Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
Did you catch that? As a person thinks in their heart, so are they. This means we are what we think. A great example of this is the Boston Red Sox who went 86 years between World Series victories from 1918-2004. They lost in the playoffs in so many heartbreaking and tragic ways, many of their fans and those within the organization believed they were cursed. They believed they would always find a way to mess up and lose in the playoffs. This belief system often created self-fulfilling prophecies where a ball would go between a players legs in the 9th inning of a World Series game or they would give up a 5 run lead in the 8th inning of a playoff game to the Yankees.
When the Red Sox finally did the win the World Series in 2004, they overcame a 3 games to nothing deficit to the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. What changed? How did they go from being losers that believed they were cursed and always find a way to lose to believing they were winners that would overcome? Look at this quote from starting pitcher Curt Schilling:
“We felt we had them when we won Game 4. Whether we did or not I don’t think was relevant. We believed it. Which was all that really mattered.”
Schilling said what they believed is what mattered. This sounds exactly like as a man thinks in his heart so is he. They believed they would win so they played like winners and won. This is what faith is. Faith sees things before they happen so if we want our lives to be victorious, we must learn to control how we think. Sounds easy, right? Maybe on our good days, but how do we control our thought life on our bad days? I’m glad you asked. Look at Mark 6:52:
For they considered not the miracle of the loaves: for their heart was hardened.
In this story, the disciples panicked in a storm because they stopped considering the miracle of the loaves and fishes that Jesus had performed just a few hours earlier. This means if they would have kept their mind focused on the miracle of the loaves and the fishes when the storm raged, their heart would have stayed sensitive to God and full of faith while they were in the boat.
One of the ways we make sure we think right is by keeping the miraculous things God has done in our lives fresh by thinking and talking about them. We need to rehearse our past victories because they are reminders of God’s faithfulness. This is what the Red Sox did with game 4 of the American League Championship series they won. They remembered this past victory and it propelled them to further victories.
We often call past victories testimonies. The Hebrew word for testimony is aydooth and means to do again with same power and authority. Spiritually, every time we rehearse a past victory we are reminding ourselves of what God did and simultaneously inviting Him to do another miraculous intervention again. How awesome is that?
One of the major keys to thinking the right things when all hell comes against us is to remind ourselves of past victories. Ideally, this would be our own victories, however, if you are young in faith, you may not have any victories yet. If that’s you, read the Bible and testimonies of other people who have had breakthrough in similar situations to the one you are going through. You should also try to cultivate friendships with spiritual mentors who can share their testimonies with you and then rehearse those when you are discouraged. I can speak from personal experience about the power of rehearsing the testimonies of spiritual mentors and friends. When I have done that in the past it causes me to think the right things and always causes faith to rise in my heart.
We are what we think so it’s important to learn to think right so we can keep ourselves in faith and receive the promises God has for us. This keeps our heart sensitive and expectant in a negative world. If would like to learn more about how to control your thought life, check out this message I taught at Grace Life Church. It really encouraged a lot of folks. If you would like to learn more about how the power of our testimony can keep us full of faith by keeping past breakthroughs current, check out this message.
Until next week, keep rehearsing your victories and expect great things from our great God!