Editor’s note: For the month of September, our focus verse is Colossians 3:1-2. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and our life is now hidden with Christ in God.” Our mindset is our responsibility and I pray that you will begin to focus on your life in Jesus.
As I look back across the story of my life, I can see defining moments where I had a specific choice to make that would set me on a specific path…those choices became the moments that God used to bring me into His Kingdom.
The first time I heard the Lord speak clearly to me about how He felt about me was when I was 16. I had already made some bad decisions and was living a life of sin, but Jesus met me with a verse in Jeremiah and I heard God clearly say, “This is how I feel about you.” I clung to that verse and let it take root in my heart. When I said yes to what the Lord was saying about me, it changed my mindset and placed me on a path of purpose.
At the age of 17 a leader in my life spoke Romans 8:1 over me. This verse tells us that we are not condemned when we are in Christ. Once again, I found myself at a crossroads…I could embrace this truth and let go of the condemnation I had been carrying because of my bad choices or I could continue to live condemned. I chose to say yes to God’s word. This promise to me, set me on a path of freedom from my sin. When I realized I wasn’t condemned I began seeing myself in Christ and I no longer wanted to sin. My mindset about God’s word allowed me to live in the freedom that His word brings.
A few years after Brad and I got married I found myself struggling with some of the ways Brad and I were relating to each other. I felt like he didn’t see or understand me. We were fighting a lot and I kept thinking…if only I’d explain myself one more time, he’d “get” what I’m trying to say. But none of my explaining helped. It just kept putting a barrier of misunderstanding between us. It was during this time in our marriage that I really learned to pray. I remember so clearly hearing the Lord tell me “Julie, I love you enough to change Brad.” Those words brought such peace to my heart. I knew that I could stop trying to “explain” myself and I could start “trusting” God to change Brad. My mindset towards my marriage changed. I can honestly say, I’ve seen God do so much in our marriage because I’ve made my mindset about God’s word be what leads me in my actions towards Brad.
About 10 years ago I didn’t agree with God’s word, and I ran off to accomplish what I thought was best for our family. We were financially stretched thin, and I decided to take matters into my own hands and take a job. Deep inside of me I didn’t have any peace, but I thought this would be best and helpful for our family. The irony was we continued to be stretched thin in our finances even with the extra income. It was like we had holes in our pockets and all the extra I was making was just falling out. During this season, God taught Brad and I two specific truths. One, that unity in our finances is the number one goal. We needed to come in agreement about money, how we felt about money and what we believed about money. The second truth we learned was it’s not about the amount of money you make, it’s about your mindset towards God and His promises. You see, if in the core of my being, I don’t really believe that God is my provider, then no matter how much money I make, it’ll never be enough. Allowing my mindset to agree with God’s truth about money was the answer to our financial and material needs.
Recently, God’s challenged me in new areas in my thinking. Last year a dear friend prayed over me that my imagination would be awakened. That I would be able to see the beauty and the glory of God. In general, I’m not a very visual person, and honestly when they prayed that over me, I was a little taken back…like what kinds of imaginations am I supposed to have? God showed me this verse in Colossians soon after they prayed that, and I began asking God to allow me to see and picture Heaven and being seated with Christ. This has been so helpful when I’m interceding for my family, friends and church.
Often, we think the goal of Christianity is Heaven, and although that is an awesome benefit of salvation, it’s not our goal. Our goal is oneness with Christ. If we’re ever to walk in oneness with Christ, we must live a life of responsibility towards our thoughts.
If I can take responsibility for my mindset…I know you can too. I challenge you, next time you hear God’s word, say yes to it and allow your mindset to be what leads you to victory.
We would like to thank Julie Snellgrove for writing this blog post.