Guard Your Thinking

The Scripture tells us in Proverbs that "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." That tells us that our life is going to go in the direction of our most prominent thoughts, those thoughts that we allow to linger in our mind, such as an offense or a fear or a worry, and then drop down and take root in our heart. If we're going to become everything God intends us to be, we must take captive the thoughts that are playing in our mind, those thoughts that are ruling our life. We can't afford to allow negative thoughts to push us around. We have to push our thoughts around. We want our life to go in the right direction, and that direction is dictated by right thoughts. So we have to seriously guard what we're thinking about.

If you want your life to go in a certain direction, start thinking in that direction. Start pushing your life that way by the thoughts you're thinking. If you need victory today, start thinking overcoming thoughts. If there are areas in your life where you feel defeated, you feel down, start thinking overcoming thoughts. Use the power of your thoughts and start saying, "If God is for me, who can be against me? Who would even dare to point a finger at me? Jesus overcame sin and death and the grave so I can overcome. In fact, God has called me 'more than a conqueror' in Christ Jesus!"

God has given you His Word and the power to think His thoughts and to create your life around those thoughts. You can't control what anyone else does or says or thinks, but you can control what you think. You can control your attitudes. You can control the filters you use, and that's the key. If your life is not going in the direction you want, push your thoughts in the direction you want. God says He wants to renew your mind and transform your life, and it can start now. The renewing and the transformation can take place as soon as you choose the right thoughts to think.

So let me encourage you today. Know that God is for you. He's given you an outline for what you need to do. Create possibilities in your mind. Don't go out with a negative filter. Don't allow your thoughts to push you around anymore; rather, begin to push your thoughts around. Use the power of God's Word to transform your thinking and guard your heart.

 

Don’t Try to Hide Your Scars

While life brings its share of physical scars from injuries, there are also invisible scars that come from inner wounds. We may carry the scars from a divorce, from what somebody did, from a mistake we made, from a loss. So often we try to hide our scars. They remind us of the hurt. We don't see anything positive about them and wish they would go away. But you need to see your scars in a new light. God allowed that scar to remind you of what He brought you through. When you see that scar, don't think of the pain, think of the grace of God. The scar means the wound has healed, the pain is over, and you're moving forward.

You can be at peace with your scars. Those scars are your testimony; they tell your story. No one in the Scripture fulfilled their destiny without battle scars. We all get wounded. Instead of being depressed over what you've been through, have a new perspective—the enemy tried to stop you, but God healed you. How do you know? You have a scar to prove it. You're not ashamed of it; you're not depressed by it, you're at peace with your scars. You know it was the hand of God protecting you, not letting that opposition defeat you. The scars don't have to remind you of the pain, they can remind you of the greatness of God. Sure you have a scar, but you've come through healed, restored, vindicated, blessed and fulfilling your purpose.

Jesus was betrayed by close friends and misunderstood by His family. He was falsely accused and beaten with rods, forced to wear a crown of thorns, His back was lashed with thirty-nine stripes, and His hands and feet and side were pierced. What amazes me is that when Jesus rose from the dead, you would think He would be perfectly restored back to normal. But even though resurrection power caused Him to come back to life, He still had scars. This was significant. God could have taken them away. Maybe, in part, it was to show us that it's okay to have scars.

Be at peace with your scars. Your scars are not there to hold you back; they are reminders of the grace of God, of what He's brought you through. It's very freeing when you can say, "I worship a Savior who has scars. Since He has scars, I'm okay with my scars. I'm not going to live bitter because of a disappointment, or in regret over past mistakes, or go around sour because somebody did me wrong. I'm at peace with my scars."

 

More Than a Conqueror

I heard about a boxer whose world-renowned trainer developed him into a world champion. Before every match, the trainer would write the number of the round he predicted the boxer would knock out his opponent and slip it into the boxer's glove. He had so much confidence in the boxer's ability that it wasn't whether or not he was going to win, but when he would win. That little note instilled in the boxer so much confidence that it gave him a champion's mentality—it reminded him of the champion inside. But the truth is that little note was just a piece of paper with a number on it. It had no effect until it become a part of the boxer's thinking, a part of who he was.

In the same way, God is certain of your ability to succeed. Did you know that God has placed in your glove, so to speak, the seed of a champion? On the slip of paper He's already written Romans 8:37, in which He's saying, "I have made you more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ." He's already given you the seed that is going to be developed to cause you to overcome every foe and challenge. Because Jesus Christ already conquered, He has set you free from sin and bondage and gives you the power to conquer. He's put inside you the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. God is in your corner, and He is saying, "It's not whether or not you will win. It's only a matter of time before you deliver that final blow and knock out the enemy."

But just like the boxer, you have to get this into your thinking. You may not feel like a champion. You will become more than a conqueror when you activate that seed of greatness by what you think, by what you say, by how you praise, by how you respond to the forces of God. You are living out your destiny right now. Don't let the enemy tell you that you're less than a conqueror. God says you are a champion. You have the Champion living inside you!

So what round are you going to take out your opponents?