Christina Patterson

3 Types of Thoughts the Bible Warns Against

Oftentimes, we don’t really think about what we’re thinking and two problems arise when we do that.

  1. We accept any thought that comes into our minds.

  2. And #2, we fail to realize that we have control over our thoughts.

We know that we don’t have to accept any thought that pops into our mind, or fall into the belief that we have no power over our thoughts, because the Bible gives us very clear instructions on how believers should think. Specifically, today I want to share with you 3 types of thoughts the Bible warns against. 

#1 Anxious Thoughts

The first type of thought the Bible warns against are anxious thoughts. A lot of the worry we experience first starts in our minds, and oftentimes is rooted in our own lack of control. This is why the Bible is straightforward about worry with a simple directive: don’t do it. Here is what Jesus had to say about worry:

“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:31-34 ESV)

As believers who are children of God and joint heirs with Christ, we are called not to worry because of our connection to God. Jesus says “the pagans worry about such things.” When we trust our Heavenly Father, we don’t have to worry about those things. God will take care of His children.

Our inability to trust God with the things He knows that we need reminds me of my kids. They are always asking “are we going to eat?” “Are you going to feed us?” And I think to myself when have I ever not fed you? You’re going to eat like you always do. The same is true for us. God is going to take care of us like He always has, so there is no need to worry. Jesus called us to focus our thoughts and attention on today and trust Him with tomorrow.

#2 Worldly Thoughts

The second type of thought the Bible warns against are worldly thoughts. Romans 8:5-6 tells us:

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:5-6 ESV)

This type of worldly thinking is super prevalent in our hustle culture that feeds into the lie that our significance and satisfaction is found in the things of this world whether it be money, status, following, our looks, the opinions of others, or anything that we make an idol. But we are called to set our minds on the things of the Spirit, on the things of God. 

When the world says you need so many followers to be significant, the truth says I am intimately known and loved by the God of the universe. (Jeremiah 1:5)

When the world says you need to hustle and work to no end, Jesus says “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 ESV)

When the world says you’re not pretty enough, smart enough, strong enough, the Gospel preaches that God thought enough of us to send His Son to die on our behalf that we may be saved.

I’m not going to lie to you; the things of this world will temporarily satisfy, and distract you from the hardships of living in this world, but they cannot fulfill you. We are eternal beings that can not be completely satisfied in this temporary world, but to think that can only lead to destruction. When we set our minds on the truth that it is God who can truly fulfill us, we find life and peace.

#3 Arguments against God / Deceptive Thoughts

The third type of thought the Bible warns against are arguments or imaginations against God and His truth. These are deceptive thoughts that counter the truth of the Gospel. These types of beliefs were prevalent in the early Church which is why in much of the New Testament, you’ll read the Gospel of Jesus Christ presented over and over again because the believers at that time, were bombarded with all types of beliefs that were contrary to the truth of God and essentially trying to discredit the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In light of all this going on, Paul tells believers in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5:

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 ESV)

The strongholds that Paul is talking about are beliefs and thought patterns against the truth of God. If we choose to act on these lies, then we behave in ways that are contrary to someone saved, set free, and redeemed in Christ. 

During the early church, believers had to combat beliefs that Jesus wasn’t the son of God, that only other religions held secret truths or knowledge, or Jesus wasn’t really resurrected. 

Today we combat beliefs that God’s not real, you can control your own destiny with your mind, you don’t need God, God’s not worth your devotion, or you only need love, we don’t need God. Colossians 2:8 warns us:

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8 ESV)

Thoughts not in line with the truth of Christ need to be taken captive and destroyed, because wherever the truth of the Gospel is suppressed, idolatry abounds. 

Romans 1:21 puts it this way:

“For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.” (Romans 1:21 CSB)

Our thoughts are powerful enough to lead us away from God and His truth. But they also hold the power to align our lives with His will, when we believe the truth. This is why Romans 12: 2 tells us:

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2 ESV)

Your mind is so powerful, but that power was not given to you to believe lies, and serve idols. Your mind was given to you so that you could have the capacity to know God, to understand His truth, and believe in Him. 

How do we do that? We think about what we’re thinking. We take an inventory of our thoughts and ask ourselves, does this thought align with the truth of God? If it doesn’t, we don’t believe it. One of the most freeing revelations I’ve had in life is understanding that we don’t have to believe every thought we think. In fact, we’re called to take our thoughts captive, to renew our minds, and ensure even our thinking glorifies God. 

Want more Beloved encouragement? Join us at belovedwomen.org and receive my free video Bible study called “Worry-Free” to earn the 3 lies feeding your worry and the truth to set you free. Click here to download for free today.

Tired of the endless scroll on social media only to consume content that leaves you empty and wanting something more? Join Beloved TV for access to hundreds of videos to teach you God’s word and encourage your soul. Learn more and join today at  www.belovedwomen.tv.

As always, thank you so much for reading, and until next time, be beautiful, be blessed, and beloved. 

 

Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.


Should Christians Manifest?

If you’re like me, you’ve seen plenty of online ads promising to teach you how to “get anything you want.” The promise sounds unbelievable and appealing at the same time. How can someone teach me how not only to get something I want, but anything I want? Most of these promises are founded in the teaching of manifesting. This new age term refers to one’s ability to use their thoughts and beliefs to attract the positive outcomes in their lives that they want. The idea is that whatever you focus on, you can manifest or bring into your physical reality.

As I shared in my last video on the types of thoughts the Bible warns against, the scriptures have a lot to say about our thoughts. Manifesting raises the question of how should Christians be using our thoughts? Should we be using our thoughts for the sole purpose to attract what we want?

Well, 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us:

“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV)

The Bible doesn’t tell us to use our thoughts to get whatever we want, but to make our thoughts obedient to Christ. God wants us to use our minds to glorify Him. Jesus tells us that we are to:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30 ESV)

We are called to love God with all our minds. Everything that God has entrusted to us, even our thoughts and imaginations, were given to us so that we would use our mind for His glory. 

Now you may be wondering, how does manifesting stop me from loving God the way He’s called me to? God has called us to show our love by our faith and trust in Him. 

When I manifest to attract whatever I want, I can easily take God out of the equation. I don’t need God when I can use my thoughts to control my destiny. And that is where we cross a dangerous line in our faith, because the truth is we can’t do anything without God. 

Now, most Christians know that we need God; that’s why we’re Christians in the first place. But with any type of secular philosophy, there is the temptation to try to merge the two. So we’ll move from I’m not going to manifest what I want to I’m going to manifest what God wants for me.

Still, another problem arises with that thought. Am I then using my thoughts to manipulate God to give me what I want? Because in that scenario, the power is still given to the thoughts. Our thoughts are still idols that we serve to get what we want, or what we think God wants for us. As Christians, we must always remember our thoughts are not our source. God is. 

Christians don’t need to manifest; we need to pray. So let me explain the difference:

  • Manifesting is using my thoughts to attract my desired outcome. 
  • Prayer is accessing the power of God to see His will manifest in my life. 
  • Manifesting requires trust in myself. Can I think positively enough to produce a positive outcome in my life? 
  • Prayer requires trust in God and surrender to His will. Do I trust that God loves me and has my best interest in mind so I can surrender my life and will to Him?

The main problem that we have here is we don’t trust God. We think our ways are better than His ways, and so the idea of manifesting becomes very attractive because I can control my thoughts, but I can not control God. And when you don’t truly know God, that’s scary. Why would I allow this God that I don’t trust to lead my life? So it becomes easier to lead and control my life myself, with my thinking.

Here’s the thing. Our thoughts are powerful enough to impact the curse of our lives, which is why Philippians 4:8 gives a lengthy list of the things believers should be thinking about. 

Still, we must not miss the point that our thoughts, as powerful as they are, will never supersede the will of God. And praise God for that because Lord knows my thoughts did not get me to where I am today. God did. My thoughts are not more powerful than God. Isaiah 55:9 puts it this way:

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9 ESV)

If I confine my density to my own thinking, I limit what God can do in my life. I can’t out-think God. I don’t receive God’s best for my life by thinking about the blessing, but by seeking the One through whom all good things come. (James 1:17) I’m not saying that God doesn’t want you to have that house, or car, or spouse, but He certainly doesn’t want you to idolize them. We are not called to seek out the blessing, we’re called to seek the Kingdom and it is then the Bible tells us those things God knows we need will be added unto us. (Matthew 6:33)

I think of King David who was very wealthy. Yet over and over again in the Psalm, He talks about meditating on God’s truth, thinking on God’s Word, and seeking God alone. Listen to what he wrote in Psalm 73: 25-26). He says:

“Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail,  but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26 ESV)

David wasn’t focused on his palace, although He had one. He wasn’t focused on his riches, although he had plenty. He wasn’t even focused on his power. He was focused on God because he knew there was nothing in this world greater than his God. 

When we focus our thinking to only receive the things of this world, we limit ourselves from receiving the best from our God who the Bible tells us:

“is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us. (Ephesians 3:20 ESV)

We don’t have the capacity to even begin to think or imagine what God has for us. Let’s not limit ourselves to manifesting what we want, and keep our focus on God alone. He is faithful to give us everything we need and more.

Now I’d love to hear from you, Beloved! Have you ever heard of manifesting, or is this your first time hearing about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

Want more Beloved encouragement? Join us at belovedwomen.org and receive my free video Bible study called “Worry-Free” to earn the 3 lies feeding your worry and the truth to set you free. Click here to download for free today.

Tired of the endless scroll on social media only to consume content that leaves you empty and wanting something more? Join Beloved TV for access to hundreds of videos to teach you God’s word and encourage your soul. Learn more and join today at belovedwomen.tv.

If this post was a blessing to you, will you be sure to hit that like button and share with a friend because you just never know who might need some Beloved encouragement today?

As always, thank you so much for reading, and until next time, be beautiful, be blessed, and beloved. 

 

Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.


What Type of Proverbs 31 Woman Are You?

In my last post, I shared the 7 virtues of the Proverbs 31 woman and loved reading your comments on which virtue inspired you most. As a recap, the 7 virtues of the Proverbs 31 woman are: Dignity, patience, diligence, generosity, courage, wisdom, and devotion.

Today, I want to share 7 examples of women in the Bible who exemplify the virtues of the Proverbs 31 woman. Be sure to read until the end because I have something really fun for you!

MARY – A Woman of Dignity

“And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.” (Luke 1:35 ESV)

Our first Proverbs 31 woman in the Bible is Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mary was a woman of dignity. She held great value as the mother of Jesus, but can you imagine the judgment she endured every day as she carried baby Jesus while engaged to marry Joseph? Although not all those around her understood or believed she carried the Messiah, she did. 

The value we hold as women may not always be recognized by other people, but will always be honored by God. Mary was considered “highly favored” by the Lord (Luke 1:28) and chosen by God to hold this special calling. Mary was a woman of dignity because she understood the value of what she was holding so she could see her purpose through. She knew the special call on her life was greater than herself.

The same is true for you, Beloved. As a woman of dignity, it is important to honor the purpose God has called you to by living a life that honors the value He’s placed in you. There may be a temptation to shrink back in fear, but always hold your head high knowing that the value you hold comes from God Himself and for His glory alone.

HANNAH –  A Woman of Patience

“And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:20 ESV)

The next Proverbs 31 woman in the Bible is Hannah. Hannah was a woman of patience. For years, she prayed for a son while enduring ridicule for her inability to have children. Still, Hannah never took matters into her own hands, but kept crying out to the Lord, continuously placing her desires in His hands.

As a woman of patience, you are faithful to seek God in long-suffering and pain. There is always the temptation to seek other means to meet our needs, but you know the artificial things of this world don’t really satisfy. Continue to honor God and see that no matter what, He is always faithful. He is always worth the wait.

MARTHA –  A Woman of Diligence

“Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house.” (Luke 10:38 ESV)

Next, we have Martha. Martha was a woman of diligence. She worked hard and served others. She is commonly known for busily keeping her house in order while her sister Mary sat to listen to their guest, Jesus. Although Martha is not perfect, she had the heart to honor Jesus and her guests. There is a temptation to become distracted by the details and lose focus on what’s most important when there is much work to do. Still, Martha had such a sincere relationship with Jesus that He was close enough to guide her back on track and help her choose what was better.

As a woman of diligence, ensure your work is always for God and never blocks your seeking of Him. Don’t fear making mistakes or getting it wrong. Jesus is with you to always help you get back on track. He has accounted for your shortcomings and fills in all the gaps where you fall short. Remember, Jesus doesn’t want what you do. He simply wants who you are.

RUTH –  A Woman of Generosity

“But Ruth said, ‘Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.'” (Ruth 1:16 ESV)

Our next Proverbs 31 woman is Ruth. Ruth was a woman of generosity. When her husband died, she could have moved on to create a new life for herself. Instead, she insisted on staying with her also widowed mother-in-law, Naomi.

Ruth’s giving spirit to stay faithful to Naomi led right to her own blessing. God continued to provide for Naomi and Ruth after their husbands died, and Ruth eventually married Boaz. Their union would be included in the lineage of Jesus.

As a woman of generosity, you may be tempted to think you give too much. You may become discouraged when you encounter people not as generous as you. Please understand that your generosity is a gift from God, that not many people have. When you give, do so for God and not man. No matter how much you give, you can’t out-give God.

ESTHER –  A Woman of Courage

“And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4: 14 ESV)

Next, we have Esther. Esther was a woman of courage. From an orphan to the queen of Persia, Esther’s story is often retold like a fairytale, but her life was filled with much loss and oppression. As an orphan, she lost her parents and then became a captive in Persia. Although she does rise to become Queen, her people were in danger. A law had been passed to annihilate all the Jews. At the threat of risking her life, Esther chooses to speak to the King about the matter, which saves her people.

Speaking up meant Esther’s future wasn’t promised, and she could have lost her life. Instead of staying silent or cowering back, she boldly risks her future to save God’s people. It wasn’t Esther’s crown, jewels, or title as the queen that saved her. It was God. Knowing where her help and strength came from gave Esther the courage to risk her blessings to honor her God.

As a woman of courage, God has entrusted you with much in this life. Avoid the temptation to idolize the blessings and not the One who provides those blessings. Much will be required of you because God has given you so much. Continue to courageously trust Him with all you have and especially with your future. You’re in good hands.

DEBORAH –  A Woman of Wisdom

“Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.” (Judges 4:4 ESV)

Our next Proverbs 31 woman is Deborah. Deborah was a woman of wisdom. When God’s people needed direction, He rose up Deborah to provide counsel and wise judgment. Deborah’s wisdom provided order among the people and safety as her leadership led to victory in battle.

As a woman of wisdom like Deborah, God has given you much influence because He trusts you. You may be tempted to become insecure as you stand out as a leader, but remember God has appointed you to this position, and He will equip you with all that you need to lead well. Lean on God, and He will direct your steps.

MARY MAGDALENE –  A Woman of Devotion

“Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.” (Mark 16:9 ESV)

Our last Proverbs 31 woman in the Bible is Mary Magdalene. Mary Magdalene was a woman of devotion. She was healed by Jesus, which inspired a life of devotion to Him. She was a true disciple of Jesus, who both followed and supported His ministry journey to the cross. As one of the women to find the empty tomb after the crucifixion of Jesus, she was always near to Him in life, death, and resurrection.

As a woman of devotion like Mary Magdalene, you are truly a woman after God’s own heart. His love for you inspires you to follow Him more closely. Stay in worship and gratitude for all God has done for you, and your fire and passion for Him won’t burn out.

Now here is something fun for you. I have a quiz for you. Click here to take our  “Which Proverbs 31 Woman Are You?” quiz to find out which of the 7 women we learned about today you are most like. Now there is no right or wrong answer; this is simply just for fun. But please take the quiz and comment below to let me know which Proverbs 31 woman you are. Also, check the comments out if you want to see who I got. 

Also, if you are interested in learning more about the Proverbs 31 woman, and what it means to practically live as a woman of virtue, I want to invite you to my next video Bible study series called “Worth More than Rubies: A Grace-filled Bible Study on the 7 Virtues of the Proverbs 31 Woman.” 

We are going in-depth with not only what the virtues are, but how we can gracefully and practically live them out as modern Christian women. You can learn more and join today at www.belovedwomen.org/rubies so you don’t miss out on this encouraging and practical study of the Proverbs 31 woman with your Beloved sisters all over the world. 

I look forward to studying “Worth More Than Rubies” with you. Don’t forget to take the quiz and let me know which Proverbs 31 woman you are in the comments.

Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.