Archive | January 2014

Your Life Is Shaped By Your Thoughts

Written by Rick Warren on Purpose Driven 

“Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.” Romans 12:2a (NLT)

You cannot become all God created you to be until you understand the five factors that influence your identity. The first two are chemistry (how you are made) and connections (your relationships). You are a product of the way God created you and of the relationships in your life.

Your identity is also influenced by your circumstances and your consciousness.

Circumstances are the things that happen to you and around you — none of which you control. You are a product of the trauma, troubles, suffering, shame, shock, pressures, and pain that have shaped your life. Perhaps even abuse has affected your identity. If you’ve ever had a series of failures or a catastrophe, it has left an indelible mark on who you are.

Consciousness is how you talk to yourself. You know what? If you talked to your friends the way you talk to yourself, you probably wouldn’t be friends anymore, because our thoughts are filled with the lies we’ve heard from other people that we’ve let simmer and fester. When we repeat other people’s thoughts in our head, they go deeper and deeper in our consciousness, and they begin to shape our identity.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Be careful how you think; your life is shaped by your thoughts” (LB). Your thoughts don’t have to be true to hurt you; you just have to believe them. If you tell yourself your marriage won’t last, then it won’t. If you’re afraid you can’t do something, then you won’t. Your thoughts run your life!

Your circumstances may be out of your control, but God is in control of everything. Your thoughts shape who you are, but you can change the way you think. Your circumstances and consciousness have shaped who you are, but the way you respond to your circumstances and the thoughts you choose to believe will shape the rest of your life.

Talk It Over

  • What is your natural response to a difficult situation or circumstance? Do you run away or face it? Do you worry or trust God?
  • How do you need to change the way you think?
  • Who or what around you influences your thoughts in a negative way?

I am fearfully and wonderfully made….

The Enemy’s Strategy

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” -Psalm 139:14

This morning I was having a rough start getting out of bed. My paralysis was giving me fits. I shook my head and growled, “This body is a pain… I hate it!”

Body_ProblemsWhy was that so awful? Because the Enemy has a deep hatred of my flesh and blood and all I was doing was agreeing with him. He gets a charge when I bad-mouth my body. And he would like to get you to do the same.

Why? Because your body, even underneath wrinkles or fat, and despite the ravages of illness or old age, is made in the image of God. Your heart, mind, hands, and feet are stamped with the imprint of the Creator. Little wonder that the Devil wants you to be ashamed of your body!

This morning I had, once again, to plug my ears against the lies of the Tempter and remember that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.” I rehearsed the old, familiar truth that God has a plan for this flesh and blood of mine. That’s why the Devil considers my body a threat—he understands that when I yield to God my body, albeit paralyzed, my feet and hands are powerful weapons against his forces of darkness.

The devil is only a fallen angel. He is a deceiver. He is doomed for destruction. And until then, he has one goal in mind: your spiritual defeat, emotional malignment, and physical frustration. If he tries to get you to agree with him today… don’t.

I praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, O Lord.

Devotional shared by Joni and Friends International Disability Center