Have you ever stopped to think back to the thoughts you had throughout the day? Research says on average we can have between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day. How many of our thoughts are of heavenly minded things versus thoughts of our flesh? Are you setting your mind on things above?
I found myself feeling angry and bitter about someone even though my actions didn’t show it. If you’ve been a Christian long enough, you can get good at “acting” nice, but what about your heart?
This person kept throwing harsh accusations at me. I responded with kindness but at the end of the day, I was still angry, exhausted, and annoyed.
While I didn’t respond in anger, I reverted to avoiding the person as much as I could. I didn’t know how to get rid of the bitterness, or if it could ever be taken away.
I then ran into Colossians 3:2 which says, “set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”
It was at that moment when I realized I had all the bitterness and anger because I chose to dwell on the negative thoughts and hurt I experienced. If I wanted to forgive this person and heal, I had to make the decision to let go of the negative thoughts and set my mind on Jesus.
The more I fixed my gaze on Jesus and His love for me, the less I felt hurt. Jesus became the medicine to numb all the pain I had experienced.
Instead of entertaining the negative thoughts I had, I replaced them with thoughts of God’s goodness and favor over my life. I reminded myself that Jesus willingly gave up his life so that I could have eternal life with him. Grace was given to me even though I didn’t deserve it.
I was overwhelmed with His love that I had no more room for the pain and anger to linger in my heart.
The more we fix our gaze on Jesus, the more real His love becomes to us. When we are overwhelmed by the love of Jesus, it overflows to other areas in our lives despite the conditions we may be facing.
Ephesians 3:17-19 says, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Maybe you’re not battling with anger, but what about lust? Greed? Jealousy? Selfish ambition?
God’s love has the power to break every bondage in our lives. His love is beyond what we can comprehend and has the power to transform us into the fullness of God.
How do we become rooted and established in the love of Jesus?
It starts with our thoughts.
We must choose to meditate on scripture and keep our minds occupied with heavenly thoughts. Philippians 4:8 says, “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.”
Scripture makes it clear what is of God and what is of our flesh. Galatians 5:19-22 says, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”
What do your thoughts consist of? Are you dwelling on fleshly thoughts or on spirit-filled thoughts? Will you choose to drop every negative thought and replace it with God’s truth?
It’s easy to neglect our thought life. We tend to focus more on our actions and how we feel but rarely do we think about our thoughts. We must start examining our thoughts because it’s the starting point to everything we do.
You may not be strong enough to fight against your flesh, but the Jesus in you is. 1 John 4:4 reminds us, “The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
Don’t feel discouraged if you feel far from recovery. Jesus came for that very reason – to save you and to be your strength. His grace is available to those who ask and are willing to follow Him. Ask Jesus to help you in your weaknesses and struggles and He will do just that.
1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
God will provide a way for you to come out of your weakness in victory. His faithfulness will never let you down. So remember, set your mind on things above.
Prayer: Lord, I chose to set my mind on you and less on my circumstances.