The more you are in the Word on a regular basis, the more you will find that your thinking and believing changes. What you use to think about God has changed because you’ve come to know Him better, deeper. You know He is working His best out in your life as you continue walking in Him. You know He is for you no matter what, and He doesn’t take into account your flops and misses. You will also discover your thinking about yourself changes. So, when we read the Word, we need to translate it into what we work out in our daily lives with His help.
Understand your journey—when you were born again, your spirit was reborn, made alive to God. A new you came into existence, created from the indwelling of Jesus IN you. Yet, left at this initial point you would still be able to think the same ugly thoughts you had been thinking. You’d still be able to use the same ugly words you perhaps used before.
Remember, your new life and identity as a believer is from the inside out. This is where reading the Word of God on a daily basis enables you to change your outside living. This is where you find out about you. This is when you discover where your thinking has been incorrect, and how you can correct it with the help of the Holy Spirit—your helper.
There is one important aspect to always keep in mind. It is knowing what your Heavenly Father believes about you. It’s what He believes about you that defines you. His definition carries much more weight because it is the truth.
TRUTH: The problem most of us have at one time or another is when we lean toward believing things that are not true, especially things that are not true about us. When we believe what others have said about us, ‘you’ll never amount to anything’, ‘you’re so stupid’, or ‘no one will ever love you’, we can easily hold onto those statement as truth, but they are only the opinions of others.
Yet we can easily mix untruth in with what we believe about ourselves. Perhaps you’ve made those same statements more personal, as your statements: ‘I’ll never amount to anything’, etc. In making the statements with a personal pronoun, you’ve declared you own the statement and its truth about you.
The other problem arises in our thinking and what we hear from others. Here is where the perspective of the Cross and what it means in our lives come in to play. You may have heard that yes, you’ve been saved but you’d better make sure you’re doing enough or God won’t bless you. Many believers are intimidated and feel they must DO more or God won’t be happy with them. This is deceptive thinking. This is where the mixed gospel comes in. It says yes, on one hand we’re saved by grace in what Jesus did at Calvary, BUT on the other hand, we still have rules to follow and we’d better not mess up on following those.
APPLICATION: Here is where our renewed thinking must step in and change not only our words but our thoughts. When we think about things long enough, we give them voice which in turn gives them power in our lives. If you’re continually fed a diet of ‘I better do more, give more, pray more’, you’re always going to feel like you’re behind the eight ball and any minute you’ll come up short.
The good news is you’ve been freed from condemnation and guilt (which we’ll discuss in more detail later on), because Jesus paid it all. What is left is for you to believe what He says about you, and what He provided for you—ALL of God’s blessings.
It isn’t deceptive thinking to persuade yourself to believe the gospel of God’s grace. To not accept God’s grace in all forms is to be deceived, thinking it all depends on you. Jesus paid it all. God accepted it all. The only thing left is for you to believe it and receive it. When you do, your believing will line up with the full gospel of God’s love and grace.
We’ll dig into more on this subject next week. In the meantime, let these verses get cemented in your heart. Let the truth and power of the Word change your thinking. You’ll love the results.
Romans 8:1-2, NIV – “1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
Make It Personal: I walk in liberty and freedom in Jesus and what He did for me, and no condemnation of any kind can rule my thoughts or my life. I’ve been set free.
Colossians 2:6-8 NIV – “6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught…8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
Make It Personal: I will continue to build myself up in Jesus and His finished work for me. I will not be captive with deceptive thinking or believing.
John 14:20, NIV – “When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.”
Make It Personal: I am thankful Jesus lives in me and I am IN Him. I’m a child of God.
Romans 12:2 NIV – “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
Make It Personal: I will not copy the ways of the world but allow the Word to transform my thinking.
John 8:31-32 NASB – “31So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
Make It Personal: The more I fill myself with God’s Word and the truth of Jesus’ finished work for me, the more I’ll live in His freedom.
What is some deceptive thinking I’ve been hanging onto that I need to replace?
How am I working on replacing negative, deceptive thinking?
How am I countering deceptive thinking from others?
In what ways am I finding God’s Word freeing me from negative thoughts?