We do not allow our beliefs to be challenged by our circumstances. We allow them to be strengthened.
What if all your circumstances are really a source of strength to you, whether they are good, bad, or ugly? What if God is using a bad situation to strengthen your belief? Wouldn’t that be just like Him? What if his agenda is, “I am allowing this because I really want to strengthen who you are. I want to teach you a little bit of patience and perseverance. Just stay close to Me and don’t panic!”
We challenge our circumstances by what we believe about who God is for us. That allows you to get flat out in the face of your circumstances and say, “Listen, this is who I am. This is who God is for me. This is my true identity, and this circumstance is going to make me a better person. It is going to upgrade me!”
Changing your mindset is the best way to handle a negative circumstance. Don’t argue with negativity. Ignore it! Then step forcefully into the mind of Christ to discover his good pleasure.
You have to decide who you are going to be in the Spirit, and then realize all your life circumstances are in place to strengthen that identity.
As it says in Ephesians 4:20,
“You didn’t learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught Him just as truth is in Jesus, that in reference to your former manner of life you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and you put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.”
Or in Colossians 3:9,
“Do not lie to one another since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created Him.”
You don’t deal with the old self, you set it aside.
We are not pastoring a corpse. We do not need to counsel our old nature. We are discipling our true nature in Jesus.
Be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Pay attention to who Jesus is for you, because that is where your freedom lies. Put on the new self, which is in the likeness of God—and righteousness will flow.
We often don’t realize how beautiful we are to God and how majestic His love is towards us. Your new self will speak the truth that sets you free.
Our vision of ourselves and our circumstances are always upgraded in Jesus. It is not Bible-believing to be listening to your old self. It is a little like having a first class ticket on a plane but choosing to travel in coach instead.
You are a new creation, the old self is dead. Reckon yourself to be dead to sin but alive to God. Practice being alive to God in your thinking. Remember you have a first class ticket in Jesus.
This week, when you notice negative thoughts creeping in, practice reciting your true identity:
I am a lover of the real place of connection in Jesus, and I am not settling for an inferior way of thinking when I want to think like Him. I want to think about myself the way that God thinks about me.
PS) I’m releasing my newest book, The Nature of Freedom, soon—which is all about this very topic! It will help you understand how God sees issues, how He thinks about them, and the way He would speak to them, empowering you to step into that place He has set aside for you in the truth. I’ll let you know as soon as it’s available for pre-order!
PPS) For now, you may check out any of these resources if you’d like to learn more on this!