Are You Telling Yourself the Truth?
“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.” Romans 8:5 (NLT)
Have you ever felt like you are a hostage to your thoughts? Maybe you just can't get a thought out of your mind. Or you often find yourself doing things you don't want to do. You knowingly engage in self-defeating behavior. You know something is not good for you, but you do it anyway.
Romans 7:23 says, “I see a different law at work in my body—a law that fights against the law which my mind approves of. It makes me a prisoner to the law of sin which is at work in my body” (GNT).
Because of your sinful nature, you think of yourself and your wants more than what God wants. It’s a battle in your mind, and you're losing it. Your old nature—who you were before Jesus changed your life—is not your friend. It is the source of all your self-defeating habits that tend to take you down.
Do you want to break those habits and have more control over the way you think?
Then you need to hear and understand this truth: You don’t have to believe everything you think.
Your mind lies to you all the time. Just because you think something is true doesn't make it true. Just because you feel something is true doesn't make it true. Your mind and your emotions often lie to you. Part of spiritual growth—becoming more like Jesus—is learning to know the difference between thoughts that are true and those that are not.
One of the most important disciplines you can build in life is to challenge your own thoughts. Say to yourself, “I know what I'm thinking, but is that really true?”
No matter how far you go in your spiritual walk, your old, sinful nature will keep trying to take control of your thoughts. You have to learn to question your thoughts, not just one time but throughout your day and throughout your life!
When you start to think nobody likes you, ask yourself if that’s really true. If you think it’s never going to get better, ask yourself if it’s true. When you think your life is worthless, question what Satan is trying convince you of. Then, remember what you know from God’s Word to be true.
“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit” (Romans 8:5 NLT).
Talk It Over
What habitual thoughts can you stop believing when you hold them up to the light of God’s Word?
What are the things that please the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:5)?
What makes it difficult for you to surrender your thoughts to the Holy Spirit?
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This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.