As he thinks within himself, so he is.
—Proverbs 23:7a, NASB
The way you think determines your feelings. You can have can a positive attitude that gives an optimistic view on life, or you can have a negative one that keeps you buried under a pile of emotional rubble. If you want a life flowing with joyful abundance―one that spills over with spontaneous faith—you decide every day to have a positive attitude. You choose to “take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you” (Ephesians 4:24, MSG).
Being renewed from the inside out is essential to living a joyful and victorious life. "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 you keep your mind focused on God's truth―on whatever is uplifting and joyful, the way you think will change. To allow the Holy Spirit to develop your character takes time and perseverance.
Only you decide whether you listen to the encouragement of the Holy Spirit or the negativity of the enemy. “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ,” Paul wrote (2 Corinthians 10:5b, NIV). It is impossible to stop the fiery darts that the enemy aims at your thought life, but you can choose to take those thoughts captive. The Holy Spirit gives you His power to bring them under control, but you must exercise the authority He gives you. When you focus your mind on Jesus instead of allowing it to run all over the place, He brings His peace into the most difficult of circumstances.
Life happens. There is no way you can control it, but you can learn to control what happens in your mind as a result. When you learn to take your negative thoughts captive, you change the way you think. Not only are you able to say, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13, NIV), but you believe without any doubt that you have His strength. You have a positive and joyful attitude.
When God's truth changes your perception, you realize His power to act upon that truth. You don't allow your feelings to determine your thought process. Your feelings fall into line with His Word, and you rethink who you are. When you surrender control and allow Him to change your attitude from the inside out, you learn your identity in Christ.
You think differently, so you feel differently. You believe. You trust. With faith, you can tell any mountain which has claimed your mind to move. His peace, which is above any human reasoning, will guard your thoughts. You will see your life filled with infinite possibilities. His joy will be your strength, and you will stand firm in the face of lies. You will rest in His Grace, believing that the life He gave for you on Calvary has made you a new person—entirely recreated by His power.
Jesus gave His life to you and took your sin-filled one. His power-filled life replaced your powerless one. He is the fulcrum—the pivot point to the greatest exchange. Your debt is gone. He gives you the freedom to choose. Believe who He says you are. Put on your new nature. Be renewed in the way you think from the inside out. Then who God knows you are will be who you know you are—the person that was worth His life.
© 2019 Lynn Lacher
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