Change your Mind about Intuition and the Spirit

imageBut Jesus knew what they were thinking…”    Luke 6:8

One Texas summer day, I was driving home in the rain. As I was nearing home, I suddenly noticed my car tires were not touching the road. The car began to turn sideways. I had no control of the vehicle. A river of flood waters hit my car and in slow motion, the car began to roll. Over and over again, I rolled until abruptly stopping upside down in a ditch full of water. I found myself upside-down, seat-belted in, looking out the window of a submerged vehicle. My cell phone was submerged. I tried to break a window without success. God whispered, “you are not alone!” I felt his peace surround me. I knew I’d be ok. A passing car eventually came by and rescued me.

The most significant part of this event is normally, I would drive a yellow ragtop convertible to work. That morning, the Spirit prompted me to take the hard top that my son usually drove. If I had been in the convertible, I do not think I would have survived the rollover. I had no logical reason to take the other car.

Many Christians look at intuition as a path to New Age Spiritualism. They deem it anti-Christ. I would like you to change your mind about intuition and the Holy Spirit. When Jesus healed a man’s hand on the Sabbath, it began the process leading to his crucifixion. Luke chapter 6, versus 6-9 say that the Pharisees were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus but, “ Jesus knew what they were thinking.” There are other accounts in scripture beginning with the phrase,”knowing their thoughts…” Jesus was able to tell the Samaritan women her past and the disciples where to find a donkey. In Matthew 4, the Spirit led Jesus into the desert.

Early in my Christian walk, I learned I could hear from God by reading His word. Later I also learned I could hear Him with my heart. Believing God is father, son and spirit, it is easy to accept that our inner voice or intuition is the Holy Spirit.

I am a person who strongly relies on my intuition or feeling about an issue or person. I have found this intuition to be strong and accurate in times of need. From a Christian perspective, I recognize intuition as the Holy Spirit who dwells within me. It is the Holy Spirit who gives me the strong urge to drive home a certain way, dress a certain way, speak to a certain person, take a risk, be cautious, take a new job, leave early, not go and so on.

We have all experienced things we cannot explain. We have had senses of déjà vu. We have known things that we had no natural way of knowing. We’ve had gut feelings about people and situations that proved true. We have had vivid dreams that warned us or prompted us in a certain direction. We have had intuition, which led to successful outcomes. We’ve coincidently met just the right person or been in the right place at the right time.

Most of us have had an experience where we are filled with excitement or foreboding about a decision. I felt an overwhelming desire to wear a certain outfit to work one day. It was a very casual outfit, a dressed down look. Imagine my disappointment when I was called in for a short notice promotion interview. The hiring official said at the end of the interview, “we are looking for someone who thinks outside the box.” I was offered the promotion. Was it the non-traditional outfit? Who can say for sure?

When I traveled to Africa to meet with sojourner from around the country, I found myself alone in a large hotel lobby suffering from jet lag. It seemed either due to my body clock being off or being woken up in the middle of the night hearing, “ if you really love me feed my sheep, “ I found myself in the lobby in the wee morning hours. There was a man sitting in the lobby, quiet and sullen. I heard from the Spirit, “tell him what I told you.” I said, “ you mean the feed my sheep stuff?” He said, “that’s the one!” I thought, he might think I’m crazy and he probably doesn’t speak English anyway. I did not speak to the man. I went on with my day teaching and planting gardens. That night I was exhausted and fell right to sleep just to find myself awake again in the wee early morning hours counting sheep. The “if you really love me, feed my…” sheep! I went down to the lobby to find the same man sitting there. Again came the prompting, “ Listen, tell him what I said or we can do this again tomorrow.” So I said, “ Excuse me Sir, I don’t know you but I have something a little strange to tell you.” “Ok,” he said. “God wanted me to tell you, ‘ if you really love me feed my sheep.’” He said, “Thank you, I know exactly what that means. You’re the second person who told me that today. (It was 4AM.) You just confirmed something for me.”

Later in our meeting, the man made a commitment for greater ministry in Africa. He identified himself as a relative of Bruce Wilkerson, the organizer of the Dream for Africa movement and author of The Prayer of Jabez.

There are many scriptural references where Jesus and many of his followers “knew” what someone was thinking or was warned by the spirit to travel a certain way. They knew where the upper room was and where to find a donkey. Scripture says they were led by the Spirit.

If you change your mind and believe your intuition comes from the Holy Spirit you are more likely to follow these prompting. Isn’t it every Christians desire to be led by the Spirit? . These prompting are leading you to your life’s path. Change your mind about intuition—intuition is the Holy Spirit!

 

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Change your Mind First: Your Heart with Follow

Often we struggle to change our behavior, but it isn’t easy. Sometimes we think we have to change our behavior before we come to God. There are a variety of addictions and habits that haunt us and create frustration for us. We stay away from God because it is too hard to change. This doesn’t have to be the case. The reason we struggle to change behavior is because we have things backwards. A change in behavior is the end result not the first step.
The first step to changing any behavior is to change your mind! The Greek word used in the New Testament metanoia, which means change your mind is translated into repent. The process of changing behavior begins with repentance. We must change are mind about what we know, what we believe and finally changing what we do becomes easier.
Knowing is important because that is where freedom from bondage begins. The Bible says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6a). Jesus told us, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32). It is by “knowing” the truth that you will find freedom to be able to turn to God. This means first changing your mind. The Bible says, “…the men themselves go apart with harlots and offer sacrifices with temple prostitutes; so the people without understanding are ruined” (Hosea 4:14).
The apostle Paul wrote, “we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God” (Col. 1:9b,10). It is only after we are “filled with the knowledge of His will” that we can “walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.”
Repentance begins with your head because faith is built on a foundation of what we know and understand. But, knowing is only the beginning. We have to start there. But after that, the majority of your effort has to be focused on your heart.
The second step to changing behavior is to believe. Believing changes the heart. The Holy Spirit changes our hearts. Romans 2:2 uses the analogy of circumcision to say that the Spirit circumcises our heart. Jeremiah 31:33 says, “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Ezekiel 36:26-27 says God will replace our heart of stone with one of flesh, by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit softens our heart. Romans 12:2 pulls it all together: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. I believe that applying these principles to the area of repentance means you have to understand—change your mind. You also have to know and understand why it is right and good and safe for you to turn to God. You have to know these kinds of things because knowing is the first step toward believing.
However, the truth that has power to make you free can’t just stay in your head. What you know in your head has to move its way down into your heart. This means surrendering to the Holy Spirit to work on the inside—to change you from the inside out. When that happens you have what it takes to change your behavior.

Change your Mind about Three Little Things

There are three simple things that you can change your mind about that will help you reach your full potential.

I’ve always aimed to reach my full potential by committing to getting a little better each day. Whether it’s fitness, health or reaching goals, life only allows time for baby steps.

Deciding what to get better at and how much time to invest in changing, in a busy world, is the challenge. Here are three simple changes you can make in your life right now that will make you more successful quickly.

1. Change your Mind about the World. Change your mind about what you believe outside forces in the world are doing. What do you think about the world? Do you think that nothing works out for you; the world is against you; if others succeed-there is less success for you? What if you changed your mind and believed the world was out to do you good; that God was orchestrating everything in your favor! Change your mind about what outside forces are doing. Start believing people are aiming to do you good. Start believing that God is out to do you good. Change your mind about the world now.
2. Change your Mind about Striving. Do you believe you must strive and work hard? Hard-work is necessary for success but if you are striving you are going against the grain. If you are going with the flow or current; you are relaxed. If you are operating in your life’s purpose; work will not be hard; it will be like breathing air. If the world is out to do you good, success will come to you without striving.
3. Change your Mind about Goals. If you are successful, you have learned to set goals and to write them down. That is a great first step to success. Now, start saying your goals out loud! Yes, every chance you get, tell someone your goals. Say them out loud to a mirror. Turn them into affirmations. You will find that people want to help you achieve your goals. And speaking goals out loud gives them creative power especially when you turn them into an affirmation that starts with “I am…” Try it! Change your mind about speaking your goals out loud.

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Change your Mind about Worrying

imageWORRYING, LYING, CRITICIZING

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes.” Matthew 6:25
Now I would be at fault if I did not address the power of thinking and speaking negative statements into our lives in a little more detail. These negations are just as powerful at creation as the affirmations and usually result from worrying, anxiety, lying, dreading, jealousy, criticism and low self-esteem. Idle words spoken in anger create. Criticisms manifest. Lies fashion reality. “What the wicked dreads will overtake him; what the righteous desire will be granted.”
Negative Expectations

Let’s first dissect what worrying really is. When we worry, we are simply dwelling on a negative expectation. We are expecting a negative outcome and we are so sure it is coming to pass that we are preparing for it. We are so sure it is coming to pass that we can’t sleep, eat or relax. We believe it is coming so much that we are acting as if it is already here. Wow! If we could just do that with our affirmations, we would be on our way to our best life. Worrying creates the thing we worry about. When we worry we think and talk about the negative. We say, “It’s just my luck. Nothing good ever happens to me.” We say it about ourselves, our children, our jobs and our bosses, our finances and our marriages. Exactly what we say then happens. We prove ourselves right.
Jesus tells us not to worry about our lives, what you will eat or drink or wear. He says to consider the birds! They don’t sow or reap or store in barns! Yet, their heavenly Father feeds them. Then he reminds us that we are more valuable than birds. I remember when I was traveling in Hawaii how beautiful and rare some of the birds were. God laid this scripture on my heart even more deeply and I began to really consider everything I could about birds.
What can we see when we watch birds? Birds walk. Some birds swim. Birds fly. Why do birds fly? Do birds fly because they have wings or do they have wings because they wanted to fly? There are some winged birds that don’t fly, like the ostrich and penguin. Do ostriches and penguins lack faith? Sort of silly, I know, but it is Jesus who asks us to consider the birds. Think about birds.
Birds sing. All day long birds sing. They focus on the positive. There is a wonderful anonymous quote that equates hope to a bird, “Hope is like a bird that senses the dawn and carefully starts singing while it is still dark.”
Birds take care of their young, protect their territory, take advantage of their situation, expect food and expect water. Did you ever notice that a bird bathes right after a good rainstorm? He doesn’t complain about it and tip toe around the puddle. He jumps right in and takes a bath. A bird eats seeds, fruit, grain, plants, insects and even taco shells! A bird takes advantage of his circumstances and receives everything as a positive.
Birds observe their surroundings and see things we don’t see. They see a small weed as a sofa or a piece of string as a pillow. Birds expect to have their needs met. Consider the birds and then consider: How much more valuable are we than birds? “O ye of little faith.” Seek first his kingdom and all these things will be given to you. Birds never worry!
Speaking Negativity Out Loud

Let’s dissect what really happens when we judge or criticize another person. When we judge and criticize another person, we simply dwell on the negative and expect them to behave badly. We obsess, think about and articulate what we see wrong with them. And by the power of expectation, we manifest it. Whether we believe in science or spiritualism or Christianity, by thinking and articulating the negative, we are in fact expecting it and receiving it. The Bible says, “Do not judge or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Wow! Sounds like what you reap you sow. Wow! Sounds like what you think about you bring about. Wow! Sounds like what you expect, you manifest. Wow, sounds like the power of expectation. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Expect the best of them.
One of my favorite people was once someone who I thought would be my greatest foe. If I had not given him the benefit of the doubt, we would have either not ever known each other at all or been avid enemies. Either way, I would have lost so much because our relationship has been a blessing to me and contributed greatly to my spiritual growth. I was part of a volunteer group that he led. Some decisions that were being made in the organization were having an adverse affect on people personally and since this was a volunteer organization, the result was that people were considering resigning.
My first thought about this leader was that he was a “jerk!” I heard some comments that supported that thought but I also heard someone say that it was not true, that it was not how he was. I paused enough to step back and give him a chance. Instead of joining the thinking of the others, I talked to him. I asked about his decisions and the rationale for each decision and found his reasoning to be sound and logical. I shared how people felt about the decisions and that some were planning to resign. He was surprised! We concluded that we were very different people—he was very task oriented and maybe didn’t convey his rationale as well as he could have; he didn’t perceive the team’s confusion; he was interested in the mission—the tasks. I also affirmed that I was very relationship-oriented and may have been over-sensitive to some things that were said. I perceived only the impact on the people and not the mission; I was interested in how people felt—the relationships. I believe our interaction helped us both be better in the areas we were weak in. Isn’t that exactly what the body of Christ is supposed to do for one another? Over time and through our relationship, God turned our weaknesses into strengths. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Give them a second chance and you may grow spiritually and maybe even find a friend.
When you hear negative things about people, you have a choice about what to do with that information. You can believe it, dispute it, forget it, talk about it or do nothing at all with it. All gossiping really is – is speaking your criticism out loud to people. When you gossip and criticize, you take what you were thinking about and speak it out loud. You draw this back into your own life and in essence create it or manifest it into your existence.
When you lie, you do a similar thing. You call something that is not as if it was. This is something God has done to create things. So if you speak something untrue you create it –and here’s the kicker—It may not be in the other person’s life but in your own life. Remember you have power to create your life. When you lie you draw that negativity to your life. Change your mind about worrying, criticizing, lying and gossiping. When you do these things, you are creating a negative life for yourself. Look at this verse in the Amplified Bible, “For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]”. God wants us to think and dwell on good things, on positive things. He does not want us to worry or dwell on negative things.

Change your Mind about staying Mad

RESENTMENT AND BITTERNESS

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Then I realized how bitter I had become, how pained I had been by all I had seen I was so foolish and ignorant. I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Psalms 73:21, 22
In the same way as when we worry, when we harbor resentment or bitterness, we mentally stay focused on a negative feeling. We can resent someone because they treated us badly or because they received something we wanted. Resentment and bitterness come from a flawed way of thinking. The only reason anyone would feel bitter because someone gained something they wanted, would be if they somehow believed that there was not enough to go around. Many people believe that God has a great big pie, which he has carefully sliced into pieces based upon each person’s worth. As each person’s piece is given out, they assume the pie gets smaller and there is less to go around. If the person sitting next to you gets a raise or a promotion or an award, that means you can’t get it because it has been doled out and it no longer exists. This may be a true earthly concept but it is an untrue heavenly principle. Your Father is King of the universe. He can make a job or a promotion out of nothing. Everything God has done for anyone else, he can do for you too. That means when you see others achieve, you should be excited and happy, because you know you can have it too. God is willing and able to give you the desires of your heart.
Festering Wounds

Often bitterness takes root because of our inability or unwillingness to forgive people who have offended us. Some people are much more easily offended than other people. I was this way and I know of many people who are this way today. I know for me, this inability to forgive came from my low self-esteem. Because I felt bad about myself already, it was easy for me to believe that other people did not like or respect me. In fact, it was my automatic first thought. I was often over-sensitive to ambiguous statements or actions. I analyzed the motive behind why a person said or did something generally concluding that they were doing it to me intentionally to hurt me. Most of the time, people were not even thinking about me. They were just going about their business living their lives, being who they are, acting like they act and my wrong thinking twisted their innocent words or actions into something sinister. I analyzed everything to the minutia detail. I expected people to treat me badly because I had been treated badly in the past. I interpreted everything as a personal attack on me. Perhaps there were times when people were generally rude or cruel but now when I look back, most of the time it was my thinking that was wrong. There are always two ways to view a situation. Don’t take everything personally. The longer you dwell on your hurt or injustice, the more it festers like a wound and becomes infected. When a wound is infected it affects the whole body.
There was a woman I worked with one time. We were peers in a large organization but she was moved to her position temporarily while decisions were being made regarding her organization. She was not temporarily promoted but was given the added leadership and supervisory responsibilities of the position without comparable pay. She was amazing and proved herself quite well. She had to work budget issues, appraisal and disciplinary issues of staff plus continue with her previous responsibilities. During this period her leaders were looking for a leadership position to put her in because she was doing so well. Also, during this time, the woman began to resent not getting paid to do these extra things and started to complain about it. When the decision was made to downsize her organization, she was moved back to a position with less responsibility. She became angry and over time her bitterness and resentment grew. The wonderful reputation she had as a leader was replaced by her angry disposition, and no one wanted to promote her after that. Her bitterness and resentment changed her into a difficult employee. If she just would have realized that God’s pie is unlimited, I am certain she would be one of our key leaders today.
Balm for Your Wounds
The cure for bitterness and resentment is forgiveness. Many people say that they can’t forgive. But this can’t be true. Jesus commands us to forgive and I know that he would not require us to do something that we were unable to do. We get to the point of forgiveness by deeply and truly examining our own sins. When we realize what Jesus did for us and how our sins were laid upon him, what other people do to us does not seem like that much. But, we have to really look at ourselves and remove the board in our own eye before we deal with the splinter in our brother’s eye.
You are a sinner. Your sin is no better or worse than your brothers. Your sin is sin. God does not give levels to sin; people do that. God calls sin, sin. I’ve often been taken back by how people become extremely judgmental about some sins yet discount other sins. Generally, they judge the sin of someone else and view their own sin as “not that bad.” I’ve heard people say, “at least I’ve never killed anyone.” I’ve seen people sever friendships because they would learn of a friend’s big sin and discounting their own behavior as a small sin. Sin is sin to God and scripture says we’ve all sinned. God even says our “good” works are as “filthy rags.” So even if you think you do more good that bad, you are still a sinner in God’s eyes.
Your sin isn’t less than the person who offended you. You are not off the hook anymore than they are. In fact, scripture says that if you do not forgive your brother from your heart, your heavenly father will not forgive you of your sins. Holding on to bitterness and resentment is a sin too. Additionally, it keeps us focused on negativity and therefore draws more negativity to us. There are even documented cases of people manifesting physical ailments due to anger, bitterness and resentment. Let go of your hurts and forgive other people. Expect the best of others and you will generally find it. Give people the benefit of the doubt.

Change your Mind

Don’t Buy into False Guilt

When you feel guilty, you literally feel bad about yourself. When you feel guilty, you expect to be punished. When you feel guilty, you are in a negative state of mind and according to the spiritual principle of the self-fulfilling prophecy, you are creating or drawing more of that bad into your life. You are creating more guilty feelings for your future. Self-hatred, self-rejection, false-guilt or displaced guilt is refusing to accept God’s forgiveness by forgiving yourself. I am convinced that many of our problems come from the way we feel about ourselves. Remember, Christ came to free us from bondage—to set the captive free. Don’t give in to false guilt; know God’s word and when you sin, confess quickly and receive your forgiveness. You should feel guilty from the time the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin until the time you confess sin and not a second longer. Change your mind about feeling guilty.image