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Transforming Our Thought Lives

someday-1431134

When the flesh is in control, our minds are filled with worldly things like:

  • greed
  • bitterness
  • gossip
  • hatred
  • materialism
  • envy
  • idolatry (desiring other things or people more than we desire God)
  • negativity
  • complaining
  • contention
  • lies
  • pride
  • lust
  • worry
  • fear
  • unbelief
  • self

These things consume our thoughts, fuel our motives, and ultimately determine our words and actions, as well.

When we repent of our sin and come to Christ, yielding to Him as LORD of all in our lives, He transforms our thinking by the power of His Spirit and His Word. So now, we purposely trash everything that is from the sinful nature and the enemy and fill our minds all throughout each day with things like:

  • thanksgiving
  • praises to God
  • contentment in Christ
  • prayer for ourselves, others, the church, the lost, and the world
  • good things about God, others, and this world
  • God’s peace
  • joy
  • God’s Word
  • truth
  • faith in God
  • songs to God
  • love for God
  • love for others
  • things that will benefit others
  • patience
  • kindness
  • grace, mercy, and forgiveness
  • God’s character and nature
  • awe ย and reverence for God
  • genuine humility

Whatever we think overflows from our hearts from our facial expressions, our tone of voice, our words, and our behavior. When we are filled to overflowing with the power of the Holy Spirit and the goodness of God, this is what will spill out onto those around us.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirableโ€”if anything is excellent or praiseworthyโ€”think about such things. Phil. 4:4-8

Further Study:

Galatians 5:13-26

Ephesians ย 4:29-32

Taking Our Thoughts Captive for Christ – Peaceful Wife VIDEO

A Heart of Thanksgiving and Praise – Peaceful Wife VIDEO

28 thoughts on “Transforming Our Thought Lives

  1. That’s right, everything flows from the heart! I recently experienced God’s miraculous intervention over healing of my heart which was very wounded. He is indeed our healer! To take captive of our thoughts is a good precaution so that wounds don’t end up rotting our inner life.. That’s when it all goes haywire! Thank you for posting this ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Hi April, thank you for this post. One way God has helped me to deal with negative thoughts is honesty. Honesty with myself, with what I am feeling, with why I am feeling it and then that same honesty with God. We never – at least I never – respond to something in a vacuum, there’s always a reason why I responded in the way I did and that is usually what God helps me to deal with…if it’s anger, the question is not that I’m angry, it’s why. That takes the attention away from the thing I am reacting to, to why I am reacting like I’m doing. There’s always a cause and that deals with it rather than the symptoms.

      I have really enjoyed your posts and I am an eager follower! Thank you for this ministry and the time you invest in it. Thank you also for Peaceful girl, as a single woman, it is very refreshing to see women encouraged to magnify God in their lives.

  2. Thank you April for posting this. I really needed to read this today as I have been thinking negatively within the the last two days. The enemy have been throwing negative and selfish thoughts my way, from “I am always doing everything for everyone” to “my husband rarely thinks to buy me things that I like” and “my husband just wants to do everything for everyone else but me.”

    I noticed an attitude was starting to rise up in me but the one amazing thing about being a daughter of Christ is that we notice these things quickly and we know we have the authority to take our thoughts captive. I had to intentionally think about all of the good things in my life and all of the wonderful things my husband has done for me. I asked the Lord to help remove these negative thoughts from me and to replace them with godly thoughts. I had asked God for forgiveness and once I did that, I felt the heaviness or cloud lifted off of me.

    I realized it is highly important to intentionally think of good and godly things. If we don’t intentionally think on good things, we will dwell on ungodly thoughts and that is where the devil wants to keep us. It is important to realize the schemes of the devil and take the authority we have in Christ and demand the devil to leave.

    1. Tracyee,

      I’m so thankful God shows us our sinful thoughts and empowers us to take those thoughts captive – that we don’t have to stay in that pit anymore! WOOHOO! Yes! If we don’t intentionally stop the negative thoughts and sinful thoughts, we will not think godly things or good things. It is a very purposeful decision to reject the sinful thoughts and to focus on God’s ways. But it is VERY worth it! We can resist the enemy and submit to God as James 4 describes – and God can and will give us victory in our thought lives! What glorious good news!

    2. Traycee,

      I know exactly what you mean! One of the strategies that I use to combat these negative thoughts about my husband or my family is to look through old photo albums. For some reason, when I have a visual of all of the love that our family has for each other, it is hard for me to stay mad or irritated. Of course nothing will combat the enemy like prayer, but this may help too!

      Blessings to you, and thank you, April, for a great post!

  3. Thank you, April, for this wonderful and timely reminder. Not making excuses, but this June has been the busiest month, EVER, and I’ve been allowing it to crowd out my time with God. The good thing this time is, I’ve realized it. Realized it in time to get back on the path before straying too far off.

    Truth be told, while my thought life has been improving, I have struggled with a few of these things very recently, and so this post is very timely and much needed. Thank you!

    We just got home from delivering thank you gifts to the firemen who were here the other day, and it is another reminder about what is really important.

    Thank you! Have a great weekend!!

    Becca

    1. Becca,

      That is awesome that you realized what was happening and that you needed to be sure to make more time for God! WOOHOO! I’m so glad this was a blessing to you, my sister.

      So amazing that you got to go thank the firemen who helped you. What a blessing!

      Much love!!!!

  4. Thank you April for your post (and ladies, for your comments). We are all on this journey together, and the struggles and triumphs are so relatable. Encouragement is a wonderful thing! I am comforted by Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” The ‘transforming of our minds’ is definitely a daily choice. May God continue to accomplish His transforming work in us as we resist the enemy and cling to God.

      1. April,
        I think it has been a little over a year now that I have been on this journey. I have been married for 21 years now to a loving and gracious man. We are a committed Christian couple, but we have also had many struggles. At some point, I had come to a place in my walk with the Lord where I knew I needed to be ‘set apart’ for Him.

        I love Jesus with all my heart and desired His best in every area of my life, including marriage and family, but the Lord has had to teach me to be humble and to cooperate with the Holy Spirit instead of trying to control things (which has been my tendency). And, as one with ‘perfectionist’ tendencies, I have held high expectations of myself (and of others, for that matter). But,Christ calls us to LOVE, period–without any strings attached! And, since I am far from perfect, I need to show more grace, especially to my husband. Even after all of these years, I (we) still have a lot of growing to do!

        I happened upon your blog when I was searching the web for ‘How to get your husband to stop watching T.V.’ And that is where it all began! I have found your example and wisdom (as well as the comments and testimonies of others on this site) to be very encouraging. I am learning what it truly means to be a Godly wife, and how important it is to show respect to my husband. And, I am actually praying for my husband SOO much more.

        I can relate to some of your other readers who have concerns about their husband’s use of alcohoI, as my husband’s daily beer drinking has been one of my concerns, too. He is ‘responsible’ (usually only has a couple) and doesn’t go ‘out’ to drink (though that was an issue in our early days). However, even though he drinks responsibly, I still know it isn’t good for his health, and in my opinion, it doesn’t portray a good example to our kids. I pray for wisdom to know what to say and how to say it as well as what not to say.

        And, since I have learned to let Jesus be on the throne–and as I am leaning on the Lord and choosing to be obedient to His ways–I have seen a lot of positive changes in my marriage and family. I have also had to learn to push past the discouragement that I feel on so many occasions, as I practice daily ‘dying to self’–which can be painful, as you know! I am working to ‘be not conformed to the patterns of this world’; I actually didn’t realize how much I was influenced by my past and by the culture! And, I am practicing being ‘transformed by the daily renewing of [my] mind’.

        Over this past year, I have read a lot of helpful books (including some of the books that you have recommended). Dr. Caroline Leaf’s book How to Switch on Your Brain is one book (along with the Bible) that has helped me the most in taking control of my thought life. God’s ways are so much higher than our ways! Praying for you and our other dear sisters that God will continue to pour out His grace on us as we walk in the way He has prepared for each of us. I appreciate you!
        Love, Liz

  5. Hi April

    Thank you for this,I am really struggling with my thoughts,my husband has done some very hurtful things in the past, and when I ask him somethings he does not want to come clean.its really hard to forget or maybe forgiving, I am very tired and miserable ,maybe I have not forgiven ,its heavy on me,i cant live like this anymore,I need peace and joy and the love of God to flow in my heart,I need Jesus to change me.I need healing…

    1. Anathi,

      That sounds extremely painful. Do you believe he has repented from those things and stopped doing them? Or you aren’t really sure?

      Would you like to do a spiritual checkup with me and I can walk beside you on the path to healing that is available to you in Jesus?

      Much love and the biggest hug to you!

  6. April

    Thank you so much,He is still doing things that are hurting me so much and He doesn’t even care to apologize,when I confront him,its became worse.
    He is a christian but the enemy is using him to destruct me on my walk with Christ,it is so hard to focus.I have prayed for him to change and prayed for our marriage too but God knows HE’s timing.
    My prayer is for me to change,to be a godly woman in the midst of this fire,the enemy knows how to get at me,I became angry and lose it sometimes,I cant change the situation now,all I need is Jesus every minute.

    I dont know whether it possible to be on fire and not be burnt…..thank you

    1. Anathi,

      I just want to gently check to see how serious the issues are, if it is okay, so that I know if I need to direct you toward other resources, as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Are either of you dealing with abuse, uncontrolled mental illness, unrepentant infidelity, or addictions, my dear sister?

      Would you be able to share a bit about what he is doing that hurts you and how you respond? I’d be glad to hash through some things with you if you would like.

      We all desperately need Jesus every minute! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Much love to you!

  7. Thanks April

    we got married 2013 we were both saved,and he was very loving,humble and loving God,we stayed apart due to our job’s.bt this year He managed to work where he will stay at home.He is a military man.after just two month married things just turned,its like I was married to another person I ddnt know.he hated me so bad, he cheated on me,wanted to divorce me ,He has not cheated only with one woman but many,i didnt know what to do only to go on my knees it was only thing I could do,i was frustrated,confused asking God what is this,at that time I used to minister at church,loving God so much I began to question God,i wanted just to disappear because infront of people we were acting like a couple,at church most woman used to see me as a role model and would come with their problems and will pray,I did know what to do,i began to be bitter,crying.the enemy wanted to kill my faith.i have spoken to our pastors several times,
    When we meet pastors he will apologize bt still I found more terrible things.
    I dropped spiritually,was out of my mind,I didnt know who I was.
    His parents knew him as someone who is very innocent,even at church He is a man of God and a prayerful man.

    I wanted to leave him but something inside me was not giving me peace.
    I’ve tried,prayed God to change my husband,marriage.we have seen many man of God.but only to be back where we have started.

    I dont know whether he will change or not,The only thing that I want from God is to change me,I have failed many times with complaining.

    I’m grateful that I am better than what I used to be on our first and second year,even if I still dont understand.

    1. Anathi,

      Oh, goodness. ๐Ÿ™ My dear sister! What painful situation. Do I understand that the cheating is still going on?

      What did your pastors suggest that you do?

      Why do you believe you should stay if he is unrepentant – if I am understanding correctly?

      Praying for you, my precious sister! For God’s wisdom and strength and for His healing for you and your husband individually and His wisdom about each baby step.

  8. Anathi, I am so sorry to hear about the things you are going through in your marriage. I just want you to know that I am praying for you and your husband. I pray that God will heal your marriage and restore what the devil has stolen. Sometimes in life, things happen that completely throws us for a loop but just remember that God has promised to never leave or forsake you.

    I was just thinking on my drive to work this morning about how amazing God is that He knows all about us and He knows all about the character and schemes of the devil. God knows the devil’s method of operation so very well and He knows that the devil will try everything he can to manipulate people into thinking, believing and acting in ungodly ways. For that reason, God gave us specific instructions in the Bible, I call it (the life manual) to guide us. The Bible verse that stuck out to me this morning was James 4:7, when He said “resist the devil and he shall flee.” This verse really made a lot of sense to me after I meditate on it.

    Yes, it sounds so simple, yet it can be so hard to do at times when difficult things are happening that we don’t understand. But then it dawn on me that God knows everything, He knows people and He even knows the devil so well and that is why He says “resist him”, in other words, don’t fall for his trap, don’t be fool by his games, show him that we know who we are and that we have authority over him. Although the devil may try to make us think that he is powerful and that he can make us think, believe or act anyway he wants us to, God knows he is actually wimpy and that is why God said it in such a simple way and said, “resist him and he shall flee”. As long as we know our authority in Christ, the devil will have to flee. Therefore, I believe that no matter what is going on in your marriage in the natural, God is going to turn it around for good for you and your husband.

    He is working in the supernatural to use your marriage as an example for many couples out there. Stay strong and stay in prayers, put on the armor of God and fight for your marriage. I understand about harboring unforgiveness, resentment, and bitterness because I was doing that towards my husband for a long time and it wasn’t until God led me to April’s blog and her book that made me realized what “respect” really is. I had to go before God and asked HIM for forgiveness and to show me how to truly respect my husband from here on out. I know it can be so difficult to respect them when we are so hurt by all that they have done or said to us but it is not about them or not about us, it is about God. I have realized in the last month that the devil wants me to be so lost in worrying about my marriage and how my husband has been treating me and how he should be treating me instead of looking to God for my happiness, comfort, joy, and peace. I was looking to my husband to fill that position instead of God. I recall one time God had told me that “Traycee, if you look to your husband for happiness, you will never be happy.”

    I have finally come to realize that I am not responsible for my husband’s words and actions. I am only responsible for my own. If I was to stand before the Lord when I die, God will not ask me about my husband’s actions or words, He will only ask me about mine. Therefore, I had decided to not let my husband’s actions or words bother me anymore because he is accountable for himself. I can just do what God ask me to do and that is to pray for him, love him and respect him. I have really seen God do tremendous things in my marriage in the last month and I have God to thank for. I still have a long ways to go because I just started this “respect” journey. Therefore, continue to pray for your husband, love and respect him but know that God will never leave you and no matter what the outcome maybe, whether our husbands decides to stay with us or go, we will be more than okay either way. If God is for us, who can be against us. Stay strong my beautiful sister in Christ.

  9. Anathi,
    So sorry for the struggles in your marriage. I will be praying for you, as well. God is faithful. I pray that He will give you peace, wisdom, and courage as you trust in Him. Many times when I pray for my husband, I pray for his spirit to be sensitive and obedient to the Holy Spirit.
    Philippians 2:13 “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.”
    Love,
    Liz

    1. Thank you so much ladies,since a wrote comment here,you know something suddenly happen,my husband on his social networks has put my puctures and deleted a lot of things that I was not happy about,he is even wake up at 4 am to pray,he went to visit my mom for the first time since we were married,i see the hand of God Saints….thanks for remembering me in your prayers,
      We serve a wonderful God who is in control for everything.

  10. I have had a lifetime problem of plain silliness. My mouth just blabs out silly things to make my family laugh or be shocked or lighten the mood. It’s all very well, but this year I have felt the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit guiding me to calm my mind in this area. I keep falling back into old habits, but when I do focus on Jesus and not on my next entertaining anecdote my family life is more peaceful. My children respect me more. There is definately a link between what comes out of my mouth and the contentment or turmoils of my soul.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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