The Lord gave me some much needed encouragement and perspective as I reflected on the changes in my mindset over the past year.
I’ve been using this weird, out-of-time week between Christmas and New Year’s to reflect on 2018 and prepare my heart for 2019. And instead of meditating on our group verse, the Lord led me the book of Romans. I started a slow-read through it and stopped on verses 8:5-6.
For those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit. Now the mindset of the flesh is death, but the mindset of the Spirit is life and peace.
Help from the Lord
While meditating on these verses, the Lord showed me how my own mindset has changed, especially over the past year. I cherished the encouragement. I can always see how far I need to go, but I rarely take the time to appreciate how far I’ve come.
Mike and I have seen God moving powerfully this past year–more than we have at any other time in our lives. We’ve both grown spiritually; God’s given us clear directions on a new endeavor; and we’re getting closer to a healthy balance between work and rest.
Our Mindset Shift
I know this changes stems from a shift in our mindset. And it’s all to God’s glory–only the Lord could move our minds so completely to things of the Spirit.
We’ve moved from focusing on our anxieties to focusing on the Lord. We thought we were living in the Spirit because we used spiritual means to deal with our troubles: prayer, fasting, scripture, Godly counsel. But after a while, I realized that our efforts were a distraction. Our minds were still on things of the flesh. I wasn’t praying to release; I was praying to fix.
We started truly living in the Spirit when we accepted some hard truths. Certain difficult elements of our lives are always going to be here, because here on earth, we won’t see perfection. Those issues belong in God’s hands for change or healing. Our job is to move them to the background of our lives and focus on the Spirit.
These are big issues for us, and turning our worry over to the Lord is easier said than done. I don’t want to give the impression that it’s an easy process or that we’re just ignoring our problems–that’s not healthy either. It’s been a wrenching that left scars only the Lord can heal. It takes time and hard work between us and the Spirit–it’s a process I know I’ll never perfect.
This growth process started when I simplified everything including my spiritual journey. I removed the distractions and much of the busyness of life to focus on my relationship with the Lord. I invite you to begin meditating with us all week on one verse for deep transformation and to help keep it simple.
I’m looking forward to 2019, not with the hopes of setting new goals or needing a “fresh start”, but because I’m thankful for the foundations the Lord helped me lay down in 2018. I’m excited to see those seedlings grow.
I pray that you, too, continue to live in the Spirit, with your mind focused on things of the Spirit that are life and peace. And if worldly concerns are troubling you, or if you are struggling to live in the Spirit, I pray the Lord provides supernatural understanding and growth.
I’m always available to chat via email if you’d like to reach out: aj(at)hartrich.org
I’d love to hear what you’ve been meditating on this week. Were you focused on our weekly verse? This past year? Or are you looking toward the future?
Feel free to comment here or in our Facebook group!
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