Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23
Change. For a while now, it’s been a buzzword across various social and academic strata. The word means different things to different people. But today let’s explore what it means to God.
Virtually every problem we will ever face in life will result from wrong thinking. Wrong thinking proceeds from a lie, and a lie can never provide a solid foundation to life. Only Truth can do that.
So, when God commands us to change, He means for us to stop thinking the way the world thinks. And how does the world think? It thinks contrary to the way God thinks.
Well, then, how does God think? We discover the way God thinks by studying His Word, the Holy Bible. In this best-selling book of all time, God sets forth His modus operandi, His M.O., for everything that pertains to our lives. I call the Bible God’s Manual for Man. Wouldn’t it make sense, then, to study it and apply it to our lives?
So, back to the concept of change. When we study God’s Word, we realize that our thinking needs changing. As we begin to learn the way God thinks, we begin to understand that our thinking is so inferior to His. He Himself says as much in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 55, verses 8 and 9:
For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.
God Himself tells us that our thinking is off base and far inferior to His. So, what are we to do to get our thinking on track so that we can live more successful, fulfilling lives?
THREE KEYS TO CHANGING YOUR MIND FOR A BETTER LIFE:
The LORD gives us the quintessential formula for success in Joshua 1: 8-9. Look at it carefully:
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
In this single verse, we have all that we need to live a successful life. It all boils down to three points:
1–Meditate on God’s Word.
2–Memorize God’s Word.
3–Decree and Declare God’s Word.
Let’s consider each of this points one by one.
Success starts with meditating on God’s Word. To meditate means to mull over, to think about, to repeat over and over. The word meditate comes from the Latin word meditor, which literally means to chew, as in the way a cow chews its cud. By extension, this word means to think about or reflect upon, as in “He’s chewing on the pros and cons of his decision.”
So, when we meditate on God’s Word, we are chewing on it, mulling over it, thinking about it, and reflecting upon it.
Memorizing God’s Word means hiding it in our hearts where no one can steal it from us. Why do we need to meditate on God’s Word? David the Psalmist gives us the reason in Psalm 119: 11: I have hidden Your word in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Some translations say “stored up” instead of “hidden.”
So, the purpose of memorizing the Word is to store it in our hearts so that we will not sin against God. When we store the Word in our hearts by memorizing it, the Word will rise to the surface of our minds when we need it to keep us from temptation and to resist Satan.
DECREE AND DECLARE
The third point for living a better life is to decree and declare the Word. Well, how can we readily decree and declare the Word unless we have hidden it–or stored it–in our hearts? Once the Word is stored in our hearts, we can decree and declare it aloud because it is at our finger tips, ready for use.
Why do we need to speak the Word aloud over our circumstances? Because there is supernatural power in the spoken Word of God. Just as God created the universe by speaking, so do we create our lives by speaking. We are, after all, made in His image.
So we had better be sure that the words we are speaking over our lives are God’s words taken straight from His Word. Far too often, we speak negative words and those negative words will result in an unsuccessful life. If you–as.I have been–are guilty of speaking negative words, repent now.
And so, we come full circle to the word repent. To repent means to change. It means changing our thinking so that it aligns with God’s thinking. When we do, we will be renewing our minds. And isn’t this precisely what our Lord commands us to do in Romans 12: 2?
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into 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.
Indeed, it is! And why does our Lord command us to renew our minds? The answer lies in the second part of the verse: Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Does that excite you as much as it excites me? God wants us to change our thinking (our minds) so that we can experience His will for us, “which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
There is no better formula for achieving a better life.
Now, it’s YOUR turn: Have you struggled to change our thinking to align with God’s thinking? If so, in what ways? How have you handled your struggle?
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Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.
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