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Shifting Thoughts That Aren’t From The Lord

Our thoughts can either be our most powerful strength or our greatest weakness. From our thoughts flow new dreams and ideas but also come our judgements and insecurities. Our minds are a part of our bodies that we can have so much control over but it’s also the easiest part to give control over to. 

God designed our minds as a space to process, dream, and think on good things. The enemy loves to come in and re-create what our minds were intended for. He does this because our minds lead to every other feeling, action, and lifestyle we choose. When this happens it is important for us to be aware, on guard, and ready to engage in the spiritual warfare that is,  shifting our thoughts.

The truth about shifting thoughts? It can be done. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says “we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.” Wrong thoughts are a “pretension” or a claim that goes against the knowledge of God. When you have a thought that goes against what God says our instruction is to make it submissive to Christ guidelines. 

These wrong thoughts look like 

I am not beautiful 

I am not worthy 

I am not loved

I am fat

I can’t do that 

If only I had her… 

Thoughts we have all been guilty of believing. 

When you read the line “take every thought captive” you may think how in the world do I take a thought captive, at least that’s what I wondered when I first read this verse. Thoughts seem to come in so fast, so many at a time, you can’t keep track, much less take them captive. On average your brain processes 70,000 thoughts per day which is a lot of thoughts to take captive. 

A couple of years ago I read Jennie Allen’s book “Get Out of Your Head.” This book truly changed my life but even more so my mind. Her research shared that although you can’t help what thought comes in your mind you do have power over how long you think about that thought. She reveals that thoughts have patterns that actually build on each other like blocks. When we think the thought “I don’t have to think about this,” it interrupts the thought pattern and therefore prevents it from building. 

How should you identify what thoughts are worth interrupting? Let’s be real,  with the many opinions of the world it can be hard to know what you shouldn’t do, what’s normal to think on, and what we should do and what we don’t need to think on. The world will try to give you a lot of answers that cloud your vision but God’s word gives us a guide to exactly what we should have our thoughts set on. 

Philippians 4:8 says “Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” This list is the guideline that we submit the wrong thoughts too. If your thoughts go against anything on this list then let this serve as the grace that says it’s time to switch your thoughts. Setting our mind on the truth is setting it on what God says is true. 

These true thoughts look like

I am beautiful (Psalm 139:14)

I am worthy (Ephesians 4:6-7) 

I am loved (1 John 4:10)

My body is a holy temple (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

I can do that (philippians 4:13)

I am blessed with…(Psalm 23:1)

Shifting thoughts can be challenging and require discipline, but thankfully God has been waiting for us to ask him for help. Practically for me this looks like thinking about something else completely unrelated. If I think a rude thought about a friend, I don’t let myself say it out loud and I choose to see something positive in them. If I have a lustful thought, instead of pondering on the thought I choose to remember the pure mind God has given me. 

It is important to pay attention to what triggers your thoughts. If scrolling triggers your mind to comparison then practice not scrolling on instagram. If certain music leads to impure thoughts then trust that you will hear that song again next time you’re shopping in a Zara and switch to worship music in your personal time. 

Our simple direction is to set our minds on things above. For me “above” looks like Jesus.  We become insecure in ourselves when our eyes are set on us and not set on Jesus. When I have insecure thoughts about my body it is when my eyes are fixed on my flaws and not Jesus’ perfection.  When I remember that God delights in the earthly body he has given me I can become confident even in the ways that I look different from others around me. 

When our thoughts are clouded with the murky waters of bad thoughts it tends to overflow into the other areas of our life like our words and actions. God desires to see you flourish with a bright and clear mind. Magnifying his name after you have criticized yours has a way of resetting our minds on what is right, true and matters most. 

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Xo Scarlet