Yesterday Brother Bill delivered a driving message on thinking right. I would like to share some points he made, and hope it will stir each one of us to consider the way we think. How we think determines how we feel. We can have a positive attitude that gives us an optimistic look on life or we can have a negative attitude that continually keeps us buried under a pile of emotional rubble. When something positive happens to a negative person, they find what is negative in it. When something negative happens to a positive person, they find something positive in it! This second kind of attitude speaks hope and life. If we want to live a joyful and abundant life―one that spills over with spontaneous faith, we must work to have a positive attitude.
Correct thinking is essential to living a joyful and victorious life in Christ. “Brothers and sisters,” Paul declared, “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” (Philippians 4:8, NIV). If we will keep our minds focused on God's truth―on whatever is godly, uplifting, and joyful, we will learn to have a positive attitude. To develop an optimistic spirit, we must be changed in the attitude of our minds (Ephesians 4:23). This takes perseverance and determination.
We must take responsibility for our own thinking. “We 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” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV). It is impossible to stop the fiery darts that the enemy throws into our minds, but we can learn to make those thoughts be obedient to what the Word teaches. It is possible to have the power to bring them under the control of the Holy Spirit. This is learned when we practice the presence of God. Our minds are focused on Him, and not where our minds might lead us. This brings His peace in the midst of our storms (Isaiah 26:3).
We can't determine what happens to us, but we can determine what happens in us. There is no way we can control life or our circumstances, but we can learn to control what happens in our minds as a result. When we learn to take our negative thoughts captive, we change the way that we think. Not only are we able to say, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13), but we can believe without doubt that He will give us His strength. Facing our circumstances with faith that comes from a mind that has been transformed, we can live life with a positive and joyful attitude―able to determine God's good pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2).
If you and I will think right, talk right, do right, then we will feel right! If you are weak, then say you are strong (Joel 3:10). Cultivate your mind! Plow it up and rethink yourself. Don't dwell on the negative anymore. Allow the Word to transform your way of thinking. Determine to believe that Jesus Christ is greater in you than any negativity that rises in your mind. He can capture each thought and move that mountain of negativity. “Truly I tell you,” Jesus imparted, “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (Matthew 17:20, NIV).
It is never impossible to be changed in the attitude of your mind. When you surrender control and allow the Holy Spirit to change you from the inside out, you can get rid of what Brother Bill calls “stinkin' thinkin''! Be changed and renewed, and tell your negative mountain to move.