In Proverbs 4:23 (CEV), the Bible instructs: “Carefully guard your thoughts because they are the source of true life.”
I think we all know, to some extent, how influential our thoughts are on our lives.
But did you know your thoughts are also influential in what you actually SEE with your eyes?
I detail all the science behind this as part of my Mastering Your Mind series, but here’s the short of it. It’s fascinating.
Your eye and your brain are connected an optic nerve, which carries impulses back and forth. But while you might assume the eye sends more impulses to the brain to tell it what it sees. It’s actually the brain that sends many more impulses to the eye to tell it what TO see.
This is why two people can look at the same thing and come to completely different conclusions. This is why the glass is half full to some, but half empty to others.
And this is why it’s crucial to guard your thoughts. Because if you let negativity, fear, doom and gloom in, that’s how you’ll actually see everything, which will certainly affect your life.
This is all the more reason to follow what the apostle Paul insists: “Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise” (Phil. 4:8, NLT).
Here are some great thoughts to think on today:
- God is good.
- God loves me.
- God wants the best for me.
- God will never leave me.
- God has great plans for me.
Set your mind on those kinds of truths, and you’ll physically begin to see things as hopeful instead of hopeless, promising instead of problematic, positive instead of negative. It’s all just more evidence that changing your thoughts changes your life.
And if you’d like help doing this. Check out my 4-part Mastering Your Mind series.
Happy Independence Day!
Before you go about your celebrations today, will you join me in a quick prayer for this country that I—and so many others—love so much?
(Even if you’re not American, will you join me in prayer, too?)
(I encourage you to share this prayer with others who love this country.)
Here’s the text of the prayer:
“Father, we thank You for the blessing of America and its impact upon the world. Truly, You’ve shed Your grace on thee. But we need Your grace again, Lord. Each one of us needs to be filled with Your grace for those around us. We ask that You heal us of our prejudice. Open our eyes to any ungodliness. Fill us with Your unconditional love to unconditionally love others, regardless of our differences. Unify and use us to demonstrate Your goodness. And Lord, we ask that You’d, once again, crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”
At some level, we’re all living with scars from things that happened in our journeys up until now. Sure, some are of our own doings. But many are from experiences we didn’t choose.
Ever wanted to put them to good use?
One morning, while talking with the Lord about the pain and brokenness in my journey, I got this:
You can’t change the ways your were broken, or take away the pain from the past. But you can make the devil regret the day he ever messed with you. Show him how perseverance built your character. How in your weakness you found strength. How that test gave you a testimony. And how all the junk he tried to bombard you with only brought you closer to Jesus. Decide to be a living illustration that what the enemy meant for bad, God turned into something good!
Will you join me? Will you decide to be a living illustration of God’s goodness to a world that desperately needs to see it today?
Watch me talk about this in my Instagram video below.
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Fear is swirling all around these days. Lots of folks are scared about what the future holds. Certainly there are plenty of unknowns right now.
But a few years ago, while facing some major fears of my own, I discovered a powerful declaration that got me through then and continues to today.
Check out this 1-minute video from my Instagram to be encouraged by my story.
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We all know there are stark opinions being debated in the world today.
And with them is a rising pandemic of anger and unforgiveness toward people and institutions that differ.
I feel the tug to be bitter. How about you?
To help you (and me!) stay calm, civil and loving during these outrageous times, I’ve released an audio track of scriptures to defeat anger and unforgiveness from my Experience Freedom declarations album.
Take a few minutes to listen along with the scriptures and declarations set to calming music. Then come back any time you feel the slightest rage rising.
I’m trying something new. For the last seven days, I’ve posted a one-minute (or less) video to my Instagram. Yesterday’s was especially popular, mostly because it’s on a question we all have: “What do I say when I’m all out of words to pray?”
The answer came after a situation when it felt I prayed everything I knew to pray and did everything I knew to do. That’s when God said this …
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Some have started to notice that I’ve been unusually quiet, so I wanted to give you a quick update. I appreciate your prayers!
I think it’s fitting that this year’s celebration of Holy Week happens at such a time as this. This week offers an opportunity to shift from wondering, “Why does God allow evil?” to the wonder of God’s surprising response to it.
It’s an opportunity to consider the cross.
Imagine the scene on crucifixion day. Jesus is mutilated beyond description. Held only by nails in His hands and feet, He dangles from a rugged, splintery beam, enduring the cruelest form of execution. Some six hours later, He lowers His head and breathes His last.
When Satan thought he had Jesus, he never knew the cross was God’s plan:
- from the very beginning (1 Pet. 1:20),
- to disarm the powers of evil (Col 2:15),
- to bring the wounds of our healing (Isa. 53:5),
- to destroy the works of the devil (1 Jn. 3:8).
Sure, for a short time, it looked like evil had won. The enemy thought the cross was Jesus’ certain defeat. But little did he know, the cross was his.
Friend, what’s happening in our world today is not the final answer. As we go to the cross this week, I’m expecting another world-changing, table-turning moment. What about you?
In my latest live message, “How to Have a Sound Mind at a Crazy Time,” I recalled the story of the 12 scouts who were tasked to spy out Israel’s Promised Land.
After observing the land, 11 of the 12 men returned afraid because they saw giants, which they interpreted as certain death for anyone who went there (Num. 13:28, 32). This bad news quickly spread fear throughout Israel.
While it was true that giants did occupy the land, their interpretation didn’t include the promise of God’s presence.
Let’s not make the same mistake today.
Yes, there are certain realities happening in our world today. But be careful not to assume that they mean the worst. Always include the presence of God in whatever news you hear and thoughts you think. Because, after all, He’s promised to never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5).
Here’s a prayer to help with this, which I recently posted to my Facebook:
By the way, if you weren’t able to tune in to my live webcast, the message is now available to watch on demand.
As I mentioned on Saturday, a time like this calls for the comfort of Psalm 91. And I wanted to share a beautiful song version of it that’s sure to bring peace and calm. (I’ve been listening to it over and over the past few days.)
- Get my entire 65-minute album of scriptures and declarations set to music (on iTunes or CD).
- Make a donation to help us continue producing teaching and tools that reach the hurting and the struggling.