Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
What do you think about yourself? Are you able to leap high buildings in a single bound? Can you fly faster than a speeding bullet? Do you think that you will never get out of the predicament you are in unless someone dies and leaves you a pile of money? Maybe you pray to someone and beg to die. What exactly do you think of yourself? Our minds….what a deep, funny thing they are. They are very complex. They can make us think all kinds of things about ourselves that really aren’t true.
We have one precious life to live. I know some will read that last statement and say, “What precious life do I have to live?” What we think about ourselves has everything to do with what we do in this life. We can be caught up in all sorts of different kinds of thinking and ways of “doing” life. But, what is the right way? What is the path for your life and well-being, for your peace of mind, your happiness?
My mind used to reel on and on about all sorts of things I was going to encounter in my day, then at night, it would reel on and on about everything that had just happened that same day. It used to drive me crazy. I would have to take a sleeping pill just to get my mind to shut off at night so I could try to get some rest, only to awake the next day exhausted over the little or no sleep I had gotten the night before. Of course, this would be coupled with the “sleeping pill hangover.” It was a horrible way to live. On the outside, I had most things people would have given their right arm for, but on the inside, it was quite different. There were times when I would think to myself, “If anybody only knew what I was thinking, they would have me locked up or drawn, quartered and hung!”
Thankfully, that ended the day I decided to try something new that had been around for a long, long time. He had been right in front of me, but I didn’t see Him. I decided to try God. I wanted to find out if this God, who seemed to put smiles on other people's faces, was really real. I would see people walking around with these smiles that seemed plastic.
I became a "born-again Christian.” I always had a hard time saying "born-again Christian." At the time, I didn’t even know what one was. I thought the idea was somewhat funky, but it was just because I didn’t understand it. I usually made fun of things I didn’t understand. It was because I was afraid of it. Today, I tell people, “ I just follow Jesus.” I don’t follow a religion or a cult. It was so simple that I almost missed it though. Had I not really turned to the Lord years ago to help save me from myself, I would be standing somewhere smoking a cigarette, bitching someone to death, and pointing my finger at YOU, blaming YOU for my lot in life. My thinking needed an overhaul. My life needed an overhaul! But how do you do that? Who can do that? No doctor was ever able to do that for me, and believe me; I tried a few, to say the least. I just wanted "fixed" so I could live a happy life. Was that too much to ask for?
Matthew 9:20-22 And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “ Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.
When I was in the hospital for shock treatments, my sister-in-law brought me a Daily Devotional by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, who are ministers of the Gospel. Of course, the only reason I read it was because I didn’t have anything else to read but I also wanted something to change in my life on the inside. I wanted to have my mind healed. I thought shock treatments would do it but they didn’t. I was in pain in my life and the hurt was so deep that I wanted someone to fix it-shock it out, cut it out. I didn’t care, just fix it or "just give me a pill and I'll feel better!" But in the end, none of that helped. I was still on medications and still unhappy about my life. Now what?
It still took a couple of years of floundering before I really came to Christ, but I came out of desperation. My way didn’t work any longer. I had kept that little book with me those years and then I found out that he had a television show. I didn’t know anything about anything God, so I just started listening. I really didn’t want to, but I knew I was going to have to do something different or my life was going down the tubes, but then again, something inside of me kept telling me different. I really became the woman in the scripture above after enduring all the years of doctors, torment, and Satan. I later told God that I too wanted to be like the woman with the issue of blood. She touched the hem of His garment, was made whole and today I am as well.
2 Corinthians 10: 5 ...casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
Learning to take every thought captive and thinking a new way transformed me. It transformed my thinking. I had never heard any of this growing up but it hit a nerve. Kenneth Copeland said that you could take every thought into captivity and that you couldn’t think two thoughts at once. I remember sitting on my couch trying to think two thoughts at one time and couldn’t. What he was saying was so simple and yet it was hitting something deep, deep down within me. It was feeding something that was starved. So I kept listening to him. Then at night, I would sit in my room, unfold my TV tray with my Bible on it, and get in the Word. I would do that day in and day out, night after night, and would be up in the middle of the night learning, listening and talking to God. Often, I would get up and just talk and talk for several hours. I felt as if He was always listening to me. No, I couldn’t see Him but somehow I knew He was there, always there. I thought, Man, this is cool. He is on the throne 24/7, just for me and just for you! He never tells me “times up and I'll see you next week…give me $100.00!” I always felt as if I had His undivided attention.
Matthew 7:1-2 Judge not, that you be not judged. “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.
So, I started replacing His thoughts in place of my thoughts. For example, the above-mentioned scripture teaches that if we judge anyone, we will be judged. Well, I thought to myself, I’ve been through enough hell already. I certainly don’t need to have God judging me because of my own stupidity. As I would learn more scriptures, I would be tested on them. I used to talk about people. Well, isn’t that judging them? So, if someone were put in my path that I would normally make fun of, I would say in my heart, "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Learning to think the way God thinks about things was what I was after. Who am I to judge anyone anyway? I am no better than anyone else is. WE are all God’s children... all of us, whether we want to admit it or not or whether we like it or not.
My mind started to settle down and it didn’t go on and on like it used to. It was as if for the very first time in my life I had someone to lean on who was actually going to help me. I felt as if God cared about every little detail of my life. He gave me back my self-worth and my self-esteem that had been lost for years. Some of the stuff I have been set free from were childhood issues that had been haunting me all of my life. The Holy Spirit showed me another way of living and another way of looking at life.
In order to do this, you have to want your life to be different. You have to want the path that God wants for you. God has gotten a bad rap from a lot of Christians over the years. Nowhere in the Word does God say, “ Be broke in the name of Jesus! Be defeated! Be depressed, downtrodden in the name of Jesus!" That is not God. The God I know is the one who actually set me free from myself. He has given me back what Satan stole from me. Don’t let anyone tell you about God. Get in the Word and find out for yourself about Him. Let Him transform you.
I don’t get angry like I used to. I don’t scream, yell, cuss, argue, and fight. I don’t have to have the last word; I don’t have to be right anymore. I love more deeply than I ever have; I try to help everyone that God puts in my path. I sow more money into the Kingdom of God than I ever thought I would. I have found joy in my heart, not just moments of happiness. I know that there is no one person that can make me happy, that I have learned to be happy with myself. I love myself and now I can love others. In light of the huge amount of sin I have been forgiven for, it is a testament to the power of God…. that He is real.
So, if you too need a change…you feel like you need a new look…you’d like to get rid of some old ways and be new, be transformed…try God this time. What have you possibly got to lose?