(Below are Jessica's thoughts on Chapter 16, "My Future is determined by my past and my present"[Wilderness Mentality #1], in Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well. Feel free to leave a comment, question and/or scripture in the comment section below this post. Let's dig deep and join together to fight this battle!)
Joyce Meyer uses the next several chapters of Battlefield of the Mind to teach us to overcome ten "wilderness mentalities" that kept many of the Israelites from reaching the Promised Land. It is my prayer that each mother will receive many insights from these chapters. I also pray that, unlike the Israelites, these insights will keep us from making an 11 day journey in 40 years and that we ALL make it to the Promised Land.
Wilderness Mentality #1: "My future is determined by my past and present"
It is so easy to get caught up only in what we see, hear and experience in the natural circumstances of life. We can know what the Word of God says, how He has a good plan for our children and how His will is for us to be blessed. Then, you have a really crazy day. Your child is melting down inconsolably for no apparent reason. Immediately, you are seized with thoughts of regression. Looking with your human eyes and operating on high emotions, God's truth can be forgotten, especially in moments of weakness such as these. This is when we find out what our faith is really made of. If in these moments, you do not behave or believe as someone who truly believes God's promises (like most of us at times!), take heart! With God's help you can overcome any negative situation or mindset.
Last week, we learned about having the mind of Christ. This week, Joyce gives us biblical tools to getting a new mindset:
Believe that with God all things are possible (Luke 18:27); with man some things may be impossible, but we serve a God Who created everything we see out of nothing. (Hebrews 11:3) Give Him your nothingness and watch Him go to work. All He needs is your faith in Him. He needs for you to believe, and He will do the rest. (p.192)
The Israelites were only using their natural eyes to view their future. They were seeing themselves as still in bondage, and could not envision the reality of all that God had promised them. As a result, they complained, were ungrateful, fell into strife, doubted and were negative. These attitudes counteracted the power of God in their lives and many never saw God's promises come to pass. Those that did, spent 40 years instead of 11 days getting there.
In order to truly overcome our past and present circumstances, we must learn to use "spiritual" eyes and ears. That is, we must let God be the one who tells us what our future will be, not what the past or present situation looks like. On page 192 Joyce Meyer states,
"We cannot judge things accurately by the sight of our natural eyes. We must have spiritual "eyes to see" and "ears to hear". We need to hear what the Spirit says, not what the world says. Let God speak to you about your future-not everyone else."
In addition to all of the negative reports and daily challenges we face, I believe that God has a positive vision and outlook for each of our individual futures. We need to stay in the Word of God and we need to be available to hear what the Holy Spirit wants to tell us. We then have to dare to dream and claim those promises and visions as our own, even when our natural eyes tell us differently.
As Joyce Meyer reminds us of what the Lord told the Israelites, "You have dwelt long enough on the same mountain; it is time to move on." (Battlefield of the Mind, p. 185)
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. -2 Corinthians 4:17-18
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 3: 13-14