How Do We Change Our Thoughts?
Pastor Terry preached on thinking versus feeling. He explained that our feelings flow out of what we are thinking and he referenced the prophet Elijah in the Old Testament.
In 1 Kings 18:22-40 Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal to see whose God was more powerful. They set up an altar with a bull on it and stated that “the god who answers by fire—he is God.” The false prophets called the name of Baal all day while Elijah taunted them.
“Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”
But when it was Elijah’s turn to pray, God performed an amazing miracle and sent fire from the sky to burn up not only the sacrifice, but also the wood, the stones, and the soil that had been saturated in water. It was an extraordinary display of God’s power.
I imagine that Elijah was feeling elated, exhilarated, and awestruck. I imagine that he must have felt on top of the world.
But it wasn’t soon after that he was feeling afraid, worthless, and desperate.
Why the drastic change?
Elijah was listening to the threats of Jezebel to kill him. The Queen had heard of God’s victory and how Elijah had slaughtered the prophets of Baal and she sent a messenger to Elijah to say,
“‘May the gods deal with me, be it ever so severely, if by this time tomorrow I do not make your life like that of one of them.” Elijah was afraid and ran for his life (1 Kings 19:2-3).
Instead of thinking about God’s sovereign power, Elijah was thinking about the Queen’s threats.
Like Elijah, there are days when I allow my thoughts to be negative and follow them into the darkness where I then start to feel drawn out, irritated, and miserable.
How do we change our thoughts?
First, we must take stock. Pay attention to what you’re thinking right now. Take the time to think about what you’re thinking about. Are your thoughts leading towards God or away?
Then ask the Holy Spirit to help to think good thoughts. Listen to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to give you a mindset of gratitude, not entitlement; a mindset that thinks about things that are pure, lovely, and admirable (Philippians 4:8).
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2