You’re probably familiar with the story of Moses and how God used him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and into the “Promised Land.” The Bible says they wandered in the desert for 40 years making an eleven-day journey!
Years ago, God spoke to my heart and said, “The children of Israel spent forty years in the wilderness because they had a wilderness mentality.” I define a “wilderness mentality” as a wrong mindset. Like the Israelites, our wrong mindsets can keep us dealing with the same problems, never truly making any progress.
I love Deuteronomy 1:6: The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, You have dwelt long enough on this mountain.
God was telling them (and us), “It’s time to move on—you have been here long enough!” And it all begins with our thinking—renewing our minds with God’s Word and exchanging our wrong thinking patterns for the right ones.
#1: “Everyone else is better off than I am.”
Jealousy is often referred to as “the green monster”...and for good reason. Focusing on others’ strengths and everything they have will make you miserable! There is no one on this earth who can be a better you. So, set your mind to be happy for others and decide to trust God with yourself.
Think This: “I am unique and special. God loves me, and He has a wonderful, personalized plan for my life.”
ROM 12:15; 1 COR 12:12-27; JER 29:11
#2: “My future is determined by my past and present.”
The Israelites came out of 300 years of slavery and had no positive vision for their lives. Everything was based on what they had seen and could see. They had no faith for their future!
Similarly, maybe you’ve had a difficult past. You may even be dealing with negative circumstances right now and have no real reason to hope. If so, I encourage you to get a new mindset and choose to believe that ...with God all things are possible (Mark 10:27 KJV).
Your past and your present do not determine your future! So, make a decision to put your faith in Him. When you believe, He will do the rest.
Think This: “All things are possible with God, and I have a bright future ahead of me.”
MK 10:27; JER 29:11; PHIL 3:13
#3: “My behavior may be wrong, but it’s not my fault.”
The “blame game”—an unwillingness to take responsibility for our actions—goes all the way back to Adam and Eve. However, Jesus said it’s the truth that sets us free. Ask God to show you the truth about yourself. It’s the first step toward receiving His grace to become more like Him.
Think This: “I always take responsibility for my actions. God, please show me the truth about myself so I can grow and change.”
JN 8:32; 1 PET 5:6; ROM 12:16
#4: “It’s too hard!”
The enemy loves to try and fill our minds with “give up” thoughts. However, God’s Word says He’ll always give us the strength and ability we need to do His will.
Think This: “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me. I can do everything God asks me to do.”
1 COR 10:13; PHIL 4:13
#5: “My life is so miserable—I feel sorry for myself.”
I’ll admit, pity was a hard thing for me to give up. I had used it for years to comfort myself when I was hurting. However, self-pity is a major trap, and it’s one of Satan’s favorite tools to keep us in the wilderness.
One day, during one of my “pity parties,” the Lord spoke to my heart: “Joyce, you can be pitiful or powerful, but you cannot be both.”
When you feel those emotions rising within you, check your thinking. Then go to God and ask for help. Pray, “Oh God, give me the strength to change my thinking and let go of self-pity. I have so much to be thankful for, and I know You’re on my side through everything.”
Think This: “I am so grateful for all that God has done for me. My life is blessed and filled with good things.”
1 THESS 5:18; PS 103
We do not need to strive for power or hope to have power someday; we have power now! The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives in us (see Rom. 8:11) and we can be quickened (filled with life) by that power. This is not a onetime filling that slowly drains out of us as the days go by, but we can be filled day by day and even moment by moment. We can constantly and continually experience God’s presence and power in our lives. When we belong to Him, there is never a time when His power is not accessible to us.