How hard it is to be positive. Especially with ourselves. I know I learned from a young age to criticize and judge myself harshly. Our society does not encourage building up, but greatly encourages tear down, by saying “I am just being real.” Thank God, He is teaching us a new way. He wants us to have His mindset.
So today I was seeking the Lord about being positive. What does that look like? I began to think about Jesus and I began to wonder about His mindset.
Here is what I know: 1 Peter 2:21-24Amplified Bible (AMP)
21 For even to this were you called [it is inseparable from your vocation]. For Christ also suffered for you, leaving you [His personal] example, so that you should follow in His footsteps.
22 He was guilty of no sin, neither was deceit (guile) ever found on His lips.
23 When He was reviled and insulted, He did not revile or offer insult in return; [when] He was abused and suffered, He made no threats [of vengeance]; but he trusted [Himself and everything] to Him Who judges fairly.
24 He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.
He gave up everything to come to earth to be rejected and reviled, spit on and lie about. Disrespected, talked about, laughed at, scorned at. He lived His earth life among a people who were stubborn and hard hearted, foolish and prideful, critical and judgmental. How did He keep the right mindset? This scripture says, He trusted Himself and everything to Him Who judges fairly. WOW! I understand that Jesus allowed God to be His ultimate Source. Jesus who was God in His own right, trusted God to provide, and care for Him. This is the Christlikeness that I want manifest in me.
Here are some other scriptures I found:
Hebrews 12:2 (AMP)
2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus had a vision, a prize that enable Him to endure. There was such joy in that prize that He deemed it worth every insult, every violation, every rejection and rebuff. It was a God given one, something God asked Him to do specifically. When God asks me to do something…..like live in Minot, Nd, I can do it because He asks me. I can maintain joy here because I know that as I obey, He blesses me. My hope is not in my ability to remain joyful here, or my skill to cultivate joy but rather in Him. I know His plan for me is for good. So, here I am in a place I don’t want to be, but I do delight in being because He is in this moment and because I know that I know He has called me here. When God tells me something, I know that it will come to pass. So did Jesus. God said to Jesus, go and die for my people and I will not let you see corruption but raise you from the dead. What a place of faith. Jesus had to trust God and His word. In my own life, often God asks me to die to my opinions, my rights, my agenda. To allow those things to be crucified that HE might resurrect me in His life. How hard I find it to participate in crucifixion. It is never fun, and never easy.
Hebrews 5:7-10 (AMP)
7 In the days of His flesh [Jesus] offered up definite, special petitions [for that which He not only wanted but needed] and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was [always] able to save Him [out] from death, and He was heard because of His reverence toward God [His godly fear, His piety, in that He shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father].
8 Although He was a Son, He learned [active, special] obedience through what He suffered
9 And, [His completed experience] making Him perfectly [equipped], He became the Author and Source of eternal salvation to all those who give heed and obey Him,
10 Being designated and recognized and saluted by God as High Priest after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek.
I love this picture of Jesus. See, it is my understanding that Jesus was both God and man. Scripture states in Hebrews 4:15, “For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.” He faced the same temptations I do. He faced doubting God, He faced fear but He did not do them. He overcame. How? That is my prayer. Lord teach me how to be like this Jesus. What kind of mindset enable Him to do this? I can imagine Jesus here in this scripture battling the same thoughts that come to tear us from our Father’s plan. What else would Jesus be asking God for? What would provoke strong crying and tears? Someone looks at me funny and I am crushed. Here Jesus was denied by each of His disciples. Years of pouring into to them and they all ran away. He was rejected by all that He came to save. Take about a mental battle. Not once, did he say, “That’s it! I’ve had it! I deserve to stand up and use my power. I don’t have to take this anymore! They have called me one too many names!” Here is what Jesus said,
Luke 22:41-42 (AMP)
41 And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw and knelt down and prayed,
42 Saying, Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but [always] Yours be done.
Jesus always, always, always put the will of God first. The Son of God had to learn obedience through suffering! How much more will I have to also learn the same things? Obedience is not something I am born with. It is something I have to learn. Furthermore it is learned through suffering. I am suffering as I learn to obey God with my thoughts. However, the suffering is not to be compared with the prize….peace and victory.
So to recap this:
Jesus is my perfect example. He had a mindset that caused Him to overcome.
His situation was so overwhelming and crushing and still He overcame. He did so by “offering prayers and petitions up to God for not only what He needed but what He wanted.” Jesus did this because He trusted God as His absolute Source. This is how I need to deal with my life, continually bringing what I am feeling and thinking to Him and asking and asking and asking and then listening and obeying. Just as Jesus did.
He struggled with temptation and overcame. If He did it, I can because His word tells me so in John 14:12 ” I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father.”
Jesus overcame temptation by focusing on God’s word. I too, will overcome temptation the same way.
Jesus cultivated a heart that wanted to do only the will of His father. Oh how I want this.
Jesus allowed himself to suffer as He choose to do things God’s way. He did this because the momentary suffering could not compare with the prize that God has set before Him. Jesus was willing to pay the price. Philippians 2:8, “And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross!”
I want to be willing to pay the price. That price is humbling myself…which means to me, to think according to what God’s word says about me and the situation. That kind of thinking often has me forgiving, and overlooking, reaching out, when I really want to run away. All forms of death to my flesh. But oh so life bringing to my spirit. This is the cost of a”positive mind set” for me. It is one He is teaching me and helping me to grow in.
Jesus wants me to learn of Him. He will teach me and He will teach you. He will help us have His mind. He has given us His Holy Spirit. This is His heart toward us:
1 Corinthians 2:16(AMP)
16 For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.