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds

ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

We learned in the last two posts that our thoughts control our destiny, and we can control our thoughts. Please read my previous two posts if you haven’t already. In this post, I want to share more specifically how to control your thoughts. In the post called ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL, I explained how I tend to let my thinking go to extremes of anger, and then to worry.  I use the truths in the Bible for my inspiration because it is the authority for how we should think. How we think dictates how well we love.

To break my negative thought cycles, I would consciously choose to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks for this is God’s will” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).  To rejoice always is to choose to focus your thoughts continually on things that make you glad, happy, or delighted.  Rejoice in Jesus and how you are forgiven and free from the control of sin, etc.  Rejoice in the fact that God is faithful, and nothing is impossible with Him.

Next, pray without ceasing by turning every thought into a prayer. If you think of someone, pray for them. If you are upset about something, ask God to help you forgive or whatever you need God to do.  If you are tempted to give in to your fleshly desires, pray for help to resist.  By praying we are practicing the presence of God in our lives as Brother Lawrence teaches.

In everything give thanks, which does not leave anything out.  Have an attitude of gratitude.  Imagine, if you rejoice, pray, and be thankful all the time, you would never be depressed, miserable, angry, etc.  When I focus my thoughts on these three things, I feel peaceful, so I don’t act miserably and make others miserable.  Breaking negative thought cycles takes work and discipline, but it is well worth it.

The Apostle Paul also taught the Philippians how to safeguard their minds. In Philippians 4:4-8 he lays out four ways to create a healthy thought life.

  1. Have an attitude of praise and gratitude. “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4 NIV) – To rejoice in the Lord always is to worship the Lord and all He is with thanksgiving. Philippians 3:1 also states, Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. …it is a safeguard for you.” A safeguard is a protective stipulation. Rejoicing protects our minds from destructive thoughts of anger, malice, envy, worry, fear, etc. Things to rejoice and be glad for, and be thankful for, can be found in Who God is — Daily A-C-T-S Prayers, I encourage you to add this page to your favorite list and visit this page daily.
  2. Let prayer occupy your thoughts all the time, especially during times of emotional stress. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil. 4:6 NIV). Also, Ephesians 6:18 states, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions (all the time) with all kinds of prayers and requests.” So, how do we pray in the Spirit all the time?  It is our spirit with the Holy Spirit in us that prays through our minds to God. Read Four Realities of the Spirit World to learn about the interactions of the spirit world. You can also pray in the spirit through a spiritual language you receive when you pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to fill you (see Acts 19:6 and 1 Corinthians 14:2&14).  Prayer with thanksgiving is a way to productively channel your emotional energy. If you tend to worry or be angry, then read the following posts to learn how to be free to choose different thoughts and break the cycle: Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds and ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds
  3. Choose where you let your thoughts dwell. You have control of your thoughts, so use that control to your benefit and the benefit of others.  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble (honorable), whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Phil. 4:8 NIV emphasis added) – Be proactive about your thought life! Choose to think true and positive thoughts described in this verse. Write down an example for each type of thought that would pertain to your life. For example:
  • True thoughts are based on what you read in the Bible, so focus on scriptural truths about yourself, others, God, and the world around you.  My short book on this website has over 100 true thoughts to think on.
  • Noble or honorable thoughts could be thoughts about what you can do to help others or to show kindness to a crabby person, or show love to someone who is difficult to love, etc.
  • Right thoughts could be thoughts about what is good and what you like about a person or something. For example, I must walk a ½ mile to my office building from where I park.  When the weather is crappy, it is hard to have right thoughts.  Right thoughts are to think of the good exercise I am getting that I wouldn’t get otherwise, the fresh air I am breathing to detoxify my lungs and body, more time to pray, etc.
  • Pure thoughts could be thinking good about people and not judgmental thoughts. Choose to think pure thoughts about the opposite sex, instead of obscene thoughts. Choose to view movies and TV shows or read material that generate pure thoughts. In Psalms 101:3a, King David said, “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;” Make this verse your priority to protect your mind from wicked and evil words and images, so your thoughts remain pure.
  • Lovely thoughts could be thinking about someone you love or thinking about how much God loves you that He would send His son to die and atone for our sin. And how His son, Jesus, would willingly do this for ungrateful people who reject Him.
  • Admirable thoughts could be thoughts that marvel at God’s creation, goodness, and mercy. Or, think about things that are done excellently, like a beautiful garden or some other good works.
  1. Your thoughts determine the beliefs and attitudes of your heart. When you practice thinking the thoughts listed above your mind is at peace, and you will be at peace with others and life. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7 NIV) – This verse is conditional and is based on following the previous principles of thinking. So, when you rejoice, pray, be thankful, and think good thoughts, you are inviting God into your thought life and valuing yourself and others.

Thoughts come from all directions.  Thoughts come from our experiences and the words we read and hear. I wrote two posts about the power of our words and how they influence us.

WORDS HAVE POWER—Part I: Overcoming The Destruction of Offensive Words

WORDS HAVE POWER—PART II: Words produce death or life energy