Today I was driving, anxious about money, and driving. My thoughts were litter in my brain. They weren’t good. They weren’t life-giving. They weren’t true to what the Kingdom of Heaven sees. I was staring at lack.
The truth is I DO NOT HAVE LACK. I do not live in lack. The Kingdom of Heaven is full of abundance and I am seated with Christ (Ephesians 2:6). What is in the realm of heaven is accessible to me. However, much of what we experience is based on our expectation. If you expect bad things to happen, you may draw those things to you. It’s spiritual magnetism. Our thoughts, words, and actions are powerful.
On the flip side, the more you renew your mind to expect positive things: miraculous provision, divine appointments, power and glory – the more you see it.
Years ago I was worried about money, looking for jobs after graduate school. I really wanted to teach at a community college. Yet, the openings I knew of would not cover all my expenses. At the interview, the interviewer looked at me, eyes full of strength, and said, “I am not going to interview anyone else until I hear from you. I think you should have this job, but I understand you need to do what is best for you.” I went home and slid into my “prayer closet” which was a small space on the other side of my lime green bookshelf in my bedroom. I looked at God. And I heard Him say, “I reserved this job for you.” I was incredulous. Then peace came. I took the job. And thanks to the inner-workings of Grace, I got several other jobs: one at a restaurant, one with a caterer, one as a substitute teacher. It wasn’t my “ideal” in that it was a hodgepodge of scheduling and activities, but it was ideal in that I got one of my dream jobs as a college instructor. Sometimes you give up on the “ideal” as you perceive it in favor of the real “ideal” – heaven’s recipe for that season of life.
And I could have begrudged that schedule, but I didn’t. I delighted in God’s provision – though it didn’t come as I thought I preferred. Moreover, I delighted in the opportunity to teach and to influence my three classes of precious students. It was a high honor – an honor I could have overlooked had I focused on the way things were different than I expected.
So today, as I chose discipline and turned my thoughts to happier things: to gratitude, adoration for God, and the beauty of creation, I felt His victory rise in me. It’s always there, but it is my choice to be aware of it. Jesus said, “Turn to God and change the way you think and act, because the kingdom of heaven is near.” (Matthew 3:2 (GW))
He was saying the Kingdom of Heaven had come into their midst. It was there – right in front of them. It was waiting to be welcomed into them. Heaven’s reality was present – it’s access open. It was up to the people to change the way they thought and behaved in order to apprehend kingdom reality.
It would be silly to go to a friend’s front door, plop on the welcome mat, and whine about the friend not opening the door, all while jingling the key to the door on one’s key ring. The friend gave you the key so you could use it. So you could come in.
Ah! What sweet access!
Jesus won the full victory so we can live from a place of victory, not defeat. We must rightly adjust our thinking. If you want some help with establishing new thought patterns, I recommend the book, “Let’s Just Laugh at That!” by Steve Backlund. It’s full of great declarations and really easily applied.
Today as I pulled into my parking space in front of my apartment I heard the crystalline lyrics of a song on the radio, “Stop fighting a battle that’s already been won!” I smiled. That is a great word. I told God I would stop fighting paper dragons, false threats, and I would choose to focus on His goodness and to worship Him in spirit and in truth.
Re-orient your focus today. Lift your gaze. It brings joy to your heart and allows Jesus to get His full reward in your life.
Here’s the song I heard: