The first two articles we have listed in this section titled, “Sanctification” and “Mindset: Being Transformed by the Renewing of Your Mind,” all set the stage for you showing you that it is the will of God for your life that you let Him enter you into a sanctification process in order that He may fully consecrate you to Himself and start to mold, shape, and transform you into the express image of His Son Jesus Christ.
In this sanctification process, one of the first things you will find the Lord will want to do with you is to try and put right thinking into your mind and thought process. Joyce Meyer has a very catchy phrase when describing this. She has said that too many people have “stinkin thinkin.”
Leave it to God the Father to perfectly capture, in one simple one-line sentence from the Bible, the secret to being able to have good mental health in this life. When I first saw this verse back in the Old Testament, it literally blew off the page at me. As soon as I saw it, I saw incredible amounts of revelation behind it.
Many Christians have never heard of this verse since it is back in the Old Testament in the Book of Proverbs. This powerful verse should be memorized by all Christians, as it is giving us a major spiritual secret in being able to acquire good mental health in the Lord.
Here is the New King James Version of this verse:
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)
The key word in this verse is the word “thinks.” The word “thinks” is telling you that God is targeting your thought process – what you think about on a daily basis.
This principle is easily seen in our world today. You can really tell who is properly operating on this principle in the way the Lord has intended for all of us to operate with it and who is not.
The people who always seem to be more happy, upbeat, and fulfilled with their lives are the people who have a good sound mind and who are always thinking about and dwelling on the more positive things in this life.
They choose, with their own free wills, to dwell on the more positive side of this life as versus always thinking and dwelling on the darker and negative side of this life.
The people who are not happy and fulfilled, and who are always pessimistic and depressed all the time, and have negative attitudes towards anybody and anything, are all choosing to think and dwell on the negative side of this life.
Granted, this cursed and fallen world in which we all live in has a mixture of both life and death in it. Jesus Himself said that we would all have to go through various types of trials and tribulations in this life from time to time.
However, there is a flip side to this coin. On the one side of the coin is the darker side of this life, but on the other side of this coin is the good, positive, and brighter side of this life. It is not all death, doom, and destruction. Even in the worse case scenarios and situations, there is always a hope and a light at the end of that storm cloud tunnel.
As Christians, we all have God Almighty Himself on our side to help us take on any storm clouds that may come our way in this life.
The difference between these two types of people is in their thought life. The people who are always happy, upbeat, and positive have chosen to look on the brighter side of things, even in some of the worse case scenarios imaginable.
The negative type of people have chosen to think and dwell on all of the bad things that can happen or go wrong in this life. No matter what good may come their way, they will always think that something better could have come their way. As a result of all of this negative and morbid type of thinking in their thought process, nothing ever makes them happy or content because nothing is ever good enough for them.
The Bible is very clearly telling us in the above verse that we can all choose what to think about and dwell on.
We do not have to become slaves to negative and pessimistic type thinking. In other words, we can choose to think about what we want to think about!
Our thinking and thought process does not control us – we control it!
Negative type thinking can be broken.
For many, it has become an actual mental stronghold because they have been mired down into this type of negative thinking for such a long period of time.
However, as you will see in some of the Scripture verses I will list below, the Bible tells us that we can actually take “captive” what we think about. The verse that will give us this revelation says we have to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Jesus.
What this means is that we are directly responsible for choosing what we think about and dwell on – and then make sure that our thinking always lines up with the Word of God and how He wants us to think about things.
The power lies with us.
We cannot blame anyone else, including God Himself, if we have chosen with our own free wills to constantly dwell on the negative and darker side of this life.
Bottom line – we all have to learn how to develop right thinking in our thought process. Our part is to do the best we can to try and think and dwell on the things that God wants us to be concentrating and focusing on. However, as we all know, most of us only have a certain amount of mental and psychological strength in this area. Some will naturally go farther in this realm than others will.
This is where the Holy Spirit will really be coming in big time to help you get your thinking process straightened out and grounded in the Lord in the way that He will want it to be.
This is all part of the sanctification process that God wants to start with each one of us.
As I said in my article titled, “Sanctification,” this process will not be accomplished overnight. If you have been operating in a negative type of mindset for a long period time, God will start to gradually and progressively move you out of it into a better, clearer, and healthier type of thinking.
Your job will be to work very closely with the Holy Spirit once He starts this sanctification process within you. You will see Him start to target specific areas in your thinking where you are really off base.
Once this revelation has been given to you by the Holy Spirit, then it will be up to you as to whether or not you will choose to work with Him to get this particular area cleaned up to the degree that the Lord would really like.
If He tells you that you are too judgmental and too critical of others – then your part will be to do the best you can to try and cast down these types of negative and destructive thoughts and replace them with more positive and godly types of thoughts.
As our site continues to grow, we will be adding additional articles going deeper into this wrestling match that will occur between you and the Holy Spirit once He starts to move in on you to try and get some of your wrong thinking straightened out.
For many, this will be a very painful process because you will be forced to admit that you have some character flaws and imperfections that will need to be dealt with in your mind, soul, and personality.
Your job will be to choose, with your own free will, to work and cooperate with the Holy Spirit once He makes it very clear to you what specific changes He will want to make with you.
He will not force these changes on you. He will let you know very clearly exactly what it is He wants to put in your system and exactly what it is He wants to take out.
If you choose to move and cooperate with the Holy Spirit on what specific changes He will want to make with you – then God the Father will allow the supernatural power of His Holy Spirit to truly begin to transform and sanctify you in the way and manner that will most pleasing to Him.
In the additional articles that will be listed in the Sanctification section of our site, I will be giving you some of the specific areas the Lord will want to target so He can begin the immediate work of trying to getting you cleaned up and sanctified to the degree that He would really like in this lifetime.
And one of the main areas the Lord is definitely going to want to target is your private thinking and thought life – what you choose to think about on a daily basis.
In other words, God wants to clean up and straighten out your thought life.
With all of the different types of material and sexual lusts that are operating in our world today that are competing for our time and attention, for many, this will initially be a very big battle.
But if you are really wanting the Lord to help clean you up in some of these areas, especially in your private thought life, the Lord will only be too anxious to help get you over some of these mental hurdles through the incredible supernatural power of His Holy Spirit.
This kind of inner transformation and sanctification can be accomplished in this life if you are willing to do your part by fully cooperating with the Lord once He starts it up with you.
Now I will give you some very good verses from the Bible all showing you that God the Father really does want to come after your thought life and attempt to put right and positive type thinking into your mind.
1. You Are What You Think
For those who like to scan read, I am going to go ahead and restate the above verse under this specific caption so you can have it once again at a quick glance as you scan down on these bolded captions.
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)
This verse very clearly sets the stage that God the Father really wants to come after our thought life and get it properly cleaned up.
2. You Are Transformed By the Renewing of Your Mind
These next two verses will again show you that God is really wanting to come after your mind. And part of your mind is your thought process – what you choose to think about and dwell on. Both of these verses are using the words “renewing” and “renewed” in reference to your mind.
In other words, part of the transformation-sanctification process with the Lord involves getting your mind properly renewed through His Word and by His Spirit.
- “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1)
- “… that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4: 22-24)
- “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)
Notice Paul says in this last verse that our inner man is being renewed day by day. He is using the same word “renewed” as the above two verses are using when they are talking about our minds being renewed. This means that God wants both our minds and our inner man to be renewed on a daily and progressive basis.
When God says that our inner spiritual transformation is done by getting our minds properly renewed in Him – He is giving all of us an incredible, powerful, spiritual secret. Again, this is all part of the sanctification process that the Lord wants to start with each and everyone of us.
3. We Now Have the Mind of Christ
This next verse is making one of the most profound statements in all of Scripture. The first verse I will list below says that we now have the “mind of Christ.” Think of the implications, ramifications, and power of this statement.
As a result of having the Holy Spirit residing on the inside of us – we now have direct access to both God and Jesus who live in heaven.
As a result of having this direct access to Jesus through the Holy Spirit – we now have His mind, or to put it another way, we can now have His mind operating through us.
Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, can now start to impart His thoughts and His ways of thinking direct into our minds. This transmission of His thoughts direct to us through the Holy Spirit is so clear, so perfect, and so powerful – that the Bible can now say that we have the “mind of Christ.”
So not only do we have the power of the Holy Spirit operating on the inside of us to help get our thought life cleaned up – but we now have the power of Jesus Christ Himself available to us since He will now allow us to have direct access into His own mind so that we can truly learn how we should act and think in this life.
The second verse I will list below says that we are to now “imitate Christ.” In other words, we are to act the way Jesus wants us to act.
Put these two verses together side by side like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle – and Jesus is telling all of us loud and clear that He wants all of us to think like He thinks and act like He acts. He now becomes our perfect role model in which to pattern our inner life and our outer life after.
Here are the two verses. They are both only one sentence long, but there is an incredible amount of powerful revelation being given to us in these two verses.
- “But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16)
- “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)
Again, being able to be tapped into the mind of Jesus Christ so that His thoughts and ways can be transmitted to us is all a part of the sanctification process that God can start with each and everyone one of us.
4. God Has Given Us a Sound Mind
This next verse is another major power verse, especially in the times we now live in. If you will notice, many nonbelievers, and even some carnal Christians, are not operating with very sound minds. All you have to do is spend five minutes with some people and you will be able to quickly tell who is operating with a sound mind and who is not.
The sexual and material lusts of this life have been so overwhelming for some of these people, that the only thing they have their minds constantly set on is trying to get as much sex, money, and power as they possibly can. As a result of these types of material and lustful pursuits, their thinking has become totally distorted, warped, debased, and downright unstable.
Many marriages and good friendships have been broken up as a result of these people’s minds becoming very unsound as a result of the corruption and deterioration that will occur in a person’s mind if they chase after these types of material and lustful pursuits for too long of a period of time.
I have personally seen some men in a 20 year period go from being very clear and sound thinking men to men who have become totally unstable and unsound in all of their ways.
As a result of this deterioration in their minds, many of them have lost their marriages, and their good relationships they had with their children and some of their good close friends. Some of them had literally deteriorated down to the point where they had actually ended up committing suicide.
In this next verse, God is telling us that not only can we get a sound mind from Him, but we can also get a mind that has a spirit of power and love in it. This verse actually starts out by telling us that we have not been given a spirit of fear, but a spirit that is of power, love, and sound mind.
Think about these 3 specific words – power, love, and sound mind! God is really trying to drive home a major point in the way that He has worded this specific Scripture verse. Here it is:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
To those of you who are into memorizing certain Scripture verses, I would highly recommend that you add this one to your memorization list. With all of the crazy things that can hit us in this life, you really have to believe and ground on the promise of this verse.
No matter how severe of a storm cloud you may be forced to deal with in this life – realize that you now have the mind of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit operating through you to help keep your thinking “sound” and “powerful.” This kind of mindset from the Lord is already in you.
You just have to learn how to connect up to it, believe it, ground on it, and act on it.
5. Your Thoughts Will Be Established by the Lord
Since God is all-knowing and all-powerful, then this means He is the only One who has direct access into your thought life. Demons and other people cannot read your mind or your thoughts. This is your private area only. However, since God can perfectly read into your thought life – this leaves you with not being able to hide anything from Him.
Many people are very good at hiding everything from those close around them, but you can never fool God or hide anything from Him, as He is always one step ahead of you – even in your own personal and private thought life and what you choose to think about and dwell on.
I will list two verses under this caption. The first verse will tell us that the “thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord.”
This verse right here is telling us that God can literally read our thoughts since this verse is using the word “thoughts.” I believe the word “thoughts” is referring to the thoughts in our minds, which are our unspoken words.
Also notice the Lord is using a very intense word when describing the thoughts of people who are considered really wicked and evil – and that word is “abomination.”
The BTK serial killer in the state of Kansas has just been caught. He has now pleaded guilty and just got done telling the court and the rest of the world the horrific details of all of his crimes. His evil and wicked thought life, which eventually led to his horrible crime spree, is a perfect example of what God would find to be a complete and utter abomination in His sight. And to think this man was part of a Christian Lutheran church!
The second verse then gives us another very nice promise. It says that if we are willing to commit our works to the Lord – then our “thoughts will be established.”
If we are committing our works to the Lord, then we are operating in a full surrender with Him. And if we are operating in a full surrender with Him, then the Holy Spirit can really start to work with us in helping us to establish and solidify our thought life.
- “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord, but the words of the pure are pleasant.” (Proverbs 15:26)
- “Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.” (Proverbs 16:3)
I will now end this list of Scripture verses with one last verse showing us that God now wants us to have the responsibility of trying to control our thought life and what we choose to think about.
6. Bring Every Thought Into Captivity to the Obedience of Jesus
This next verse is another powerful verse. This verse is telling us to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Jesus. What this means is that we are directly responsible for what we choose to think about and dwell on.
In the “Testimonies” section of our site, I have an article titled, “The Dangers of Hypnotism.”
In this testimony, a girl who I used to work with got herself into major trouble with the Lord when she went one time to see a hypnotist to try and quit smoking. When she came out after just this one session, she literally lost 50% of her ability to remember and retain things. Both her short and long term memory abilities were severely affected.
When she first came to work for me and told me what had happened, I told her under no circumstances are we to ever blank our minds out to let a hypnotist gain control of what kinds of suggestions or thoughts he wants to plant into our minds – even if these are positive types of suggestions.
I then gave her the Scripture verse that I will list below. In this verse, it says that we are the ones to bring every thought into “captivity” to Jesus – not anyone else – including any hypnotist who wants to plant his suggestions into your mind.
She violated a major spiritual law that is in operation in reference to our thought life and the privacy that we have with the Lord on this issue. As a result of violating this major spiritual law, she drew a demon on her and this demon was then allowed to cause this short and long term memory loss with her.
Once I found out how all of this occurred, I was then able to give her the correct advice on how to get the demon off her and have her long and short term memory ability fully restored back to her.
Bottom line – we decide what we want to think about in the privacy of our own thinking.
We can either choose to think about good and godly things – or we can choose to think about bad and evil things. The choice is ours.
God makes it very clear in His Word as to what kinds of thoughts He would like us to be dwelling on. But not even God Himself will force His will on us in this realm of our being. We have to be the ones to make that choice.
When God uses the word “captivity” in the following verse, I believe He is trying to tell us that we have to make some kind of concerted effort on our end to try and control our thought life and not let it get out of control – especially in the area of bad and fleshly type thoughts. We are to grab a hold of our thoughts and make sure that our thinking and our thoughts always line up with the way that He would like us to be thinking about things.
Here is the verse:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ …” (2 Corinthians 10:3)
With all of the material and sexual lusts of our world hitting us full force through the media and everything else we encounter on a daily basis, this is a real tall order for many of us to keep proper control of all the bad thoughts that can cross our minds.
But again, this is where the Holy Spirit can really help you out if you are willing to allow Him to enter you into this sanctification process with the Lord.
Your job will be to do the best job you can in controlling your thought life. But where you will fail, and where you will have certain issues that will be harder to conquer using your own will power, is where the Holy Spirit will come in and supernaturally give you His help and strength in order to help get you over some of these harder hurdles.
To those of you who would like to enter into a true sanctification process with the Lord – really expect the Lord to come after your mind in an attempt to properly renew it according to His Word, and attempt to put right thinking into your thought process.
Again, as with the other areas in this sanctification process, this will all be done on a very gradual and progressive basis. God will set the pace in which He will work with you in this realm. He will not overwhelm you. He will work you at a pace that He knows you will be comfortable with so He does not overwhelm you with too much at one time.
Your mind is the battlefield in the area of spiritual warfare. Demons will try and move in on you from time to time to try and get you to move into their dark ways of thinking and living in this life – and God will move in on you to try to get you to move and live in His ways of thinking and living in this life. The choice will always remain with you as to which side of the fence you will choose to live this life on.
Realize that just because a demon or your own imagination has caused a bad thought to float across your mind does not mean that you have to dwell on it for any length of time. We all gets tons of quick flashing thoughts that will cross into our minds over the course of a day.
It’s not the bad thought that may flash across your mind that will get you in trouble with the Lord – it is what you decide do with that bad thought once it crosses over into your mind. You can either choose to let that bad thought slide right out of your mind and not give it another thought, or you can choose to really start thinking about it and dwelling on it.
And once you start to really think about and dwell on that bad thought – you will then start to feed it. And once you start to feed it – it will then start to grow.
And once it starts to grow – it can then lead to a mental stronghold that you will then have a hard time in getting out of your thought process.
And once that mental stronghold starts to grow and get deeper and stronger in your thought process – you will then start to get an actual desire to want to act out on it. And once you start to act out on it, an actual addiction can start to form where you will then want to keep repeating the same behavior over and over again.
And then it is going to take the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit to help break you free from this addictive and compulsive behavior! And to think that all of this started with just one, simple, little thought crossing over into your mind, and you then caused it to grow by constantly thinking about it and dwelling on it.
I believe this is how many addictions get started, especially those of the more aberrant type, such as the pedophiles we are constantly reading about in our local news stories across the nations.
No one is born a serial killer or rapist. All of these types of abominable behaviors all had to start from something.
And I believe that something may have been something they may have seen early on in their lives, something they may have experienced, or something that may have caused them to start thinking about it and dwelling on it.
In either event, they all had a chance very early on to nip it in the bud by choosing not to think about it – thereby causing it not to grow any further into their thought process.
This is why the Scripture verse listed at the top of this article is so important for everyone to really grab a hold of and ground on in their walk with the Lord.
Once again, this verse states that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. In other words, you can become what you think!
Let God help put right thinking into your mind. Let God help and show you how to get your mind properly renewed through His Word and by His Spirit.
If you are willing to let the Lord work with you on the renewing of your mind as part of His sanctification process – then you can really start to progress into the true saint that He is calling you to become in Him in this life.