Thermostats vs. Thermometers

Thermostats vs. Thermometers

Thermometers are important for successful living. It is an instrument that measures the temperature of something. Without thermometers, we would not have an accurate reading on how things are. 

Healthy “thermometer people” are important. They are able to give needed feedback on what the true temperature is in a relationship, organization, course, workplace, or elsewhere. They also make great counselors because they help people truly understand where they are at (and it is difficult to get to a new destination if we don’t know where we are  now).

With this said, we must also be thermostatic because nothing will change if we are only a thermometer (just reporting on how things are). Thermometers diagnose the temperature, while thermostats set the temperature. Influencers are thermostatic people who create a higher level of experience for those connected to them. I want to help you become more thermostatic today.

Here are five things to activate the thermostat within you:

  1. Know the faith walk is first to believe, and then to see – I used to only believe something was true after I had experienced it through circumstances. For instance, I would not believe I was an influencer of nations until I actually saw that I was influencing nations. God told me, “That is not how all this  works. You must believe to see, not see to believe.” Faith is believing something is true even before we see it in our experience.
  2. Know things don’t immediately change when you set a new temperature on your thermostat – It would be foolish to say, “This is not working!” only thirty seconds after you set a new temperature on the thermostat. It takes time for the environment to catch up to the new setting. Likewise, our experiences will catch up to our beliefs and the waiting time is called “faith.”
  3. Know we cannot get our beliefs from our feelings or our past experiences  – We do not deny these the past or our feelings, but we cannot get our beliefs from them.  We acknowledge the facts (temperature) of what is happening and are emotions resulting from it, but we believe in truths higher than the facts of our experiences.
  4. Know that what we renew our minds with today radically influences what we will experience tomorrow Romans 12:2 says to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”  How we renew our minds now creates future experiences. If we only renew our minds with what has happened, we will repeat what has happened. Thermostatic people intentionally meditate on and believe the promises of God, even when their experiences are saying something totally different.
  5. Know “life is in the power of the tongue” – “God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not” (Romans 4:17). Those who don’t upgrade their language will have more difficulty being thermostatic. Our words create atmospheres of life or death (Proverbs 18:21), and they become a directing force in our lives (James 3:2-5). Speaking faith declarations is a main way to set a new temperature in our lives. 

Which of the above five is the most important for you to focus on now? What practical steps can you take to increase this thermostatic igniter in your life? As you focus on this, you will become more intentional (which is what being a thermostat is all about).

For more on topics like this, listen to my podcast by clicking the link below.


Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.

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