6 Thought Patterns that Are Completely Destroying Your Faith
If you’re wondering how to have more faith, it’s essential to start by examining the direction your current faith is headed.
Is your faith on an upward trajectory, or is it more like a downward spiral? We all have faith faltering moments, but if you’re struggling to trust God, more often than not, if you’re struggling to see things changing in your life, it could be because your faith is headed in the wrong direction.
In 1 Timothy 1:18, Paul warns Timothy of this, he says, “Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you. So that by recalling them, you may fight the battle well holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so suffered shipwreck with regard to their faith.”
You see, Paul was charging Timothy to be renewed, but did you know that there is one thing that will dictate your face more than anything else? And that is your thoughts. Yes, many of the struggles in the victories that you’re actually going through begin in the mind.
Ephesians 4:23 reminds us to be renewed in the spirit of our minds daily. So if you are not renewing your mind daily to God’s truth, that downward spiral may actually look more like a crash and burn before you know it.
So today I want to talk to you about 6 unsuspecting things that you say that are completely destroying your faith and how to have more faith.
#1 – I just don’t know.
When you say things like, I just don’t know that God fills in the blank. My friend, this statement is at the core of every doubt-filled and unbelieving thought. I just don’t know that God will come through. I just don’t know that God hears me. I just don’t know that God will help me after all that I’ve done.
But we’re not called to know, we’re called to faith. You see in the biblical sense, faith is a verb, it’s an action word, it means believe. Trust my friend, these are action words doubt and unbelief lead to an action that leads to no results which further confirms your doubt.
Look, I get it our past experiences and our current circumstances can actually leave an imprint on our lives. But if you allow that imprint to be larger than your faith for your future, you will remain in bondage to your thoughts.
#2 – I just feel __________.
And then fill in the blank but God gave us feelings as indicators, not drivers, the problem with letting your feelings in the driver seat is that they can completely shipwreck your faith, even if you don’t want it to.
Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that “the heart is deceitful above all things.”
Do you know what that tells me? It tells me that I can’t trust my feelings and I’m not saying, completely ignore your feelings, but I am saying that you don’t automatically trust them. Our feelings can mislead us by making us think that God has forgotten us. I feel like God has forgotten me. I feel like I can’t do this or it causes you to feel as if there’s no hope or that you’ve got to figure all this out by yourself. My friend, we are called to be in charge of our own feelings. And feelings are often of the flesh and while we can’t discard the flesh altogether, we certainly don’t want to allow it to rule our lives.
For example, when you feel hungry, then you then decide what the next best course of action is going to be and in some cases, you eat hopefully I hope and in other cases, you tell your flesh to settle down because dinner isn’t for another hour. And the same is true with your feelings. Let them indicate to you what might be happening inside if you don’t yield to them, doing so will make you like children that are referred to in Ephesians 4:14.
And it says, so that “we may no longer be children tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine by human cunning craftiness and deceitful schemes.” Friend, do not give in to your feelings.
#3 – I can’t see how ___________.
When you fill in the blank and if you are a logical rationalizing, practical over-thinker, it’s highly likely that you have a habit of thinking your way right out of faith. And the truth is God doesn’t always make sense to our rational minds. Look, there is nothing wrong with getting understanding, but if your need for understanding outperforms, your faith, you are disobedient.
When God called me out of the fitness industry and into ministry, it was exciting, but I also couldn’t see how it was going to work, and he told me to close my business. Instead of immediate obedience, I rationalized that I could probably do both, and I tried to figure out how to sell it. I waited to see what doors he was going to open before I closed the doors behind me, but my friend, Hebrews 11:1 says now, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.”
God doesn’t say, I need you to see how all this is going to work out before you believe me. God doesn’t say, I need you to wrap your head around this before you take your next steps forward. What God does say is trust me and I’ll take care of the rest. You’re overthinking isn’t helping in the natural world and it’s completely useless in the spirit realm.
#4 – But . . .
Now, if you are the type who is able to take the most beautiful promise of God and negate it with your but, your thought patterns are more likely focused on your former rather than your Father and the biggest faith-killing word of them all is, but what if it doesn’t work out? But what if I get hurt? But that’s never worked out before. But what will others think? Faith killers.
And I see so many Christians caught in the prison of opinion. So let’s hang out on this for a bit. If you are shackled by the thoughts and opinions of others, you will not be able to step out in faith. If you are struggling with codependency, you will have trouble living the life that God called for you to live and being able to make those big bold faith moves, because you will be constantly checking in with others to regulate your anxieties, your fears, and your anxieties.
Yes, we should care to a certain extent, what others think. We should care that we don’t bring reproach to the name of God. We should care that others can see Christ within us. And Paul says to live carefully among the unbelievers so that we will make the most of every opportunity. And to do this, we must care about what others think of us to some degree, but not to the extent that it hinders our faith. Your past may be telling us that people can’t be trusted, but God is trying to prove to us that he can be. Your past may be trying to tell you that you’re going to get hurt, but God is trying to tell you, I want to heal you. Your past may be telling you that you have to protect yourself, but God is trying to show you that he’s got you.
And if you can’t seem to kick that habit at least, my friend reversed the order instead of saying, I know God, but I promise this to me, and you don’t know what I’ve been through. Here’s what I want you to say. Yes, I’ve been through a lot, but God will use it to bring me a bright future.
#5 – I’m not worthy.
All of the other thought processes that I’ve mentioned previously are based on lies. The problem with this thought process is that it’s true. You’re right, you’re not worthy, I’m not worthy. None of us are worthy. Isaiah 64:6 tells us, “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves we wither and fall and our sin sweeps us away like the wind.”
But my friend if you are in Christ you have been washed clean and that is who God sees when he sees you. To help keep you from getting stuck in this mindset it is helpful to remember that it’s not about you.
In fact, none of it’s about you, our lives are meant to be used for his glory, not our personal gain. So the good news is that you don’t have to be worthy, you don’t have to have it all figured out, you just need to be yielded and willing to be pliable in The Potter’s hands.
#6 – Why God?
We are suffering an epidemic proportion, under the weight of the prosperity Gospel, the gospel that negates repentance and magnifies materialism, all in the name of faith. My friend, it’s false. We see it in Progressive Christianity, where new age beliefs have permeated the church and getting believers to think that their positive thoughts will attract positive things. Then when that doesn’t happen, we hear, “Why God?” “Why is God allowing this to happen to me?”
And this is one that personally sticks in my craw, as I wonder how we become so arrogant, as to think that we are excluded from what most of the church in most of the world has had to endure for the past two thousand years and that is persecution, suffering, and trials.
God’s main focus is not our happiness. Our main focus should be His happiness. 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “indeed all who desire to live a Godly life in Christ will be persecuted.”
And John 16:33 Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me, you may have peace in this world, you will have trouble, but take heart because I have overcome the world.”
But I am most encouraged by the words of the Apostle Paul when he says in Romans 8:18, “for I considered that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
If you find yourself saying some version of I think, I feel, I’m not, my friend, check yourself, it’s likely that your thoughts are driving your faith instead of God’s truth.
And if you need help in overcoming, the lies that are bouncing around in your head so that you can Embrace God’s truth. I want to encourage you to check out my online course, called Renew Your Mind. In it, I will walk you through a four-step journey to help you control that conversation in your head. With practical tools and strategies, you’ll learn how to have more faith and focus on positive affirmations