Don’t you want to control your future and what happens to you along the journey of life? We all want control and it starts at a young age. How much candy we want to eat, what we want to wear and what book we want to be read when getting tucked in at night.
While growing up, I loved Dr. Seuss books. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish! I owned every book he wrote and I read them over and over. Did you have a favorite children’s book that you couldn’t get enough of?
I loved Dr. Seuss because many of them were about adventures and made me feel that I could do anything. Oh The Places We will Go, is a great one too. However, one beautiful Saturday our neighborhood had a garage sale and my Dad sold all my Dr. Seuss books. I wish I had them as I wonder how much money these books may be worth in the future. More importantly, they just bring me great memories.
Most of his books didn’t make any sense and now that I am adult I wonder what he did on a daily basis as he had a very innovative mind. As much as I appreciated his creativity and encouragement his books gave me as a child, I definitely don’t agree with all of his ideas or “life” quotes.
“Only you can control your future.” Dr. Seuss
This is a quote that I have a difficult time supporting. Being a Christian, we are taught to not be in control and to give all our worries over to God. So if we believe that, then we can’t believe we have any control over our future. However, there is a piece of me that believes you can control your future and where you end up in life.
What You Focus On Can Determine Life’s Outcome
Your mind is extremely powerful. It is possible to trick yourself in believing just about anything. I can sit and think about something tragic happening in my life. It doesn’t take long until I begin to experience the strong emotions and my mind will immediately kick in the waterworks. I will lose myself in the moment. When I snap out of it, I think I should have been an actress because just the thought of something causes me to believe I am living that tragedy.
I do not believe that you can control your future success as there are too many things in life that are unpredictable. However, I also don’t believe that you can sit on the sidelines whining about your life’s situation, do nothing, and expect God to fix everything for you.
Before I begin to upset some Christians out there let me give you more information. Yes, we need to give God our worries and to not be anxious about the future; however, God doesn’t want us to be dead weight on the couch and do nothing. He does want us to act, and when we do God will either open the door for us to walk through or slam them to keep us on track.
Two Ways to Control Your Future
1) Give up the expected outcomes of your life to God.
That means giving him total control. Don’t try to force things to happen in your life. Allow what happens to happen. Trust God that he knows what is best for you. When I head down the path of trying to figure out why bad things happen, I get completely lost. My mind can’t comprehend it because there isn’t an answer. There are many things in life that we will never understand.
In many ways, I don’t believe that God wants us to understand everything because then we wouldn’t need to lean on him or give up control of our life. The not knowing causes me to place my trust and faith in him as he always shows me a way out when I allow him to.
2) Take control of your thoughts.
This is still a big challenge for me. I battle negative thoughts daily. I have learned that when I don’t have control over my thoughts they cause my mind to spin out of control. I believe horrible things will happen, I doubt the success of my marriage or that my existence matters to anyone. I begin to head down a dark hole.
When you don’t own your thoughts and they wonder; it creates room for the enemy. Those thoughts become toxic and you end up repeating those damaging ideas to yourself over and over again until they become a part of you. I have struggled with this for a very long time and only started to fight back over the past couple of years. I had no idea the amount of damage I did to myself and my loved ones by allowing Satan to own my thoughts. You can learn more about gaining hope through your thoughts in this article, God Plants Seeds of Hope.
Control Your Future through Powerful Thoughts
As I said earlier, your thoughts are very powerful. You end up moving toward the things you focus on and think about. Your thoughts become your beliefs. So you if you believe that your relationship will come to an end and you focus it on it on a regular basis…what do you think will happen? You will begin to act differently and you will behave like you think your relationship is ending. You may distance yourself, you may start to doubt his/her loyalty.
Satan will always attack your mind first, which is why owning your thoughts and being aware of what you are thinking at all times is critical. Satan destroys hope and joy by twisting the truth of God’s promises and his character. When we believe any lie as the truth that opens the door for Satan to get a stronghold in our life. Strongholds are patterns in our minds that are programmed to think the opposite of the truth. We do not have enough control over our thoughts to fight these strongholds and stop the thought process alone. They attach to our emotions. When we are emotional, we feel fear and panic so logical thinking doesn’t exist.
Control Your Future by Stopping Strongholds
An example of a stronghold controlling us emotionally is one I struggle with in my life still today. The stronghold is money. Every two weeks when I have to pay the bills and balance the checkbook an overwhelming sick feeling takes over. My body becomes hot and my palms sweat. Then an obsessing thought continues to repeat like a broken record, “I don’t know if I have enough money to pay all my bills.” Yet every time, I have more than 25% of my paycheck left over. So if I have enough money every time, why does this thought still haunt me?
Strongholds keep our minds and thoughts in bondage. They fill us with hopelessness which leads us to believe that things in our life are unchangeable.
We are all susceptible to Satan’s strongholds. So are you wondering if Satan has a stronghold in areas of your life? Well, if he does, it will become evident in your behaviors and what you say.
• Are you constantly critical of everyone, everything, and yourself?
• Do you hide bad habits from your loved ones?
• Twisting the truth or telling a lie to those closest to you seems easier than it should?
• You find yourself filled with feelings of shame, guilt, or judgment?
• Is the truth difficult for you to hear from others?
Strongholds create negative emotions and cause these types of feelings: lying, stealing, corrupt communication, anger, emotional outbursts, insults, not forgiving others, bitterness, grief, disappointment, addictions, feelings of rejection, negative self-image, and depression.
You don’t have to live with these things; I don’t have to live with these things. What I never realized is that God fights for me, for all of us. You don’t have to fight the battle alone.
The LORD will fight for you: you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14 (NIV)
I memorized this verse and now I understand that I don’t need to be anxious about the future, I only need to be still and allow God to guide me and to replace those toxic thoughts with God’s truth.
What do you do when you catch yourself thinking toxic thoughts? I would love for you to comment below…
Believe in Unlimited Possibilities,