<<attitude, way of thinking>>

A mindset is a frame of reference determining how we view and respond to situations.

Deeply entrenched patterns that are resistant to change and distort God’s Word are based on misinformation, old sinful attitudes and wrong thought patterns, which we trust more than the truth. God’s work of renewal always

Co-operate with God to bring change

occurs within the framework of our minds, wills and emotions which are shaped by our experiences, memories, beliefs and emotions. The spirit is born again, yet the mind is not automatically renewed at salvation – it needs a continual cleansing by the Word of God of the wrong thought patterns, unresolved issues and unhealed hurts that Satan employs (Eph 5:26). So although we are new creations in Christ, with the old technically gone, the new has to be progressively implanted and outworked in our experience (2 Cor 5:17). It is our ongoing responsibility to reinforce this position of putting off the old sinful ways and embracing the new Godly ways (Rom 8:13; Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:5-17). We must view and respond to life differently now we are born again. The change in outward ‘fruit’ must match any professed change in hidden ‘root’ (Mt 3:8, 7:16,20). Jesus said, as we follow His teaching we really are His disciples and we will know the truth and the truth will set us free (Jn 8:31,32).

The power of the truth will dissolve and demolish the binding work of the enemy as “Jesus came to destroy the devil’s work” (1 Jn 3:8). Jesus did this for us, it our responsibility to believe and act in this reality, dealing with the destructive and self-limiting memories. Seek freedom from whatever has bound you to the defeat of the past. God will not work in areas we will not surrender to Him.

Any God appointed ministry or mission starts with an idea from Him and a passionate faith that He has a plan to use each of us to vitally influence the lives of people for eternity. Have a realistic and wholesome opinion of yourself, based on God’s Word and His appraisal – this requires continual reinforcing as the enemy will try to convince you that you are not worthy. Discipline your thoughts and believe in yourself even when others don’t. Keep His vision alive in thoughts, words and actions. Have increasing dependence on God – ‘You have helped me thus far God, thank you – I need to continue to rely on you’. Look at the possibilities not the impossibilities. Take personal responsibility for your attitudes, actions and words, believing ‘I am a winner with Jesus’ for, when hardships come, many resort to a self-centered ‘martyr’ mindset by focusing on the personal cost to them with the ongoing response being a sense of duty rather a delight of suffering for the cause of Christ who is working in them (Act 5:40,41; Phil 2:13).

A mindset of faith focuses on the endless opportunities and His work to be done, both within us and through us as channels of His love. It is motivated by intimacy with the Lord and the promises of His Word. While there will still be sacrifice and strenuous effort yet this is overshadowed by His grace and power, there being no mental record kept of the cost outlaid, as the emphasis is on Him and the needs of those not yet living in His Kingdom, not ourselves. Love doesn’t let the personal cost be a major obstacle in throwing oneself into what has been ignited in one’s heart, and faith counts it all joy when tested, believing it is working for our good to develop more Godliness in us (Rom 5:3-5; Jas 1:2-4). Prior to undertaking something, realistically “Count the cost” so that, in commitment, we are free to give our all for His purposes and not hindered by double-minded indecision (Lk 9:62, 14:28; Jas 1:6-8). If we claim Him as Lord and Master we are His servants, to do as He directs. God has given various principles and commands that should govern our actions – we break them to our own hurt and will be answerable for deviating from those standards.

Christ’s attitude or mindset was not to demand His rights, rather He willingly submitted to and lived according to the will of God, looking beyond the personal cost of Calvary with joy as He envisaged what would be accomplished by His sacrifice (Phil 2:2-8; Heb 3:1, 12:2; 1 Pet 4:1,2). We too should not be confined by the natural mindset, rather living by faith (Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38). Instead of

It should be all about Christ – not me

focusing on the problem and what is against us (which can lead to self-pity), we will experience victory and release by turning our attention in praise to the solution – Jesus, who is greater than what comes against us (1 Jn 4:4). Jesus lay down His life for us and we are to follow His example and in effect lay down our lives for others – this is termed taking up our cross (Mt 16:24; Jn 10:11,15,17,18; 1 Jn 3:16).

By the power of Christ we are to bring every thought ‘into captivity’; that is, to think as Christ would (2 Cor 10:4,5). “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed [radically changed] by the renewing of your mind” so you are not squeezed by secular society into its mould with its warped philosophy of ‘if it feels OK do it’, as if everything should cater to ‘me and my desires’ (Rom 12:2). As Christians we are to look at things God’s way; His perspective is vastly different to the world’s (Isa 55:8,9). When we became Christians we received the Holy Spirit, yet we determine how much influence He is allowed to exert in us – this can range from being just ‘silently’ present to truly ‘Lord’ in the running of our lives. Daily reinforce your commitment to walk obediently in God’s ways  and be prepared to pay whatever is the price, battling through the obstacles and opposition as Paul did, counting all as loss that he might ‘gain Christ’ (Mt 13:44-46; Phil 3:8,13,14).

Be careful of what you speak over your own life (or allow others to declare about you). Such words reveal your personal mindset and can become self-fulfilling prophecy. Negative, demeaning words have a destructive effect, so don’t take onboard the devil’s trash. Replace the damaging with the uplifting, faith-generating Words of God.

See also: attitude, double minded, goals, memory, mentality, mind, motive/motivation, positive mental attitude, possible/possibility, reaction, self-fulfilling prophesy, self-limiting, self-talk, thankfulness, thinking/thoughts, transformation.