That too is not easy because we have to battle through fear, doubt, self-worth, and self-doubt issues just to get the decision to change. To change isn’t easy because we get set in our ways. Even when the truth is revealed we choose to stay inside the lie because of fear and regret for lost time or we are too prideful to admit we got it wrong and repent. Jesus reveals this is in a teaching to a group of religious people who were set in their ways and trapped by their own fear.
Matthew 21:31-33 (ESV) 31Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 32For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.
Notice with me Jesus told them you even witnessed that truth and saw the miracles it produced and still you didn’t
change your minds and believe. I have heard it said, “Change happens best when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of change.” We must begin to change our minds. I had a moment like this concerning my life in vocational ministry and the Church of Jesus Christ. I had to change my mind. I knew God had better plans. If I wanted to see those plans come to life I was going to have to change my mind. No longer would I worry about what “the experts” said or taught instead I would inquire of the Lord and do what He says. Now please understand I still believe inmentorship and personal growth. I just believe that these things should supplement my ministry but not dictate it. With my mind changed I stepped out on this church planting journey to the glory of God. I’ve taught martial arts for many years. I would always recognize the first place change, self-defense and competition happens is in our heads. So many students came in beat up by life that they felt and viewed themselves in low regard. I knew this had to change. I knew this could change if they believed it could change. So we set small goals. My rule was and is never compare one student to another. Each student has a personal best they just have to discover it. Many of my students had never even set a goal and achieved it.
If you never set a goal you’ll never achieve a goal. A big reason why we don’t set goals is because of fear. 99% of fears never come true and yet they consume us and render us ineffective. It is time we put fear in its place and begin to live the life we have always dreamed. Set God-sized goals! We’re going to believe someone,we get to choose who. If we put our faith in God and NOT fear our goals become life’s victories. It is common to hear folks say they want to “go back” or “get back to” where they once were. I say forget about going back to where we were. Blaze a new trail, explore new territory, set new goals, the past is the past leave it there. The future anxiously awaits us! I have no desire to go back to where I once was, the past was a stepping stone to get me to my destiny which lies in the future. Let’s go!
Recently I changed my mind about my health and well being. This past year I have been very focused on planting City on a Hill Church and my eating habits got way out of whack. If I’m being brutally honest, I am a mood eater. I eat when I’m stressed, happy, sad, mad, glad, and all points in between. I recognize if I want to continue to live this dream called City on a Hill Church something is going to have to change. I’ve got the working out down to a science but I needed some motivation. A new gym opened call Orange Theory Fitness with a 6 week contest. Anyone who knows me knows I thrive on competition. But then my old adversary self-doubt shows up singing Toby Keith’s song, ‘I Ain’t as Good as I Once Was.” Recently I have been battling small bouts of panic and anxiety with so many life altering circumstances it is normal but still scary. During my very first workout I had a slight bit of anxiety and I almost jumped off the treadmill. I had a couple fight or flight moments and I chose to fight. I used to teach my martial arts students, “Life boils down to WILL or WON’T we decide.” We won the USCDKA Southeast Regional Championships with that slogan in mind. Why? because we changed our minds and believed that we could!
This changing of our minds applies in every aspect of our lives mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. We face challenges in every one of those areas. Those challenges present themselves as impossible mountains to climb. But with God’s help all things are possible. I am looking forward to bringing the best “me” to every aspect of my life and future. Got to class the morning and found they had overbooked. It was then decision time. Do I go home and chill or do I go create my own Orange Effect at my gym? I chose the latter and hit up the gym. Honestly, my first response was negative but if we want to achieve goals and live the life God promised we must change our minds. Life is a 99% mental y’all.
I know we all face giants. My giants are huge but my God is bigger. My giants are strong but my God is stronger. Just making these statements requires us to make a change in our minds. Belief in God comes from a changing of the mind! When Jesus found me I believed I was a no account, worthless, waste of a life. I had no job, no hope, and no purpose. I believed I was a insignificant and didn’t matter. But I heard a man preach of God’s amazing love for me. He told me I could be set free and have a new start. At first I didn’t believe I thought I was too bad, then I thought I couldn’t do it so why try. But then I believed! I got down on my knees and humbled myself before God. I changed my mind. The pain of staying the same was far greater than the pain of changing and I chose to trust Jesus. I saw what the religious people in Jesus story didn’t and I believed. I repented which means to change your mind and I began to live differently on purpose to the glory of God. When I planted City on a Hill Church I had a change my mind moment. My mind said, “You are trapped. You have responsibilities. You can’t!.” My God said, “You can if you will trust me.” I changed my mind and trusted Jesus and here I am fourteen months later in a thriving church right in the middle of a sovereign move of God like nothing I have ever seen before in my life. Is change easy? No! Is change necessary? Absolutely if we are going to live the lives God has called us to live and bring the our best to our God, family, friends, work, and ministry. Change your mind. Be encouraged!