What kind of mindset are you bringing into your new year? We can be defeated just by having a bad mindset. God has more for your life then defeat! Our outlook on life, ourselves, and others can make or break a successful year. Sometimes we carry old mindsets that have no life. Do you have an old mindset?
Old Mindsets will say, “This is how we did it in the past and we have to do it this way now.” New Mindsets will “Forget what happened in the past, and do not dwell on events from long ago…” (Isaiah 43:18 GWT) It goes on to say, “I am going to do something new. It is already happening. Don’t you recognize it?” This verse tells us to forget what happened in the past. Forget how things were done. Forget any stigma connected with it. Embrace, and let it become a part of you, the new!
Constantly last year in 2012, and this new year of 2013, I have had to let go of some old mindsets I’ve been carrying because they just wouldn’t work with the new God was bringing me into. How I viewed things, especially myself and ministry, stifled me and put God in a box. After some major events that took place the beginning of last year, I found my old mindsets wouldn’t work in the new I was walking in.
This message has two parts. First, we will learn how to demolish any old mindset we may be living in, and then in Part 2, we will learn how to put on the new mind and new mindsets God has for us.
How do we demolish old mindsets?
1. Close your mind off from what you think should happen.
If we are too focused on what has happened before and expecting the same thing to happen, we will miss the new God has for us. We might have a pre-conceived idea of how God works, but really, God works in mysterious ways. His ways are not our ways. We have to be open to new things.
Isaiah 43:18 – 19 (CEV) “Forget what happened long ago! Don’t think about the past. I am creating something new. There it is! Do you see it? I have put roads in the deserts, streams in thirsty lands.”
Roads in the deserts and streams in thirsty lands. In the natural, the desert is a wasteland. There are usually no streams, and hardly any roads. But this verse wants us to open our minds and thoughts to something that is not natural. Streams in the desert are opposites. They are two extreme things. Yet, This is what God is doing in our lives, ministry, finances, family, and much more.
We can limit God just by having an old mindset. I was given a plaque/picture for Christmas from a close friend. It is beautiful. It has a Zebra background (I collect Zebra items) and looked very African. There was a verse written on it that says: “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) It was a reminder of what God has placed in my heart and the vision He has given me. Christ is Whom I do things through, and He gives me strength to accomplish what He has placed in my heart. My old mindset would have said, “Well, this is what I know, and I guess I will keep doing what I have been doing.” God wanted me to close my mind and thoughts on the old way of thinking, so I could put on the new mindset to pursue the new.
We have to abolish the old way of thinking. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, yet He never does the same miracle the same way He did before. There is always a new way.
When the new way is coming forth, and you think it might not be of God, take a second look and ask God if it is from Him or not. He will show you if you are truly open to His answer. Check and see if you have closed off the new way of looking at things. Don’t be caught up in how things were, or how you think things should be. Get caught up in God and sensitive to His leading. Then, you won’t miss out on the new God is bringing.
2. Relax if things don’t go according to plan.
Sometimes things don’t go according to plan. Often times this is God trying to show you there is a better or different way of doing things. We can get all stressed and frustrated over trying to accomplish something and find out the way to accomplish it, or even if you should accomplish it, didn’t work. God sees the whole picture, we don’t. Our finite minds will think something should go a certain way, but God’s infinite wisdom knows all and has a plan. God has used the most foolish things to confound the wise. Be willing to let go of your way of thinking in order to receive new revelation and insight in a situation.
I have seen people get all upset just because things don’t go according to what they thought should happen. Then, out of their frustration, they criticize what IS happening and not only miss out on what God is doing, they also cause strife and division in the body of Christ. Usually these people are very verbal with their criticisms. They are thinking they are “right,” when in reality they are totally wrong, and missing it.
Proverbs 3:5 – 6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Our own understanding can often deceive us. What we “think” should happen. What we “reason” to happen. Yes, facts are facts, and if you are basing your understanding on that alone, you are limiting God. You see, God is a God of miracles. A place where facts alone can not explain. If we take the God-factor out of an equation, we will end up with less then what could really happen.
3. Listen to God’s voice in everything you do, and everywhere you go.
Lately I have heard on the Radio or seen in print my favorite passage of scripture in the Bible, Proverbs 3:5 – 6. I know God is telling me to just trust Him and to not rely on the way I think or to get worried at what I see. God has a way of talking to us, we just need to be open to his voice. In this case, His voice was broadcast through the radio two different times in one day, with also reading the above passage in an article I read. It was also the “verse of the day” on my Bible app on my phone. Can God use modern technology to speak to His people? He sure can! He will use any and everything to help us with our every day life. In point 2 we looked Proverbs 3:5 – 6, now I want to look at in a different translation.
Proverbs 3:5 – 6 (The Message) “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’S voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.”
“Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go…” If we are constantly listening to Gods voice and direction, the new mindset will automatically be put on you. You won’t be surprised at the direction God is taking you. In fact, you will be so consumed in what God is doing you won’t be distracted by the old mindset. Listening to God’s constant voice demolishes old mindsets.
There have been times God will wake me up from a dream and as I am waking up I hear a phrase or a statement. I use to ignore these times, but I have learned to tune my spiritual ear into God’s frequency and be open to His voice in what every way He wants to bring it.
One way to really know it is God’s voice is to ask the question: “Does it line up with God’s Word?” If it doesn’t then quickly ignore it and move on in your life. If it does line up with His word, take head and look at what you just read or heard and ask God for discernment and direction. He will give it to us. He is good at this.
When we hear God’s voice we need to head it and not rebel. Usually God will confirm His word several times to let you know He is telling you something. Don’t be stubborn and ignore it or even do the opposite of what He is asking of you.
Hebrews 3:15 (GNT) “This is what the scripture says: ‘If you hear God’s voice today, do not be stubborn, as your ancestors were when they rebelled against God.”
Let us be a people who are quick to obey God and His word!
4. Don’t fight change.
I am one who enjoys change. Actually, anything new I totally love. A new home, a new car, new clothes, new job, all of that is enjoyable to me. I rearrange my living room and my office at church often. When things seem to get stale, I have to change it. It fuels me. Staleness can cause you to become complacent. We get comfortable in our pursuit of God and what we do for Him. Contentment and complacency are two different things.
Contentment: “a state of happiness and satisfaction” (Oxford American Dictionary)
Complacency: “self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies; a feeling of being satisfied with how things are and not wanting to try to make them better (Webster).”
We should all be content, yet, most people get confused and actually get complacent instead. Complacency is “Self-satisfaction” it is inward-satisfaction. We get satisfied with our efforts and stop pursuing God.
I have seen older people with the mindset, “I already did my time, now I can just relax!” This is an old mindset. As long as their is breath in you, pursue God and what He wants you to do in this life! Don’t allow inward-satisfaction to take the place of contentment.
Complacency shuts your eyes to the new God is doing. Complacency turns a blind eye to injustice. Complacency is extremely selfish. This is opposite of God’s character. God always gives his time and love to others. He never sleeps. He is older then time itself. If we want to be more like Him, then we have to up-root complacency from our lives. Don’t entertain thoughts of giving up, or retiring from God’s call.
I know of a wonderful lady who was the piano player of a church I was the Worship Pastor at. She was 65 years old but loved the contemporary Christian praise and worship. It fueled her. She couldn’t wait for me to place a new song in front of her so she could learn it. I have seen other piano players her same age fight me when I would pic a new song for them to learn. In fact, they couldn’t even play it as they had the old way of playing in their minds and it prevented them from even trying to play the piano in a new way. The lady who was open to change had a huge impact on the members of the worship team and they loved her dearly. She spoke into their lives often and they were eager to hear what she had to say. The lady who was not open to change, was often critical in most areas of life, and the worship team members literally hated it when she would be scheduled to play the piano. She didn’t speak into the lives of anyone, and often would be the first one to leave a practice. Tell me, which one would you rather be?
I was reading a book, “Charged To Change,” by Pastor Abba Godwin (Abuja, Nigeria, Word Alive Revival Ministries). He states, “Tradition is a pothole in the highway of acceleration.” I believe it. Doing things the same way, and not looking for the new God is doing, will prevent you from arriving at your destiny. In Nigeria, the streets and roads are so bad. They have huge potholes, and sometimes the paved street is broken and gone all together. This is such an eye opener as to how tradition and religious mindsets can detour us from our prophetic destinations.
5. Don’t stop believing.
The enemy wants you to give up on the dream God has placed in side of you. You might have been waiting for this dream to come to pass twenty or more years ago. I am sure the dream is bigger then you. If it is, that is a true sign that it is from God. If it was the size of something you could fulfill on your own, then God wouldn’t get the glory, you would.
Don’t allow setback or hardship to prevent you from believing the God-given dream will be fulfilled. God has His time-frame. He knows everything. Again, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5 – 6). This is a promise.
Bring the dream before God in prayer. Remind Him (although He always remembers) and remind yourself of the dream. Pour your heart out to God and express your desire and His dream He has placed in your heart. Ask Him for the grace to finish the race to see the fulfillment of that dream. Remind yourself, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). Stir up faith in your spirit. Let faith arise in your heart again. Look back and remind yourself of all the things God has done in your life. He is faithful! Don’t allow the tool the devil uses; “Discouragement” to become a part of you. Shake it off and press onward! God has big plans for you.
It is up to us to demolish any old mindsets we may have. Ask God to show you them and be determined to get rid of them. Once we get rid of the old, there is room for the new.
Next week, Part 2: “How To Put On The New Mindset?” Get ready to be changed by the power of God! He has GREAT plans for you this year and beyond. Do you part and let go of any old thinking patterns that hinder you from reaching your full potential and all that God has for you.
Your sister in Christ,