Where Are Your Thoughts Taking You
In Philippians 4:89, the apostle Paul writes, 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. In these three sentences, comments Groeschel, Paul moves from thought to action to experience and destiny . In other words, Paul tells us what many self-help books have reiterated millions of times since namely, that our thoughts turn into actions and that our actions become our destiny.
According to Groeschel, What science is demonstrating today is what God told us through Solomon almost three thousand years ago: For as he thinks in his heart, so is he . But even if youre not a Christian, you may find useful and enlightening Groeschels 4-step guide to changing your life for the better by way of changing your thoughts for the more positive. Distilled into active, imperative verbs, the four steps of the program are the following: replace, rewire, reframe, and rejoice. Allow us to delve deeper into each of them, adding a Bible quote here or there and an exercise when necessary.
The Rewire Principle: Rewire Your Brain Renew Your Mind
In the twelfth chapter of his Epistle to Romans, St. Paul advises the following: 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 Gods will is his good, pleasing and perfect will. At least as far as the first part of his advice is concerned, both science and philosophy back him profoundly.
For example, French thinker Jean-Paul Sartre once famously remarked that hell is other people. What he meant by that was that most of us are unsuccessful in our attempts to live authentic lives because we are imprisoned by the gaze of others. We reduce our entire selves to what others think about us. One day, driving home in his car and feeling dejected, Groeschel heard some heavenly voice saying something similar to him. You are not who others say you are: you are who I say you are. He considers this one of the most powerful moments in his life. He realized in his vision that God was offering him an opportunity to redefine himself.
Wage War With The Promise Spoken Over Your Life As This Will Help You In Winning The War In Your Mind
Paul urged Timothy to wage war on the promises spoken over him, as that was his weapon. We realize that Gods word is true and alive and it never goes back to Him void until it has accomplished that which He sent it out to do. But for it to come alive it has to be spoken. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. So decree the promises spoken to you. Speak what God has spoken over you. Dont partner with words that contradict your promise. It is okay to acknowledge it as a fact. But always remember that facts are not necessarily the truth. Just like Mary, treasure the words in your heart, meditate on them, speak those things that are not as though they are.
There is power in your tongue and you can create the life you want because God created you in His image.
Now that you know this why dont you choose to partner with God and have His kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven? He wants to bring His kingdom on earth through you. Every time a thought comes that contradicts the words spoken by God, counter it with Gods word. Resist the devil and he will flee.
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The Reframe Principle: Reframe Your Mind Restore Your Perspective
Whenever you have a thought, it inevitably produces a slight neurochemical change in your mind. So, quite literally, your brain redesigns itself around that thought, creating a connection between the neurons the thought has activated. However, when you have the same thought over and over again, the connection deepens. As scientists say, neurons that fire together, wire together. Thats how we learn and thats how our habits are created. Put simply, the more you repeat something, the easier it gets to repeat it. The reason is that the connection between the activated neurons gets deeper and more entrenched inside your brain. Unfortunately, thats also the reason why we fall into neurological ruts.
If you want to free yourself from them, Groeschel says, you must try to reframe your thinking and restore your authentic perspective. Put in even simpler terms, you must change the glasses through which you see the world. Its not a metaphor: we all have them. Psychologists call them cognitive biases and define them as selectivity in perception, attention, decision making and motivation based on the biological state of the body. Youve probably experienced them many times in life. You receive some good news and suddenly youre kinder to everybody! Someone tells you something you never wanted to hear and swiftly, your mood changes and everyone and everything irritates you.
Bring Your Mind Into Submission
As you capture thoughts, invite the Holy Spirit to bring them into submission to Jesus to the truths of the gospel. We have been given the Spirit to make known the truth about Jesus and to convict us of anything not in line with the gospel .
I regularly invite the Holy Spirit to witness to me regarding who Jesus is, what he has done, and who I am because of his work. If the thoughts or beliefs I am having do not line up, the Spirit makes that known to me as he brings to remembrance what is true of God and of me because of the gospel.
Here are some of the key questions I invite the Spirit to address in me:
- Is this really true, or is this a lie?
- Does this sound like the devils accusation or the Spirits conviction?
- What am I putting my hope in now: Gods word or work, or someone elses?
- How do the truths of Jesuss life, death, and resurrection address this thought or belief? What about Jesus do I need to remember right now?
Prayer is not only bringing my requests to God. Prayer is also submitting my thoughts and beliefs to Gods Spirit, so that my mind can be renewed by the truths of Gods word as I submit and listen.
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The Replacement Principle: Remove The Lies Replace With Truth
If you are old enough to remember the 80s, you probably remember Pat Benatars power ballad, Love is a Battlefield. If youre younger, you may have learned the same lesson from Jordin Sparks similarly titled song. Well, says Groeschel, theres a bigger battlefield inside you, and its your mind. The battle for your life, he writes, is always won or lost in your mind.
Becoming aware of this fight is the first thing you must do if you want to change your life. Visualize it if necessary. Take it literally or metaphorically, there are angels and there are demons in this world. Both are interested in your mind and both need your help to prevail. Apostle Paul said it best when he wrote the following in the sixth chapter of his letter to the Ephesians: We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
Weve All Tried To Think Our Way Out Of Bad Habits And Unhealthy Thought Patterns Only To Find Ourselves Stuck With An Out
Pastor and bestselling author Craig Groeschel knows from personal experience the daily battle against self-doubt and negative thinking. In Winning the War in Your Mind, he offers practical advice and biblical insight that will lead to a brighter, healthier future.
Drawing on Scripture and the latest findings of brain science, Groeschel lays out strategies that will free you from the grip of destructive thinking and enable you to live the life of joy and peace that God intends you to live. Winning the War in Your Mind will help you:
Learn how your brain works and see how to rewire it
Identify the lies your enemy wants you to believe
Recognize and short-circuit your mental triggers for destructive thinking
See how prayer and praise will transform your mind
Develop practices that allow Gods thoughts to shape your thoughts
God has something better for your life than your old ways of thinking. Its time to change your mind so God can change your life.
If youre like me and have struggled with anxiety or negative thought patterns, Winning the War in Your Mind is for you. Pastor Craig does an incredible job of relaying how we can change our thinking so that God can transform our lives. The best part is that he uses psychology AND the Word to bring us truths! This book will show you how to envision your new life and stop believing the lies of the enemy.
Sadie Robertson HuffAuthor, speaker, founder of Live Original
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Are your thoughts out of control–just like your life? Do you long to break free from the spiral of destructive thinking? Let God’s truth become your battle plan to win the war in your mind!
God has something better for your life than your old ways of thinking. It’s time to change your mind so God can change your life.
Early Life And Education
Groeschel grew up in southern Oklahoma, attending Ardmore High School. After high school, he attended Oklahoma City University on a tennis scholarship and was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He earned a bachelor’s degree in . He met his wife Amy at OCU and the two married in 1991. That same year, Groeschel entered the ministry as an associate pastor in the United Methodist Church. He attended Phillips Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with the Christian Church and earned a Master of Divinity degree. He was an associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City during the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing.
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The Rejoice Principle: Revive Your Soul Reclaim Your Life
There is a famous German song of unknown origin, titled in the original, Die Gedanken sind frei, or, in translation, Thoughts are free.Even if I am thrown into the darkest dungeon, says the song in one of its stanzas, it wouldnt matter one bit, because my thoughts can tear all gates and walls apart, because my thoughts, whatever may befall me, will always be free!
To what extent thoughts are free is perhaps best illustrated by St. Pauls letter to the Philippians, written while he was locked up under house arrest in Rome. Even so, he didnt hesitate to write the following to the Philippians : Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
The Lord, reiterates Groeschel, is always near, especially when its difficult. Unfortunately, thats when most of us forget him, even biblical prophets. Remember Job? If you read carefully, youll notice that even he renounces God, spurred on by his wife. And what about Elijah? When his life was in danger, he prayed to God for salvation in death. I have had enough, Lord, he says in the First Book of Kings . Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.
The Enemy Will Always Contradict Gods Word
When you know the truth, you will be a step closer to winning the war in your mind. The best way to know that the words spoken over your life are true is by the contradiction of the same in the natural. The enemy will always contradict Gods word to cause you to doubt what God has said. Never forget that when God speaks a word, the enemy will try to fight it and when that happens it should give you the proof you need to stand on Gods word.
In those moments what you need to do is to have faith that what God has said will come to pass. He says that after you have done everything to do, stand. What this means is that dont lose hope, just hold on to what He said as He is not a man that He should lie. His promises are yes and amen and though it tarries, it will surely come to pass.
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Let Us Look At The Life Of Joseph
This is the story of Jacob. The story continues with Joseph, seventeen years old at the time, helping out his brothers in herding the flocks. These were his half brothers actually, the sons of his fathers wives Bilhah and Zilpah. And Joseph brought his father bad reports on them. Israel loved Joseph more than any of his other sons because he was the child of his old age. And he made him an elaborately embroidered coat. When his brothers realized that their father loved him more than them, they grew to hate himthey wouldnt even speak to him. Joseph had a dream. When he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more. He said, Listen to this dream I had. We were all out in the field gathering bundles of wheat. All of a sudden my bundle stood straight up and your bundles circled around it and bowed down to mine. His brothers said, So! Youre going to rule us? Youre going to boss us around? And they hated him more than ever because of his dreams and the way he talked. He had another dream and told this one also to his brothers: I dreamed another dreamthe sun and moon and eleven stars bowed down to me! When he told it to his father and brothers, his father reprimanded him: Whats with all this dreaming? Am I and your mother and your brothers all supposed to bow down to you? Now his brothers were really jealous but his father brooded over the whole business.Genesis 37:2-11 MSG
Winning The War In Your Mind
Do you constantly have a war in your mind and have to battle with some of your thoughts? Well, I believe that most of us do. Do you constantly have to center your mind on positivity and godliness because your mind keeps running to the negative side? You are not alone. Winning the war in your mind is possible and it can be done. And thats what we will talk about today.
The greatest battlefield is your mind, and once you can win the mental battle, you have won the war. This is because we constantly have endless thoughts that come into our minds and the battle is to choose what we decide to believe. This gets even harder once you become a believer because now the enemy is fighting you.
Maybe God has given you a promise and although you know God is not a liar and that when He says that He will do something, He most definitely will.
But because of the past disappointments, you have a hard time believing them. And maybe some of the questions that run in your mind are: why would it happen for me when I have not been my best self? Why would God bless me, yet I am always falling short? Dont I have to be perfect for me to be worthy of the gifts and promises of God? This sounds too good to be true? How will it happen considering my situation?
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When Winning The War In Your Mind Never Forget That God Is The God Of The Suddenlies
God does not have to wait for everything to fall in place for Him to bless you and for His promises to be fulfilled in your life. He has a way of making the impossible possible. Who knew that all that was required was for Joseph to interpret a dream and have his life changed? See how simple obedience can lead to your elevation? Joseph was operating in his strength and gift, and that is what God used to elevate him.
Do not despise the gifts and talents that God has placed inside you, as that is what God will use to elevate you. He says that your gifts and talents will make room for you before kings and queens of this world. Whats your gift? Do you know it? Are you using it? Even in the wilderness you still have something to give. You are never fully depleted.
God will use what is inside of you to promote you and so why not make use of what God has placed inside you. Follow His leading and watch the transformation happen in your life. Do not grow weary in doing good, because you will reap if you do not faint.