The story is told of a princess in a tiny little kingdom where her father ruled with great devotion, love, and fairness. He continually told her one day she would ascend to the throne (since he had other children) and she would far succeed what he would accomplish. She had heard that since she was old enough to understand, yet now in her teens, she didn’t understand how that would be possible. She was too young to do much. She didn’t know everything, and she would even find herself fearful and depressed many times. She only saw the obstacles, her inability, lack of training, and she was unable to visualize anything else. She already felt like a failure before she even started. Her father was patient and loving and continued to encourage her to change how she perceived things, how she saw herself, and to see the possibilities. He knew if she had a different view of herself, her life, and what lay ahead of her, she’d sore beyond where he was. He knew she had ‘it’ in her to do great things.
What kept her falling short and in a dither? Her perception and thinking. Her thoughts were in the realm of the impossible. Her thoughts didn’t provide any encouragement to her because she continued hearing the world around her say it wasn’t possible. She was lost in her own cycle of thoughts saying to herself she wasn’t enough and couldn’t do anything great even though she was a princess.
But one day she watched a beautiful eagle fly over the castle and land by the window. She was shocked because she noticed many of his feathers were gone, yet he flew high. She tried to get closer to him but he flew off. She watched him sore higher than she’d seen before, and it finally dawned on her that only with God’s help could the eagle do that, especially with missing feathers. Daily she’d wait at the window to catch a glimpse of the beautiful eagle. Some days she’d see him off across the mote and hillside, and other days he’d fly closer. A month later he flew and landed by the window again. She dared not move and scare him away so she sat on her bed and quietly told him how beautiful he was, and how wonderful he flew. That’s when she realized what her father had meant. Even if obstacles are around, when you change your thinking to the possibilities and with God’s help, you can accomplish anything.
She immediately moved closer to the window and blew the eagle a kiss. As if he knew her thoughts, he wasn’t frightened off but stayed watching her, then turned and soared out over the castle grounds. She watched until he was only a speck in the sky, then sat on her bed and thought about the possibilities ahead. That’s when she discovered she wasn’t depressed. She was excited. She knew if God could give courage, strength, and power to an eagle who had lost many of his feathers, then he could do the same for her, minus the feathers of course. THAT was the day the princess changed her thinking to God’s thinking, and it literally changed her entire life and the life of the little kingdom.
Maybe you’re like the little princess. Maybe it’s time to change your thinking—about yourself, about God, about your life. Let’s look at how you can do that.
So many of us stay in the realm of ‘impossible’. We can’t see the forest for the trees so to speak. We hear in our heads thoughts about our perceived inadequacies, even to the point that we believe God won’t help us. We’ve got to erase that by changing our thinking.
“As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23:7 says. The more you think you’re a loser, can’t keep a job, unlovable, inadequate, not smart, etc., you’re reinforcing those thoughts. Those are the thoughts that lead you to despair, disappointment, and destruction. We can be our own worst enemy when we believe the lies of the enemy of our soul, and when we let those lies settle into our heart.
Luke 6:45, NIV says “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” The New American Standard version says the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart.
So, what is filling your heart? What thoughts are you letting reside in your heart? People joke all the time when they say something in particular but qualify it with ‘oh, I was just kidding’. Maybe, maybe not. They may be giving a clue as to what they have stored in their heart and just voiced.
TRUTH: What we believe comes from what we have stored in our heart. Your thoughts develop into beliefs, and those beliefs are stored in your heart, the center of your thinking. The only way to CHANGE your heart is to change your believing. The more you believe negative things, the more negative you’ll be.
Romans 8:6 NASB tells us “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace”. The mind governed by the flesh and the world is void of life. The mind governed by the Spirit is full of life and peace. That’s the difference between carnal thinking and spiritual thinking.
Most believers get scared when you mention carnal thinking because they think it is sinful, depraved thinking. As Clint Byars says, in its most basic form it just leaves God out of the picture. Carnal thinking is god-less. It is basically selfish thinking, thinking centering or considering only yourself. Carnal thinking reasons everything based on what seems logical according to the way of the world. If you go by what the world says and does, you’ll be walking down the road of carnal thinking. Spiritual thinking reasons everything based on God’s ways, His truth, and the fact that He can make a way where there is no way. Anchoring your thinking this way will always lead you into God’s best, His peace and possibilities.
APPLICATION: We need to persuade our minds and hearts to spiritual thinking because as Paul said that’s where and when you’ll be full of God’s life and peace. So, how do you do that?
We mention it often. It deals with God’s Word active in our hearts and minds. The more often you reach for the Word’s way of thinking (based on your new life in Christ Jesus) you’ll be thinking spiritually, being led by God’s wisdom and His transforming Word. Each time you put the Word into action, engaging your heart to believe it, the more you’ll be anchoring the truth and strengthening your spiritual roots.
Thinking and acting spiritually is thinking and acting according to the Word in Jesus’ finished work for you. You rise above the speculations, imaginations, and thoughts of the world that are based in carnal ways, and center on God’s wisdom that far surpassing mere human understanding.
Think according to the finished work of Jesus. Think according to a life of godliness and peace, of blessings and abundance, of joy and favor that Jesus provides for you. Renew your mind (Romans 12:1) and your thoughts in the blessings Jesus purchased for you.
You can think spiritual thoughts and be spiritually minded because you are filled with Jesus. Fortify yourself with the scriptures we’ve given in these studies because they will help you change and renew your thinking.
Proverbs 23:7 NASB – “For as he thinks within himself, so he is.”
Make It Practical: I will become more what I think, so I will make my thoughts line up with God’s Word and His ways, so I can operate in His fulness and enjoy a blessed life.
Luke 6:45, NIV – “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
Make It Practical: I will continue to store good things in my heart, the good things that Jesus has given me, and I will continue to speak about those.
Romans 8:6 NASB – “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”
Make It Practical: I determine to set my mind and thinking on the Spirit of life and peace which Jesus has provided for me. I won’t allow carnal thinking to rob me of God’s blessings in my life.
Romans 12:2 NIV – “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world [carnal thinking], but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think [spiritual thinking].”
Make It Practical: I determine to not follow carnal thinking and the way of the world, but I will be transformed from the inside out by God’s power and Word working in my heart and thinking.
Colossians 2: 8 NIV – “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition [carnal thinking] and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
Make It Practical: I won’t let carnal, hollow and deceptive thinking keep me from growing in my life IN Christ. Instead I will concentrate and grow in spiritual truth and His blessings and grace.
Can you identify areas where you’ve been pulled into carnal thinking? How can you counter those?
How are you renewing your mind in spiritual things?
List some practical steps you can follow to change/renew your mind in spiritual things?