CHANGING OUR THOUGHT PATTERNS
“We will not develop new responses until we develop new thoughts. New thoughts come from new perspectives.”
Good thought! But how do we develop these new thoughts, new perspectives?
The foundation of scripture teaches that it is possible to be completely changed through transformed thought patterns – Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Scripture also teaches that we can accept or refuse thoughts. Instead of being held hostage by old patterns, we can actually capture our thoughts and allow the power of Christ’s truth to change them:
Second Corinthians 10:5 reminds us that “we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against what we know to be true about the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” So, our thoughts can set themselves up so to speak to be against God’s truth – to let fear rule instead of faith. It’s important to know that we can train ourselves to think differently by accepting or refusing thoughts.
We cannot control the things that happen to us each day, but we can control how we think about them. We can ask God for a better perspective. We can face things that are out of our control and not act out of control.
Lysa Terkeurst writes this “if we know that there is potential good hidden within each chaotic situation, we can loosen our grip on control. It’s easier to loosen our grip when we see the good. When we can’t immediately see the good, loosening our grip becomes a matter of trust.”
Joshua had to deal with something out of his control without losing control when facing the impenetrable walls of Jericho. The walls were formidable. Joshua had to announce a plan to the people that made absolutely no sense to a seasoned warrior like himself, but he followed the plan of a warrior who was mightier than himself and who had everything under His control.
We cannot always fix our circumstances, but we can fix our minds on God who has control over the circumstances.