How is your thinking these days? What kinds of things have you been thinking about? Are you caught in the traps of worry, discouragement and doubt? Or do things seem to be looking up for you? I’m asking because this year I’ve been profoundly impacted by something God is teaching me about my thought life. Let me explain. You see, I’ve been studying God’s Word for more than thirty years. There is nothing I love more than spending time with God, opening the pages of the Bible, and living there for as much time as I can, waiting on God to speak. When He causes those words to leap off the page, grab me by the throat and throw me to the ground (R.C. Sproul’s definition of the illumination of the Holy Spirit), then my heart just catches on fire!
This last year I have experienced devastating loss. My mentor, Shirley Peters, went home to be with the Lord in March. She and I shared a great love for the word and I have so missed talking together with her about the Lord. And then, my father went home to be with the Lord in September after a year-long battle with cancer. I walked that journey with him and we became closer than ever. About mid-year I found myself plagued with long moments of worry, heartbreak, discouragement and sometimes despair. Lord, what is happening and will you help me learn and grow in this painful journey of brokenness I am experiencing? The Lord, faithful as always, took me to a pair of verses – Romans 12:1-2.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 NLT
God seemed to be saying to me, Catherine, let me transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. As I lived in those words, I realized that every day, as I am living in God’s Word, He is transforming me by changing the way I think. God’s Word molds our thought life, giving us an eternal perspective, and ultimately, we are transformed through the power of the Holy Spirit. So, I adopted a new prayer. Lord, change the way I think. The next day, God took me to some verses in Psalm 62 just filled with His promises. I wrote them out in my journal. I thought about those promises all day and prayed them back to the Lord whenever I started to worry. The next day God gave me some new promises in Isaiah. And then some in Philippians. Soon I had so many promises that I wrote them on 3 x 5 cards so I could carry them with me through the day. Now I have two packs of cards that I look at from time to time, continuing to ask God to transform me by changing the way I think.
I’m learning that we need to bombard our minds with God’s Word and meditate on all He is saying. When we are faithful to live in God’s Word, our thinking will change. We begin to think rightly according to God’s eternal perspective. We dwell on the facts that nothing is too hard for God, salvation and help is in God alone, He is with us wherever we go, and He will strengthen us for whatever we face today. I could go on and on. So I ask you today – what are you filling your mind with? What occupies most of your attention? Maybe there’s just a bit too much television and internet pouring into your thoughts and not enough of truth from God and His Word. I implore you to spend time thinking about your thinking.
I was out shooting some photos in Newport Beach and caught this bird hanging out near the water seemingly looking off into the distance reflecting on the majesty and miracle of the ocean waves. We need to learn a lesson from the bird, take our shoes off, sink our feet into the luxurious sand of God’s magnificent Word, and reflect on His all-sufficiency, His power, and His majesty. Our thoughts will move to His promises, and our heart will soften with His comforting wash of Spirit-led and Spirit-filled renewal. Times of refreshing do indeed come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19 NIV).
Post-processed with Photoshop, Nik Software.
So be refreshed and transformed today as you live in God’s Word and let God change the way you think. God bless you dear friend as you continue on in this great adventure of knowing Him.
Blessings and Grace to you,