Reworking our Mindsets
to be Spirit-Led
For the past couple of months the Holy Spirit has been teaching me various mindsets to have in order to be able to listen and follow to Him throughout the day. When we learn to listen and follow the Spirit, our lives become truly powerful as we are consciously connected to Him, operate according to His will not ours, and act in His strength not ours.
Celebrate Each Day
The first mindset the Spirit taught me is to celebrate each day because it’s the only one we have. We will never have the opportunities we have today to love, give, learn, impact someone’s life and so on. We are to enjoy, embrace, and share what we have been given. We can’t go back and repeat a day, what we make of it is what it will forever be, and what we do today affects tomorrow. When you consider the impact and finality of a day, it’s amazing most of us live like we can repeat them. Today is what’s real, which leads me to the next lesson learned.
Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 118:24 This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.
Stay in the Day
In my early twenties I tried to live by the phrase, live in the moment. Back then, it meant to enjoy each day and not get caught up in the past or future. But the Spirit’s recent instruction brought a bit of a different slant and importance to this mindset. When we are in the moment or stay in the day, as a friend calls it, we are more connected to the Spirit because that is where the Spirit is, therefore that is how we have a spirit-lead life. When our mind is elsewhere we aren’t engaged with Him and not listening to His voice and instruction, which is what we need to live by. 2 Corinthians 10:5, 1 John 2:27
The past is done and the future is unknown, but many of us live in one or both of these places mentally and emotionally. The past does affect our current moments because what we experienced and choose put us where we are today, but too often we are bounded by it. And one common way is through un-forgiveness. For years I had un-forgiveness in the form of “justified anger and pain” from things that happened in the past; it plagued my days sucking true life from them. When we don’t forgive someone and harbor ill-will against them, then that affects our current decisions, mindset and health. Un-forgiveness is a thief of life, freedom and joy. But how do we forgive truly? For many years I wanted to forgive but couldn’t. We forgive by the power of God working in us. As I cried out to God, He brought forgiveness into the depths of my soul, it was a process.
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
The flip side is dwelling in the worries of an unknown future. (Blog I wrote on worry, Irrational Worry )We get caught up in worry about what might happen that we live this present moment in a future that doesn’t exist and that also is a rancid thief. There is a balance between being responsible and making good decisions that affect the future, and being consumed with worry about it. The former comes from a mindset of trust the other from fear. To overcome consuming worry requires trust in God, the One who is sovereign over everything. Trusting God is the fruit of cultivating a relationship with Him. Only by spending time getting to really know Him, can we truly trust Him. When we do the worry begins to cease and trust takes over; trust in Him, His love for us and His promises. We need to be listening to the Spirit, not worrying.
Matthew 6:24 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
When we stay in the day, then we can attune to the Spirit’s active leading. When we engage Him it changes what happens in our lives as His direction is perfect and complete for us. Take time to invite the Spirit into your thought processes.
Mindset of Praise
The third mindset is to be praise-oriented, which means to praise God throughout the day for Him, His promises, the things around us, and so on. This mindset is the ultimate worship of God, because it is real, true, heart-felt, and active.
This mindset isn’t about denial of what’s happening. It’s looking at a situation from a different perspective. For example, many are in the midst of a financial trial. This type of trial is a tremendous test and refinement of trust in God’s ways not ours, His provision, and sovereignty. We can either dwell in the mindset of being frustrated and complaining, or recognize God’s control and work, God taking care of our present needs, and seeking the Spirit’s counsel. Praise isn’t to be forced or contrived, but real. God cares about the heart. And praise without denial glorifies God. It shows we know Him, trust Him that He is faithful to do what He promises. It reveals we understand His perfect love for us and working in our lives. To gain a heart of praise comes from truly knowing Him and trusting in Him and His promises.
When God is our God there is always a reason to praise because of His love and care for us. We may not feel that in the moment, but our feelings aren’t reality. They are the sum of a whole host of things. The truth is the former.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Connecting the Three Mindsets
A praise mindset helps us to celebrate each day and to stay in the day (so that we can be spirit-lead) because we are aware and thankful for what is right before us. We are outward focused not self-absorbed and therefore more readily available to listen to and be used by God.
Considering these new mindsets, how do you change your thought patterns? Have you ever tried? It’s very difficult on our own. We don’t do it; God does it in us. When God instructs us, and we heed His instruction then He enables us. God rewires our brains. He has done it many times in me. Our part is to pray and keep these truths always before us. Acts 5:32
Through this instruction, I realized how much I’ve missed out on by living in the past or living in the future. I realized how ineffective I’ve been by being absorbed in those and not listening to the Spirit because my mind was busy somewhere else. Those are powerful motivators to drive me forward in what the Spirit has taught me. God is amazing in how perfectly He instructs and leads us to walking in the abundant life He came to give.
These are some powerful New Years resolutions to consider if you’re looking for some.
December 28, 2009 at 8:46 pm
I like how you’ve connected these three mindsets Rachel. Unforgiveness is an area we especially need to be conscious of. It’s a prison we put ourselves in when we hold on to that bitterness and live in the past as you say. Many times the other person has no idea of the bitterness we have and instead of hurting them, we’re the ones who in fact are hurt by it.
I think you hit on something else important too, particularly in regards to changing thought patterns. As many people will set out to make New Year’s resolutions over the next week or so, there’ll be a tendency to ignore the power of the Spirit in doing so. Many times we simply “resolve” to do something better and then get discouraged as it fails because we didn’t seek God’s will in it. As you mention, “It’s very difficult on our own. We don’t do it; God does it in us.” A good reminder for us all as we move towards 2010.
Thank you for sharing this today…blessings to you
December 29, 2009 at 12:47 am
Thanks Joe – you made some great points about unforgiveness. I really appreciate you hearing your thoughts.
December 29, 2009 at 3:38 pm
Good morning. Numbering our days (Psalm 90:12) and taking no thought for tomorrow (Matthew 6:34) are very liberating truths; once we begin to live in them. And forgiveness is a huge liberty. None of these are easy as they all run contrary to the old nature, but as we grow into spiritual maturity and live in this realm, we’ll find a peace and contentment that remains constant in every season.
Concerning unforgiveness; I know of folks who hold a grudge about things that transpired years ago and it literally eats them alive. I had a grandfather who, in his final years, spent an incredible amount of time telling of how “this person did him wrong” and “that person took advantage of him.” Even though I was very young at the time (I was 12 when he passed away) it was hard to endure.
In my own life, we’ve had situations with our oldest daughter that have challenged me; even to the point where I’ve had to stop whatever I was engaged in and pray “Lord I need to see this situation as you see it.” Each time, the Lord was faithful and now, instead of seeing the dramas, I see a priceless soul in need of salvation.
A few days ago, her boyfriend…er….fiance, was in the hospital with a severe (and potentially life threatening) Merca infection. When the real picture comes into view, all of the sideshow distractions seem almost silly to even think about.
Insofar as the future, I don’t worry; although I do think much on prophetic events for three reasons. First, such cogitations enhance my desire to just be close to the Lord and “hear what he’s saying.” It almost seems to reinforce the spiritual separation from this worlds system and enhance the fellowship with the Lord. Secondly, understanding the times that we’re in causes me to be mindful of just how short our time is. To use each day wisely and be about reaching the lost is imperative. Thirdly, it keeps my heart in heavenly places. We are indeed in this world, and yet “betwixt” as we desire more to be with the Lord Jesus. (Philippians 1:23-24 details perfectly, the mindset of a truly heavenly minded person)
Interestingly, our pastor preached a powerful messare on accountability last Sunday. It entailed the need to see clearly the situation at hand, and using each day to further the kingdom of God. And as you point out in this post, each day is a one time thing; we only get one shot to make it count. It is “where the Lord is working at this moment.” Thanks for highlighting this truth.
Sorry for the rambling comment; there’s a lot in this post to think about. Blessings always in Jesus name.
December 29, 2009 at 6:13 pm
Timbob – I truly appreciate your comments and enjoying reading your insights and perspectives. Each person in our lives is there for a reason, and praying to see a situation as God sees it is an incredible prayer. Perspective is everything in determining our actions. And indeed Jesus told us to watch, watch, watch – in the end days. I remember when His intense warnings really struck me – telling us over and over it must be very important and as you see what is transpiring in these days and the massive deception – you see why. Every day is a spiritual battle and lately it has gotten more intense. When it comes to our Lord’s instruction about the future – we need to heed His words and act accordingly in the present.
December 29, 2009 at 10:56 pm
We Praise God and Thank God for this divine message in Christ Jesus. God is good in all that he has done, doing and will do. Given the perplexity of our economic future one is well served to trust in God. We praise God for all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. We praise God for His Grace, Peace, Hope and Love. Thank you for this lesson in Praise.
December 31, 2009 at 6:41 pm
Dr. Lee — there is so much to be thankful for and praise God for – as you have shared.
December 30, 2009 at 4:56 am
I enjoyed this message, Rachel. I just taught the women inmates at the county jail yesterday on Matthew 6:24. I also talked to them about praising God despite our problems. I pointed out to them how Paul and Silas sang and praised God in prison after being savagely beaten and thrown in a dungeon. That praise in the face of suffering unleased the power to break their chains and open the prison doors. That same power to release us from our bondages and affliction is always there for us if we can trust and sing praises to God when our heart is breaking and the darkness of our situation is overwhelming!
December 31, 2009 at 6:43 pm
Marianne – What a great lesson to be sharing among the inmates! And praise during those trials gave great glory to God -as Paul and Silas knew they could trust in God and in His faithfulness. Great message.
December 30, 2009 at 9:22 am
Thank you Rachel. You’re right – Psalm 16:11 and 2 Corinthians 3:17 truely become our experience as we yield to the Holy Spirit, as well as the power that you speak of. My desire is to be more connected each day, but it’s so easy to be disconnected at times isn’t it? Roger
December 31, 2009 at 6:45 pm
Roger – yes it is easy – its why we need to be feasting on that daily bread – the manna of heaven. And wonderful verses you shared 🙂
December 30, 2009 at 9:24 am
Thank you for posting this, much to ponder and go back to read again and again. I was always told tomorrow is promised to no one, and so I try to take in and concentrate on the positive moments of each day and not dwell on the negative. It is not always easy, but possible. Have a Happy New Year my sister and may your heart be filled with all the joy,and peace, your heart contain.
Luv ya Lorie
December 31, 2009 at 6:46 pm
Hi Lorie – so good to hear from you . . . and hope you have a Wonderful New Year as well.
December 30, 2009 at 12:07 pm
You are a beautiful soul. I like spending time reading your words because it centers me. I am focusing on living in the moment. Those four words are so powerful. It takes constant work.
For some reason I like to multitask. At any point in time I can have 5 windows open on my computer because I’m in a learning phase. At the same time I can be moving from the hot tea to my kids to helping them in a video game.
I find one of my biggest problems is the always going going going phase. I can’t wait for this or that instead of just realizing now in this moment we have EVERYTHING we need and are TRULY blessed.
It’s when I made a shift a while back into looking for positive that I feel my life has turned for the better. I had to go to places I don’t want to go back to though to get to where I am now. Though now I use those places as stepping stones and I’m thankful for them. They made me a better person. They made me look for answers.
Thank you for your kind words and remember through God all things are possible.
December 31, 2009 at 6:52 pm
Julie – thanks so much for your comments . . . oh . . . multitasking . . .I’m just not good at it. My spirit gets restless and I don’t do each thing as well as I could if I focused on each one – but that is very hard to do these days when there is so much we want to do and feel we need to do. But I wonder if we focused on what the spirit called us to do – how much that would change? We’re all a work in progress, aren’t we 😉
December 30, 2009 at 1:07 pm
I love this post! As soon as I saw the title, I was anxious to see what you had to say about this and was surprised and excited that so much of what you are advising matches the challenges God has already put before me this year.
These two sentence can so easily describe me: “Through this instruction, I realized how much I’ve missed out on by living in the past or living in the future. I realized how ineffective I’ve been by being absorbed in those and not listening to the Spirit because my mind was busy somewhere else.” Yep, that’s me! Living somewhere else… so absorbed there that I’m not present in where I am at the moment… and very ineffective because of it.
I’ve been praying about this for a long time. It can be very difficult, and I’ve honestly looked at how difficult completely changing my mindset is… and then, of course, God and His children remind me that it’s impossible… without Him! Yesterday morning, during my walk with God, He sent me some red birds – these have always been a way God has encouraged me and confirmed something for me. They just seemed to say, You’re on the right track; keep fighting; I’m here helping you!
Your post really pulled together all the threads that have been running through my mind and life over the past few months. It’s so exciting to see God work like that! Thanks, sister!
December 31, 2009 at 6:57 pm
Ruth – its so encouraging to know others experience what we do, isn’t it? It is a good motivator to keep persisting. It can be frustrating because we want to be changed NOW. I think the key is abiding in His pure words so they fill our mind, keeping them before us and trusting we are His workmanship. I love the picture of the red birds 😉
January 5, 2010 at 7:37 pm
There’s so much wisdom here in what you’ve said! I think I related most with this:
:::For years I had un-forgiveness in the form of “justified anger and pain” from things that happened in the past; it plagued my days sucking true life from them.:::
How deceptive unforgiveness is, and how many subtle disguises it wears. I’ve justified my own malice under the labels of self-preservation and righteous conviction on more than one occasion. However, the Lord has made it clear that in order to enter the fullness of love that He wants us to enjoy, I first have to become content with appearing foolish and weak that I may glory in His grace. The hardest part has always been keeping my mouth shut when I’ve felt wronged on something–and when you add trying to remain free from offense on top of that, it’s nearly impossible, but for grace.
I’m glad to “know” you! Blessings!
January 6, 2010 at 5:11 pm
Chrystal – so glad you stopped by – I really enjoyed your blog as well. Unforgiveness is a thief to life and such a deceiver. When people hurt us sometimes it is very hard to let go – but God’s love is so powerful – it truly does cover a multitude of sins in us and those done to us. If we seek His love we find the forgiveness follows. Look forward to reading more from you 😉
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December 24, 2011 at 6:07 pm
Hey Rachel, something I over heard the other day, I think it fits in this topic; “If the power of love ever replaces – the love of power, there will be peace”
December 26, 2011 at 2:46 pm
Hi Eldon – how true that is. thanks for sharing.
December 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm
When I read 1 John 2:27 I decided to make it my new years resolution for 2013 and when I read the last sentence of your post it brought a smile to my face. Thank you for a great article.
December 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm
That is a powerful verse to know and live by ..