There is a man in Heart of God Church whom I am most honored to share the same birthday with. He’s none other than Garrett Lee, one of our senior leaders! And just 2 weekends ago, he preached a sermon about the power of our minds. I found it very practical and today, I want to tell you what I learned from it.
Firstly, let me ask you a question. Do you know that our thoughts are very important? What we usually think will eventually become what we believe. That is why, we need to guard our minds with this power we have over them. Because at the end of the day, what’s inside of us in our minds will affect our outside in terms of our life and our behavior. There is a saying:
“Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character, reap a destiny.”
So as you can see, it is indeed very important for us to guard our thoughts and our minds. But more than that, the Bible says that we got to renew them.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Romans 12:2
The scripture above says that we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. God wants us to be transformed in His image by the renewal of our mind, and not be conformed to the image of the world. That is what Christianity is about! Christianity is not the removal of the mind, but the renewal of the mind.
While our greatest ally – God wants to transform us, our greatest enemy – the devil wants to conform us. Ever faced temptations to say a lie or a vulgarity before having thoughts like “the whole world is doing it, so it’s okay”? That’s just one example of the lies that the devil can speak to you. And if we do not renew our minds, we will fall for it!
People don’t just stop sinning when they become Christians you know? They don’t stop sinning because “Oh, Christians don’t do such things.” If that happens, it’s not transformation anymore, it’s conformation! And I can’t place more emphasis on this, but God is all about transformation. We will only stop sinning because of a mindset shift that results from true transformation! Thus it all begins with the renewal of our thoughts that will eventually affect our destiny.
If you have a Bible with you, flip with me to Ephesians 4:22-32. This long string of verses show us what it means to be transformed by the renewal of our mind. Read it, you’ll know what I mean. Transformation, for good or worse, comes from the renewing of our minds. That is why we need to guard our minds, because they are easily infiltrated. But how? Here are 3 simple ways to do it.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7
Friends, there is a power in prayer. It’s in prayer that we align our thoughts to God’s and lift them up to a whole new level. And it’s only when that happens, that all the wrong thoughts in our minds will go away.
#2 Focus our thoughts
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” – Philippians 4:8
Disclaimer: the meditation here in this verse is not referring to the usual meditations that people do. You know the kind where you “empty your mind”? Nope, that’s not the one that the Bible is referring to here! The “meditation” here in this verse refers to the focusing of our thoughts on the good things – things that are true, pure, praiseworthy, etc, etc, etc!
This is because the devil will come to tempt us with thoughts that are 99% true, to try to conform us. But we must know that truth only works at a 100%. The devil will try to give us dishonorable thoughts; we must set our minds on things of honor. He will try to taint our thoughts with impurities; we need to be just and treat people right. As we reject those bad thoughts and fill our minds with pure ones, the devil will not take ground in our lives. Also, we need to think about things to love others, instead of having selfish thoughts! The last thing that Philippians 4:8 teaches us is to set our minds on good reports. Don’t always be negative and focus on the bad reports! We all have good reports in our lives; it’s just what we choose to focus on. Thank God for all the good things in our lives.
#3 Remember our salvation
“Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;” – Ephesians 6:14-17
Finally as Christians, we have to constantly remember our salvation. In life, we are always fighting a spiritual battle, taking new grounds. That is especially true in this new season, so we got to be ready. In verse 17 above, salvation is described as a helmet. Why? Because helmets protect our head, the most important part of our body. It’s where the brain is, where the mind is.
That is why, in order to guard our minds, we have to remember the eternal grace and love that God has placed in us. If we have a revelation of His love for us and understand eternity, we will have a different perspective. Bad things that happen will not seem so horrible anymore. Good things that happen will not seem that fantastic too! Everything fades in light of eternity. Our life on Earth is only but temporary. That is why and how we guard our minds.