Choose Your Thoughts
For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).
You have the ability to choose what you should think about and reject what you shouldn’t. This might sound like a mystery to some people because their minds run riot all the time! But the Bible says “â€¦ whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
That suggests you can direct your mind to think the right thoughts only! You can control your thoughts. In one of his teachings, Pastor Chris explained thoughts as more than mere imaginations; they are mental pictures of the mind with instructive or destructive capabilities. Thoughts, many times, are your own creation “they are the mental constructions of your mind that are based on your imaginations. They have the power to keep you in bondage, or liberate you to be the best of you. That’s why until you change a man’s way of thinking, his life and the circumstances of his existence will not change. That’s how powerful our thoughts are, and this is the reason we’re admonished in Scripture to choose our thoughts; think only on things that are just, pure, lovely and of good report.
Don’t let your mind wander off with the wrong thoughts; discipline your mind to choose the thoughts you will accept and process. The Bible says to mount a garrison over your heart (Proverbs 4:23); don’t allow just every thought come in. Reject thoughts that tend to demean or depress you; accept the thoughts of success, joy, victory and prosperity that are based on God’s word. Your life goes in the direction of your thinking, for you’re the character of your thoughts.
So, it doesn’t matter what happens to you, or what unpleasant situation you find yourself, you can either decide to remain there or come out of it by imbibing the right thinking! Appraise the situation from the standpoint of God’s Word, for nothing in this life can make you disadvantaged.
See With His Light
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
The Word of God is light (Psalm 119:105), and the Scripture tells us to walk in the light as God is in the light. We can walk in the light and have fellowship with Him because we’re born of the Word (1 Peter 1:23), which is light, and have therefore become children of light (1 Thessalonians 5:5).
We’re now required to see with God’s light. Under that light, you don’t see poverty, sickness, disease, death, failure or impossibilities. The Word of God is light (Psalm 119:105), and the Scripture tells us to walk in the light as God is in the light. We can walk in the light and have fellowship with Him because we’re born of the Word (1 Peter 1:23), which is light, and have therefore become children of light (1 Thessalonians 5:5). We’re now required to see with God’s light. Under that light, you don’t see poverty, sickness, disease, death, failure or impossibilities.
Seeing with His light means seeing by the Word; that means your judgments, opinions, and mindset are informed, influenced, and inspired by the truth of God’s Word. It means seeing yourself the way God sees you. For example, when you look at yourself under that light in 2 Corinthians 5:21, which says, he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, all you need is to say Yes sir! You must remain in that light and keep saying, I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. The necessary result of that is, you will live and function as the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. This same principle applies to your health.
The doctors might have examined your body with x-rays, and diagnosed that there’s something wrong inside your body; don’t cry. Jesus is the true light which lights every man that comes into this world (John 1:9). Turn His light on yourself and you’d see that you’ve been perfected in Christ; rejoice in the reality and light of His Word.
God has given you His Word to light up your path, so that there wouldn’t be darkness or uncertainties as you journey through life. Agree with what the Word says about you, confess it, and act accordingly; that’s how to walk in His light.
The Mirror Principle
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed (James 1:25).
As Christians, we’re called to live and act like God. How is that possible? You might want to ask! This has been made possible through the mirror principle of the Word. The Word of God is the mirror of God. The Bible says anyone who hears the Word and doesn’t act accordingly is like a man who sees himself in a mirror, turns around and forgets what he looks like (James 1:23-24). In other words, God expects you to hear His Word and do what it says.
The problem, however, is that many don’t know how to do the Word of God. Now, the mirror principle of the Word is that you see yourself as what God sees you to be in His Word, and then act accordingly. It simply means acting the Word. For instance, in the Word, the mirror of God, He says, you’re a new creation in Christ Jesus. That is God’s image and reflection of you. See that image and endorse it. Act like it’s true; for it’s true. Again, He shows you in the Word that you’re the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus; see it so.
That’s His image of you. Seeing yourself in the Word, the mirror of God, and acting accordingly is the way to live in the reality of your inheritance in Christ. That’s how to enjoy all that God has made available to you in Christ Jesus. So keep looking into the mirror of God; keep studying and listening to the Word of God. As you do, you’ll be transfigured to become more and more like the glory you see in the Word. This is the mirror principle of the Word.
Don’t Stop Until There’s A Change!
Do you know your persistency in prayer is absolutely vital to changing your circumstances? Sometimes when you have a matter to settle or you desire a change in a situation you don’t have full jurisdiction over, you have to continue in prayer until that change comes. Now this doesn’t negate faith nor mean you’re unbelieving. Actually, the reason you choose not to give up or shift grounds is because you’re acting your faith. The Bible says that ’’…The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available (dynamic in its working) (James 5:16b AMP)’’.
Many are too used to praying “emergency prayers” that don’t work. They wait until the pressure mounts and then start pushing panic-buttons and praying fast prayers for fast answers. But Elijah knew better. We read in our opening scripture what he did when he wanted a miracle: he cast himself down upon the earth and put his head between his knees, praying heartfelt, continued prayer (1 Kings 18:42-44). He prayed until he got a miracle.
This is what many in the Church today aren’t doing. Years ago, Christians were taught to be earnest and persistent in prayer, but the more they learned the Word of faith, the more some drifted away from the message of prayer. But to be effective, you must have the two together: the Word of faith and earnest, heartfelt, continued prayer.
You must have the willingness to pray with all your heart and continue in prayer until you have the note of victory in your spirit. You might ask, “But when do I stop?” You stop when you “know that you know” in your spirit (not in your head) that it’s done! Remember, this is different from the prayer of faith, where you pray only once and don’t have to go back to pray again about the same thing.
WHAT Can You See ?
And the Lord said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the King thereof, and the mighty men of valour (Joshua 6:2).
It’s very important what you see as God’s Word comes to you. If you can see yourself in the Word coming to you, it’ll surely work for you. God said to Joshua, “See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the King thereof, and the mighty men of valour” (Joshua 6:2).
He had to see it to possess it. Again, when Abraham separated from Lot, God told him to look around and said, “all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it” (Genesis 13:15). The extent of his vision was the boundary of his blessing. It’s the same thing today! What do you see when the Word of the Lord comes to you? What are the thoughts that fill your mind when you hear the Word? Some think the Word of God is too extravagant and unrealistic hence they miss their blessing for not accepting the Word.
When your heart is dominated by your senses, it’ll be very difficult to see the visions of God as the Word comes to you. This is why someone can come into church for service and leave without being affected by the Word. I mean, he’s not inspired in any way; no motivation whatsoever, just because he didn’t see anything! How sad! Every time you hear God’s Word that talks about your success, prosperity, victory, divine health, and so on, personalize that Word and start seeing yourself in the reality of it.
When you do this consistently, you’ll discover that defeat, failure, sickness and poverty are driven far from you. That’s how I live, and I recommend that you do the same.
Make a Giving Not a Living
“Let the thief steal no more, but rather let him be industrious, making an honest living with his own hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need” (Ephesians 4:28 AMP). God has blessed you and has made you a blessing to your world (Genesis 12:2). Whatever you do, do it well and it will bless and help someone. Your effort must be beneficial to your world, the people and the environment. The reason for working is not to make a living; it is to make a giving. I’m not just referring to the giving of money, but working for the good of humanity. It may be in the sale of goods or services; if you’re diligent to perform excellently in your job, people will be grateful that you came their way. This was the thought the Apostle Paul tried to communicate to the Church in Ephesus. He admonished them to work primarily in order to have something to give. And this is still true for us today. Your inheritance in Christ is enough to last you all your life; if you were to sleep for the rest of your days, you’ll still have inexhaustible resources. The reason you shouldn’t just sleep all your days is because you wouldn’t be acting like your Heavenly Father, Who lives a life of giving. You should be out of bed, ready to do something good for your world today. If you don’t have a job, get one or make one! Work with dignity because you’re a blessing to your world! Follow God’s principle, which is to always do more than you’re paid for. Some people talk about “the dignity of labour” and I often wonder if they understand what they’re talking about. Dignity of labour doesn’t just end in having a job; it’s having a job and understanding the reason for the job. Yes, you render services to help someone else and they pay you, but that money is not your life’s source. God is your source! What you’re paid is just a compensation for your effort. Always do more than you’re paid for. Then and only then will your job and your lifehave a meaning, both to you and to your world.
F U RT H E R S T U DY : 2 C O R I N T H I A N S 9:8-9 (TLB); N EH EMIAH 8:10,12
Givers Move the Heart Of God
The Bible clearly shows that givers are very special to God and this is why you must be a consistent giver. God is unwilling to abandon a cheerful giver. In other words, God would always locate such a man or woman, and intervene in any situation that concerns such a person. The Bible records that one day, the elders of the Jews pleaded with Jesus to heal the sick servant of a Roman centurion (Luke 7). Ordinarily, the Jews shouldn’t have had anything to do with this Roman centurion because he was a Gentile. But they besought the Lord on his behalf because the man was a giver (Luke 7:4-5).
Jesus followed them immediately He heard all he had done. Givers will always move the heart of God. Peter had a similar experience in Joppa (Acts 9). A certain woman called Dorcas had died, and the Bible says that this woman was full of good works and alms deeds which she did (Acts 9:36).
In other words, she was a generous giver. When Peter arrived there, they showed him all the wonderful things she had done and immediately his faith was stirred. Guess what: he raised her from the dead, even though nobody asked him to; her generous heart stirred the anointing even in her death. Connect to the anointing through your giving. God is stirred by people’s giving more than by their need or complaints. Commit yourself to consistent giving to the Kingdom; it’s for your own blessing. You can put this to work today, and receive an answer that you’ve long been expecting.
“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).
According to this Scripture, the Lord Jesus came to make us rich. But there are Christians who assume poverty is necessary to live a godly life. I’ve even heard a minister pledge to poverty. I think that’s absurd! Poverty might be the mark of religion but it’s definitely not the mark of Christianity.In 1980, at a ministers’ conference that I was privileged to attend, T. L. Osborn made a remarkable statement that stirred much controversy then. He said, “Poverty is a sin.”I’m sure this statement will stir up as much controversy today as it did then.
It’s imperative that we correct the impression that poverty is a prerequisite for serving God. Otherwise, 2 Corinthians 8:9 will be false and meaningless. Poverty is contrary to the provisions of God in His Word; reject it in its entirety. No father would want his children to live in poverty. God is our Father and His wealth is beyond human imagination or comprehension. We are heirs to His vast estate; He has given us a blank cheque, so it’s up to us to fill everything we need in the blank spaces. This is how to take advantage of the grace in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 2:1).
Don’t let the world put the mark of religion on you; reject poverty because prosperity is your right in Christ.
F U RT H E R S T U DY : P ROV E R B S 10:22; P SALM 23:1-2;