But those sorts of wounds are almost like when the doctor has to re-break a bone to set it right…painful, but necessary.
Mindset is one of the biggest “secrets” to the Christian life that I had absolutely missed….it was the broken bone that needed to be re-set in my life.
Last week I was chatting with a friend over text, as we often do, and she asked me if me and my husband were planning on attending an event in October.
Immediately I was frustrated. Not because there wasn’t a good reason for us going to that event, but because I was embarrassed that we couldn’t, and I had already “said no” about this event many times already. It hurt to say it again.
We’ve had many blessings and challenges over the last year or so, but many of the “bills” are coming due in September and October….and being responsible, we chose to honor those obligations instead of doing things we would rather do.
So when my friend asked me about it, my frustration with being unable to to go overtook my emotions, and I felt like I needed to “explain my reality.”
I slipped deeper and deeper into my frustration with not being able to go to the event, and spent much of the evening having a “spirited discussion” (that’s spiritual code language for yelling at God for the uninitiated) with the Lord.
My husband came home from a meeting later that same evening and told me that we WERE in fact now going to the event, and he explained the miraculous way that it came about.
Because what I’m learning is God doesn’t care about MY “reality”….He cares about HIS reality, and His ability to bring that about has very little to do with my ability to envision how.
I texted my friend the next day with the happy news and she responded with “I just felt like I shouldn’t partner with the negativity of you not being able to do it last night. I knew it was going to work out!”
And my knee jerk reaction was “HEY! I wasn’t being negative, I was just speaking the reality of my situation.” But the truth was, I was NOT speaking the “reality” of my situation. The reality of my situation was that it was already taken care of by God.
My self proclaimed “reality” was simply an old habit of my negative beliefs about what God had planned for me. I thought out of lack, not out of what God actually wanted or what He had actually said. I projected my personal feelings onto God and called them His.
Dang guys, do you realize how sobering that thought is?
It shone a bright light on the habits I had gotten into….the one where I presume to say what God has for me and spiritualize my lack of belief. To talk more about my negative “perceptions” than to actually dwell on the truth of what He DOES have for me.
Which brings me to my point…I had allowed my lack of mental discipline to “train” me to be negative.
But Romans 12:2 says “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Renewing of my mind is something that I must do…not that I sit back and wait to be done to me. This is not a work of the Holy Spirit, this is a work of Kristen partnering with the Holy Spirit.
I actually have to personally engage in that. I have to identify the wrong thinking and then actively begin to change it.
I’ve had a lifelong tendency to be undisciplined in my thinking, to “protect” myself with negativity. So I asked God what “renewing my mind” would look like in that situation.
Because everything my friend said was RIGHT! Even though it was hard to hear it. My negativity was my “security blanket” and I didn’t like hearing that I was wrong.
I believe God gave me an insight into how to renew my mind. He brought these verses to mind: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Romans 4:17 where it talks about how in God’s paradigm, He routinely “calls things that are NOT as if they ARE”.
For a long time Christians have relegated declarations and “affirmations” to the fringe of motivational pseudoscience, but what I’m learning is that when we renew our minds, we MUST speak the things that are NOT as if they ARE, and in all things, give THANKS!
So what does that practically look like, that renewing your mind?
It looks like this, instead of ASKING for things that the Bible has already said are mine as an heir in the kingdom I choose to rejoice and THANK God for them….calling them into existence instead of living in functional denial of their existence.
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For example, my physical state is not one that is perfected yet, but I can confidently confess:
“Thank you Lord that you desire that I be in good health in my body, soul, and spirit (3 John 1:2).
I thank you also that you have met all of my needs according to your riches in Christ Jesus and His finished work (Philippians 4:19).
Thank you for your promise that if I pursue the Kingdom first and your righteousness in my life, you have taken care of all the rest (Matthew 6:33).
I thank you that you have equipped me to every good work and to accomplish Your will through my life (Hebrews 13:21).”
I know that He has already secured up these promises for me. I don’t need to ask him for them, as if he hasn’t already placed them in Heavenly places for me.
I need only to thank Him for them in the spirit of “calling them to be” in the earthly realms. Confessing them with my mouth and knowing that God is faithful to complete what He has started. (Philippians 1:6)
And what do you know, it is really hard to be negative when you are so busy thanking God for the things He has ALREADY given you.
Confessing this verbally is so powerful….after all the Bible tells us that the literal power of life and death is in the tongue….I can choose to start a wildfire of destruction, or a wildfire of change….all in just what I allow myself to say (Proverbs 18:21, James 3:6)
So don’t be like the negative Kristen, always begging for scraps from the Master’s table while there was a plate there with my name on it all the time. Dig into His word, see what He says about you as a believer and then get about the serious business of THANKING HIM for what He has already secured for you….and watch the things that “were not” become the “things that are.”
Here’s one of my favorite songs to remind me of who HE says I am. If you’re in a place where you need to fill your heart with truth to crowd out the rest, give it a listen. It doesn’t disappoint.
And thank you for letting me be transparent and share parts of this journey with you