Think This, Not That

I am unique and special

Joyce Meyer
Think This Not That

You’re probably familiar with the story of Moses and how God used him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the Promised Land. The Bible says they wandered in the desert for 40 years making an 11-day journey!

Years ago, God spoke to my heart and said, “The children of Israel spent 40 years in the wilderness because they had a wilderness mentality.” I define a “wilderness mentality” as a wrong mindset. Like the Israelites, our wrong mindsets can keep us dealing with the same problems, never truly making any progress.

I love Deuteronomy 1:6: The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, You have dwelt long enough on this mountain (AMPC). God was telling them (and us), “It’s time to move on—you have been here long enough!” And it all begins with our thinking—renewing our minds with God’s Word and exchanging our wrong thinking patterns for the right ones.

For example, there may have been a time when you were tempted to think: “Everyone else is better off than I am.” Jealousy is often referred to as “the green-eyed monster”...and for good reason. Focusing on others’ strengths and everything they have will make you miserable! There is no one on this earth who can be a better you. So, set your mind to be happy for others and decide to trust God with yourself.

Instead, you should think this: “I am unique and special. God loves me, and He has a wonderful, personalized plan for my life.” (See Ephesians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Jeremiah 29:11.)

Here are some other scenarios to help you flip your thinking.

Think This: “All things are possible with God, and I have a bright future ahead of me.”
(See Mark 10:27; Jeremiah 29:11; Philippians 3:13.)
Not That: “My future is determined by my past and present.”

The Israelites came out of 300 years of slavery and had no positive vision for their lives. Everything was based on what they had seen and could see. They had no faith for their future!

Similarly, maybe you’ve had a difficult past. You may even be dealing with negative circumstances right now and have no real reason to hope. If so, I encourage you to get a new mindset and choose to believe that ...with God all things are possible (see Mark 10:27 NKJV).

Think This: “I always take responsibility for my actions. God, please show me the truth about myself so I can grow and change.”
(See John 8:32; 1 Peter 5:6; Romans 12:16.)
Not That: “My behavior may be wrong, but it’s not my fault.”

The “blame game”—an unwillingness to take responsibility for our actions—goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. However, Jesus said it’s the truth that sets us free. Ask God to show you the truth about yourself. It’s the first step toward receiving His grace to become more like Him.

Think This: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I can do everything God asks me to do.”
(See 1 Corinthians 10:13; Philippians 4:13.)
Not That: “It’s too hard!”

The enemy loves to try and fill our minds with “give up” thoughts. However, God’s Word says He’ll always give us the strength and ability we need to do His will.

Think This: “I am so grateful for all that God has done for me. My life is blessed and filled with good things.”
(See 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Psalm 103.)
Not That: “My life is so miserable—I feel sorry for myself.”

I’ll admit, pity was a hard thing for me to give up. I had used it for years to comfort myself when I was hurting. However, self-pity is one of Satan’s favorite tools to keep us in the wilderness.

When you feel those emotions rising within you, check your thinking. Then go to God and ask for help. Pray, “Oh God, give me the strength to change my thinking and let go of self-pity. I have so much to be thankful for, and I know You’re on my side through everything.”

Think This: “I’m determined to see the good in every situation. I will remain grateful to God and say things that are positive and uplifting.”
(See 1 Thessalonians 5:18; Ephesians 4:29; Proverbs 18:20-21.)
Not That: “I’m addicted to complaining.”

When we complain, we remain—it prevents us from moving forward. However, when we adopt a good attitude in the hard times, it puts us on the road to freedom.

Think This: “God loves and approves of me, and today I choose to receive His mercy, grace and forgiveness for my life.”
(See Romans 8:31-39; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Jeremiah 1:5.)
Not That: “I don’t deserve God’s blessings.”

Because of the abuse I suffered growing up, I had a shame-based nature. I spent years trying to be good enough to deserve what God wanted to give me freely by His grace.

But whether it’s God’s love, salvation, forgiveness, or the many promises in His Word, there’s nothing we can do to “earn” or deserve them. We can only humbly accept and appreciate them...and be in awe of how good He is and how much He loves us.

Think This: “I am peaceful and patient, and I trust God to give me exactly what I need in His perfect timing.”
(See 1 Peter 5:6; Proverbs 16:9; James 1:4; Romans 12:10.)
Not That: “Don’t make me wait—I deserve everything immediately.”

Impatience is related to pride—the proud person believes they should never be inconvenienced. The truth is, you’re going to spend a lot of time in your life waiting. So, why not learn to wait with joy?

Think This: “I want God’s will in every area of my life. I’m flexible to obey and follow Him wherever He leads me.”
(See Matthew 6:10; Deuteronomy 5:33; Proverbs 3:6.)
Not That: “I’m going to do it my way or not at all!”

Sometimes we’re like stubborn 2-year-olds, always saying, “I do it my way!” However, it’s only when we obey God and do things His way that we’ll have true success.

It will take some time and persistence, but when you change your mindset, you will be on your way out of the wilderness and into the Promised Land.