Don’t copy the behaviors and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.
(Romans 12:2 NLT)
I’m a huge fan of sunrises and sunsets. To me, they demonstrate God’s limitless creativity and grandeur. Human artists can paint a canvas, but only God can sweep and blend colors across the heavens as He does. Every time I see the sky ablaze with red, pink, orange, and yellow, I direct my thoughts toward Him in praise and worship of who He is—all-powerful, all-wise, holy, loving, and just in every way.
The thoughts we think about God are the most important thing about us. That’s because our thoughts shape our beliefs. Our beliefs influence our behaviors, and our behaviors determine our destiny.
For instance, imagine facing a really tough situation. A cancer diagnosis, perhaps. Or an unexpected job layoff that causes financial stress and perhaps forces a move to a new location. If we think God is truly good, then we’ll believe He cares about every detail of our circumstances and those involved. Our beliefs cause us to turn to Him for help and to trust that He knows our concerns and hears our cries. We pray in faith believing His answer is the best answer. Even though we hurt inside, we experience inner peace for which there’s no human explanation.
On the contrary—imagine facing that really tough situation thinking God doesn’t give a rip about our circumstances or those involved. Our thoughts lead us to believe He’s cruel and untrustworthy. Those beliefs result in our feeling anxious and perhaps angry. We make fear-based decisions believing the outcome rests solely on us because, after all, God doesn’t care. Or so we think.
I can identify countless situations when my behaviors reflected inaccurate thoughts about God. Like when our family entered career missions and I stressed big-time over financial uncertainty. And when He called me to write Moving from Fear to Freedom and I argued with Him for a year because I doubted His ability to equip me for the task. And when I gossiped, ignoring the fact that He could hear every word and would someday hold me accountable for the things I said. Goodness, my list could go on forever.
By human nature, my thoughts about God are much too small and far too inaccurate. Those thoughts influence my beliefs, determine my behaviors and ultimately determine my destiny. I want my destiny to be the one God’s chosen for me, so change must take place. That change begins in my mind. As the Holy Spirit brings my thoughts into alignment with truth, transformation happens.
How about you? How have inaccurate thoughts about God impacted your behaviors?
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