“When we fix our mind on the Saviour of the world, we become invincible; confidence fills our hearts, and we recognise that all things are possible through God’s limitless power.”
WHAT’S ON YOUR MIND? By Esther Williams
The key to living a fruitful Christian life starts in the mind. Esther Williams encourages Christians to maintain a positive mental attitude through prayer, studying God’s Word, and building their faith.
I’ve lost count of the amount of times I heard during the Olympics that an athlete’s state of mind is key to their winning performance. There were multiple comments about a competitor’s ability to stay focused as being crucial to their success; the difference between a gold and bronze medal defined by an individual’s solid preparation and relentless positivity.
So, in day-to-day life, how important is it to keep a positive mental attitude? Well, I believe that there’s a huge amount of victory that can be achieved by simply changing the way we think. Most of the time, our fears are all in the mind and will never materialise. Fear is connected to being afraid of failure – and I have to say, at some point in our lives, we have to get used to the reality that failure or disappointment is just a part of life. In fact, if we think about failure with the mind of Christ, it can be used as a catalyst for future success, and end up being the best thing that ever happened to us.
It’s crucial that we control our thought lives, particularly if we want to stay sane. Stop thinking everybody is talking about you – they’re not. And, even if they are talking behind your back, they’re behind you. You are in front. Selah. Don’t be suspicious; suspicion is the product of an un-renewed mind. Discernment comes out of a renewed spirit. Thinking about what everyone else is thinking will leave you exhausted and paranoid. I know – I’ve been there. Just keep your mind stayed on Him; God will work everything out for your good.
It’s been said many times before that the mind is a battlefield. This is where the enemy constantly tries to keep us defeated through fear, doubt and unbelief. He does this, because these are emotions that keep us focused on ourselves; it’s his strategy to keep us preoccupied on a place where there is only limited power available. But when we fix our mind on the Saviour of the world, we become invincible; confidence fills our hearts, and we recognise that all things are possible through God’s limitless power.
The Bible says, in Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” In this verse, we see a clear correlation between what we focus our minds on and how we feel: a mind stayed on Christ equals perfect peace. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your mind on things above not on things on earth.” Finally, Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and let’s run with endurance the race that’s set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of our faith who, for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Staying focused and looking unto Jesus is a daily process. I love talking about having the mind of Christ, because it’s an area of constant development for me. I’ve said here before that I am quite capable of worrying about anything and everything, but with every victory I grow stronger in this area.
Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to feel inadequate about lots of things; life’s challenges take their toll, and I’ve really struggled with not growing weary in well-doing. A friend of mine called me, and we were on the phone talking through some of the things we were facing and the genuine feeling of being overwhelmed – both of our minds cluttered with the affairs of life. But by the end of that conversation, we both agreed that God is able; we love Him and, as we look to Jesus, our change will come. We took our mind off the problems and decided to focus on the solutions in God’s Word.
The Bible says God is faithful to complete that which He has started in our lives. In this attempt to encourage all of us to put on the mind of Christ, I hear myself throwing down the gauntlet to myself and to everyone reading this: run after God, seek His face, pray more, stop being so busy, and be shrewd about who and what you lend your time and energy to. De-clutter your life and get back to basics; weigh every situation with God’s Word, and trust Him.
Negative thoughts are not of God. The Bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from Him. Negative thinking is not good – it’s bad. As we move into the final quarter of this year, let’s re-commit to raising up the standard of the Word in our lives, and not allow attributes that are not fruits of the Spirit to prevent us from living an abundant life and walking in perfect peace.
Esther Williams is an International Development Journalist. You can follow Esther Williams on twitter @mew36