“Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (Ephesians 4:23 NLT).
Think – Feel – Act
For instance, I could say, “I need to love my kids more,” but that isn’t going to work. Or someone could say, “I need to love my spouse more,” but that isn’t going to work. You can’t fight your way into a feeling. You must change the way you think about your kids, about your husband, about your wife, and that will change the way you feel, which will then change the way you act. The Bible says, “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (Ephesians 4:23 NLT).
Let me sum it up this way: You are not what you think you are; rather, what you think, you are. The battle for sin, the battle to deal with those defects in your life that you don’t like, starts in your mind. If you want to change anything in your behavior or anything in your emotions, you start with your thoughts and your attitude.
The renewal of your mind is related to the word repentance. I know repentance is a dirty word for a lot of people. They think it means something bad, something you don’t really want to do, something painful. They think of a guy standing on a street corner with a sign that says, “Repent! The world’s about to end!”
Repentance has nothing to do with your behavior. It is about changing your mind, learning to think differently. “Repent” simply means to make a mental U-turn. It’s something you do in your mind, not with your behavior. Changing the way you think will then affect your emotions and your behavior.
When I repent, I make a mental U-turn. I turn from guilt to forgiveness. I turn from purposelessness to purpose in life. I turn from no hope to new hope. I turn from frustration to freedom. I turn from darkness to light. I turn from hell to heaven. I turn from hatred to love.
I also change the way that I think about God. He’s not mad at me. I’m deeply flawed, but I’m deeply loved.
I change the way I think about others, I change the way I think about my kids, and I change the way I think about my wife. I change the way I think about the world, I change the way I think about the economy, and I change the way I think about my past, my present, and my future.
So being renewed in your mind means more than changing the way you think about God and Jesus; it also means you change the way you think about your own defects. The Bible tells us, “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had” (Philippians 2:5).
Only God Gives Financial Security
As you enter your Decade of Destiny, it is important that you trust God with your finances. If you want God to bless you financially, you must remain focused on the truth that he is the source of your finances and he is the one who supplies your needs.
What does that mean? It means I’m not looking to an employer for my security. I’m not looking to my savings for security. I’m not looking to anyone or anything other than God to supply my needs.
Let me illustrate it this way: When I turn on the water, I don’t really think the water comes from the faucet. I know that the water really comes from a reservoir. It just comes to me through the faucet.
In the same way, the income that God wants to give you may come through a job or through something else. But the source is God.
This means you don’t need to worry about which faucet he uses to supply your needs. In a sense he says, “If I turn off one faucet, I can just as easily turn on another. If you lose one job, I can give you another. I am your source, not your job. I am your source, not your bank account.’