Perhaps you have begun to realize your thought life could use a little tune up . . . you realize how often your thoughts run to worry or fear about something that might happen . . . or you suddenly realize that you are never satisfied with anything, just never quite content. But just to purpose in your mind, ‘Okay, I’m going to stop thinking about ___, I'm going to stop thinking like...’ doesn’t really work unless you replace the errant thought with a good one.
So Friend, how do we replace our lousy, unproductive thoughts?
First, recognize the thought and then replace it with a godly perspective. To illustrate my strategy, peek into my kitchen pantry with me--on the left side, two shelves house my canned goods. Toward the middle, picture with me the Campbell’s soup red and white labels-- except in this case, instead of the labels reading Tomato, Cream of Celery or Chicken Noodle, the labels represent your thoughts.
There is a 'worry' label,
a 'victim mentality/self centered' label,
a 'self-condemning' label, etc.
Now imagine you taking out the crummy thought and replacing it with a godly thought . . . replacing it with truth. [come on now ~ you can do this]
It works! You and I can take control of our thinking by removing the poor thought,
(just like a can of soup) and putting it on a shelf, and then choosing a better thought,
(like a different can of soup), and focusing on that instead.
Love this thought of Chuck's: In order for old defeating thoughts to be invaded, conquered, and replaced by new, victorious ones, a process of reconstruction must transpire. The best place I know to begin this process of mental cleansing is with the all-important discipline of memorizing Scripture. Chuck Swindoll, of course, in Living Above the Level of Mediocrity
So, get ready . . . Grab a notecard, write out the truth and memorize it.
Are you worried or anxious? Take that thought, replace it with the peace of God which we are promised by him.
Paul wrote, 'Do not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. And the peace of God will guard your hearts and minds and keep them quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.' Philippians 4.6-7
Feeling isolated and lonely? 'The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.'
And Jesus said, Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from Me,
for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
You know, promises are significant and telling. When someone keeps his promises to us, we deem that individual trustworthy; similarly, a God who keeps his promises to his children is worthy of our trust. I have often viewed God's promises as 'life lines' when the way is rough and a sure reason for hope when I might be inclined to despair.
Let's take a look at some of the promises God made to his children~
For instance, there is nothing that will come between you and the love of God...
again, Paul ... 'For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.' Romans 8.38-39
NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM THE LOVE OF GOD.
Note to self: whether or not you feel that love on any given day is irrelevant;
it does not interrupt or change the fact that God loves you.
Do you need to make a decision?
'I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you and watch over you.' Psalm 32.8
'Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
"This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30.21
'Wonder if God is faithful? Consider this:
Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3.22,23
Are you struggling with guilt? Then focus on this truth:
If we confess our sins,
He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us
from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1.9
Are you being tempted? Grab ahold of this 'can' of truth:
'God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear . . .
he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
1 Corinthians 10.13
'Wonder about your final destination - 'want to be with Jesus? Remember his words,
"I am going to prepare a place for you. . .
I will come back and take you to be with Me
that you also may be where I am." John 14.3
Just a few of the promises of God . . . the truth that you and I can grab ahold of for ourselves because we do not have to be held captive to our thoughts.
God has given us his Word to set us free.
He has given us Campbell's Soup thinking to change out our lousy thoughts
for his pure ones--all to set us free.
And personally, I want to live in the Land of the Free...
in the land of Rock Solid Thinking.
Grace, Peace and Love~