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And UPGRADE'S Founder

   Dawn Wilson


Entries in Renew Your Mind (3)


Change Your Mind, Change Your Future

In this Attitudes and Biblical Thinking UPGRADE, Dawn Wilson shares an important truth about how changing our mind can take us a new direction.

I've always heard, "It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind." We can change our mind any time or day without notice! (On the other hand, I'm told a husband must never change his mind without consulting his wife!)

Women are said to change their minds because we're more emotional (blame it on the hormones); but really, gender has nothing to do with making choices.

Decision-making is a skill we learn. We might change our mind because information changes, or because we have a new perspective.

But one thing is sure: Changing your mind will change your circumstances, because ultimately, it will change your behavior. We become what we think about.

The apostle Paul exhorted us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2).

God cares that our thoughts are right, because He knows where those thoughts will lead us!

I want to unpack three thoughts about "changing our mind."

1. You can Change Your Mind about the PAST.

I've discovered what I tell myself about myself, as a result of my past experiences, colors my perspective today. But I've also learned I can challenge my learned beliefs by holding them up to the truth of scripture.

We don't want to hold onto beliefs that are based in the enemy's lies (John 8:44), or cling to unhealthy thinking. We don't want to be paralyzed by our past either. Maybe we made a wrong choice that led us down a path of wickedness. Maybe someone injured us—abused or molested us, perhaps—and left us with deep emotonal scars.

We have to decide we'll no longer play the victim role. It's healthier to move into an "in Christ" victor's role!

In order to change my thinking about the past, I had to learn the gift of the lessons God had for me in my past circumstances--even the horrible ones.

2. You Can Change Your Mind about the PRESENT.

Ifa doctor told you you would have to spend the rest of your life in debilitating, excruciating pain--unless you spent 15 minutes today (and every day from now on) doing one thing ... exercising. Would you miss an exercise session? No! Every 15 minutes would more than justify the cost of a pain-free life.

But what do we do with our thought life? We're content to live with stinkin' thinkin'. We allow poisonous thoughts to cause us to live in pain and frustration. We need to take action and replace those stinkin' thoughts with right thinking. This is the Replacement Principle found in Romans 12:2 and Colossians 3:8-11

There are some thoughts to "put off," and some to "put on."

For example, if my wrong thinking leads to people pleasing, I can replace this thinking with biblical thinking as found in Galatians 1:10 (which explains the importance of seeking God's approval instead of always trying to please others. We need to rehearse the truth in our thinking—one precept at a time—until our mind changes (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Isaiah 28:13a). Right thinking takes practice!

3. You Can Change Your Mind about the FUTURE.

You can design your future just like you freshen up and renew your home.

Peter Walsh from TLC's past series "Clean Sweep" helped people get a vision for what they wanted in their rooms, and then showed them how to eliminate everything that didn't belong. That's what we need to do in our thinking.

We need a clear understanding of how the Lord wants us to think (see Philippians 4:8), and then eliminate the thinking that doesn't belong. 

John 8:32 says, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." That's what we want in our future, isn't it? Freedom to be what God created us to be? Freedom to serve Him without giving in to the discouraging, defeating lies of the enemy?

Our thoughts can determine our destiny, and when our thoughts are God's thoughts, our entire perspective for the future changes!

We know we will spend eternity with the Lord. We need to be sure our thoughts are conducive to building Kingdom-ready lives.

With that in mind, here are some parting thoughts:

  • We become what we think about, so we need to guard our thoughts (Proverbs 4:23).
  • We need to challenge unhealthy thinking and replace it with healthy, biblical, life-building thoughts.
  • We need to examine our choices, because they are often the voices of our heart (what we're thinking).
  • We need to daily renew our minds with the scriptures.

Is there anything in your past that still clouds your thinking? Are you struggling with thoughts today? How might changed thinking propel you into a more satisfying and God-honoring future?

Dawn Wilson, founder and President of Heart Choices Today, is the creator of three blogs: Heart Choices TodayLOL with God(with Pam Farrel), and Upgrade with Dawn. She is the Director of the San Diego chapter of Network of Evangelical Women in MInistry (NEWIM San Diego). Dawn is the co-author of LOL with God and contributed "The Blessing Basket" in It's a God Thing. She and her husband Bob have two grown, married sons, three granddaughters and a rascally maltipoo, Roscoe.

Graphic adapted, Image courtesy of stockimages at


God's Promises for Your 'What if ...'s'

Vonda Rhodes knows how to turn a scary negative into a God-blessed positive, and I appreciate her attitude UPLIFT today.

Vonda asks, “Have you ever been faced with an unpleasant circumstance and found yourself immediately defaulting to the worst-case scenario?”

Actually, I (Dawn) used to use “worst-case scenarios” to talk myself out of my fears and worries, but Vonda has a better idea!

She continues …  

“Instead of following ‘What if...’ with a negative, how about inserting one of God’s promises?

  • What if I can trust You fully?
  • What if You’re sovereign over all?
  • What if Your provision is more than enough for this situation?
  • What if You’ve forgiven me completely and I’m free from the enemy’s oppression?" *

There is more than one way to talk to yourself. You don’t have to be oppressed. Joy is possible even in the midst of trouble.

How? By renewing your mind with the Truth found in God’s Word. By getting into agreement with God and kicking out thoughts that don’t agree with His.

The God who gave you life is more than capable of handling all the details of your life. Trust Him. He is faithful!

I love the verse that says, “Keep your eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).  

It doesn’t say, “Keep your eyes on your problems. Think of all the things that could possibly go wrong, worry, fret, be anxious and fearful and, in the process, make yourself and everyone else around you miserable.”

No, instead of negative “what ifs,” remind yourself who you are and Whose you are. It will help turn things around—beginning with your mood and attitude.

 The devil would love nothing more than to steal your joy, because he knows that the joy of the Lord is your strength!

He would love to discourage and depress you. Don’t let him! Remember, the devil is a liar!

I remember times (before I knew better) that I would let the devil fill my mind with all kinds of wrong thoughts. It began with one thought, then he’d add another and another. The next thing I knew, I went from being mildly annoyed to completely depressed! I went from sitting on the couch to curled up on my bed and crying a river of tears based solely on the wrong thoughts I was meditating on in my own mind!

I am so thankful for revelation from God and great teaching from anointed preachers, teachers and pastors!

Remember that ultimately, all things will work together for your good, because you love God and have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). That is a promise from God! If God is for you (and He is), who can be against you? You, along with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit make a majority!

Don’t give up in defeat. Armor up and fight back in the Spirit! Know in your heart that victory already belongs to you in Christ. And while you’re at it:

Smile and give the devil a nervous breakdown!

How would your life be affected if you lined up your thoughts with God’s today?

Vonda Rhodes is a full-time caregiver who resides in Arizona with her husband. She currently gives her free time to encouraging others on Facebook and actively serving in her local church.

Graphic in Text an adapted Image courtesy of stockimages /

* Vonda's questions are adapted from the “Every Good Thing” calendar.


Our Part: 'Responding' 

Although the Christian’s life is transformed by the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit—and we never want to forget that—there are plenty of commands in the scriptures that show our part in responding to the scriptures and Spirit of God.

Here are some things we can do that God can use to UPGRADE our lives spiritually ... but they are also the catalysts to change in many areas of life:

1. Realize Our Need for God. Not only do we need Him for our salvation, we need Him to become holy, effective servants in His kingdom. UPGRADING isn’t about self-effort; it’s about God’s effort in us. Christ will strengthen us (Philippians 4:13), and God is faithful to help us (1 Corinthians 10:13), but we need to respond to Him—yield to Him (Romans 6:1-19) and not try to change independent of Him.

2. Renew Our Mind (Romans 12:2). We do this as we read, study and memorize the Bible. Not only will we discover more about the God who loves us, we will find ways to overcome temptation, find freedom from habits and addictions, and become a success - by God’s definition (Deuteronomy 6:6-9; Joshua 1:8; Proverbs 3:5-7; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12).

3. Respond to the Scriptures. We decide to obey. (I have a "Yes, Lord" reminder card in my Bible.) We create a plan to upgrade our lives based on the scriptures. Devise to do good, not evil (Proverbs 14:22). We are to be steadfast (1 Corinthians 15:58) and obedient (James 1:22-25). We can ask God how to become His disciple with “steadfast purpose” (James 1:5; Luke 14:26-33; Acts 11:23).

4. Repent as God leads. Repentance is changing our mind about sin with determination to stop sinning and live for God (Acts 8:22). God does not want His children to cover up sins and weaknesses. He doesn’t want us to excuse ourselves or blame others. We need true sorrow over sin (2 Corinthians 7:10). God has provided all we need to repent and change. Put off sinful habits and put on new ones (Ephesians 4:22-32).

5. Reach out to others in the Body of Christ. We are in one body, unified in Christ, to encourage and help each other obey, serve and worship God. When we struggle, we can share our need and pray for each other (James 5:16; Galatians 6:2). We attend church to learn more about God, but also to be encouraged and encourage others toward “love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24-25).

6. Rely on God for the Changes We Need. This is God-confidence. The Spirit of will empower us to live for the Lord. If we commit to Him, He will accomplish His will in and through us (Psalm 37:5; 2 Corinthians 9:8). We can pray for His help (1 Thessalonians 5:17; 1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:6-7), especially when tempted (Matthew 26:36-46). It’s wise to be patient for change (Galatians 6:9; 2 Peter 3:18), and live the Christian life one day at a time (Matthew 6:33-34), giving ourselves grace—because God gives us grace!

Which of these areas of ‘Responding’ is the hardest for you?

Dawn Wilson is the founder of Heart Choices Ministries and creator of Dawn's ministry encourages, edifies and energizes women with the truth of scripture so they can better enjoy life, bless others and honor God.