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Up Hill Habits 2

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Aristotle: We are What We Repeatedly Do

It’s a new year and we get the chance to start off new.
We Form Habits and out Habits form us.
We start out each year with all kinds of Resolutions or Hopes.

Most People Have Up Hill Hopes and Down Hill Habits.

Hope is wonderful, but it’s not a strategy. Hope is a motivator but not a strategy. It will get you going but it will not keep you going.
Up Hill Hopes are good because many of them are pointed towards the Lord.
We want to develop Uphill habits. Everything in your life that’s worthwhile is up hill, but it’s doable.
Romans 12:2 The Message
Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
God wants to bring out the best in you and only he can do that so fix your thoughts in God.
God does this through a development process because he wants to bring you to a place of well formed maturity.
One of the benefits of our 21 days of prayer and fasting. Why 21 days… it fits with three Sundays.
21 Days is what it takes to begin a habit or to stop a bad habit.

What I Starve Dies

What I Feed Thrives

When we do this, it will be 21 days of saying no to something and yes to some other things. We are learning habits that will help us to be successful this year.
Last week, we learned about Habit #1 and the Principle of FIRSTS. First of the year, month, week, day…
Whatever you put God first in, he will bless.
Today, we will look at Habit #2

Habit #2: Control My THOUGHTS.

Thoughts are powerful.
Everything begins with our thoughts and attitudes. If you look back at your past, everything that was a pivotal place of change, began because of an attitude change.
I grew up in church, but I went because I was made to go. When I gave my life to Jesus, my whole attitude changed for the better.
Your life will be marked by your thoughts… by how you think.

None of us will change our life until we change the way we think.

Change begins with our thoughts.
Ecclesiastes 10:2 The Message
Wise thinking leads to right living; Stupid thinking leads to wrong living.
Give you some facts about thoughts and then practical steps to change our thinking.

1. Everything begins with a thought.

The things that you are doing well in and the things that you are doing poorly in are all being fueled by your thoughts.
If you try to change your behavior without changing the thoughts that fuel those actions, you will never change your behavior.
Here is a key. Be very careful about what you allow into your mind for the first hour of the day. The enemy will try to set the tone of your day right off the bat in the morning. It might be a call, a text or email, a FB post, the news…
One lady said she woke up grumpy every day… sometimes she let him sleep in.
Some of you are grumpy because of what you are doing first.
You have got to filter what you allow in your mind.
The process God changes us by changing our thoughts.
Romans 12:2 NLT
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

2. What we Think Determines HOW WE FEEL.

Everything begins with a thought. You have to filter your mind. You may be blaming others (spouse, boss, kids, whoever) for your situation, but the truth is, you feel bad because of what you are thinking about.
If you are feeling depressed, you are having sad or hopeless thoughts. If you are feeling angry, you are thinking hostile thoughts, or about the vikings....
Challenge - get rid of media for a week. No video games, instagram, FB, News, Secular music - replace it with worship music in your house. do it as a test.
This exercise will prove this verse in your life.
Philippians 4:8–9 NLT
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
The God of peace with be with you...

3. Our Thoughts Determine Our DESTINY.

Sow a thought, reap an action
Sow an action, reap a habit
Sow a habit, reap a lifestyle
Sow a lifestyle, reap a destiny.
Thoughts lead to Destiny.
If you don’t like where you are going, you had better change your thinking. You are today where your thoughts have brought you. And you will go tomorrow where your thoughts take you.
Romans 8:5–6 NLT
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
LOOK - People who are dominated by their sinful nature, think sinful thoughts.


1. Find a PLAN to CONTROL my Thoughts.

2 Corinthians 10:3–5 NIV84
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
A lot of what hits your mind is coming through the internet.
How can you take every thought captive?

Be Accountable.

Some of you need to put something on your phone or computer so an accountability partner will see what you are looking at on the internet.

Read the Bible

Don’t read it as a discipline. Read it for life change. Read it and watch how it will take your negative thoughts and change them into godly thoughts.
Hebrews 4:12 NLT
12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.
Don’t read the bible, let the Bible read you.
OYB - OT, NT, Psalm & Proverb...

2. Find a PLACE to THINK your Thoughts.

At some place or time during your day, you have to turn the volume of the world down so you can communicate with God. You have to have a Daily Conversation with God… all day. Find a place and time to do this.
Some of you say, I just am not good at praying. How many of you are good at talking? Just talk to God. God doesn’t need your fancy prayers… He is not from England and doesn’t speak KJV.
Isaiah 26:3 NLT
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Prayer is an offload moment. You are offloading your stuff onto him.
Cast your cares on Him, then leave them with him. Peace comes to those whose thoughts are fixed on Him.
Colossians 3:2 NLT
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.
If you don’t, you will not have any peace.

3. Find PEOPLE to STRETCH Your Thoughts.

Iron sharpens Iron.
When you have a sin and confess it to God, he forgives it. But to obtain healing (deliverance) from it, you need to find someone and confess it to them so they can pray with you about it.
James 5:16 NLT
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

Get in a Small Group.

Be careful about negativity that comes into your life. You may have to remove yourself from some conversations… etc.
Hebrews 10:24–25 NLT
Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
We need to encourage each other.
Do the people in your life encourage you? Do you encourage them?
You may need to remove yourself from conversations or walk away. You cannot remain in the presence of constant negativity.

4. Find a PURPOSE to LAND Your Thoughts.

The healthiest thoughts you can think are about your purpose… about why you are here and what you need to do to fulfill that.
Think: I know why I’m here and I have a job to do.
The most miserable people on earth, are those who don’t think they have a purpose.
If you could hear God speak to you… I think he would say, let’s settle yesterday and look at the future I have for you. God has a plan for your life.
Romans 12:2 NIV84
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.
I know why I am here. I want you to know as well.
Attend Growth Track Classes on Sunday evenings.

5. Find a POWER to fuel your THOUGHTS.

When God speaks to you, he will tell you to do something that’s entirely too big for you to do… so you have to depend on Him.
Isaiah 55:9 NLT
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
Ephesians 3:20 NKJV
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
Chris from Craig Groschel - Proclaimations -
Jesus is first in my life. I exist to serve and glorify him. I love my my wife and I will lay down my life to serve her. My Children will love God and Serve Him with their whole hearts. I will nurture, equip, train and motivate them to do more for God's kingdom than they can possibly imagine. I am growing closer to Jesus every day. I am anointed, empowered, equipped, and empowered to reach people far from God. My words, thoughts and imaginations are under the power of Christ. I take all thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ. I wake up with purpose, direction and meaning every day of my life. I love people and believe the best about others. I am disciplined. Christ in me is stronger than the wrong desires in me. I am anointed, creative, innovative, focused and blessed beyond measure because the HS dwells in me. I equip leaders. I bring my best and then some. It's what I bring after my best that is making a difference. The world will be different and better because I served Jesus today. I am a servant of the most high God.
Pray. Ask the HS what are you trying to say to me today.
Give our people the courage and grace to make some changes in our lives that need to be made. Bring the peace of God...
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