In early December, I went through a seminar called Breaking Through, and one lesson from the lectures was that we have a great deal of extra content in our minds. We operate consciously about 10% of the time and subconsciously about 90% of the time, and the speaker emphasized that we have to reprogram our subconscious thoughts to influence our conscious actions.
The first principle to reprogram is that we do, in fact, have the ability to change. James 1:19-26 affirms that we have the ability to look into God’s perfect law and become a doer of that word. Do we truly believe this? Do we believe God’s word is powerful, and do we believe we are capable of following it? When we are indecisive about our goals, we seldom get far. Romans 12:1-2 encourages to renew our minds and focus on God’s plan, but we have to overcome our self-limiting thoughts if we are to attain this goal.
Being Versus Having
We have a Have-Do-Be culture. The condition upon us being happy is us doing what we want and having want we want in this world, but the mark is always moving in this approach. There are always better opportunities and better things toward which to reach. I Corinthians 4:11-13 speaks of being content in all economic conditions because of his trust in God. Instead of looking for having things and doing things that lead to peace. Paul finds peace independent of his situations. He sets his mind on peace, then pursues his life. In Colossians 1:1-3, Paul reminds us to set our minds on things above first. Contentment and peace is with God, and through Him, Paul could remain at peace despite any other challenges.
Creative Versus Reactive
When we choose contentment and peace, we will seek after things that promote those conditions. It is having a creative mind rather than a reactive mind. When we are reactive to our lives, we seek to place the responsibility for our actions and attitudes upon others. Someone else is to always to blame. Accepting responsibility, however, is ultimately liberating. We stop worrying about how others impact our lives, and we become the driving forces in our lives. We can live as God wants us to live, and Acts 5:41-42 records Jesus’ disciples doing just that – living a godly life despite persecution that could have led them away. When we react to situations, our choices immediately become limited, but the creative mind is unlimited and free. In Ephesians 3:14-21, Paul writes that we can be filled with God’s fulness.
When we are reactive, we see things from the middle of problems and circumstances we are unable to control. When we create, we take control of the opportunities and possibilities before us. It takes commitment to be creative, though. Are we committed to being the example we should be? Are we committed to being the Bible students we should be? Are we committed to having the character we should have? When it comes to commitment, we may fall under one of five categories.
When we commit ourselves to a goal, we often convince ourselves we do all we can by simply wishing to do better or trying to improve without making any real progress. Other times, we let other factors come between us and our commitment, showing that those interferences are actually more important to us than our goal. Instead, we should let nothing stand in our way. Paul writes of his peace and contentment despite all odds. He is a godly person no matter the cost. We should be so committed to God’s work that we will pursue it whatever it takes.
Where are your commitments, and how committed are you to those goals? What if Christ showed as much commitment to my salvation as I show to His service. Romans 5:8 makes it clear that Jesus would fulfill His mission regardless of the cost. II Corinthians 11:20-33 records the measures to which Paul goes to fulfill his ministry. At what point in his story would we have simply given up? Our church family depends on our commitment to better themselves. We are all here to edify each other. We are here to encourage one another. We cannot, however, be the example we should be if we are letting the world dictate our attitudes and actions. We should commit ourselves to being the Christians we should be, and we have to decide first that we will possess God’s peace and contentment despite all around us. We can do all things in Him.
lesson by Donn Koonce