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Whether or not you realize it, you are talking to yourself all day long.

Let me give you an example. Picture someone coming down the hall toward you who you thought had ignored you the other day. The thoughts racing through your head will probably sound something like this: Should I say something to them or should I just ignore them since they ignored me the other day? They are looking at me now. What should I do? Just say “hello” or pretend I didn’t see them?

This type of self-talk can be either verbal or non-verbal, and it plays a very important part in creating the path you walk in this life.

I reached a point in my Christianity where I started to become aware of these internal conversations I have going on all the time, and I understood their significance and started using them to my advantage. For example, if I have a meeting to attend, I talk to myself prior to the meeting: “Be cool. Don’t lose your temper. Glorify God today.” If I have a business deal happening, I talk through what I want to see occur and how I’m going to make that presentation. If somebody offends me, I immediately tell myself, “Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who despitefully use you. I command you, flesh, subdue yourself.”

Self-talk initiates behavior, direction, and momentum that will take you toward the promises of God.

“…She Said Within Herself…”
A great example of self-talk is given to us in the healing of the woman with the issue of blood.
And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: for she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
(Matt. 9:20–21 KJV)
The key to her healing is in verse 21. It’s the reason why she went into the press and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. “For she said within herself, if I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole.”

She wasn’t talking to the crowds or her friends or her family. She wasn’t talking to the unseen realm. She was talking to herself.  

Whether or not she realized it, she was employing the spiritual principle of self-talk.

The Power of Your Imagination
Now before we explore this principle further, I want to back up and show you an interesting truth about our imagination found in Genesis chapter 11, where we find an account of the tower of Babel.
And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
(Gen. 11:6 KJV)
These unregenerate people had no covenant with God, yet because of the way God created them, they were doing something that generated unrestrained momentum in their lives. First was the fact that no division existed among them; the people were one, striving together toward a common goal. This principle of unity is important for groups today. Jesus said a house divided against itself cannot stand (Matthew 12:25). If we as a church want to do anything to affect our city or our world for God, it’s going to be together or not at all—but that’s another message completely. It’s the second thing that created momentum in these people’s lives that I want to focus on: imagination.

Your imagination is primarily responsible for the direction and momentum established in your life. Many religious circles have given imagination a big X. “Oh, that’s mind control. That’s new age.” Certainly, perversions of this truth are out there, but the core truth about imagination comes from scripture. God created your imagination and He gave you the capacity to envision future probabilities on the canvas of your mind. It comes as your image of what your future may hold in store for you. The more clearly defined that mental image of your future probabilities becomes, the more momentum is generated in that direction.

Imagination + Self-Talk
We see how our imagination is connected to self-talk in Psalm chapter 1.
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
(Ps. 1:1–3 KJV)
The Hebrew word used for meditate means to imagine and to ponder, but that’s only one half of the definition. It also means to murmur, mutter, utter, or talk. Who do you mutter to? Yourself. When you talk to yourself in this way, you establish imagery that is going to generate momentum in your life.

Now where is this momentum going to take you? That depends upon the pictures, images, and words that you think on and tell yourself. If you want to be blessed, meditate on the Bible. Imagine, mutter, and talk to yourself about what your future holds in store for you based on what God says about you in the Word.

How often should you meditate on the Word? According to Psalm 1, the blessed man meditates on it day and night. “Day and night? That’s impossible. I’d never get anything done.” That phrase is simply a reference to creating images based on the Word throughout the day, whether you’re getting up in the morning, going to bed at night, or any time in between. These images don’t just pop into your mind and automatically get reinforced and enlarged all on their own. It depends entirely on your self-talk.

Dealing With Outside Imagery
Now, it’s important to realize that some initial imagery of your future can be generated by any pattern of thought that may come from outside circumstances or evil reports. Negative images will pop up of what you might be getting ready to encounter. You can ignore those images and replace them with godly ones or you can embrace them, begin to refine them, and focus on them, depending on your self-talk.

For example, say that a good Christian you knew became sick and died. You hear about it and think, They were a person of faith. That could happen to me. Maybe the will of God isn’t to heal everybody. That’s negative self-talk. You’re embracing images contrary to God’s Word, and as a result, those images will take on the capacity to drive your life in that direction.

So listen to what you are saying within yourself. Become more and more aware of your ongoing self-talk so you can identify when you are focusing on something other than God’s Word. When that happens, make a change in your imagination and what you’re thinking, muttering, and imagining. When you change the imagery you focus on—and adjust your self-talk accordingly—you can and will change your quality of life.

Copyright © Mac Hammond Ministries
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
 
Mac Hammond is senior pastor of Living Word Christian Center, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.
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