Miles David said, “I’m always thinking about creating. My future starts when I wake up every morning. Every day I find something creative to do with my life.”
Spring has sprung in Tennessee. Seeds are sprouting, flowers are blooming, and caterpillars are morphing into butterflies. I think what I love most about spring is the ample evidence that God is still in the transformation business. He is the God who blows life into dead things and calls into existence things that don’t yet exist (Rom 4:17). Spring reminds me that God takes things that appear to be dead and makes them bloom again. God not only transforms nature, but He also transforms us. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:2a, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” (emphasis mine)
Few things can get us in deeper trouble than our thoughts. For better or worse, our thoughts guide our lives and that’s why it’s imperative we get a handle on our thought life.
Martyn Lloyd-Jones said it best, “Have you realized that most of you are listening to yourself rather than talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them, but they start talking to you, they bring back the problem of yesterday. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you.”
Lloyd-Jones goes on to say, “The main art in the matter of spiritual living is to know how to handle yourself. You have to take yourself in hand, you have to address yourself, preach to yourself, and question yourself.”
The good news is if you’ve struggled with negative thought patterns, by God’s grace you can transform your thinking. Although God isn’t limited in the ways He can change our thoughts, I do believe there are primary ways in which He does so, and each one requires our participation.
- The Word of God transforms our thoughts. There is no substitution for the Word of God. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” As we study the Scriptures and listen to gospel-centered preaching the Word of God transforms our thinking from a secular worldview to a biblical one based on God’s truth. The Word of God refutes the lies we buy into from the enemy, the flesh, and the world and replaces them with God’s promises. When we find ourselves slipping into a pattern of negative thinking it’s crucial we immediately replace those thoughts with the truths found in the Scriptures.
- Scripture memory transforms our thoughts. Our thought lives are most vulnerable when we are experiencing fatigue, stress, or temptation. When Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the enemy, He was fatigued from a forty day fast. The combination of emotional and physical stress is a particularly difficult combination. Jesus responded to Satan’s temptation by quoting from the Scriptures. We need to do the same. When we memorize Scripture, it’s stored in our mind for the Holy Spirit to bring to our attention when we need it most. The author of Psalm 119:11 wrote, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
- Prayer transforms our thoughts. Many Christians approach prayer as an avenue of convincing God to provide for their needs and wants. Clearly, the Bible does invite us to bring our needs and desires to God, and we’d be foolish not to do so. But one of the primary purposes of prayer is it aligns our thoughts and desires with God’s will. God transforms our thinking as we spend time with Him in prayer. Also, it is wise for us to ask God to “transform us by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:2). Undoubtedly, it is God’s will for His people’s thoughts to be in alignment with His and that is a prayer I believe He is delighted to answer.
 D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression Its Causes and Cures.(Grand Rapids, 1965).