We are a few weeks into the new year and, right now, some of those resolutions we made are starting to feel like weights tied to our ankles. Our motivations and enthusiasm may be dwindling, but I pray to be of some encouragement. Maybe, just maybe, what you need to accomplish your goals is a fresh mindset….a Godly mindset. What is a Godly mindset? I believe having a Godly mindset means that our thoughts and feelings are filtered through God’s Word.
Colossians 3:2 (NKJ): 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
Our thoughts influence our lives more than we know. Our thoughts help determine who we become and guide the course of our lives. Now, this can be good or bad, depending on what we are thinking. We have an enemy and his name is Satan. Satan is a liar and deceiver who loves to inject wrong thoughts into our minds, hoping we not only believe them but run with them. It is imperative that we make sure our thoughts line up with the Word of God.
“…..bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”-2 Cor. 10:5
What else does the Bible say about a man’s mind and thoughts? Well, here are just a few more verses:
Proverbs 23:7 (NKJ): For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
Romans 12:2 (NKJ): 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Romans 8: 5-6 (NKJ): For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
To get and keep a Godly mindset takes work. We must choose to take up our cross daily. I can’t say this enough….we must CHOOSE…..CHOOSE….it is our choice.
I learned this lesson the hard way as 2016 was another spiritual struggle for me. Things that once came naturally to me took a great effort. Vices, character flaws, and old natures continued to reappear. I allowed other people’s feeling and opinions influence my thinking, attitude, and actions. All these things not only took me away from God and my calling, but it left me a very unhappy woman. I was unhappy because I was not walking in His will for my life. You see, once we have found true delight in the Lord, nothing else, and I mean nothing else, will ever make us truly happy.
With much help from Joyce Meyer’s book I Dare You, I have written a short series to help us get and keep a Godly mindset in 2017 and the years to come.
Today, we will begin with Step One:
Be Positive and Create a Positive Atmosphere
You have the choice to be a person who always sees the glass as half empty or you can be the person who sees it as half full and seeks to fill it completely (Joyce Meyer). I will admit that I am a person who leans more towards “stinky thinking.” Growing up, I was surrounded by a lot of negativity, and positivity does not come easy for me. It is a character flaw I am seriously trying to overcome (by the grace of God).
One Sunday afternoon a cranky grandfather was visiting his family. As he lay down to take a nap, his grandson decided to have a little fun by putting Limburger cheese on his grandfather’s mustache. Soon, Grandpa awoke with a snort and charged out of the bedroom saying, “This room stinks.” Through the house he went, finding every room smelling the same. Desperately he made his way outside only to find that “the whole world stinks!” (I Dare You-Joyce Meyer)
When we fill our mind with negativism, everything we experience and everybody we encounter will carry the scent of our stinky thinking. Yep, our negative thoughts and attitudes not only affect us, they affect those around us.
Jesus was careful who he allowed in his inner circle.
49 While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.”[i]
50 But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” 51 When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in[j] except Peter, James, and John,[k] and the father and mother of the girl. 52 Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” 53 And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead.
54 But He put them all outside,[l] took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” 55 Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately.
Why did Jesus only permit only Peter, James, John, and the girl’s parents into the room?
I strongly believe it was because He wanted/needed to be surrounded by faithful believers. He didn’t want the doubt, unbelief, and fears to get in the way. Jesus created an atmosphere in which He could work.
We, too, need to be careful to create a positive atmosphere in which God can work. We may need to be careful who we let in to our inner circle or we may need to work on not being the “Negative Nancy” that needs to be in the waiting room.
Sadly, not long ago, someone should have put me in the waiting room.
A few months ago I was meeting with a couple of women for prayer time. I was full of frustrations, disappointments, and complaints, which I vocalized. We spent most of the prayer time talking about my issues and by the end all three of us were left feeling defeated. One of my prayer partners even commented, “I feel worse now than I did before I came.”
This was not a positive atmosphere. My negativity left little room for God to operate.
Staying positive when our circumstances scream otherwise is beyond difficult but not impossible. As Lysa TerKeurst says, “Our feelings are indicators not dictators,” meaning our feelings do not have to control our actions or our thoughts. If God made our lives perfect, we would have no need for faith. I recently heard this on the radio:
“Every Christian is a witness for Christ; we are either a good witness or a bad witness.”
If we are faced with a negative circumstance, but remain positive, we are showing the world we trust Christ. We are witnessing to the fact that we believe God can change a negative circumstance into a positive one, that God is working even though we may not see or feel it.
I don’t know what circumstances you are facing, but I do know that the battle belongs to God. Trust in Him and face the situation with positivity and faith.
Next time, we will look at how choosing peace will help us get or keep a Godly mindset.
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,