brown bare tree under cloudy sky

, | 06 Sep 2021 | by GEM

Shaping Reality

by Gabe Bernal

Key Verse: “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life”  

– Proverbs 4:23, HCSB

I can be a bit of an overthinker. I’m sure many of you can relate.

My mind never stops. If I’m not careful, I can think something to death.  I will hyper focus on that something, and it can become all-consuming.

It can be a good thing and a bad thing.

For example, I love Marvel movies and streaming shows. When a new film or episode comes out, that is all I think and talk about, and I get so excited for the next one to come out.

Another example is when I hear a good sermon, one that I not only learn more about God but one that challenges me as well. When I hear a sermon like that, I won’t stop thinking about how I can apply it to my life and ministry.

But there is another side to that coin.

Last year, I went through a situation where I felt like I was wronged. Whether I was or not is irrelevant because it became something I couldn’t stop thinking about. Even long after the situation was over and dealt with, I could not stop thinking about how I felt wronged.

Over and over again, I would continue to come back to those thoughts; reevaluate conversations I had, pick apart and analyze them for the hundredth time as if some new insight would manifest. It never did.

It wasn’t until months later that I read an article on an entirely different topic, where the author stated, “our dominant thoughts become our reality.”

It was like a light bulb went off. Right then, the Holy Spirit reminded me of a verse in Proverbs. “Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

The Spirit showed me that those thoughts were sucking the life out of me. He reminded me that as someone who was supposed to be a bringer of Good News, someone who was supposed to point others to Living Water, He showed me I was poisoning my own well. He showed me I wasn’t guarding my heart.

The Spirit reminded me that as a child of God, and I am called to do great things. But I learned that I am not immune to the words I tell myself. Instead of listening to God and his still quiet voice, I spent too much time in negative thoughts, and it brought nothing but death.

But once I refocused on His word and His truth, I could change those thoughts. With His help, I was able to reshape my dominant thoughts and thus reshape my reality.

Reflection Verse

“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” 

– Psalm 139:23-24, ESV

Reflection Questions

  • What are your dominant thoughts? Are they bringing you life or death?

  • What are some ways that you can remind yourself to keep your thoughts on Him and His truths?