“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.” – Romans 12:2 NIV
Do you have negative thoughts about who you are swirling around in your own head on a daily basis? Or is it just me?
The battle for your mind is a battle worth fighting because the enemy wants you to believe those lies you are telling yourself. It’s one of his greatest defenses against you pursuing your God-given calling and furthering God’s kingdom.
I’m not smart enough to start my own business. I don’t have enough experience to write that book. I’m not as good of a cook as she is. I’m drowning in laundry and household chores. I’m failing as a mother. I can’t seem to get ahead no matter what I do. I’m just not good enough.
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While I was in the midst of penning my first book, I was faced with an overwhelming sea of lies: There are already books out there about taking a goal from the start to the finish. Who am I to write a book? I don’t have the finances to invest in it or a team backing me up. I don’t have a publisher knocking on my door. I’m a nobody, really.
Did those lies stop me from finishing? They could have, and they did slow me down, but I had to learn to trade the enemy’s lies for God’s truths. But how do we do that?
The first step is to control your thoughts.
Pretend you have a bouncer at the door of your mind, and as any thought comes in, you need to take hold of it, decide if it is good or bad, input the truth, and output the lies.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
In Matthew 4 we read that the enemy tried to lie to Jesus in the desert, and His one protection from giving into the lies was the Word of God. He knew how important it was to choose the thoughts he would believe and allow to enter His mind.
Don’t accept every thought just because it happens in your head! God says to take each thought and give it a thorough examination. Is it good or bad, right or wrong, positive or negative? Capture the ones that are right and throw away the junk.
The second defense is to control what you focus on.
Philippians 4:8 says, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”
Have you ever watched a scary movie and then had nightmares about it? You have? Me too. We can’t just unsee or unhear things. Once we put it in, it’s hard to get out.
The litmus test for whether or not we should watch, do, or believe something is to ask ourselves these questions:
- Is it true?
- Is it noble?
- Is it right?
- Is it pure?
- Is it lovely?
- Is it admirable?
- Is it excellent?
- Is it praiseworthy?
Your third weapon is to renew your mind.
In Romans 12:2, God commands us to renew our minds, and that is how he transforms us. In the renewing, we will be able to see what God’s will is for our lives. As we step into the fire of refinement, God molds and shapes us, and we are renewed through Him!
David’s heart cry to God was to search him and help him see if there’s anything he needed to change or renew. In Psalm 139: 23-24, David prays, “Search me, oh God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
We renew our minds by finding time alone with God in prayer and asking Him to search our hearts and thoughts and to reveal if there are any lies we haven’t taken captive yet. As we do this, God will renovate our hearts and change us forever.
So, how do we overcome the lies the enemy tries to put on us?
We do it by controlling each thought that tries to seep in, choosing to focus on what is pure, and renewing our minds daily by seeking God in His Word and through prayer.
Just as our bodies need physical exercise, our minds need to be challenged. Here is an exercise for you to complete this next week as you work to trade those lies for the truth:
- Pray for God to search your heart and renew your mind.
- Write down any lie or negative thought that you have this week
- Sit with that list and change each lie to a truth from God (find promises in scripture)
- Create a truth statement for yourself (who does God say you are?)
- Put it somewhere you can easily find it for when the enemy tries to lie to you.
Take a moment to sit quietly with these questions and allow God to use them to direct your thoughts to His truth.
- What lies have you allowed the enemy to use in your own life?
- What promises from God can you use to turn those lies into truths?
- What is one scripture you can cling to when lies try to seep in?
- Are you ready to allow God to renew your mind today?
Friend, trade the enemy’s lies for God’s truth today! Let’s pray together:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you that I am fearfully and wonderfully made by You. Thank you for instilling special gifts and skills into me that I can use to glorify you. Thank you for each and every one of your precious promises for my life.
Search me, oh Lord, and know my heart. I want to dwell on what is pure, lovely, and true.
Help me to take every thought captive and make each obedient to you. Help me to trade the enemy’s lies for your beautiful truths.
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Gabe Cox is an author, blogger, and podcaster who helps faith-fueled women use their passions to enhance their productivity and spiritual growth so they can go after their God-given goals. You can connect with her at Red Hot Mindset.