Someone once said, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” Change is a part of life. It’s also uncomfortable and can be scary. Here are a few facts about change:
It’s a process. And it’s often a lengthy one that requires long-term commitment.
It’s frightening. Even though we usually want change, we also like to be in control. But we have to be willing to let go of something to move toward something new—without knowing exactly what the new thing will be like.
It takes action. It comes when we confront our fears.
Now, nothing in your life changes until you change your mind. Romans 12:2 says, “Be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind” (AMP). A lot of people are trying to change, but they haven’t changed their minds about anything and are thinking the same way they’ve always thought about things. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As he thinks in his heart, so is he.” In other words, where the mind goes, the man follows. So we can’t keep doing things the way we’ve always done them and hope for a different result.
What’s been on your mind lately? Do you think about what you’re thinking about? Do you realize how your thoughts affect your life? Thoughts are powerful! And the good news is, we can choose what we think about.
This has been one of the most life-changing revelations of my life. I used to believe I couldn’t help what I thought. If I woke up in the morning and my thought was, I’m depressed, then I just obeyed it and was depressed all day. But Jesus died to set us free, and one of the greatest freedoms we have is freedom of choice.
It was so wonderful to realize that my mind didn’t have to be a trash can for the devil all day or a channel for him to do his dirty work through. And the key to my victory over the enemy was learning to renew my mind.
How do we renew our mind? With the Word of God. The Bible is our instruction manual on how to live a victorious life. We have to study it, not just read it, to learn how to think like God thinks and experience the life of overcoming victory we can have in Christ—a life of forgiveness of sins, right relationship with God, the power to live right, peace and joy.
For more than 30 years I’ve been studying the Word, and I’m still learning every single day. We need to be lifetime learners of God’s Word because it has the life, power and anointing we need to change.
There’s actually a transforming power that takes place when we study the Word. Hebrews 4:12 in The Amplified Bible says this power is active, energizing and effective, and it exposes, analyzes and judges the thoughts and purposes of the heart. The Word of God is like a mirror: When we look into it, we see the way we are and what needs to chnge. That’s why it’s so important for us to renew our minds every day through the Word.
Here’s how it works: We hear the truth and are convicted by it as we recognize what we’re doing is wrong. We repent of our sin; this means we are sorry and want to turn away from it. We ask God to help us change because we can’t change without Him. Then we study Scriptures about the area we are dealing with, such as unforgiveness, anger, self-control and so on.
God’s Word is the medicine we need to heal our souls! I encourage you to go to the Word like you would medicine. When you’re struggling with something, pick it up and say, “I’m going to take my medicine.” Then begin to say what God says, rather than what you think or feel that doesn’t line up with His Word.
We have to learn to believe what God says more than what we think and feel because a renewed mind is stronger than feelings.
Remember, you can choose to think about whatever you want to think about. Choose to think about the truth in God’s Word and there won’t be room for anything else. You’ll find that when you get your mind straightened out you’ll get your life straightened out.
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries. She has authored more than 90 books, including her new Living Beyond Your Feelings (Hachette). To read her past columns in Charisma, go to charismamag.com/meyer. Visit her online at joycemeyer.org.