Posted by: Rina | November 16, 2008

Our Thoughts Matter

The following is a section of the book Who Do You Think You Are?  Discovering the Power of the Kingdom Identity. We will be posting several sections each week. To read the book by chapter, please click on the chapter links to the right of the screen.
The enemy knows that if he can keep us unaware of our identity in Jesus we will eventually seek out ungodly means of fulfillment. We will not only be incapable of destroying the works of his kingdom, we will actively participate in them. When we fail to embrace our heavenly identity, we become “conformed to the world” (Romans 12:2) rather than “conformed to the image of Jesus” (Romans 8:29).

There is a desperate need in the church today for the Children of God to stand up and recognize who we are in Christ. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice so that we might obtain a walk of holiness and of power. We are to be “imitators of Jesus” (Eph 5:1). 1 John 4:17 tells us, “as He (Jesus) is, so are we in this world.” If we are to become like Jesus we must recognize all that has been purchased for us by his sacrifice. It is crucial that we begin to embrace, not who we think we are, but who God says we are.

Proverbs 23:7 tells us: “As a man thinks in His heart, so is he.” Our thoughts are directly related to who we are, and who we will become. Right now we all believe things about ourselves. Some of the things we believe are true and some of them are false, but whatever they are, they become a part of who we are. This principle is often called “the law of attraction.” In the Bible, it is called “sowing and reaping.”(Galatians 6:8, or the “law of reciprocity”) Let’s examine briefly how “sowing and reaping” works in regards to our thoughts:

Suppose a woman gains a bit of weight while pregnant, or during an especially stressful time in her life, and begins to struggle with her body image. The more she feels fat, the more she may focus on her weight. Each time she goes to the mirror, she sees areas that appear larger than they used to appear. Each time she tries on her clothes, they seem tighter than they used to be. She begins to ask her husband if she is fat. She starts to say things like: “I feel so fat!” and “I just can’t loose this weight!” If left unresolved for a long period of time, this woman will ultimately embrace obesity as her identity. Eventually the woman, who thinks of herself as “fat,” will develop a tendency to overeat and begin living a lifestyle conducive to gaining weight. This creates a cycle of weight gain that can be very difficult to break. The cycle moves from a physical change (I.e. she has gained some weight) to a mental shift (thoughts of being fat), to a spoken word (“I’m so fat!”), and eventually to a physical reality (increased weight gain and eventual obesity.) We will eventually become whatever we are thinking about the most. “It’s as if our thoughts are a magnet, drawing the very things we are thinking of into our lives” (1).

This is why Paul warns us to “take every thought captive to Christ” (2 Cor 10:5). If we ever want to be molded into Jesus’ image, we must begin to pattern our thought life according to scripture. If we harbor thoughts that are contrary to God’s vision for our lives, we will never fully grasp all that Messiah has purchased for us on the cross. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).

When we think negative, unbiblical thoughts about ourselves, we give power to Satan through our agreement with him. The book of Job bears powerful witness to this fact. In the midst of his troubles, Job makes the significant statement: “that which I have feared has come upon me.” Satan’s attack on Job was not a random occurrence. He gained access to Job through Job’s own thoughts. Job’s fear gave Satan grounds to accuse him before God. Bill Johnson explains, “Every thought and action in your life speaks of allegiance to God or to Satan. Both are empowered by your agreement” (2). There are forces of light and darkness continually fighting over the thoughts that enter our minds. If the enemy can gain a foothold in our mind it can become a stronghold in our soul. Therefore, we must fight for control of our thought life. Francis Frangipane writes: “In the battle for the mind we must capture those initial invasive thoughts. We must be vigilant to recognize and conquer the oppression before it leads us back into sin. As soon as we discern the ungodliness of a thought, we can turn and take authority over it. We must not let it multiply. We must not let it dwell for even a moment. If we fail to use our authority, though, if we sit down inside and allow that seed to grow, the enemy will then attempt a full-scale invasion. Jesus says that ‘the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.’ (Matthew 12:45)” (3).

Renewing our minds means learning to recognize what thoughts are coming from hell, and what thoughts are coming from heaven, and agreeing with heaven (4). God says, “My thoughts are not your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8). God is inviting us to think as He thinks. We must begin to pattern our thoughts after His Word. “Our minds are not just passive holding zones, forced to think about whatever pops into them. We get to choose the thoughts we have, and we should fight hard, using the ‘things God gives to fight with’ for this right” (5). The mind is a powerful instrument of the Spirit of God. He made it to be the gatekeeper of Kingdom activity on earth, and only a renewed mind can consistently bring Kingdom reality into our world (6).

Our job, then, is to search out the scriptures and understand exactly who it is that God says we are (more on this later.) Just as Jesus experienced an attack on His identity, so will we. What we believe about ourselves will determine whether we stand or fall against Satan on the day of temptation.

1.) Gungor, Ed, There is More to The Secret, Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2007, page: 12.

2.) Johnson, Bill, The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind, Shippensburg. PA Destiny Image Publishers, 2005 page: 44.

3.) Francis Frangipane, This Day We Fight! Grand Rapids, MI, 2005, page, 23-24.

4.) Johnson, Bill, The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind, Shippensburg. PA Destiny Image Publishers, 2005 page: 44.

5.) Gungor, Ed, There is More to The Secret, Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2007, page: 14.

6.) Johnson, Bill, The Supernatural Power of a Transformed Mind, Shippensburg. PA Destiny Image Publishers, 2005 page: 43.

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