One of the aspects of the Good News of Jesus Christ is the ability to enjoy freedom from sin, shame, guilt, fear and the torment of regret. Unfortunately even though His death secured these amazing freedoms, so many still spend too much time enslaved in their bondage producing effects. Why? Partly because it takes work. Yes, it takes a decision to choose to believe its true, and to determine to follow Romans 12:2. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that is good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Or as the NLT says, Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you in to 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. At times fear of really knowing how free we can be holds us back. Look at the description of God’s will for us! It’s good. It’s acceptable (pleasing). It’s perfect. Doesn’t sound bad does it?
Our Life Group looked at Philippians 4: 8 last night. Paul instructs us to SET or Fix our thoughts on what is true. I began to meditate on what that would look like if I simply captured all my thoughts for one day that did not fall under the category of what is true! Including the thoughts I think about myself–which, sadly, I can find more challenging. Studies have shown that we think somewhere between 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. Of those thousands of thoughts 80% were negative. Of those thoughts 95% were the same repetitive thoughts from the day before! (TLEX Institute). Obviously, we are falling short of applying Philippians 4:8-9 into practice! Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right, and pure and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
During this difficult times we are facing, we must more than ever learn how to quickly capture ungodly thoughts that would lead us astray, or distract us from His perfect will for our lives. Mulling over regrets, shameful feelings or sinful actions that are under His blood keeps us on a hamster wheel of bondage. He paid the price for our freedom, but again we have to receive it as truth. I encounter people who have asked Jesus into their hearts years ago, know some scriptures, but still are bound by fear. Satan does not want God’s children to walk in His power, because it keeps us ineffective. When we choose to trust Him and His ways we are free to bring that freedom to others.
Brothers and sisters, let us make the decision to capture those thoughts which keep you living less than He has called us to. Let us embrace His freedom, because we can! The early believers turned their world upside down! It is the same power given to us.
Here is a thought. What if by changing your fearful thoughts to faithful ones will change the fears of those around you? That your faith filled thoughts would encourage those you influence to believe for their God given freedom and destiny? We must not just rattle off platitudes of faith, but genuine walked out truths if we want to influence our world. We must practice freedom thinking!