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Overcome your greatest battle of all
If what we think determines who we are, then why are so many of us insecure, depressed, and confused? This is not the condition God has in mind for us. In fact, the Master’s overwhelming desire is to see us full of hope, strength, peace, joy, and love. So where do we go wrong? What is the disconnect? How do we bridge the gap and overcome all the negativity we encounter?
As Pastor Lance Hahn explains, when we lose our identity, we become unanchored, tossed about on the sea of a million random influences. Between the world, the flesh, and the devil, we don’t know what to think, and therefore our lives are filled with hurt, pain, and regret. Someone is running the show in our minds and it’s not us—at least not the real us, nor the real owner. This should come as a relief.
The Master’s Mind will show you just how much God wants to strengthen your mind and enable you to rise above the noise that seeks to overwhelm each one of us. Pastor Lance knows first-hand the power that comes from a mind at rest, trusting God’s goodness despite the voices in our head. Jesus died to set us free. He made a way for our souls to be rescued from our enemies. It’s time for us to take back control of our minds, to master them and bring them back in alignment with the Master’s will. It’s time to return to the Master’s mind.
|Publisher:||Nelson, Thomas, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Lance Hahn is the Senior Pastor of Bridgeway Christian Church in Rocklin, California. He loves reading and teaching God’s word. At the age of six, Lance was diagnosed with a panic disorder. He knows what it’s like to be afraid and how to live with anxiety. He shares this journey in his first book How to Live in Fear: Mastering the Art of Freaking Out. In it, he shares personal stories and offers tools for thriving through fear and guides fellow sufferers into a life of faith and trust in a God who has not forgotten them.
Outside of leading Bridgeway and uniting churches in the Sacramento region, Lance is a popular speaker who loves to write articles, blogs and books in his spare time. In his free time, Lance is a movie buff and a collecting-nerd. He loves to collect trading cards, comic books, old vinyl records and other various 'treasures'. Lance is married to his wonderful wife, Suzi. They have two incredible daughters and they round out their home with a tri-colored Cavalier King Charles named Bella.
Read an Excerpt
The One Thing
In 1991, MGM studios released a film called City Slickers, starring Billy Crystal and Jack Palance. Billy's character, Mitch Robbins, and his two friends are going through a midlife identity crisis, so they think it's a good idea to join a dude ranch for two weeks and drive cattle from New Mexico to Colorado. Upon their arrival, they meet a crusty old cowboy named Curly (played by Palance), who seems to have his life figured out in its simplest form. As they ride along, Mitch has this conversation with Curly:
"Do you know what the secret of life is?" Curly asks in his gravelly voice.
"No, what?" Mitch replies.
"This." He holds up his index finger.
"One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and everything else [doesn't matter]."
How easy would life be if we could boil all of our situations down to one thing? Is that even possible? Oddly enough, sometimes it is.
In approximately AD 31, Jesus Christ of Nazareth was asked the seemingly impossible question: "What is the greatest commandment of God?" Jesus was asked to cut through hundreds — some would argue thousands — of rules and regulations in traditional, orthodox Judaism and name the one thing that God the Father wanted most. Jesus simply replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength." The point was clear: if we do that, all else falls in line.
I'm not as brilliant as Jesus nor even as sharp as Curly, but I do know this: all the internal struggles we face every day — the questions of identity, the problems with temptation, the struggles with sin and doubt and fear — are connected to the way we think. Our minds are our "one thing." If we can master our minds and bring our thoughts into alignment with the Lord's will and perspective, the rest of our lives will follow suit.
I wonder how many of us fully understand the power of thoughts. Do we realize that what we think, we will ultimately do? There is no action that is not preceded by a thought. The human body is designed with a command center called the brain, and every system takes its control from that center. If we want to bring change to our lives — and who doesn't? — we must master things here first.
What's the Big Deal?
Why in the world would you want to read a book about changing your thoughts?
Because thoughts affect everything.
Most of us consider ourselves good people who mean well. Some of us even think our lives look fairly organized, but upon closer inspection — dear Lord! Deep down we are full of contradictions and sin, despite our best efforts. We can't even follow a diet and exercise program, much less grapple with crippling depression or anxiety. Every time we think we have things together, we do something shockingly selfish. Just when we think we have a bad habit under control, it breaks out again. The more we try to be humble, the more our ugly pride is revealed. For those of us who are Christians, we read the Bible and see that the standard God set for our lives is the life of Jesus — and we feel hopeless. But are we?
God made a way for us to live healthy and whole, and it doesn't have to be this way.
So much of our challenge is that we don't know who we are or why we are here. A healthy identity is the foundation for a right mind-set and victorious living. Praise the Lord that He has told us who He is, who we are in light of Him, and what we have been placed on this earth to do.
God does the heavy lifting. He does the rescuing and the saving. He does the deep-down transformation. Our job is to steward what He has given us. It's our responsibility to manage our bodies and our minds and to let Him make the changes we truly need. That's never going to happen if we don't do some serious work on our thoughts.
The Power of the Mind
What we think determines our actions. Even our emotions are secondary to our thoughts. We do good things because we think good things. We do bad things because we think bad things. Every great work and positive revolution in history has happened because men and women were inspired and then set their minds to carry the work to completion. Martin Luther King Jr. determined that he would not rest until all people were viewed as God intended — equal. Mother Teresa determined that the poor would not be forgotten. Our Lord Jesus Christ walked His entire life on earth with a focus on completely obeying His heavenly Father, including the determination to end up on the cross to save us from our sins, as we see in this passage from Luke: "When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem" (9:51).
Our thoughts drive our lives, both for good and for evil.
Yet it's not just a single poignant decision that determines our life paths. Life isn't that simple. A series of choices determines what today and tomorrow will hold. These decisions come from the contents of our minds, which are sometimes filled with truth and sometimes filled with error. The worst decisions of our pasts came from operating off a faulty premise.
The Bible tells us of an ancient, high-ranking official who made a personal choice that would dictate the rest of his life and effectiveness. His name was Naaman, and he was a Syrian army commander who had leprosy, a terrible skin disease. Knowing that he was desperate for healing, his little servant girl told him of a prophet in Israel who could heal him by God's power. Figuring that it was worth a shot, Naaman went to see the prophet Elisha. Elisha sent a messenger to tell Naaman that he would be healed if he washed seven times in the Jordan River.
Naaman was furious. First, he was insulted that the prophet didn't greet him personally. Second, he knew that the Jordan River in that area was less than appealing. Third, he thought the healing should be easier than that. He believed that the prophet was simply going to "call upon the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure" him (2 Kings 5:11). When things didn't go the way he thought they should, he stormed off in a rage.
His attendants hurried after him and convinced him to reconsider. Sure, washing seven times was unorthodox, but what if it could heal him? Was it really so bad to wash in a river? Why not give it a try?
He relented — and came out healed from leprosy.
Naaman's false assumptions, ignorant thoughts, and prideful heart almost cost him his healing. What are we believing today that is keeping us from God's best?
Our Journey Begins with a Thought
We've established that our thoughts determine our actions. But let's go one step even further back: what we believe — about God, about ourselves, about the world around us — determines what we think. Deep within each of our psyches is a belief system, a worldview, a lens through which we see life. From that mindset comes the vast majority of our thoughts, and these thoughts will not change unless our belief systems change. We can't modify them easily; the truth is that the only way to monkey around in a belief system is through introducing new or healthier thoughts. Most of us cannot separate our beliefs from our thoughts (in fact, I will use those terms interchangeably), and only God can change our natures. So I'm going to focus on how to shape, change, and restore healthy thoughts into our minds so that our lives might align more closely with God's design.
Everything begins somewhere. Things don't just happen without cause. Every trail of bread crumbs starts with a single crumb. There's an origin, a starting point. For our purposes, that's a thought.
It's true of God: Isaiah 14:24 tells us, "The Lord of hosts has sworn: 'As I have planned, so shall it be, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.'" God's plans precede His actions. Before God spoke the universe into being or said, "Let there be light" (Gen. 1:3), He thought about it first. The Bible is full of references to God saying that the events of history were in accordance with His plan all along:
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place. (Acts 17:26)
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (Rom. 8:28–30; cf. Eph. 1:3–14; 2 Tim. 1:9–10; Judg. 14:4; Prov. 16:9, 33)
It's true for Good Guys: Before the New York firefighters and police officers ran into the collapsing Twin Towers on the fateful day of 9/11, they thought about it. Some would say they operated on instinct, but instinct is only habitual, deep-seated thought patterns. Their heroic choice to risk their lives to protect others from a burning building was the result of truly stunning thoughts: My job is to rescue others and put them before myself. I will not let fear dictate my response. I have come to help, and that is what I will do. I won't leave until the last person is out.
And it's true for Bad Guys: Before they ended up on the news, they committed the crime. Before they committed the crime, they thought about it. Whether it's a serial killer operating off the mindset that he has the right to harm another person or a racist who deems one group of people more valuable than another, whether the crime was premeditated or done in the heat of the moment, actions follow worldviews.
It's true for everyone: we all make decisions first in our minds before our bodies carry them out.
The Control Room
A number of years back, my wife and I were watching a submarine war movie. Every time the captain left the command room, he would say to the next guy in charge, "You have the conn." This phrase originated in the nineteenth century, when warships had "conning towers." When the captain of a ship says it, he means that his first mate is in charge of directing the ship while he is gone.
Just like every ship has a command room, so too do our bodies. Our minds are the command centers of our worlds. You can think of them like the Great and Powerful Oz, the guy behind the curtain who runs the show. They're where the magic happens and all the strings are being pulled. Therefore, if you have an adjustment to make, it seems practical to make it there first.
As often as we use the phrase "our hearts" when referring to emotion, the truth is that all of our thought processes emanate from the brain. The Bible says it this way — and as you read, remember to substitute the poetic heart with the real mind:
"The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks." (Luke 6:45)
"But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person." (Matt. 15:18-20)
Both of these quotes come from Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who was explaining that our characters and beliefs determine the lives we live. He was reacting to the religious leaders of His day who looked perfect and holy on the outside but were wicked and selfish on the inside. They thought that if they did enough religious activity and avoided obvious evil choices, they would be truly good people. Christ spent a large portion of His ministry exposing the hypocrisy of this line of thinking. Doing one thing on the outside doesn't make up for thinking another on the inside.
These passages make it clear that we can't fake it. What's inside our minds will spill over into our words and actions.
Identity, Worldview, and Reality
What makes this idea so revolutionary is that most of us spend our energy trying to shape our lives through our actions and behaviors. We see something wrong in how we are living and want to change it, so we try to merely stop doing the corresponding bad behavior. As well-intentioned as that may be, it's largely ineffective. Foolishly, we catapult over the root of the issue and start hacking at branches, only to be surprised when the branches grow back. When it comes to morality, we try to be nice people. When it comes to ethics, we try to do right things. And when it comes to matters of faith, we spend the majority of our energy on sin management, completely avoiding the core issues. We'll never experience transformation until we address the thoughts at the root of our problems.
What we believe ourselves to be — our identities — directly affects how we act. If we believe we are valuable, we will care for ourselves. If we don't, we'll put little thought into what happens to us. If we believe we are safe, we will have less anxiety. If we don't, we'll be fear-ridden. If we believe there is a God, our lives will reflect our faith. If we don't, then ultimately nothing will have meaning.
Our identities and our worldviews combine to create the perceived realities that our command centers (brains) are trying to navigate. What's ironic is that none of our perceived realities are correct, because none of us are dealing with all the facts. How we think the world works and our role within it are significantly fabricated. We live in fake worlds.
We view our realities through the knowledge and experiences we've accumulated. Every moment we add and subtract from them — sometimes on purpose, and sometimes by accident or by force. Nevertheless, we are missing countless facts that would significantly alter our worldview if we knew them.
Consider the young, beautiful, and vibrant twentysomething woman who is in a relationship with an abusive and overbearing boyfriend. Everyone on the outside sees her relationship one way, but she thinks about it differently. She is trapped into thinking that what is happening to her is acceptable. She may not like it or think it's right, but somehow her identity and worldview allow for it to continue.
She was shaped into thinking that she didn't deserve better. Perhaps her father abused her or treated her with disdain. Perhaps her mother lived in competition with her or acted out of pure selfishness. Perhaps she fell into a group of friends that led her down a road of addiction, and her connection to this man has nothing to do with love and friendship but everything to do with mutual codependency. Every belief led to a decision, and every decision led to an action.
But what if she knew that Jesus thought she was valuable enough to die for? What if she knew that young women are supposed to be treated with respect, and that it's never okay for a man to strike a woman? What if she had been taught self-respect and a healthy identity early on? Would that not have changed her life?
What we think affects who we are.
What's at Stake?
A war lost in the mind is lost. Bad thinking is dangerous. Just as a wartime strategy based on faulty intelligence is a potential disaster, so too is an untrained and disorderly mind. Or, more subtly, wrong thinking can keep us ineffective, wasting time on things that aren't important instead of living the lives God has for us. Victory and defeat can happen between our ears.
Right thinking is a big deal. In fact, it's the deal.
Paul wrote in Romans about the distorted thinking common to humans — and the consequences it brings. Since our sin nature is rooted in how we think, our thoughts continue to be the primary block between us and God. Despite God's continual attempts to reveal Himself and His heart for mankind, He has been rejected at every turn. He desperately wants to renew our minds and align them with His, but we, as humans, resist Him every step of the way.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Rom. 1:18–21)
Jesus Himself reaffirmed that our thoughts were of utmost importance when He shifted God's covenants with man from external demands to internal demands. The law gave way to grace. Sin was redefined as primarily a matter of the heart, and inner loyalty was the new standard.
Excerpted from "The Master's Mind"
Copyright © 2017 Lance Hahn.
Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Foreword Ray Johnston xiii
Chapter 1 The One Thing 1
Chapter 2 Identity Theft 21
Chapter 3 The Father of Lies 41
Chapter 4 Temptation Island Desert 61
Chapter 5 Arming the Resistance 81
Chapter 6 Making Monsters 97
Chapter 7 Hostile Takeover 113
Chapter 8 The Land of Make-Believe 139
Chapter 9 All Hail the King 155
Chapter 10 Replacement Therapy 173
Chapter 11 Who's the Boss? 189
Acknowledgments and Appreciation 205
About the Author 221
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I found this book to be thought provoking. Although good, not quite as interesting and grabbing as I had hoped. The content is really informative and helpful. Having a mind like Jesus is the goal. The author shares how important it is to have a healthy mind. We need to be Christians who live well, and to do that, we must think well. It is key that we know who we are in Christ, and who our enemy is, as well as, the tactics he uses against us. Through his lies he attempts to steal our identity. It's essential that we overcome the enemy through Scripture and God's help and our minds are paramount to that happening. The author provides lots of food for thought. He goes over quite a bit of information - there were times I just had to take a break and process. I could not read this book quickly as I would have liked; there was much to digest. Some of it seemed a bit repetitive at times. Of course repetition is the key to remembering. The beginning of the book kind of sets the stage, shows the problem, while the latter part addresses how to begin the process of thinking like Christ and re-training our brain. However, as with all books of this type, it is important to read and compare to God's Word, not just accept everything the author says as fact. Most of what I read, seemed to be insightful information, but I have not yet completed the entire book - as I said, takes time to process, and is not a quick read. I do however, plan to finish in the near future. I received this book from Handlebar to read. I was not asked to review positively.
The general premise behind this book is how to overcome anxiety and negativity with strength and positivity. The author is a preacher and not a psychologist, so the techniques explained are very set in religion as opposed to psychiatry. While I personally felt the book was a bit too religious and not psychological enough, I can see how certain audiences would really appreciate this read. Devout Christians would enjoy this book as there are copious references to Jesus. Hahn discusses how Jesus overcame negative thoughts and focused on his purpose in life. Key ideas that stuck with me were how many people choose to believe lies about themselves and worry for hours about events which will likely never occur. More trust in a higher power and emphasis on prayer / meditation is a good idea for relieving anxiety. Family problems and addictions were also briefly discussed. I should note that this book is not anti-medicine since the author himself states how he has been on psychiatric drugs since the late 1990s. My favorite aspect of this book was how Hahn challenged the notion that religious people have no anxieties. Religious people, like all other people, need to reshape their thoughts so they add to life, not detract from it.
Yes. Yes. Yes. We need this book. I know I did. So powerful and so true. If you have read Joyce Meyer's Battlefield of the Mind then you will love this book. I so needed this book, it came into my life at the perfect time. The way Lance talks about shaping our mind to the mind of Christ just really struck me and took me deeper. This was a non-fiction book I made time to read because I need my mind reshaped. If you struggle with your thought life in any way, if you know you aren't thinking how Christ designed you to think you must read this book. It's like taking a breath of fresh air over your thoughts. A copy of this book was given to me. All opinions are my own.
OCT 9 The Master's Mind Pastor Hahn's subtitle is "The Art of Reshaping Your Thoughts" is self-explanatory. The Master's Mind points out the value of knowing God and basing our life on the word of God. Pastor Hahn, "Feelings are good but if they are not shaped, molded and harnessed they begin to betray themselves". "Most of our soul talk, most of our self-talk, most of our thinking isn't healthy at all". Looking at your self-worth through the worldview of today-is totally inaccurate. Self-worth is only in Christ.. Chapters one to eight have benefit to point to relating while nine to eleven gives specific steps to overcome the battle for our minds. The book is an easy and thoughtful read. All chapters have footnoted verses for personal study. Pastor Lance Hahn has well said, "God is our only chance to get it right". I received this book from Handlebar for the purpose of review.
I received a copy of THE MASTER’S MIND: THE ART OF RESHAPING YOUR THOUGHTS by Lance Hahn from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review. I’ve read quite a few Biblical self-help book. What really caught my attention with this one was the part about reshaping your thoughts. Everyone can use a little of that, right? It especially seemed appropriate now that I’ve lost my job and am in a career transition. While I did find parts to help me in life, overall this struck me as more of a sermon than a regular self-help book. The ones I’ve read in the past have been engaging. The author relates his or her story in a way that inspires and captivates. This book was certainly well-researched and it was filled with Biblical references; however, it didn’t really discuss the author’s personal experiences. I found it slow going. It was a good book, and if you are trying to think with less negativity, then this is a great resource.