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Thinking Our Way to Success - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
September 3, 2022 12:00 am

Thinking Our Way to Success - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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September 3, 2022 12:00 am

Your thoughts have the power to affect the quality of your life.

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Welcome to this weekend's In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley. How can you be certain if you're on your way to achieving what God has in mind for you? Today, we'll learn how to stay on track and thrive as the series Success God's Way continues. Our mind is the organ of our thought. With it we think, we know, we imagine, we remember, we understand. Every single thing that you see around you began first of all with a thought. All of the creation was first of all a thought in the mind of God. Every material or physical thing created by man first began with a thought in the mind of man. Our thoughts determine whether we succeed or whether we fail in life.

That's how awesome, how powerful these thought impulses are. They determine whether we succeed or whether we fail in life. The title of this message is Thinking Our Way to Success. And I want you to turn, if you will, to Philippians chapter four.

He says finally in verse eight of chapter four, Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things. Let your mind dwell on these very positive characteristics. Now, when I think about the whole idea of thinking our way to success, I want us to think about the fact, first of all, if we're going to succeed in life, we have to recognize the power of our thoughts. The Bible says that we are the result of the way we think.

We are the result of what we think. And that our minds are the compilations of all these things we've been thinking about. And the apostle Paul certainly believed that because if you recall, he said in Philippians chapter two, that fifth verse, he said, listen to this, Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. What was he referring to? He's talking about the character of Christ. And he goes on to talk about how Jesus was and had the spirit of a servant.

So he said, Let this mind be in you, which was also in him, which was the spirit of a servant. Now, what is he saying? This is the way you used to live, but now you don't think that way anymore. He says, Consider yourself dead to those things. If I'm dead to something, I don't think about it. When he says lay something aside, he means don't think about that anymore.

Don't allow that in your life anymore. So when you think about the power of thoughts, Paul is stating here in different ways, the fact that our thoughts will determine our character, those thoughts that we allow to lay there, those thoughts that we allow to just abide there, those thoughts that we allow in our mind and in our heart, those things that we think about, we dwell on those things. He said, Dwell on these good characteristics because that's what your character will be like. And so when you think about how important our thoughts are, first of all, the way we think determines our character.

The second thing I want you to notice about how important it is, is this. That is, it determines the decisions we make in life. The way we think and what we think determines the decisions that you and I make in life. Now, when you think about that, I think about it in this way, that my mind is the steering wheel of my life.

The way I think about life and myself and circumstances is the way I'm going to be guided. That is, my body and my actions and my attitudes are going to be governed by the way I think. Very important because our thought impulses are powerful. They influence and impact every aspect of our life.

They're the sum total of what we are today. What we're going to be tomorrow is the result of the way we're thinking today. Therefore, our thoughts determine our actions and when we think in terms of the decisions we make, every decision you and I make in life is the result of the way we are thinking at that moment about that decision, about those circumstances, about ourselves or all the things that we see or think that are involved in that decision. Because you see, the thoughts you and I hold in our mind will govern our actions and our attitude.

Now listen carefully. Who decides how you think about yourself? You do. You and I are responsible for the way we think about ourselves. We have the choice of thinking good thoughts about ourselves or we have the choice of thinking bad thoughts about ourselves. You say, but when people reject you and they treat you this way and they treat you the other way, you know what? You don't have to accept their treatment.

You don't have to think the way they think about you. If we allow other people to do our thinking for us, we allow them to think in our behalf and we pick up on their thinking, we allow them to drag us down. For example, you go to work in the morning and you're just feeling fantastic and you walk in, the first thing you hit is somebody says, this place is a wreck. This is a dirty place. This is a bad place to work. I wish they'd get their act together around here.

If they had any decent employers and they treat us right and they care anything about us at all, they'd give us something to work with. I'm really ashamed about this place. You know what? If everybody chimes in with that next thing you know, you know what you're going to be saying? Yeah, that's right. Yeah, that's exactly right.

You know, this is a, you know what I'm going to get me another job. And what's happened is you've allowed somebody else's thinking to get into your mind and you didn't say, I think I will think the way they think. I think I will choose to think the way they think. No, you allowed your mind to absorb and come to the surface.

Next thing you know, you're parroting stuff that you aren't even thinking whatsoever. Therefore, we have to be careful that someone else does not program our thinking and someone else's thoughts don't become our thoughts because what happens is this. Their thoughts become powerful instruments of negative attitude that will affect your thinking because, I want to say it again, you cannot see yourself any other way than the way you imagine yourself to be.

That is, if I think about being a child of God, loved by God, I'm going to act that way. If I think about the fact that I'm rejected by God and I'm guilt and the wrath of God's coming on me, then I'm going to think that way. Our thoughts are powerful impulses that govern and guide and direct and any, listen, any thought allowed to dominate my mind is going to dominate and control my attitudes and my actions.

Likewise, our thoughts are so powerful they determine our relationships in life. They determine my relationship to God. If my thoughts are God is a judge, God is keeping score, God knows that I'm not perfect, I know that I'm guilty, He knows that I'm guilty, God's displeased with me because I didn't read the Bible. I didn't keep up my Bible study this morning. God's displeased with me because last night I was so dead tired I hit the bed and I was gone.

I was just absolutely gone. We can think up a whole lot of negative stuff in our thought patterns about God. When I think about people who listen to all kinds of legalistic preaching or teaching and it's brow beating and God is this and God's a judge and He's keeping score and the Ten Commandments and if you're not living up to Him and after a while God becomes this awful judge up there who's just waiting to pounce on me. But if I see Him as a loving Father, forgiving and kind and generous and gentle, then my relationship with Him is going to be different.

I'm going to want to pray because I'm talking to a loving Father. In my relationships to others, if my thoughts about myself are negative, I'm going to expect negative return from them. And therefore, it's going to be difficult to build any kind of relationships whatsoever because I don't feel like I'm worth it. Don't feel like you'd want to have a relationship with me. Don't feel like you'd like me.

Don't feel like you'd be pleased and if you knew all about me that I know about me, surely you wouldn't like me. And so therefore, our thoughts have an awesome effect upon us. And I think about how this translates into a relationship between parents and their children. When parents say to children, who do you think you are today anyway? Why do you think you can do that?

I'm ashamed of you. What that parent is doing is that parent is injecting very negative thoughts that will go to that child's mind into their emotions. And you know what? I'm going to show you before this message is over how absolutely awesomely powerful any kind of thought is in a person's life. And what we don't realize is we don't realize how other people manage us, govern us. God is in our life because we accept thoughts that are destructive. We accept thoughts that are imprisoning. We accept thoughts that put us into bondage. We accept thoughts that steal our freedom and cheat us out of becoming the persons God wants us to be. So we have to be very careful about those kind of thoughts.

Now, I want to say also these thoughts are so powerful. They will determine whether you and I succeed or fail in life. So we've said, first of all, they determine our character. They determine the decisions we make. These thoughts, they determine our relationships in life. They will determine whether you and I succeed or fail in life. Remember, real, genuine, true success is achieving, listen, achieving the goal of becoming the person God wants us to be and accomplishing those goals that God has helped us to set in our life.

That's what success is all about. So when Paul says, for example, in Colossians chapter 3, he says, set your mind on the things above. He says, set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. Now, every single one of us has the privilege of choosing, now listen very carefully, we have the privilege of choosing how we're going to think about ourselves. You can see yourself as unattractive and unwanted and undesired. All you have to do is to start thinking that away. Or you can see yourself as attractive, desired and wanted and successful or whatever it might be.

So how does all this work? Now, listen carefully. When the person begins to think, let's say, for example, you have a very definite, definite goal, a very definite purpose in your life. And that very definite purpose is not simply a purpose, but it is a purpose that is mixed with a burning, yearning desire to achieve that purpose. And you mix that with persistence, that you want to work at it no matter what. And then you mix that also with faith. You believe that with God's help, you're going to be able to accomplish that.

And you understand that you have the Spirit of God living on the inside of you to enable you. My friend, there's no reason you cannot succeed at whatever God calls you to do, whether it is being a godly parent, a godly mother, a godly wife or godly husband, out there in business, the president of that corporation, whatever it might be. Listen, God has given us the desire to succeed. He desires that we succeed. And our success primarily depends upon our thinking. How do I think about these things?

What am I to think? If it's a God-given desire, a God-given goal, I should have a strong desire. If it's something God wants me to accomplish, then I should have a burning desire to get it done. And I should be willing to persist in it and to trust Him and to believe that by the power of the Holy Spirit, He will enable me to do it. I begin to think the way God thinks. When I begin to think the way God thinks, then all these negative attitudes, the way some people think about things, I'm going to think different because I have the power to choose how I'm going to think. So I'm going to go back and ask you a question. If you had to make a list today of single words, this is the way I think about myself, I mean honestly and genuinely, nobody sees your list but you, what words would you write down?

What would you write down? Well, let's think about it this way for a moment. If a person has a choice of thinking positively and thinking not simply positive mental attitude but positive faith attitude, our faith is in Almighty God. If I have a choice of thinking that way, a choice of thinking successfully or a choice of thinking doubt, fear and failure, what choice am I going to make?

You say, well, anybody's got the sense to make the other. No, they won't. People all around you are controlled by negative thinking. They are dominated by negative thoughts. They have allowed negative, sinful, wicked, vile thoughts that bring destruction, not success in their life. That's the way they think.

Then they wonder why they think that. You see, if a person thinks I just don't have anything much and I guess I'll never will. I guess I'll just, you know, I see some people out there who are successful and they've got this and they've got, but you know, I guess I just never will have those things in life.

I guess that's just not in it for me. God just didn't, He didn't have me in mind. And you just think all that kind of negative stuff and here's what happened.

Listen, your body, your mind, your body, your actions, your attitudes, your relationship to others, your relationship to God will work out the equivalent to exactly the way you see yourself and think about yourself. Because that's the law of the imagination. That's the law of thinking.

That's what happens. Our body, our actions, our attitudes are going to head in the way we think about ourselves. So if you think I never will, if you think I can't, if you think it'll never happen to me, here's what's going to happen. You're going to act out in such a fashion and relate to other people in such a way the end result is going to be exactly what you think. And you say, well, that's just mind over matter. I'm going to show you a principle in just a moment that is not mind over matter. We're governed by those laws that God has given us.

Listen to this, so simple, so profound, in one little short sentence, He wrapped it all up when He says, as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. So how do we act? We act out. We live out the way we see ourselves.

That's the only way we can. Now, we may pick ourselves up and smile a little bit and say, I'm going to do better and change a few things, but you know what? If I'm still seeing myself that way, I will not change. For example, what in the world is the use of having a New Year's resolution? Somebody says, well, here's my New Year's resolution. If the only thing about a New Year's resolution is this person, here's my New Year's resolution.

Here's what I'm going to do. And so that's what they decide. If you don't change the way you think about what you do and how you do it, you know how long that'll last?

Twenty-four hours, one week, two weeks, I mean outside, way outside thirty days, which I doubt if that would happen. Why? Because here's the reason. Those thoughts that we allow to dominate our mind will dominate our actions, no matter what. I want you to hear that. The attitudes, the thoughts that dominate our mind, the way we think about ourselves, the way we think about things. If it dominates my mind, dominates my actions, dominates my attitudes, dominates my behavior, dominates my conduct. That's the way it's going to happen.

That's the way it's going to be. I want to show you in a moment how true that is. Let's think about the Apostle Paul for a moment. As you think about the Apostle Paul who wrote so many wonderful things about mind and thoughts, would you consider the Apostle Paul a success?

Now let's think about it for a moment. I don't know how old he was when he got saved, but remember, he got struck down the Damascus road and the Spirit of God came upon him and you recall that the Spirit of God filled him and then he knew immediately and even before that he says, And from his mother's womb God had chosen him. And so he begins to preach the gospel. Everywhere he goes, he gets in trouble.

Judaizers are waiting for him and he's fighting all the time. And so you look at his life and you think, well, how would you consider him a success? Would you consider him a success? Say, Amen.

No. Amen. Success. Why? Two thousand years later, this man who stayed in trouble with the world is still impacting, challenging, guiding, directing us through the thoughts God gave him that he passed on to those early churches in those days. Was he a success? Absolutely.

Why? Because he had a definite purpose in life. His definite purpose in life was to get the truth of the gospel to the world of his day.

And that purpose was a burning desire within him. There was a persistence that made it possible for him to be beaten and left in stone for dead. A persistence that allowed him to be beaten many times with rods but to keep going. Tried to assassinate him many times did not stop him. Nothing they did could possibly stop him.

He had a faith in God that was absolutely unshakable. And when you mix a definite sense of direction, a definite purpose, a burning desire within your heart, and you have a persistence to go at it and trusting Almighty God and his power within you, you're going to succeed in whatever God has led you to do. Thank you for listening to Thinking Our Way to Success. We would also like to invite you to join us in celebrating 45 years of God's faithfulness. Stop by InTouch.org slash 45 years to learn more. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-02 19:36:38 / 2023-03-02 19:44:27 / 8

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