The Way You Think ... Determines How You Live

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What is the most communicable disease in the world today?

Your thoughts….

Proverbs 23: 7 says:

“As a man thinketh so is he…”

For years, I’ve taught that a debt free mentality….is not determined by where you work, where you live, what you drive, what you wear or who your parents are.   Your mentality is not determined by how smart you are but by the dominant thoughts in your mind.

Whatever thoughts you allow to dominate your life will have a direct impact on who and what you draw into your life.

Like a magnet, your thoughts will draw to you the people and circumstances that harmonize with your dominant thoughts.

Life is not determined by outward acts or circumstances.  Each of us creates our own life by our thoughts.

Marcus Aurelius once said:

Our life is what our thoughts make it.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson said:

“Man is what he thinks.”

Matthew 12:34 says:

“. . .for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”

Matthew 12:34 in the Amplified Bible says:

“For out of the fullness (the overflow, the [superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks.”

Matthew 12:34 in the New Living Translation says:

“For whatever is in your heart determines what you say.”

Here’s a truth…nothing is coming out of your mouth that you haven’t first thought

 Interject here…this is why it’s impt to cast down imaginations WHEN THEY FIRST APPEAR… acorn philosophy - expand

A single thought will neither make nor break a life, but a habit of thought will.  We cannot think defeat and be victorious.

A fixed habit of faith is the cure for a worried troubled heart.  We can do more for or against ourselves than any outside force.

I want you to write this down, “I can do more for or against myself than anybody else or any outside influence.”

Write it on a slip of paper and carry it with you this week.

You canwrite down notes in every seminar, church service, webinar or conference call you participate in…but the key to your success. . .is the implementation of what you’ve heard and learned.

You have to put it to work….as my fine wife says, you can have a seed in the barn, but it will never bring a harvest unless you put it in the ground.

It’s not enough to hear…it’s what you do with what you know that makes a difference.

What sets a man apart from all the other forms of animal life?  It is the ability to think, to reason, to improve his/her lot

The greatest undeveloped asset in the world today is your ability to think.   It is up to us to get our own thinking right on the right basis.  No one else can do it for us.

Interject -- That is why it’s so impt to fill your mind with good stuff.  Good reading, good listening material is NEVER wasted money….

The way you think determines how you live.

Every good thought contributes its share to the ultimate result of your life.

 A single thought in the morning may fill the whole day with joy and sunshine, or with gloom, depression and despair.  Many a day has been dampened by a careless or unkind thought.

If you receive any negative or bad thoughts…pray, but also change your physiology.  Get up and walk around…stretch…does something different….it will change the process.

You will never be any better or higher than your best thoughts.

The mind has great power over the body and there’s no doubt about it.  To consciously think that “I can” impels the subconscious faculties into action.  Life is formed from the inside out.  What I am inside determines the issues in the battle of life.

Interject—that is why it’s crucial to KNOW who you are in Christ… that way when something happens to you… your mind doesn’t race or panic… you know God will never leave you…He will never forsake you.  You can handle anything  … because the Holy Spirit is your helper, comforter, counselor… nothing should catch us off guard!

One of my favorite African proverbs says:

“If there is no enemy within, the enemy on the outside can do us no harm.”

Thoughts are the transforming power released into our lives.  As the Bible says as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.  We are bound to follow our thoughts.  That’s why it’s important business, when we select the thoughts that we’re going to allow them to dominate our life.

The Apostle Paul talks about being transformed by the renewing of your mind.

Romans 12:2 says:

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Conformed in the Strong’s Concordance is word “4964” and it means:

“1) to conform one's self (i.e. one's mind and character) to another's pattern,”

To one’s mind…what is your mind but a collection of your thoughts that fill you conscious and subconscious computer.

Romans 12:2 in the Amplified Bible says:

“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].”

And my favorite translation is Romans 12:2 in the New Living Translation which says:

“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.”                                                                                                                       

Romans 12:2 in the Contemporary English Version says:

“Don't be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.”

Romans 12:2 in the Message Bible says:

“Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

Your thoughts…new thoughts become your motivation to change.

There is really no other way to be transformed.  When we are exhorted to reconsider -- to think differently -- he means we’re to change our thinking. 

Why?  Because thoughts are the transforming power released into our lives.  This is the only way that you can get your life changed, by changing your thinking, thoughts are power releases right or wrong, they are power releases.  They are bound to mold us and dominate us.

You cannot become great and think small neither can you remain small when you are thinking great. 

Thought is the original source of all wealth, all success, and all great discoveries and achievement

Good thoughts must be coupled with right methods that we would like to achieve the desired result.  Our personal body chemistry is guided and triggered by our emotions but our thought leads the actions.  You can make yourself sick, poor and unhappy by your habitual thinking.  You can even kill yourself by your thoughts.  The greatest communicable disease in the world today is your thoughts.

I’ve taught before that worry is just troubled thoughts.

In Job 20:2 in the New International Version. . . Zophar said:

"My troubled thoughts prompt me to answer because I am greatly disturbed.”

Worry is an obsession, a mania, hallucinatory state usually super induced by -- dare I say it -- unbelief. 

Worry never righted a wrong, dried a tear or lifted a burden.  On the contrary it has slain tens of thousands.  The cure for worry is a heart of faith.

People are probably more careless with their thoughts than anything else.

Interject – In 2 Timothy chapter 2 we are called to be good soldiers… no one like to think they are going to have to fight but if we are ever ready … like good soldiers … to take down as my husband likes to say … kamikaze thoughts when they hit us… we will actually be spending less time fighting than if we allow strongholds to get built up in our minds!

Drawing upon the negative is not the way to live so that you enjoy life.

How many of you have ever seen a really bad movie?  ……….

Would you let somebody walk into your home and dump garbage all over the floor…but yet we sometimes allow negative people around us to control our conversations.

If you’re around negative people, change the subject, talk about constructive things, invest your time, don’t merely spend itPeople do not realize the full implications of what happens to them when they dwell upon negative thinking.

Have you ever noticed that some people in observing…well, anything, tend to talk and complain about the 1 or 2 percent that is not perfect, and which can easily be corrected, but do not say a word about the 98 percent that is good and beautiful and right.

If you would like to change your condition and situation in life, you must change your thinking.

Thoughts can be constructive or destructive.  Fear, grief, worry, anger, jealousy and other negative thoughts are destructive. 

The only person that can really hurt you, is you

A popular Eleanor Roosevelt quote is:

“Nobody has the ability to make you feel bad about yourself without your permission.”

We need to think thoughts of joy and happiness, and all that is good and constructive.  There are natural laws and spiritual laws that when obeyed or disobeyed have consequences.  The law of electricity must be obeyed before it becomes man’s servant.  When handled ignorantly it becomes man’s deadly foe.  Just like your state of mind.

Interject – I try to put an encouragement in my emails to our Sunday Night Church service crowd… this is what I wrote last week…

This is what we heard our heavenly Father say about you:

"Nothing that is good will be withheld from you."

"I will bless you and make you a blessing."

"I will teach and instruct you; I will guide you with my eye."

"I am for you .... who can be against you?"

"I know you and I'm familiar with all your ways.  My thoughts toward you are precious; they outnumber the grains of sand."

"With me all things are possible."

All of these thought are taken from scripture… meant for you … but personalized they bless and build you up… they give your courage…they will change your day!

By the way… if you want to be added to our weekly email reminder, just send me your email address to [email protected]

Never allow yourself to become so anxious about your future that you lose sleep and fall into the grip of fear.

I have always heard it said that you should never go to sleep angry with anyone and most especially includes your spouse or children.

Cleanse your mind before you sleep.  Put good thoughts in your mind.  The conscious is going to go out and the unconscious is taking over.

Victor Hugo, the noted author put it this way “When you go to bed at night, have for your pillow these three things -- love, confidence, and joy.  And you will waken in the morning with a song in your heart.” 

By filling the subconscious mind with edifying wholesome thoughts, they are acting while you sleep and becoming part of you of your thought process and response.  Result:  a positive person.

What is the subconscious mind?

It’s like the world’s greatest computer. . .that is filled with remembrances, in which every impulse of thought through any of the five senses is classified and recorded, and from which thoughts may be recalled or withdrawn as letters may be taken from a filing cabinet.

The subconscious mind works day and night and it functions without any voluntary direction from you.  In other words, you do not have to tell it what to do. . .it just does it.  You cannot entirely control your subconscious mind, but the Word of God can.

Interject– And you can re-program your mind with the Word and defeat the negatives.

Psalm 16:7-8 in the New Living Translation says:

I will bless the Lord who guides me;even at night my heart instructs me.  I know the Lord is always with me.   I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.”

Philippians 4:6-9 says:

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

 7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (do you think there is any worry in God—do you think He frets?)

 8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things (as many as--Strongs) are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

 9Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

The Amplified Bible translation of Philippians 4:6-9 says:

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, (DOES THAT MEAN NOT TO WORRY) but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition ([a]definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.

    7And God's peace [shall be yours, that [b]tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall [c]garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

    8For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].

    9Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of [d]untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.”

The New Living Translation of Philippians 4:6-9 says:

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

 8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts (which means they won’t always be fixed unless you fixed them) on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9 Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”

Napoleon told a group of recruits who were full of fear that they were brave would be strong fighters in the first battle.  He encouraged them and encouragement is the oxygen to your soul.  Tell yourself repeatedly that you can conquer all your difficulties.  You become what you think about.

Interject – That is why soldiers are sent to bootcamp… they are trained to give a certain response without thinking about it…. They can’t afford to become scared…so they react out of the habits that they have adopted.

That is exactly how we retrain our minds.  Instead of immediately thinking negative … perhaps like we were raised to do… we can become used to responding with

It doesn’t have to be word for word in any version of the bible… you just need to be assured God is your answer…

State of mind is also a very important factor in your success.  You can condition your mind to a point where it enables or prevents you from going forward and doing things.  You can poison your mind and limit your own capacity. 

The mind is the supreme, originating, constructive force in all human endeavor.  Your mental powers are comprehension, feeling, reflection, conscious, method, observation, comparison, will, intuition, memory, judgment, concentration, imagination, reason, perception and analysis.

I want you to get a hold of this next statement.

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.  Thinking is only a process of talking to one’s self intelligently and scripturally.  You talk to yourself all the time, be careful what you say.

You also need to know that if you’re not talking to yourself…somebody else, is.

What can you do to think right thoughts?  Think constructive, wholesome thoughts.  Be a positive person not a negative person.

We become what we think.  We become what we dwell upon.

The principle:  you move forward toward that upon which you dwell and think about.  You tend to become like that which you think about most vividly, most repeatedly, most intensely, and most imaginatively.

Ralph Waldo Emerson declared that the ancestor of every action is thought. 

When we understand that, we begin to comprehend that our world is governed by thought and everything had its counterpart originally within the mind.

Someone once said all that we are is a result of what we have thought.

All rewards in life are for right thinking and acting.  If we think right we will act right.  No one can enjoy living unless he has a positive state of mind.

Maintaining a positive attitude puts you in a position where you can overcome practically all of the negative things that come your way in life.

Jesus was the greatest positive thinker that ever lived.

Hebrews 3:1in the New International Version says:

“[Jesus Greater Than Moses ] Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.”

Ephesians 4:23  in the New Living Translation says:

“Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.”

Never at any time get yourself into a negative state of mind, or allow a friend to lead you to a point of agreeing to anything that is negative.  Have ever picked up something really hot that would burn you and cause an injury?  What did you do with it?

You put it down.

That’s what you do when a negative though enters your mind, you put it down, because it will injure you.  Just remember, the minute you let a negative thought enter your mind, you’ve allowed it to take control of your life

As believer’s our greatest power originates with a thought. . .the thought of salvation and eternal life. . .the thought of being filled with the Holy Spirit. . .the thought of having life and having it more abundantly. . .the thought of being above and not beneath. . .the thought of being more than a conqueror.

Your greatest power likes in the power of your thoughts. . .they can be for good or they can be for bad.

Success is not an accident.  Flooding your mind with positive thoughts is an established mental procedure with successful men and women in every walk of life.

Acquire the habit of substituting positive ideas for negative ones and gradually your life will become more and more successful.

Keep the words of Philippians 4 close to your heart.

1 Chronicles 28:9in the New International Version says:

"And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.”

What you think about, you bring about and what you bring about you will be judged by.

Revelation 2:23in the New Living Translation says:

“. . . Then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches out the thoughts and intentions of every person. And I will give to each of you whatever you deserve.”

Here’s what you need to get and act on from this call today.   Sit down, ask God where He wants you to go in life… and begin write out the thoughts and possibilities that will take you there.

12 guidelines using the Word of God to change your thinking into a positive, godly rich thought process.

1.         You must speak to those things that are not as though they were (Romans 4:17).   Your daily confessionsshould be about  who you want to become, not who you are.

Begin to see yourself as God sees you and you will eventually become how He sees you.  Don’t give up and you will change.

2.         Make your thoughts as specific as possible.If you are confessing an exercise program, then make a definite confession. “I will ride bikes with my family every night before supper.”  What if you only end up riding bikes one night in seven?  You still did what you said.

3.         It is important that your positive thoughts reflect the here and now and not the hereafter. Don’t say, “Tomorrow, I’m going to start reading three chapters in the Bible,” or, “After Junior’s birthday, I’m going to cut back on my sweets.” Changing your thought process starts today. . .not tomorrow.

4.         Make your positive thoughts free from guilt. Instead of saying, “If I’m ever going to get closer to God, I’ve got to get up an hour earlier to read my Bible.” Instead, say, “Thank you, Lord, that I am rested, refreshed and ready to spend an hour with you.”  And say it no matter how you feel.

5.         Put some feeling into your confession.“Thank you, Lord, I no longer desire those fat-building, artery-clogging, clothes-tightening desserts.”

6.         Make each confession for at least twenty-one days.Studies show any action taken daily for twenty-one days will very likely become a habit. The habits we form become the lifestyles we live.

7.         Take small but consistent efforts at first.  When your confession has changed one part of your thought process. . .focus on another. . .but don’t overdo it.

8.         Create early victories.Think, speak, confess and act. . For example, “I will hang up my clothes each evening” then do it.

9.         Don’t brag to your friends or co-workers about changing. This will only put increased pressure on you. Remember, you are not doing this for them. It’s for you. Let them see the results in a more energized, godly you.

10.       Your thought changing process should focus on goals that are within reach.If you work an eight-hour day, commute an hour and a half, spend three hours cooking, eating, then helping the children with their homework, it is unreasonable to plan to read an entire book in one night. A more attainable goal would be reading one chapter a night.

11.       Write each positive rich thought-builder on a 3X5 card.Carry it will you all day. Treat these thought-builders like meals. Meditate on them morning, noon, and night, and snack in between, too.

12.       Don’t stop until you see your thought-processes changing…how you act and react.