Freedom Begins With a Thought
You are not free until you think free. I believe that we all want freedom in life. It might be freedom from debt, addictions, and negative behaviors - there is always a place in us where God continues a work. No one has arrived to a place where you are above needing help. This earth is filled with bondage traps and we must be aware of what those are for each one of us. It concerns me when I see a place of captivity on someone else but especially when I don't have an awareness of my own issues. Lord, awaken us to the places where we must have freedom! Jesus promised life and life more abundantly, but many don't experience that abundant life even though it is promised. I share that scripture a lot because far too many allow the cares of this world to take center stage instead of looking for that life of abundance. There is a bondage over your mind and thought patterns when that happens. It is time to adjust some things in your life, but until you get that mind thinking free, you wonÃ?Â¢??t experience life more abundantly.
When the children of Israel were going into the new land promised them, they sent in spies to see how to overtake their enemies. All of the spies except two were convinced that they could not overcome the enemies that looked like giants to them. We are but grasshoppers in their eyes, they said. Who told them they were grasshoppers? Their own minds decided who they were. Yet two spies, Joshua and Caleb, saw the same people inhabiting the land and yet had a much different perception. Their minds told them that we will take this land because God promised it to us and God is bigger than these people. They chose to see the fruit of the land and the wonderful future that lie ahead for their generations. The negative report won out and the people decided there was no way they could take the land. So the children of Israel continued wandering in the desert for many years when all along they could have had abundant life.
There is a war over your mind. There always has been and always will be. Your present life will tell you what is winning the war in your mind. It will also tell you what your future looks like. What changes would you like to have for a good future? Those changes begin in your mind. Rom. 12:2 declares, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." When you get used to captivity and being in bondage to something, your thoughts are also in bondage. Thinking free requires transformation in your mind. Many want transformation of something in their lives - you want to make more money, be in better relationships, have the respect of your children or co-workers, but to have this freedom you have to think free 24/7. Transformation does not come to those that expect God to do it for them. This requires moment by moment taking captive any thought that is not lined up with God and His Word. "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5).
When our kids were growing up and one of our daughters would say derogatory things about themselves, I would not allow that in my presence. I knew who they were, and I wanted them to see that too. That is what you have to do with those negative thoughts that don't agree with God. You have to make them be quiet and replace them with truth.
To make this mind change, pray but then manage your thoughts! Here are some things that will help you:
Go toward thoughts that create and bless, not the kind of thinking that looks for the bad. Get with those that think and talk positive. Is there someone you admire for their values and lifestyle? Sit at their feet - learn from them and watch to see how they think and respond to things. There are some people who say they want better in life, but their minds function from a past trauma or event from where they have not been set free. You can either speak from trauma or life. Choose to be around those that speak from life.
Fill your mind with good information. Are you reading things that feed your soul in a good way or a bad way? Are you viewing what will bring peace, deeper connections to your spirit, joyful stories? What do you listen to when you relax? Everything I just named is the diet of your spirit and soul so feed yourself wisely.
Healthy minds look for ways to find enjoyment in life. Now I don't just mean how to have fun. Lots of people know how to do that and yet they are running on empty. Finding the pleasure in life is like creating new waves of energy into your spirit, soul and body and it releases good chemicals into your organs. Your outlook on life will have a positive tone. If you are in a rut and find it hard to do new things, purpose to try something different and new. A free mind thinks adventurous thoughts. You only live once so why not live with abundant thoughts that will move you to places of joy? Others will want to be around you and catch some of your passion and vision for life.
Take your mind out of crisis and into peace. The Lord said that He would keep us in perfect peace if our minds are staying on Him. That is meditation on the one that can handle anything that comes into your life. Confidence in the Lord will keep you in a state of peace. Jesus said He left His peace with us, but if we are not going after it, we won't have it. Go after peace and peace will find you. You will start functioning in a new way and crisis won't control your life or your schedule.
What area in your life could use a makeover? Perhaps you get anxious and worry too much; you need to lose weight and get your body healthy; you need to deepen your relationships; you need to break a sin pattern or addiction. Whatever it is, you don't have to live with that bondage. Now if you accept your situation as your lot in life and you can't change it, you are held captive in your mind. For those of you that desire freedom and are willing to admit where you need a change, it is time to go for it. Eph.3:20 promises us, "He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think according to the power that is at work in you." You have to do the work - it is the power that is at work in you that causes movement toward this incredible stuff that God has promised you. Get your mind into the exceeding abundantly above zone and watch what God does with your life. Get ready for those changes you desire to see because this is the abundant life Jesus has promised you!