Brilliant TV Highlight: What Am I Focusing On Most In My Thinking?
What you focus on, you empower. In today’s podcast, we are exploring what it means to take every thought captive and how to disempower any negative that comes our way.
This process is a total delight, and it’s the Father’s good pleasure to partner with you to change your thinking and upgrade your life.
- True Transformation begins with the renewing of your mind.
- Learn to take every thought captive so you’re not lead down a path of negativity and behavior.
- Discover the three keys to develop intentional focus.
- Enjoy this process of development with the Lord. He’s joyful about it, so you can be joyful too!
- Partnering with God to change our thinking leads to upgrades in our emotions to match His good pleasure.
Hi, everyone, welcome to this week’s mentoring class. Today, we’re focusing on thinking brilliantly. Here’s our first thought.
Every action is rooted in the thought that produced it.
So if you’re really interested in transformation, it begins with the renewing of the mind. It doesn’t come by struggling with a perception that God did not give you. So if all you’re thinking has brought you to a place you don’t like, you need to have another thought. Don’t try to work on a negative or old thinking, exchange it for one of God’s thoughts. Exchange it for a thought that deals with the new man you are in Christ, not the old one that’s already dead.
In Christ, we never deal with a negative, we exchange it for a positive, and we deal with that. For example, I was talking to a guy who was having difficulties in his job. And all he ever kept saying was, “I’m so stressed out by this job. I’m so stressed out by my boss. I’m so stressed out by my workload.”
And so when I was talking to him, I said, “You know, here’s the thing. Every time you focus on your stress, it’s like you double it. It’s like you add stress to you. What if the real situation is not the stress that’s here, but the fact that in Jesus, there is no stress. He is not stressed by anything.”
So the real issue is, what is the value of having Jesus in you, when you’re going through a time of stress?
Well, the last time I checked, Jesus was the Prince of Peace. So what if the real issue is not dealing with the negative thought of stress, but actually saying, right now I think what I need to do is, I need to come into a greater sense of peace, in who Jesus is for me.
So replacing that negative thought about stress with the understanding of, I need to get an upgrade in the peace of God that passes all understanding. So all change must be rooted in who Jesus is for us, and who we are in Him. So we have to stop being double-minded about allowing our behavior to challenge our identity, and come to understand that what God has done for us, by placing us in Christ, means that our identity challenges the situation and the circumstances around us.
Let me read you what James wrote, in James chapter one. He says,
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting. Because simply the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea. He’s driven, he’s tossed by the wind.”
And that man ought not to expect that he would receive anything from the Lord, because he’s being a double-minded man. Which means he’s unstable in all of his ways. James warns us about the foundation of instability coming from being in two minds about who we are. And when we are in two minds, we get pulled in many directions, and we lack the focus to move in the spirit properly. That means we become vulnerable in every circumstance.
We’re so easily intimidated, and we are talked out of the blessing of God, because of the tyranny of our circumstances. How many of us really understand that whenever God speaks to us, He’s wanting to talk us into something, because He knows if I can talk you into this, I don’t need to talk you out of this. He knows that when you see what God wants to do, you will leave all the old behind, because He’s talked you into something new about yourself that is brilliant.
Think about that. God isn’t trying to talk us out of something. He’s trying to talk us into something.
So you’re key question then, is, what is Jesus trying to talk me into right now?
I mean, you know, it’s going to be amazing, because it will be about Jesus and you. You know, it’s going to be brilliant because He is brilliant in all things. There’s a reason why He wants us to take every thought captive to obedience. It’s because thinking that comes from the old man will keep us in a place of immaturity because we remain in the low place of trust and faith. And that hinders our capacity to receive under pressure.
I’ll put it this way. Wrong thinking makes a way for negative behavior to persist in our lives. All behavior is drawn from our perception of who we are in Jesus. Perception is always empowered by thinking. And thinking produces a particular language that governs our confession. Whether that confession is good or bad, it’s the same process. Confession guarantees our experience. And it’s either going to guarantee a negative experience, or an absolutely stunning encounter with God. But a person in two minds, is always unstable. We’re just tossed to and fro.
Whenever our perception does not agree with God’s view of us, we can’t walk with Him as He requires, and we can’t receive from Him what he wants to release in us and to us. I really love this process of our thinking. I love how God wants to partner up with us, in this whole dynamic. Whenever our perception does not agree with God’s view of us, then we cannot work with Him as He requires. And we cannot receive from Him what He wants to release in us and to us.
When we give the power of agreement to a negative perception. We not only damage our emotions, but also our thinking makes us captive. When we focus on all that we feel is wrong in our lives and our circumstance, we empower them to become bigger than the majesty of God.
What you focus on, you empower.
Every time you focus on a negative, you give a life to it. Listen, guys, we were created to magnify and we will either magnify the negatives in our lives, or will magnify the true nature of God, and who He wants to be in us for us, and through us. There’s no doubt the enemy wants to stir up doubt in our thinking. He wants to get you in a place of uncertainty about the nature of God and your true identity in Christ.
The very first temptation ever was to doubt God’s word and His integrity. “Has God said?”, was the serpent’s question to Adam and Eve. It’s still one of the enemy’s favorite questions, because he’s desperate to take our focus off of God’s sufficiency and get us to magnify our own fear of lack and inadequacy. His hope is to get you to try to meet your own needs your own way. Which never turns out well.
We have to be intentional in our focus. Here’s a few of the ways to do that. Firstly, be fascinated with who God is for you. That’s why worship is so important in renewing our minds, and refreshing our hearts. In worship, thanksgiving and praise, we begin to see Him as big as He really is. It’s why worship is not an option for us. It’s a necessity.
It’s not just the warm up before the teaching on a Sunday morning, for goodness sake. Worship is a lifestyle. It’s where we come every day to renew ourselves in the majesty of God. And then we can respond to what we see encounter in Him. So worship focuses our thinking, and it focuses our lives on how much bigger He is than anything that faces us.
My favorite question in Jesus here is, how do you see me changing in this circumstance? How should I partner with you, in this situation? What I’m doing here is allowing God to shape the stance in my circumstance, because that’s growth?
Any mindset focused on a negative makes us captive to the enemy. A mind set on the majesty and supremacy of God sets us free to see Him and see ourselves in Christ, as big as He created us to be. We can become so fascinated with who He is for us, with who He is through us, and who He is in us, so that it becomes impossible to see any challenge any opposition, any lack, as more overwhelming than He is.
Secondly, start making predetermined choices. You don’t want to choose your focus under pressure. You need to choose it from a place of rest and peace. Because that’s always where we see and think best.
So before you get into a crisis, start thinking about how would I handle negative circumstances? And what would be a good predetermine choice, and write those things down in your journal.
Look back over the last 12 months or so and think, what are the sit one of the situations that have been difficult for me? And how could I handle them differently?
Because you know that if you didn’t learn from them, they’re going to come back around. Yeah. So think about those and think about, what should I choose when that situation comes back around? Yeah. And that becomes the ground of our learning. Predetermine choices can accelerate, as in so many ways.
David wrote in Psalm 57:7, “my heart is fixed, O Lord, my heart is fixed.” And as he often was, in his early years, David was in a time of difficulty. If you read his story, you can read all about the problems and the crises that he faced, and how in those times, he’d already fixed his heart to focus on worshiping the Lord and magnifying Him.
It was a predetermined choice that he made before the situation arose. I’m going to exalt the LORD, above any opposition against Him. That’s why he was so ready when Goliath came along. And he was confident, he was poised, he was purposed. And his home manner in that situation, declares that he’d already come to a place in God, that he wasn’t going to be shifted out of. Predetermine response.
Colossians 3:2 says, “set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” In other words, what is God thinking? Not what is my situation dictating to me? it’s like an anchor set before the storm hits, you choose where you will focus your thinking.
Thirdly, exercise your will. The will is our prime vehicle for cooperation with the Holy Spirit. Exercising our well doesn’t mean we try to control our thinking, it means we allow Him to think with the mind of Christ in us.
My favorite verse here in this context is Philippines 2:13, “It is God who is working you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” His good pleasure means He enjoys it. This fascinates me. That He totally loves the part about changing our will, and empowering us to partner with Him. So I kind of think that, if it’s enjoyable for Him, then He’s going to make it enjoyable for us too.
Remember what you focus on you give power to. So we’re not focusing on what not to think. We’re focusing on what God is thinking instead. We take negative thoughts captive by finding the opposite God thought, instead.
So for example, instead of thinking harshly about someone, we can be thinking about kindness, love, and God’s grace for that person. Instead of thinking about my own needs, I could be thinking about how generous I can be for the Lord sake. You know, you love that one, right?
Instead of thinking how irritated I am by this person, I can be thinking about how I can show that person the love of God. Here’s the thing about learning. Always make it enjoyable and delightful. Because God is enjoying changing you in this process.
And as we partner with God, to change our thinking, the fruit of the Spirit, which is His nature in us, upgrades our emotions, to match His good pleasure. The thing I love about God and my learning, He’s always happy to teach me. He’s always happy to show me something new. He’s always delighted in showing me the upgrade that’s available in the situation that I’m facing.
So the issue there is, what is it you want to focus on? What do you want to empower in your thinking? Here’s an activation that you can explore this week.
Think of an area in your life that’s been challenging, or maybe areas of development or circumstances that have got a little bit on top of you.
Take some time out just to rest in the Lord’s loving-kindness towards you. That’s why rejoicing and worship will be a good thing. It’s a good moment for Him to upgrade His peace in you or release more of the joy that He has in you as you’re growing up in Him. And you’re more able to receive that when you get into a place of rejoicing and thanksgiving.
Remember, learning in the Kingdom is always connected to His pleasure in you through Jesus. That’s why you put Christ into you and you into Christ. So that you can enjoy the process of growing up into Him in all things.
So worship the Lord, and think about who He wants to be for you in the area or circumstance you’re considering. Thank Him for His help and comfort when it’s been difficult. Ask the Holy Spirit for a scripture promise. And read it aloud to the Lord as part of your rejoicing and thanksgiving. And then choose with Him how you want to respond when the situation you’re considering appears again. Because you know, if you didn’t learn it last time, it’s going to come back around. Yeah.
Because you need to learn this. Because this is where you need to grow up into Christ. What do you need to think about the situation you’re in? Write it down. How do you want to speak about it? Write it down. Like do you want to shout something to the Lord? Yeah, you’re with me in this? Do you want to have just a positive, thought-filled, powerful confession. This is who God is for me, in this moment. Some way of putting, injecting part of God’s nature into it, whether it’s joy, whether it’s peace, whether it’s kindness, whatever.
Remember, you’re exchanging a negative thought for one that’s a huge improvement. So focus on rejoicing and your predetermined choices. It’s not about getting it right every time. It’s about learning and practicing. Enjoy the practice sessions, and take notes on what you’re learning. And always, always love the learning.