ATLANTA – Popular speaker and author Beth Moore said she wished someone had told her when she was younger about the importance of controlling one's mind.
That's why she decided to pass on this wisdom to the 22,000 young adults attending the Passion Conference this week.
God created humans to have a mind that is unlike any other creature in its capacity to think and create, said Moore during the Sunday morning session. But people have free will and can choose to use their mind to think either constructive or destructive thoughts.
This choice to think what we want is seen when people repent, which is a process where people decide to change their mind.
"So many times we get it in our head that real change is not possible. I want you to know that is a lie," said Moore, referring to the reference about renewing of the mind in Romans 12:1-2. "Do you know that you can completely change your mind? It is one of the rights you have as the children of God."
Without going into specifics, Moore shared that she was abused as a child and the memories of those events haunted her for years and led to destructive thought patterns. But through the power of the Word of God, she said she was able to completely change her mind about what happened and free herself from mental captivity.
"There is no one listening or watching today that has ever lived in more defeat than I lived in my past. No one," exclaimed Moore.
But God showed her that to renew her mind she must think new thoughts about old events to defuse the power of the bad memories. She began to see that God can use her bad experience to help other young women with similar experiences.
"People tell me all the time that 'I cannot change the way I feel.' No, but you can change the way you think and that will change the way you feel," Moore stated.
She called on students to not allow any destructive thoughts to have a stronghold on them but to instead make their mind captive to God.
"Our God is a jealous God. He says, 'Listen, I want to be your one thing,'" said the popular Christian speaker. "I want you to be fully capable and practice the pure self discipline of shutting down every other voice so you can hear one thing."
It is only with the renewing of one's mind that students can hear the voice of God and discern what is His will for their life, she said.
Moore has spoken at every Passion conference since the youth event began in 1997 in Austin, Texas, with 2,000 people. The popular conference has since grown to attract over 20,000 students and even a world tour.
This year's conference in Atlanta, Jan. 1-4, will also feature speakers Francis Chan, John Piper, and Andy Stanley. Lead worshippers at the event include Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Matt Redman, Charlie Hall, Christy Nockels, and Kristian Stanfill.