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Weekly Wisdoms for the week of November 5, 2012

Life transformation is rooted in mind transformation.

Where your mind goes, your actions follow. Whatever you think about will dictate your behavior, your attitude, and (ultimately) your direction in life. Your thoughts are sort of like a rudder—they steer the rest of your body.

Considering the influence of your mind on your life, it's no surprise Paul emphasizes that in order for our lives to be changed by Christ our thoughts must first be changed by Him: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2). How are we to be transformed? By renewing (changing, refocusing) our minds so that they reflect the mind of Christ.

If our minds are so important, then it's quite understandable that the devil would fight to gain a foothold in our thoughts. Paul writes, in 2 Corinthians 4:4, The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

What better place for the devil to attack people than in their minds? As thunder follows lighting, so actions follow thoughts. And if Satan can turn your thoughts against God, your actions will assuredly follow.

Therefore, it's imperative that you set your minds on things above, not on earthly things (Colossians 3:2). And when you focus your mind on God, it's only a matter of time before your actions, your passions, your attitudes—your whole life—become focused on God.

Not every good idea is a God idea.

What God may tell your friend to do might be a terrible thing for you to do. For example, say you start doing something because someone else says it is a good idea, but you find it a struggle. In that case, you may be struggling because God hasn't given you the grace to do what your friend told you to do. In other words, just because other people tell you to do "good" things, doesn't necessarily mean you should.

Furthermore, if God instructs you to do something, be assured that His plan is better than any other plan you could have. For example, God's plan for Jonah was for him to "go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it" (Jonah 1:2). However, Jonah didn't like that, and so he came up with his own idea: Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish (Jonah 1:3). To Jonah, running away to Tarshish seemed like a much better plan than traveling to Nineveh. But it wasn't God's plan. And so Jonah's plan failed miserably as will any plan that is against God's plan. Jonah ended up in so much trouble as a result of his plan that he realized he should have followed God's plan in the first place (Jonah 3:1-3). In short, Jonah's "good" idea was anything but a God idea.

In your life today, don't do what sounds "good" to you; instead, do what God tells you to do. Stop following "good" plans and start following God's plans.