Joyce Meyer – As We Focus

 

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. Proverbs 23:7 (NKJV)

Years ago, I learned an invaluable lesson: Whatever we focus on, we become. That simple statement taught me a great deal.

Wherever we put our energies or our attention, those things will develop. Another way I like to say it is, “Where the mind goes, the man follows!”

If I begin to think about ice cream, I will soon find myself in my car pursuing ice cream. My thought will stir my desires and emotions, and I will make the decision to follow them.

If we focus only on the negative things in our lives, we become negative people. Everything, including our conversation, becomes negative. We soon lose our joy and live miserable lives and it all started with our own thinking.

You might be experiencing some problems in life-not realizing that you are creating them yourself by what you’re choosing to think about. I challenge you to think about what you’re thinking about!

You might be discouraged and even depressed and wonder what caused it. Yet if you will examine your thought life, you will find that you are feeding the negative emotions you are feeling. Negative thoughts are fuel for discouragement, depression, and many other unpleasant emotions.

We should choose our thoughts carefully. We can think about what is wrong with our lives or about what is right with them. We can think about what is wrong with all the people we are in relationship with or we can see the good and meditate on that. The Bible teaches us to always believe the best. When we do that, it makes our own lives happier and more peaceful.

I have a great life and a loving husband and children. And I am privileged to be used by God to bless millions of people around the world through the wonderful ministry He has given me. But life isn’t perfect, and if I had allowed the devil to fill my mind with negative thoughts as he once did long ago, I would have been defeated.

I want to focus on God’s grace and give thanks for all the good things in my life. I don’t want to focus on what I don’t have.

An old friend used to quote this saying: “As you wander on through life, brother, whatever be your goal, keep your eye upon the donut and not upon the hole.” Too many people focus on what’s not there and what’s not right.

All of this is to say that our thoughts largely determine our destiny. Our thoughts also determine our happiness. Proverbs 23:7 is one of my favorite verses. Thoughts are powerful. They aren’t just words that flow through our minds. So it is very important for us to decide what we will allow to rest inside our minds.

We must not forget that the mind is a battlefield. We must always remember that our adversary will use it in any way he possibly can to trap us.

I’m reminded of a man who came to one of our meetings.

He wanted deliverance from viewing pornography. He said that one time he had seen something on the Internet after accidentally logging on to a site that was filled with explicitly sexual pictures. The next day he laughed about it to one of his coworkers. “Who wants to watch that stuff?” he asked.

The next night he was back at the site again. And many nights after that. He purchased sexual material and had it sent to his office. He kept his stash of pornography hidden from his family. “What’s a little thing like that going to do?” he reasoned.

He confessed that the more he saw the images, the more he thought of women as objects, objects for his pleasure. One day his wife said, “I don’t know what’s happened to you, but you can either deal with your attitude or I’m leaving.” His life was rapidly going downhill before he asked for prayer. “I never thought just watching a couple of porno sites like that could be so addictive,” he said. To put it another way, we can’t have a positive life and a negative mind. Our thoughts our focus is what determines where we end up.

Jesus, our friend and Savior, wants our minds to be filled with positive, beautiful, and healthy thoughts. The more we focus on those things, the more readily we defeat Satan’s attacks.

Dear patient and loving God, ask You to forgive me for focusing my thoughts on things that are not pleasing to You. I pray that You will help me fill my mind with thoughts that are clean and pure and uplifting. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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