The Battle for the Mind: Week 3
The Battle for the Mind: Week 3
This week we will look at Reframing our thoughts.
Reframing – creating a different way of looking at something by changing its meaning.
The Apostle Paul was a great example of this practice and discipline. What we know about Paul:
- He was a devout Jew who became a powerful and influential Pharisee. Phil.3:4-5
- He hated Christians and persecuted them. Acts 7:57-58, 9:1-2
- He had a radical encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus (named was changed from Saul to Paul). Acts 9:4-6
- Paul became one of the most influential writers in Scripture, writing 13 books of the New Testament.
- He lived a courageous life, preaching the gospel in the face of great hardship.
1. Paul did not define himself by his past mistakes.
Acts 9:1-2 (ESV)
- If anyone could say “I’ve done too much to be forgiven,” Paul could!
- We have a predisposed filter based on our past that God wants to change.
- God’s word says that we ARE NOT defined by our past! We are defined by our relationship with Jesus and His future promises.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
- Being a “New Creation” means we are changed and we are being changed by God!
- Even though Paul was born again, He had to face many relational consequences for his past.
- Without repentance and ownership of our actions, we won’t change how we think and act.
- Fact – consequences do not change your standing before God if you are in Christ!
- Don’t let your past mistakes control your thought life. Attack the lies and reframe them in your new identity in Christ! 2 Corinthians 10:5, Galatians 2:20
2. Paul saw the bigger picture in his circumstances.
Philippians 1:12-13 (ESV) I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, 13 so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ.
- Paul didn’t ask the question “WHY”. Instead he asked the question “WHAT.”
- Paul reframed his focus from his hard life in jail to looking for opportunities that God was giving him there. Because of Paul’s faithfulness, many people’s eternity was changed.
- You can’t often control what happens to you but you can control how you think about it.
3. Paul’s frame of mind included the future.
Philippians 3:13-14 (ESV)
- How do we reframe the past? Repentance, forgiveness and replacement with what lies ahead.
- Straining forward takes great effort.
- I have a goal in mind – God’s call on my life.
Romans 8:18 (NIV) I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
- My relationship with God far outweighs any human relationship I may be struggling with. 1 Peter 1:3-4
- Our inheritance in Christ can’t perish, it can’t spoil, and it can’t fade away.
We each have drama, challenges, hard things going on. How do we reframe our circumstances?
1. Reframe your thought life with eternity in mind.
- “The world is so bad & I want to isolate” vs. ‘God wants to use me for his Kingdom work.’
- I am surrounded by great opportunity to give grace and show the love of Christ each day!
2. Reframe by thanking God for what has NOT happened.
- ‘I got in a car accident and wrecked my car.’ vs. ‘Thank You God! I am safe, I could have been badly hurt.’
3. Decide in advance how you will reframe a situation before entering in.
- ‘This meeting is going to be full of conflict.’ vs. ‘I’m going to listen well & try to truly understand another’s perspective, be kind and look for the Holy Spirit to bring peace.’
4. Reframe by looking for the goodness of God.
- God wants none to be lost, so I will yield myself before Him to be used as a vessel of His goodness to all those I come in contact with.
What filter in your life needs changing?
How will you reframe a circumstance or pattern in your life to align it with God’s truth and will?
Small Group Discussion:
Scriptures to consider: 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, Ephesians 4:17-25, Proverbs 3:5-6, Hebrews 3:12-14 Philippians 3
- What is something you own that you would like to replace and what would you replace it with?
- Read Philippians 3:12-16. Is there something behind you that you would like to forget? What is it?
- What are some thoughts you would like to take captive? (2 Cor. 10:3-5). What truth would you replace them with?
- Ephesians 4:17-25 tells us to put away falsehood and speak the truth with our neighbor. How are you using/allowing the body of Christ to help you replace your flawed thinking?
- What is something true that you can encourage someone else with, in the group? (Hebrews 3:12-14)
- Read chapter 4 of Philippians
- Write a note or send a text of encouragement to someone in your group this week and pray for them.
For more resources go to: https://bit.ly/Mindbattle