Begin the Journey
The Properties of Thought:
You are What You Think
Welcome to Week Four of The 40 Day Soul Fast!
We are already nearing the halfway mark in our eight-week series! This is where the rubber really begins to meet the road!
Hopefully by now you have a better understanding of the nature of your soul. As the seat of your mind, will, and emotions, your soul is the navigational center of your life.
You can harness your thoughts like a sailor harnesses the winds to take you wherever you want to go. In the words of poet William Ernest Henley, “[You] are the master of your fate, [you] are the captain of your soul!”
In his timeless classic, As A Man Thinketh, James Allen observed, “All that a man achieves or fails to achieve is a direct result of his own thoughts.”
Believe it or not, your life moves in the direction of your thoughts. Thoughts are the ever-present currents that move you either closer or further away from your best future.
This is what makes faith so powerful –- “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen” (Hebrews 11:1).
The hopes and dreams you allow to fill your mind have the power to transform the world around you.
“What you think has the power to transform your life.”
You’ve heard me say that God speaks to you at the speed of thought . . . and that thought moves at the speed of light. As quickly as light illuminates a room, a single thought can illuminate your life. You are always only one thought away from living the life of your dreams—one decision away from changing your destiny.
Like short-wave radio signals, your thoughts send messages out on a specific frequency and are transmitted back to you as an experience or occurrence in your life. Your thoughts create a magnetic field around you—attracting either positive or negative experiences.
What you think has the power to literally transform your life.
Your life is what your thoughts make it. James Allen wrote that a person “will find that as he alters his thoughts toward things and other people, things and other people will alter towards him.” This is the basic premise of the Law of Attraction.
“The energy created by our thoughts either attracts or repels the energy of what we experience as a result.”
The Law of Attraction is based on the principle that we attract into our lives whatever we focus on as a result of the energy that is exchanged in the process. Because all matter—seen and unseen—is comprised of energy, the energy created by our unseen thoughts either attracts or repels the energy matter of what we ultimately see and experience as a result.
This phenomena is rooted in the findings of quantum physics—which found that nothing in the universe is static due to the fact that all matter is vibrating energy—raw energy that responds to the vibrations of our thoughts, so that consequently “what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen” (Hebrews 11:3 nlt). To repeat, it is the essence of faith: “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 nkjv).
Everything you see began in the unseen realm. The first book of the Bible tells us that God spoke the earth into existence—“the worlds were framed by the word of God” (Hebrews 11:3). Yet before God’s word ever was there were His thoughts. The source of all energy—and all matter—is the mind of God. The Creator—the Great Imaginarian—in Whose image you were created.
Your thoughts are powerful. If you want to change your life, you must change your thoughts. If you want to unstick or unclutter your life, you must first unstick and unclutter your thoughts.
“What you invest mental energy in is what you tie your soul to, both positively and negatively.”
How are unhealthy soul toxins and debilitating soul ties created in the first place? How can you end up cluttering your soul simply by the thoughts that you think?
It is due to this exchange of energy that takes place when you give something your attention, entertain it in your mind, meditate upon it, and talk about it. What you invest mental energy in is what you tie your soul to, both positively and negatively.
As currents of electricity create electromagnetic fields connecting positive or negative charges, your thoughts create similar fields. Your positive thoughts attract positive attachments; your negative thoughts attract negative attachments. Whatever your soul can conceive, there is potential for attachment. As a mother will form attachments to the life conceived within her, so your soul forms attachments to whatever it conceives.
The seed of a thought, like the seed of a life, when planted will always result in an exchange of energy and therefore some kind of an attachment. Whether aborted or stillborn, an exchange of energy has taken place.
An exchange takes place through investments of time, energy, attention, and action in the form of thoughts, deeds, or words. Exchanges can be both intentional and unintentional.
Sometimes we can be completely oblivious to what we’ve attached our souls—something may have taken hold in our mind because we inadvertently paid attention to it for too long. I believe this is why Isaiah stated, “he who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed, and shuts his eyes from seeing evil . . . will dwell on high” (Isaiah 33:15-16).
You have to be careful about what you pay attention to—what you spend time and energy thinking about and dwelling upon. Your life will move in the direction of what you contemplate. As it says in Proverbs, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23 NLT). What consumes your thoughts gives you a good indication of what ties your soul.
“Whatever you harbor in the innermost corridors of your thought-life will, sooner or later, reveal itself in the outer arena of your present experience.”
Our thoughts, intentions, motivations, and aspirations—whether they be secretly pondered in the heart, openly declared as a desire, or formally written as goals—mold and shape our personal universe into something either grand and beautiful or base and hideous. Whatever you harbor in the innermost corridors of your thought-life will, sooner or later, reveal itself in the outer arena of your life.
Whatever is hidden will eventually be brought to light. First Corinthians 4:5 states that God “will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart.” Just as a seed is for a time hidden underground, it will eventually breakthrough the surface and it’s true essence will ultimately be revealed.
Everything you see in the natural began as a spiritual seed—a thought.
The temporal realm has its roots in the spiritual. Grabbing hold of this profound spiritual truth will enable you to make some critical connections that can transform your life.
Once you understand that the spiritual realm is the “causal realm,” you will begin to grasp the massive power of your thoughts, ideas, words, and prayers—spiritual things that engineer, mold, and craft the current and future state of your temporal existence.
Proverbs tells us, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he,” (Proverbs 23:7). Your outer world is a direct result of your inner world.
Every circumstance in life is a result of a choice—and every choice is the result of a thought. All those things that fill your mind hold the keys to your reality. Make it a habit to examine what your thoughts are chasing after.
We must learn to harness our thoughts if we are to effectively reign as kings and priests in this earth. We must understand who we were created to be as children of God and the authority we have in Christ. We have inherited the kingdom and been given dominion over all our adversaries—and we must think like it!
“The first thing we must do to take possession of God’s promises is take possession of our thoughts.”
We are told in Ephesians 6:12 that our fight is not with flesh and blood, but with powers and principalities—a fight that can’t be won with our hands, only with our minds. You must become as skilled in your thoughts as a swordsman is with his sword. Taking control of your thoughts will cause you to gain control of your life. That is what putting on the armor of God is all about. (See Ephesians 6:14-17.)
Therefore, the first thing we must do in taking possession of God’s promises is to take possession of our thoughts. This might not appear to require a great deal of skill or effort, let alone training or practice, but there is only one thing harder to master than your thoughts and that is your tongue! (See James 3:8.)
Winning the battle in your thought-life requires meditating daily on the truths found in Scripture, studying the Word of God so you are able to prove yourself when necessary, and becoming an earnest and life-long student of the art of spiritual warfare.
Throughout the New Testament we are told that our battles do not take place in the temporal realm but in the spiritual realm. We are told in nearly every epistle, “fear not, only believe” (Mark 5:36), “gird up the loins of your mind” (1 Peter 1:3), “renew your mind” (Romans 12:2), and “put on the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). We are taught in Romans that to “set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).
“If you do not take control of your inner thoughts you will become a slave to the outer circumstances created by the storms raging in your mind.”
We are instructed to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” because “the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds . . . every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
Every battle is won or lost in the arena of your mind.
If you do not take control of your inner thoughts you will become a slave to the outer circumstances created by the storm raging in your mind. The divine spirit within you won’t be driving your life, the changing weather and currents of your thought-life will. You must command your thoughts as Jesus commanded the sea. (See Luke 8:24.)
Don’t Underestimate The Power Of Your Thoughts
Whatever your predominant focus is, that is what you give permission to exist in your life. Jabez chose to focus on his future desires rather than his present circumstances.
Many times people focus on the negative and they live in a cycle of negativity. You have to choose to focus on the positive. You have to train your mind to think on whatever is honest, virtuous, and praiseworthy. (See Philippians 4:8.)
Whatever is going wrong in your life is a result of your focus. If you don’t like something you are experiencing, change your focus.
In Genesis 13:14-18, God taught Abraham something about focus. He told him to look at the territory he was giving him, to walk the land in every direction, and visualize the expanse of his legacy. He took him to the seashore, had him run sand through his fingers, and said, “For every grain of sand, you will have a descendant.”
What did God train Abraham to do? He trained him to focus on bigger thoughts. He taught him how to visualize his destiny.
If you plan to change your future, do not focus on things or people or circumstances that are smaller than what you are truly desiring. Your focus will either feed your faith or confirm your fears. Learn to think like Abraham. Think intentionally, generationally, and even globally. You can never think too big or God!
You must also train your mind to think in the present—to think positively in the present tense (in grammatical terms that would be “the present perfect”). Think about the thing you want, what you hope to achieve, the person you plan to marry, and so on, as if you are already in possession of what you desire. Condition your mind to accept these thoughts and you will draw these opportunities and experiences to yourself.
Your success and prosperity hinge on what lies within your mind.
Sometimes the first thing you need to change is what you think God wants for you. He wants you to live a life of abundance. It is His desire to give you divine universal secrets to great success and prosperity.
There are many people who may not be as spiritual as you are, but nevertheless they have been able to tap into something great. Whether by accident or providence, they are living lives beyond their wildest dreams, and you can too. You must say to yourself, until this one fact becomes your conviction, “God wants me to live in abundance!”
A world of possibilities is waiting to be released “if you can but only believe.” Jesus said in Mark 9:23, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
“Every great achievement begins as a thought.”
In Genesis 11, the people thought to themselves that they could build a tower to heaven, and because they saw this tower in their minds they were able to build it. God stopped them by causing confusion and making it impossible for them to communicate, because the tower became an idol to them. Nevertheless, this story wonderfully illustrates the power of our thoughts: “Nothing they have imagined they can do will be impossible for them” (Genesis 11:6).
Man begins with a concept in his mind, something he believes he is able to accomplish; he joins his will and intellect to his imagination, and then the power of expectation sees it through. Every great achievement begins as a thought in the imagination of a person. Every thought is birthed in the spirit. Achievement, therefore, is a spiritual process.
Based on your ability to harness your imagination, life’s opportunities either shrink or expand. Albert Einstein said, “I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
Imagination drives the engine of innovation, discovery, problem solving, and peace making.
Whatever can be imagined already exists; it simply exists in another dimension—in another form or substance—and that is the source of all inspiration.
God conceived and by His Spirit spoke into existence all that is. He brought what already was in the spiritual into the temporal by the power of His Word. He breathes that creative force—His very Spirit—into a human being at the moment a person receives that Word into their heart.
It is His Spirit—the creative power of His Word—within an individual that gives inspiration and understanding of what already exists in the spiritual realm. “There is a spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand” (Job 32:8). That spirit in you has always existed—it is eternal—and it is the source of all revelation and inspiration.
“Inspirational thoughts are God’s way of finding expression through the minds of ordinary men and women.”
Our lives are built by a series of thoughts, much like bricks are used to build a house. The bricks are what bring the structure forth from a piece of paper and make it three-dimensional. As a man thinks in his heart—in the present active continuum—as he continues to think—he builds his life one brick at a time.
Your every present thought is a significant building block in determining the quality of your future. Many of us build lives like shanties while others build mansions. If your thoughts are inferior your life will be inferior, but if your thoughts are lofty and honorable you are laying the foundation to live accordingly.
Purpose to think inspired thoughts. Inspiration is a God thing. Inspiration is God Himself speaking into the heart of a human being. Inspirational thoughts are God’s way of finding expression through the minds of ordinary men and women. According to Isaiah 29:11, God’s thoughts are always good and not evil. I want to remind you that God is up to something good, and He has you in mind.
Enlarge Your Territory
There is a direct correlation between the quality of your thoughts and the quality of your life. What you think determines who you are, it determines what you are, where you go, what you acquire, where you live, who you love, where you work, what you accomplish, what you read, and so on.
You will never have more, or go further, or accomplish greater things than your thoughts will allow you. Therefore, you must create an opulent thinking environment in order to create an opulent life.
When you alter your thoughts, you alter your life. Your life is a reflection of your most dominant thoughts and meditations. When you meditate on success, you live a successful life.
“Use your thoughts like an architect uses a blueprint. Think about every detail.”
The trouble for most people is that they don’t know exactly what success would look like for them as individuals, or more importantly, what it would feel like personally. It is not enough to just meditate on success generally—you need to be specific.
Become the architect of your future. Use your thoughts like an architect uses a blueprint. Think about every detail. An architect not only thinks about the rooms in a house, but the types of windows, the size of closets, the location of outlets, and so on. Nothing is too insignificant. Think big! Think detailed!
If you want to progress in life, you’ve got to think progressive thoughts. To do so, something new must replace the old. You’ve got to think beyond where you are.
Alexander Graham Bell thought beyond the limitation of the dots and dashes of the Morse code, and went on to replace the telegraph when he invented the telephone. Become a visionary—be creative. Take the limits off your mind!
This is the challenge of creative thinking—you’ve got to open the spiritual channels of your mind so that God can download divine creative thoughts into your brain. When other people were unable to see what was going on in heaven, Jesus could.
Spend some quality time with God and ask him to enlarge your capacity for thinking and imagining—ask him to help you take the limits off. That’s what Jabez did.
In Chronicles 4:10, Jabez prayed, “Oh that you would bless me and enlarge my territory.” Not only did Jabez ask God to expand the capacity of his mind, but he asked God to protect it as well. He prayed to the Lord that, “Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain.” Jabez knew that every evil thought he conceived would ultimately bring forth pain.
Do yourself—and the world—a tremendous favor by getting the toxins out of your soul by taking control of your thought life.
This week we are focusing on the characteristics of beauty, effortlessness, authenticity, focus, and order. Take some time to think about and discuss:
- What your thoughts are on your thoughts.
- How have you experienced “thinking for a change” in your own life?
Proverbs 4:23-27 MSG: Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust.