“Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.”
My life used to really suck. It never failed, no matter what I did to “try” to make my life better, it was still terrible. It was terrible because I wouldn’t allow God to renew my mind. My life sucked because of my thinking. If our thought life is crappy, it doesn’t matter what we do, or what we have, life will be miserable.
Some people will even judge this devotional negatively before they get past the first paragraph. Why? Because of their thoughts of the word “sucked.” Demonic, hyper-critical, legalistic spirits–along with judgmental, unrenewed thinking–will immediately jump to harsh views of me because of that single word. God wants to help us with this plank-in-the-eye thinking as well. But we must let Him. It’s up to us.
Here are some incorrect thoughts I used to have while searching desperately for the secret ingredient to making my life get better:
WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG…Wrong…aaaaaaaand wrong. Friend, learn from my mistakes and save some time. Although the above list had good intentions to change my life for the better, my real problem was I hadn’t yet allowed God to begin renewing my mind. He was in me, but I kept ignoring Him each day.
Our lives will only transform by way of consistent mind renewal through God’s Spirit in us! We can be a Christian for years and still be miserable because of refusing to let God reconstruct our mindsets! Just look:
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
A couple things I want to point out:
Once we have Christ in us we are permanently in God’s will and we can never get out! He won’t let us! The only way we can get out of God’s will is if the Father and Son break their promise to one another or if Jesus dies again! That ain’t happening! (See 2 Timothy 2:13, Hebrews 6:13-20, 7:25, 8:12-13). Therefore, we are allowed to make our own choices and no matter what we do or where we go, God is with us. He does not come and go based on behavior and attitudes, that’s Old Testament. We have a better deal on this side of the Cross! One where God never leaves us, so we gotta deal with it! (See Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 28:20).
Many Christian teachers will say we can fall out of God’s will–and that’s wrong. This incorrect notion creates stress, fear, and anxiety because it puts pressure on us. There is no pressure on us. Branches are never pressured by the vine (see John 15:5). Can we make choices that don’t match up with His will? Choices that don’t sync with the character of Christ in us? Sure. But we can never fall out of His will because we are in Him and He is in us forever! We’ve been supernaturally sealed up together with God until the day of redemption! (See Colossians 3:3, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Ephesians 1:13).
Do you see what I’m doing here? I’m attempting to transform your thoughts. I’m trying to teach you how to be confident in God’s promises by way of His Word being fed into your mind. This is exactly what Paul was talking about in Romans 12:2, and it is the basis for all his letters. Transform your mind, transform your feelings, transform your choices, transform your life! This is where life starts to not suck any longer, even when it feels like it really sucks! Remember, we don’t live by how we feel, but by what we know!
What do we know?
We know we are God’s kids! We know God’s Spirit is in us and with us! We know we have nothing to fear because God’s love is perfect! We know all things are working together for our good! We know we can have confidence on our day of judgment because our spirits are already exactly like Christ! We know God is going before us, making crooked paths straight, because He is not bound by time! We know we are co-heirs with Christ! We know our spirits are already seated in heaven right now! We know that God has lavished His love on us! We know that where sin abounds grace abounds much more! We know we have peace with God! We know that God loved us so much He gave us Jesus! We know we are saints! We know we are holy! WE KNOW WE ARE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD! (See John 1:12, Galatians 2:20, 1 John 4:18, Romans 8:28, 1 John 4:17, Isaiah 45:2, 2 Peter 3:8, Romans 8:17, Ephesians 2:6, 1 John 3:1, Romans 5:20, 5:1, John 3:16, Colossians 1:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21).
So today, my friends, know this: Not one time did an apostle write a New Testament letter that says, “I write to you so that you may feel.” Instead, they wanted us to know. Knowing is our thoughts–our minds. Once we know who we are, who God is, and what He’s done for us, our life gets much better even when our circumstances get much worse. This all begins in our spiritual heads–our soul. God’s Spirit is continually transforming our actions and attitudes by way of renewed thoughts. Therefore, He is continually transforming our life! Life does not suck! Life is great! Our situations might suck, but our life is Christ’s life, so our life is spectacular! (See Colossians 3:4, John 10:10,28, 14:6).
A prayer for you: Father, thank you for teaching me that my feelings will follow my thoughts. Although my feelings can still go wayward at times, your truths always guide them back into peace and confidence. What a relief it is knowing that I don’t have to live by my feelings, and that I can live by knowing! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. Dad, so many of them are struggling today. Help them to begin thinking about what they’re thinking about, rather than their feelings. Teach them who you’ve made them to be in their spirits–perfect, just like you! Help them understand that feelings follow thoughts, and that YOU think they are wonderful! Amen!
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 2. Get your copy here!