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.
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
My prayer journal is divided into three parts; praise, prayer and insights. And praise being first is essential.
Each morning, I start with praise – thanking God for all that He has done, for all the ways He has revealed Himself to me, for dwelling in His presence and all it entails. It is overwhelming. When I get to my requests my doubts and wavering have subsided, and I present them with conviction, power and faith that every care is His concern and He will provide in the perfect way and time.
This wasn’t always the case. I used to just start pouring out my heart, but my prayers lack the same confidence and faith. Putting praise first I believe made a significant difference in the impact of my prayers because it altered my mind from a state of lack and need to one of power and faith.
I think this resolve is why we are to make our requests know to God with thanksgiving. When we acknowledge all that He has done and who He is to us then it puts our requests in the right perspective – in the hands of a mighty God who loves us more than we can imagine and who is faithful to the end.
Giving thanks fuels our faith so that when we pray we do so with conviction because we focus our minds on the power and love of God at work in our lives. Faith pleases God because it is acting on our beliefs in God’s wisdom and truth, not this world’s. Faith, our beliefs in motion, is the foundation to everything we do. Faith is the power of our lives. It changes the world around us. When we meditate on what He has done it strengthens our beliefs in Him and the power of our beliefs affect our circumstances. If our faith is weak His power will be weak in our lives, if it is strong He will be strong. Matthew 13:58 Faith is everything. Thanksgiving ignites our faith in our prayers.
As I reflected back on this year, all that God has done my jaw drops. I can’t imagine going through this life without God as so many do. Why would anyone what to? Out from under the lies and control of religion . . . what God desires for us is what we all desire deep in our souls.
Without Him this year I would have missed out on; abiding in His presence on a daily basis, experiencing true, unconditional, and pure love to know and to give, witnessing His work in the lives around me, hearing His voice of counsel, guidance, and comfort, enjoying a stronger marriage, healing in several of my relationships, blessed with new meaningful friendships, being set free from fears, healing inside and out, provision during a trying financial year, protection on many levels, peace through a questionable economy, experiencing an underling rest each day, comfort in my soul in the midst of trials, insights into the truth about me and others, understanding about this world, and on and on.
Reflecting back gives me great anticipation as I welcome each new day, how will I see His perfect love played out today? From a gal who once struggled with depression and questioned why live, meeting the day with excitement and anticipation is amazing.
When our lives our infused with Him, He is glorified.