"Tomorrow is a new day. It’s a fresh start." These were my final thoughts as I drifted off to sleep. I went to bed feeling defeated. Deflated. Pooped, physically, but maybe even more so emotionally and spiritually. I was holding onto a silly offense from earlier in the day. I was cranky. My thoughts were anything but victorious. I was just ready to stick a fork in the day and call it done. I was relieved knowing the following morning would be a refreshing start to a new day! But something happened.
I didn’t wake up refreshed. I actually WOKE UP with firmly knit brows! Before my eyes had fully opened, before I’d even muttered good morning, I'd already thrown my husband a look dagger. I sat sipping my coffee with the same “slumped” over posture and attitude.
Then it hit me, I woke up carrying around yesterdays baggage in my mind, and it showed all over my body!
You see, if we aren't purposeful to manage our thoughts, they WILL manage us. It takes more than just determining to wake up refreshed. There is an action required or those life sucking thoughts will just follow us into the next day. The word tells us to TAKE OFF (verb) the old and put on the new. There is an ongoing, daily application to this verse. We absolutely have to “take off” the thoughts we want freedom from by first recognizing them, speaking them away and then replacing them with truth!
As I sat seeking the Lord that morning, victory came in a moment of clarity. Like a boxer shaking his head as he comes to and refocuses after a sharp right-hook. I shook my head and thought, "Wait! What am I doing?!" All it took was that moment of awakening. I spoke out loud, "No. I see what's going on here. I don't carry those defeating thoughts into today. Y'all gotta go!
Instead, I am going to think about what is good about my morning: I slept. I'm healthy. I'm surrounded by beauty and peace. I can feel and taste hot coffee in my hand. My family is at rest around me. My husband is awake, and healthy, and ready to work. I have a day of blessings in store with my kids. I have a workout ahead that will refresh my mind, body and spirit." Bam. THERE was the refreshment! Literally, like the flip of a switch my mind and thoughts were renewed. Those thoughts were taken captive and redirected to what was true and good.
God understands the battle for our thought life. That’s why the Word is so clear about how we are to think. Philippians 4:8 tells us, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”
Personally, I firmly believe that 90% of our life struggles are the result of nothing more than thoughts. Many of them are not even true or real, and yet, if we don’t take them prisoner and actively hand them over to Jesus, they can actually direct our path in ways that can harm us. This verse in Philippians promises though, that when we practice being aware of our thoughts, and when we practice applying the things we’ve learned from the Lord through His Word, we will receive peace.
Today, as you read this my prayer for you is that you’ll be encouraged. I pray that you enjoy renewed vigor and determination to live each day from a place of intention and action. And, I pray that today we will all make a point to “take it all off” before the Lord and live life as a verb, because refreshment takes action! Amen!? Let’s pray!
Heavenly Father God, we praise you for who you are. You are the God of refreshment, renewal, revival and resolution! Lord, thank you for your grace. Thank you for understanding the daily, sometimes, second to second, thought battle we endure. Thank you for empowering us through your Word to know how to gain victory over thoughts that threaten to weigh us down, hold us back, and steal our joy and peace. Today, as we start our day with you, we ask you for new commitment to action. We ask for renewed strength and endurance. We believe your promises for peace as we daily practice what you’ve taught us. Lord, may our thoughts be pleasing to you. May they be life giving to ourselves and to those around us, all for your glory Lord. We thank you for going ahead of us in the battle and we claim our promised victory in Jesus Christ! It’s in His name we ask and receive! Amen.