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Friday, March 13, 2020

As You Think You Are

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. Allowing 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 not to think negative thoughts. The Holy Spirit gives you His power to bring them under control, but you must exercise His power. When you daily focus your mind on Jesus, and not upon every possible scenario, you experience His peace in the most difficult of circumstances.

          There is no way you can control circumstances, 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. Living a life transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, you have a positive and joyful attitude.

         When you allow the Word to reveal the truth of your identity in Jesus, you have His power to act upon that truth and not let your feelings determine your thought process. Your feelings fall into line with His Word, and you rethink who you are. When you consciously practice positive thinking, negative thoughts fall by the wayside. Dr. Timothy Jennings writes, “As we exercise healthy neural circuits, these circuits develop, strengthen, and expand. Conversely, the brain prunes unhealthy circuits when we leave them idle.”  Let those negative thoughts alone. Leave them idle. Your brain prunes away what is unhealthy.

         When you surrender control and allow the Holy Spirit 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 is the fulcrum—the pivot point to the greatest exchange of positive instead of negative. You are new in Jesus with the power to choose positive thoughts and to defeat lies that spring up in your mind. Put on your new nature. Believe who Jesus says you are. Be renewed in the way you think from the inside out. Then the person that Jesus knows you are will be the person you know—the person who was worth His life.

© 2020 Lynn Lacher

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