I was in a dangerous head space, stressing about life and frustrated with how far off my dreams felt (I'm sure my fellow creatives understand this feeling). After a few hours of crying, overthinking and chatting with a good friend about my "issues," I finally turned to God in prayer. It was in this time that I noticed that this was a reoccurring thing for me. Every so often I allowed my mind to be burdened with negative thoughts that left me feeling defeated and hopeless. My first instinct wasn't to fill myself with God's truth, but to complain and feed these negative thoughts with more lies. Coming to my senses, I quit my complaining and asked God what I needed to do to break the cycle. His simple reply was, "change your mindset."
Words and thoughts carry an abundance of power. We can set ourselves up for success or failure simply by the words we choose to speak and mediate on, the words we give life. Has anyone ever said something to you that totally altered your mood, whether positive or negative? Believe it or not, nothing impacts us more than what our loved ones say about us. So what are you speaking over yourself and what are you allowing others to speak over you?
The importance of seeking God’s truth for ourselves is that it makes us confident in our identity. Many people get caught up in what people think of them to the point that the opinions of others become their “source of life,” which only gives a false sense of security. In the beginning stages of cultivating my relationship with God, friends and even strangers would constantly give me compliments and encouraging words. It was wonderful in the moment, but when I was alone I didn't believe the great things people said about me for myself. This proves that our hearts yearn to be loved and affirmed by our creator. Placing more value on what God thinks and says is the ultimate source of security because He never changes. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). [side note: We all know that we as humans are always changing and people come and go in our lives. I am NOT saying that we should walk around with trust issues and avoid connection with people because they are not perfect. I am saying that if ever someone were to speak negatively about you or suddenly have a change of feelings toward you, their change of heart doesn't shift the way you see yourself.] The time I spent alone in my room allowing God to shower me with words of love helped me grow in confidence, tremendously. I saw how delighted He was in me, in turn I became genuinely happy with who I was. Nothing can break such a firmly built foundation.
“ I cannot afford to have thoughts in my head about me that God doesn't have in His.” - Bill Johnson
If I am struggling with negative thought patterns I can’t sit around wishing and hoping for them to magically disappear. I can’t pray for my circumstances or my situation to change without having a change in mindset. It’s like breaking a bad habit; an alcoholic can’t continue in his addiction and expect that at any random moment in time he will no longer be addicted. There are practical steps that I had to take to break this habit. I had to stop looking at my circumstances and ask myself "what does God say about my future?" I began the process to restoring my mind. He reminded me of a small journal that I started a few months prior. In this journal I wrote down every single one of God’s promises to me, the promises written in His word and the promises he speaks directly to me. I made up in my mind that I was going to be intentional about reading his promises to me. Yes, maybe I felt secure in who I was as a person, but I lost sight of the importance of being consistent in receiving His truth about me . If I'm not constantly going to Him, I lose focus of who He is and who I am. The moment we lose focus we must look up to Him and remember His promises because the enemy strategically attacks our minds the moment our eyes aren't fixed in the right direction. God’s words are a source of life so I partake of them like natural food, otherwise, I am starving and drowning in a sea of negativity.
Our words create, so as we mediate on the good things God says about us (he only says good things about his creation) we also speak them out loud. Choosing to steward the words He has given us shows Him that we value what He says and then He will bless us with more. I’ve made it a priority to remind myself of how faithful and good God is and who He has called me to be.
"For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
"May the words from my mouth and the thoughts from my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my defender." (Psalm 19:14 GW)