Our thoughts determine our destinies. Our thoughts determine our actions. Our thoughts determine our self-image. Our thoughts determine our attitudes. When you think about it, our thoughts determine the quality of life we each have.

ABUNDANT LIFE – Living in the Kingdom

By Pastor Delbert Young

Our Thoughts

our thoughts

audio

Our Thoughts

Scriptures: John 10:10, Proverbs 23:7, Judges 6:12, Judges 6:15, Judges 7:15-18, Romans 8:37, Exodus 3:11, Exodus 4:1, Exodus 4:10, Ephesians 4:22-23, Hebrews 12:2-3, Colossians 3:2, 1 Corinthians 15:33, Romans 12:2, Psalms 118:24, Deuteronomy 28:2, Philippians 4:8

Today we are ending the Abundant Life series. We will have looked at six major elements necessary to enjoy the abundant life that Jesus provided for us.

(Amplified) John 10:10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have {and} enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

The first lesson was about (1) Choices. We make choices every day that determine our destinies. Next we talked about the importance of (2) Common Sense and how the Lord will speak to us through our consciences. We talked about the importance of establishing proper (3) Priorities in life. (4) Relationships determine greatly the quality of life we experience. Last time we talked about being (5) Prisoners of Hope and using hope to take us out of the valleys and into the abundant life.

I wanted to talk to us today about our ‘Thoughts.’ The thief’s number one area to work is in our minds. He will steal, kill, and destroy the abundant life from us if he is allowed to control our thoughts. If he can manipulate how we think, he will control and manipulate our entire lives.

THE QUALITY OF LIFE WE EXPERIENCE BEGINS WITH WHAT WE DWELL UPON. Our thoughts determine our destinies. Our thoughts determine our actions. Our thoughts determine our self-image. Our thoughts determine our attitudes. When you think about it, our thoughts determine the quality of life we each have.

YOUR LIFE WILL ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR THOUGHTS. If you think depressing thoughts, you will live a depressed life. If you think negative critical thoughts, you will live a negative and critical life. If you think pornographic thoughts, you will live a pornographic life. If you think positive thoughts, you will live a positive life. If you think happy and joyful thoughts, you will be a happy joyful person.

OUR THOUGHTS AFFECT OUR EMOTIONS. We will feel emotionally exactly how we think. You cannot be happy unless you first think happy thoughts. A funny thought will make you smile and laugh. You will never be discouraged unless you first think discouraging thoughts.

OUR THOUGHTS AFFECT OUR BODIES. Our bodies are stimulated by our thoughts. Our bodies can become sick because of our thoughts. The professional term is psychosomatic. Likewise, our bodies can be made well by healthy thinking.

WE CHOOSE OUR OWN THOUGHTS. Many people do not realize this. No one can make you think about anything. God won’t do it and the enemy can’t do it. It’s TOTALLY up to us as to what we dwell upon. Just because the enemy places a negative and discouraging thought in your mind doesn’t mean you must think about it. You are faced with a choice. You can ignore it and cast it down, or you can choose to begin thinking about it. If you make the mistake to begin dwelling on a bad thought, it will begin to affect your body, soul, and spirit. It will have an effect upon you. The more we dwell on wrong thoughts, the more junk we bring into our own lives.

IF YOU ARE DEPRESSED, and I say this in love, no one is making you be depressed. If you are not happy, no one is forcing you to be unhappy. If you are negative and have a bad attitude, no one is making you be that way. The first step to victory is to recognize that you have elected to think on those things.

Some people say, “My circumstances have me down and you don’t know what I am going through.” With all due respect, your circumstances don’t really have you down. YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES HAVE YOU DOWN. You can be in one of the biggest battles of your life and still be filled with joy and peace and victory if you simply learn how to choose the right thoughts.

I want to challenge all of you today, especially if you are down and discouraged, or if you are struggling with anything. Take a good look inside and see what you are choosing to think about. What are you choosing to allow your mind to dwell upon? What do you choose to go to bed thinking and what do you choose to hit the floor thinking? What are you choosing to allow your mind to do to you? It comes down to choices we make. (VIDEO)

Some people say, “Well as soon as my situation turns around, I will cheer up then.” “As soon as I get out of this mess then I will get a better attitude.” Friends, you have it backwards. If you will cheer up first, God will begin to turn your situation around. As long as you have a poor defeated outlook, you will live a poor defeated life.

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he

Our lives follow our thinking. As you believe you are, that will you be. You will never be depressed unless you first allow yourself to think depressing thoughts. You can never be defeated unless you first allow the enemy to defeat you in your own mind. If you think thoughts of failure, you are destined to fail. If you think thoughts of mediocrity, you will live an average mediocre life. But if your thoughts are God’s thoughts and you align your thinking with God’s word, which is what you will become. If you begin thinking that God said you are an Overcomer and a conqueror, you will overcome and conquer. He said that you could do all things through Christ who gives you the victory. He said he always causes you to triumph. When we dwell on those thoughts of victory and favor and faith and power and strength, then there is no way the enemy can keep you in defeat. You are destined for good things and for God’s supernatural intervention in your life.

In Judges 6, the Bible tells us about a man named Gideon. It was a time when the people of God were enslaved to the Midianites. Gideon was a depressed coward hiding in a winepress threshing out a little wheat when an angel of the Lord came to Gideon.

Judges 6:12 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valor.

The Lord thought of Gideon as a mighty man of valor. The Lord thought of Gideon as a mighty man who would lead the people to victory over their enemies. The Lord thought of Gideon as an overcomer and a conqueror, but that was not how Gideon thought of himself.

Judges 6:15 And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.

Gideon said my family’s poor and they are nobodies and I am the least of the nobodies. This is how my parents lived and how my friends live and it’s how I live. As long as Gideon thought that way, then that is the way it was. But God had something better for Gideon. God has something better for you too.

I think about my life. I don’t know exactly what happened to me. My dad had a 6th grade education and my mom had a 10th grade education. I have several degrees. They always lived in a sort of poverty mentality. I just couldn’t live like that. I had to change my thinking to live the life I wanted to live.

God began to do a work on Gideon to change the way he thought. First he assured Gideon that God would be with him. He wanted Gideon to focus upward on higher things, not downward on life as is. As we read the story about Gideon, we begin to notice how Gideon’s thinking and confidence changed. Finally, Gideon was able to say,

Judges 7:15 . . . Get up! The LORD has given the Midianite camp into your hands.

Judges 7:18 When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.

In other words, Gideon was thinking of himself as a mighty man of valor. Once Gideon believed he was a mighty man of valor, he was. Gideon took 300 men and defeated the innumerable army of enemies. Suddenly, what was impossible became possible because of Gideon’s thinking. Gideon took the gold and silver and plundered the enemies. As you read the rest of the story of the life of Gideon, you see that he was no longer a coward hiding in a winepress grinding out a little flour. He became the mighty man of valor that he was supposed to be. He stepped into the abundant life that God had planned for him. It all began with his thinking.

God wants to do that for you and me. Are we experiencing the abundant life? Or, do we cower down and beat us out a little life in fear the enemy will steal it from us. Do thoughts keep you captive? What thoughts do you about yourself? Are you beating out a little flour when you could be living the abundant life that God has planned for you? God said you are more than a conqueror.

Romans 8:37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

We need to know that the Lord is with us and that he wants us to be successful.

The Bible tells us about Moses. He was on the backside of the desert tending sheep, but that was not God’s plan for Moses. God told Moses he wanted him to go and help set his people free. Moses began giving excuses because that was how he thought of himself. Moses thought of himself as a failure and one who had been dealt a bad hand of life. He had a “woe is me mentality.” He thought, ‘Look what I tried to do for people and look what it got me.’ Here is how Moses thought of himself.

Exodus 3:11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”

Exodus 4:1 Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?”

Exodus 4:10 Moses said to the LORD, “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

Moses could not fulfill his destiny until he adjusted his thinking. God thought of Moses as the deliverer. Moses saw himself as insignificant. You know how the story went. Once Moses adjusted his thinking, he became the great deliverer that he was destined to be.

I want to tell you today that God has no insignificant children. God has a great plan for your life and the only thing that can stop it is your thinking.

If you think of yourself as a failure and a nobody then that is how you will spend your life. But if I can challenge you today to adjust your thinking, you can experience the abundant life that God has for you. Look out there and see what God has for you and then adjust your thinking according. Get rid of old thinking that corrupts you and holds you back.

Ephesians 4:22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;

Ephesians 4:23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds;

(TLB) Ephesians 4:23 Now your attitudes and thoughts must all be constantly changing for the better.

The ‘new man’ does not simply appear. The abundant life will not simply appear. We can’t experience God’s abundant life if we hold onto our old ways of thinking. There are some things that we must do. We must put off those old corrupted thoughts. Stop thinking about all your bad stuff and how things are never going to get better. Put off that old stuff and develop a fresh new attitude. Change your way of thinking

It’s all about focus. What is your mind focused upon? Is it a good focus, or is it a negative focus?

Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

We must keep focused on what God has for us. The Bible says that is what Jesus did. He was able to experience all that God had for him because he focused. If we are not focused we will be wearied and think negatively in our minds.

Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

(Amplified) Col 3:2 And set your minds {and} keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.

We have to keep our minds set on the higher thoughts. We must realize that we haven’t yet experienced all that God has for us. What do you want in life? What does God want from your life? I know one thing. It is a higher life than you have now. I believe that I have more to experience. We want to find what it is and focus.

Some people go through their entire lives deceived by the thief. They continually allow the thief to steal their abundant life by his use of negative thoughts. They are constantly complaining. They are always finding fault. They are always focused on the negative. They wonder why they can’t ever live in any kind of victory. They don’t understand that they are losing the battle in their very own minds.

Our life is like an automobile. We have a forward gear, a reverse gear, and, in the center, we have a neutral. We can decide which way we want to go. It doesn’t take any more effort to go forward than it does to go backward. Our thought process determines it all. We determine which way our lives will go by our thoughts. If you will choose forward and keep your mind on the good things of God then all the forces of hell cannot stop you. But if we decide to think the negative, we have put the car in reverse and we back away from the abundant life that God had planned for us.

I want you to make a decision with me today that we are going to keep our minds set on the higher thoughts.

RELATIONSHIPS MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN HOW WE THINK. There is a story about two farmers. One farmer was positive and one negative. When it would rain the positive farmer would say thank you Jesus for the rain. The negative farmer would say, if this rain keeps up we will have weeds and won’t be able to work the crops. If the sun were out the positive farmer would thank God for the sunshine. The negative farmer would say if this keeps up our crops are going to dry up and burn away. He always focused on the negative. One day they went duck hunting together. The positive farmer had a retriever that he couldn’t wait to show off. They were out in the boat and a duck came by. They shot and the duck came down. The dog jumped out of the boat and miraculously ran across the top of the water, picked up the duck, and brought it back and laid it in the boat. The positive farmer was so proud and said, “What did you think about that?” The negative farmer said, “Just as I thought. That dog can’t even swim.”

Do you know people like that? I can’t be around people like that. I refuse to be around people like that. I want to focus on the positive. How about you? One of the most important elements of getting our thoughts higher is by being around correct relationships.

(TLB) 1 Corinthians 15:33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things. If you listen to them you will start acting like them.

Psychologists tell us that our lives move in the direction of our most dominant thoughts. What have you been thinking about? If you have been thinking about higher thoughts then you are moving in the direction of blessing, abundance, peace, joy, and good things.

Learn to dwell on the good and not the bad. Reprogram your thinking.

Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is ‑ his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Our lives are transformed by renewing the way we think. If you will transform your mind you will transform your life. If you will have a positive mind, you will have a positive life. Some people have dug a very deep negative thought life. You have been thinking about things you should not be thinking about. You need to make a quality decision today to keep your minds set on the good things of God. Begin thinking the best. Get out of bed each day and expect good things to happen.

Psalms 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Deuteronomy 28:2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.

You are a child of the most high God. We have blessings waiting.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

Let me challenge you again to guard your minds. The quality of life you experience begins with your thinking. Your life follows your thoughts. The way we think affects our bodies, souls, and spirits. Choose good thoughts. Allow God to transform your thinking like he did Gideon and Moses. Focus on the good. Don’t be around people who think wrong thoughts. God will take you places that you can’t imagine. He will do more than you can ask or think. You will live that abundant life that rightfully belongs to you.

Other Related Sermons:

The Good Shepherd – sermon video audio notes

Success and Maintaining the Dream – sermon video audio notes

Also see:

Sermons Change The World

Life Gate Church sermons by Delbert Young