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Every Thought Counts

- by Joyce Meyer

It was a glorious revelation when I realized I don’t have to think just anything that comes into my mind. I can choose my thoughts and do my own thinking— on purpose.

There was a time in my life when I didn’t think intentionally or take any negative thoughts captive (see 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV). Instead, I would continually dwell on what discouraged me, thinking about everything I didn’t have, the way I was mistreated by a friend, or something my husband did to offend me. 

This kind of thinking not only made me bitter, but it also prevented God from bringing healing to those areas. I was stuck in a mindset of offense until He showed me a better way to think—one where I was focused on the good things that people had done, and letting God meet the needs that I had. 

The truth is, instead of being passive about our thoughts, we can train ourselves to recognize wrong mindsets and replace them with right ones, and when we do, we begin to experience the free, abundant life God wants us to have. 

The Source of the Problem

Do you ever wonder where wrong mindsets come from? I know I did. 

I was a Christian for years before I realized I had an enemy, Satan, who will do everything in his power to prevent us from walking in God’s amazing plan for our lives. 

The Bible says that his sole purpose is to steal, kill and destroy (see John 10:10 NIV). And one of the primary ways he does this is through deception—lying to us and trying to bring all kinds of negative, damaging thoughts to our minds.

You see, John 8:44 (NIV) teaches us that Satan is a liar and the father of all lies. The enemy attempts over and over to get us to believe things that aren’t true—about God, about others, and even about ourselves. Even though they’re lies, he knows that if we believe they’re true, then they become a reality for us and slowly begin to tear our lives apart from the inside out. This is why it’s so important to have discernment.

We are in a spiritual battle, so we must fight with spiritual weapons. And God has given us His Word as our main line of defense against the lies of the enemy. I like to say that the Bible is our “litmus test” for knowing what is true and false—a way to know the truth and expose the lies. If a thought or idea agrees with God’s Word (which is truth), then we know it’s a right mindset that will help us. But when it doesn’t agree with the truth, then we can know it’s from the enemy and choose to think something else.  

Think on These Things

What you think about has everything to do with your joy, happiness and the overall quality of your life. But it’s not just good enough to stop thinking about the wrong things—we also need to replace them with good, healthy, positive thoughts from God’s Word. 

Philippians 4:8 (AMP) says, Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

This verse gives us a lot of detailed instruction on what kinds of things we need to think about. We’re especially encouraged to think on good things—things that will build us up and not tear us down. 

Fill Up on Truth 

I want you to try this: The next time you notice yourself thinking the same old negative things, choose to replace those thoughts with truth from God’s Word. Even if it’s only for a few minutes, take time each day to read the Bible and look up scriptures that specifically apply to the challenges you’re facing. Then choose to meditate on them, letting them shift your thinking and change your heart (see Romans 12:1-2 NIV).

As you do your part to renew your mind, God will do His. When you read and study the Word, it becomes a filter that reveals the lies of the enemy and shows you the truth in each situation. 

There will be challenging moments as you take steps to grow in your thinking, but don’t give up! As you continue to lean on God and keep asking for His help in this area, you will begin to see change… and it’s a change that will affect every other area of your life for the better!

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