Spiritual Growth: Apply
3 Steps to Change Your Thinking
You are a thinking being. As soon as you wake up in the morning, you think. All day long, you are thinking and processing information. The last thing you do at night is think. Even in your sleep—your brain is sorting out your thinking! Because we think so much, it can be tempting to believe that our thoughts aren’t very important—certainly not powerful enough to change the course of our lives or alter the physical state of our bodies. But nothing could be further from the truth!
God desires His people to lead emotionally happy and physically healthy lifestyles and to experience victory in every area. And He has instructed us time and again to control our thought lives to achieve it. For most of us, this can feel like an overwhelming task. The brain is constantly working, the mind is constantly thinking, and those billions of thoughts need taming!
Dr. Caroline Leaf, a world-renowned neuroscientist, has shared with Kenneth Copeland Ministries the results of 30 years of clinical research that prove our thoughts can either limit us to what we believe we can do or release us to experience abilities well beyond our expectations. She says, “When we choose a mindset that extends our abilities rather than placing limits on ourselves, we will experience greater intellectual satisfaction, emotional control and physical health.”
Begin your journey of mind renewal by the Word of God, and switch on your brain to victory. By being obedient to God’s instructions, you are empowered to have strength; and direct your memory, your words and your brain toward His thoughts.
Here are three ways to change your thinking and become empowered to receive all God has for you!
1.Make a Choice
Think you’re a victim of your own thoughts? Think again! You are not able to control the events and circumstances of life or what other people think and choose, but you do have the power to choose what youbelieve and your reactions to the events and circumstances of life. We have “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). So, according to science and Scripture, we are able to think and choose well. And we have the Holy Spirit to help us! Even when we choose poorly, faith in Jesus and an effort to rewire our minds for healthy thoughts will change our lives!
Every day, we have a choice—to believe or not believe the lies of the devil. He is trying everything he can to rewire our brains for destruction, defeat, shame, guilt and sheer misery. Every time we allow him to do this, there is a negative effect on us spirit, soul and body.
On the other hand, every time you choose God’s way, you make the right decisions. This causes your brain to send life-giving signals throughout your body. Your brain is designed to hear and obey God. So, when you choose God’s way, His energy that comes directly from the throne of grace fills your mind and body (Hebrews 4:16). Choosing God brings health, life, longevity, healing and change.
2.Take Every Thought Captive
When you practice being more in tune with what you’re thinking about, you’ll begin to notice how often your thoughts are toxic. So, at the first sign of a toxic thought (negative, critical, complaining, angry, unforgiving, or filled with self-pity), STOP. Imagine yourself grabbing that thought (taking it captive) and throwing it right out of your brain.
You’ll probably have to do this quite often in the beginning! You might miss a few here and there, but remember—you have a choice in what you think.Choose life-giving thoughts, choose to think about whatever is pure, lovely and of a good report. What you’re thinking might be correct—but is it helpful and edifying? If not, it doesn’t belong in your mind, releasing toxic chemicals to your brain.
Don’t ever let any thought run rampant through your mind; capture every thought, check for the lie, reject the lie, and embrace the truth!
3. Replace Toxic Thoughts With God’s Thoughts
“His thoughts are higher than our thoughts,” and He has given us direction for how we are to think. To replace toxic thoughts (negativity, unforgiveness, anger, depression) with God’s thoughts, we have to change the attitude of our minds from “I can’t,” to “I can through Christ” (Philippians 4:13). Change your mind by practicing thoughts of love and victory. Direct your attention to the way God thinks, and your brain will change course to agree with what God intends. When you think like God thinks, you will activate every zone of your brain, and you will change the physical structure and function of the brain.
So, for example, if you’re thinking negative or critical thoughts about your spouse, take that thought captive and throw it out! Then, switch to God’s way of thinking. Praise and thank God for your spouse—even list all of his or her positive attributes. Choose to think loving and kind thoughts about your spouse—repenting for any wrong attitudes you might have. Yes, you might be right in what you’re thinking—but are you honoring God’s Word by loving your wife or respecting your husband?
The same is true if you begin thinking negatively about your health or finances. Stop right there! Don’t let the enemy trick you into receiving defeat. Replace those thoughts with thoughts of victory. Speak Scripture that reveals what God says about your situation. Your mind has to follow your words. So, think truth!
When you take these three steps to change your thinking, it won’t be long before you create a new habit and begin to see a change in how you think, speak, feel and respond. Don’t let yourself be a victim of your own thoughts. Take back your power—take back your thoughts!
Watch as Kenneth Copeland and Dr. Caroline Leaf discuss how you can make the decision to change your thinking.