Ever heard the saying “let it percolate?” It has the idea of letting something roll around in your mind, of letting it brew and produce something there just as a percolator lets coffee grounds roll around and produce an enlivening drink. We here at CFYC have seen a need, and maybe you have too.
There is an astonishing number of people– especially women– suffering with various degrees of depression, even in the Lord’s church. Divine Percolations is a new monthly feature which aims to help us overcome not only depression, but so many other afflictions which originate in the mind. Romans 12:1,2 urges us to transform our minds, but how do we do that? We let the word of God and what it means for us percolate… let it roll around and brew up a transformed mind and a transformed life. These articles aim to teach you exactly how to do that in particular areas of your life. Together, with prayer and diligence, we can see joy return and grow.
In the first article entitled “Brain Change” we looked at a way to incorporate a change in our thoughts which would produce a change in our actions (Proverbs 23:7a) by using the most powerful words of all– God’s word. The focus in this article is in taking responsibility for not only what we are thinking, but also how we are thinking about those things. It is may seem a subtle difference, but it is one that does matter. Recognizing I do indeed have control in how I think lays an empowering foundation through which God’s strong words give me courage. It stimulates me to engage and analyze my thoughts, taking captive those “to the obedience of Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:5).
You might notice these directives beneath the verses are written in present tense, as though maintaining control of my thoughts has already been achieved. It may feel like a lie you are telling yourself, but actually it is a self-directive of what you have chosen to become. It is the program you desire to have up and running in your mind on a regular basis. If it does make you uncomfortable, the statements can be reformed to “I can…,” “I have the opportunity to…,” “I prefer…,” “I am becoming…” Regardless of whatever spiritual challenge with which I struggle, a healthy dose of repeating these three times each, three times a day is a great beginning to saturating the mind and creating a new pathway of thoughts to alter our behavior. It begins overriding the old messages that are not based in God’s Word. Combining these practices with fervent prayer sets in motion the effecting of an inward transformation. Our confidence in the ability to face our difficulties with God’s strength increases. When we fully realize that productive power is found in the instruction in His Words (Acts 20:32) and the strength of His indwelling Spirit accessed by the prayer of faith (Ephesians 3:16), the opportunity He affords us to become more like His Son is astounding and humbling. Through Him, true change is attainable! (Matthew 19:26; Philippians 4:13)
Here are few scriptures and self-directives that have been a tremendous help to me (all scriptures quoted from NKJV; for detailed instructions on how to make the most of these, please see Brain Change, click here for Printable self directives):
2 Timothy 1:7
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
My mind is constantly in tune with the encouraging wholesome thoughts that God desires for me. It is bright, joyful and enthusiastic trusting in God’s plans and power.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
I consciously choose what I think. I choose those thoughts which are the most encouraging and spiritually beneficial. This fine tuning of my mind brings about a greater likeness to my Lord Jesus Christ and helps me to know Him better.
2 Corinthians 10:5
“casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
With strength from the Almighty, I think in a decisive and determined way destroying those thoughts which seek to tear away my relationship with Christ and others.
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”
God is pleased when I keep my mind busy thinking on godly, healthy, constructive and productive thoughts. My Lord is glorified and I am strengthened.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
I control the thoughts I choose. No thought can dwell in my mind without my approval or permission. I use God’s powerful help to overtake malignant thoughts. They are replaced with godly wholesome reflections and prayerful action.
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”
I am in charge of my own pattern of thinking. I resolve to maintain my deliberate focus on those spiritual things that create and fulfill the best in me to honor and glorify God in Heaven.
Note: When I was just beginning to put these together several years ago, coming up with a positive, encouraging way to see these verses was extremely difficult for me. I was in a very dark place. Some of these use modified self-directives taken from Shad Helmstetter’s, “What to Say When You Talk to Yourself.”
By Cheri Deaver
Cheri is wife to Weylan Deaver who preaches at the Sherman Drive Church of Christ in Denton, Texas. She is mother to Orrin, Lacey, Lexie and Ethan, as well as a new mother-in-law to Aubrie Deaver. She is blessed beyond measure for which God has so richly provided.