This Teaching is Part 2 of our Podcast Episode 8. To watch as a short video, click the player above. To watch the full teaching of Episode 8, Click HERE.
So here is some practical advice on making your New Year’s resolution Fruitful. I suggest you get a piece of paper. At the top, write “I am Not Insane! Then, make three columns. On the left, write out what the Lord is telling you to work on this year. For example, perhaps the Lord is nudging you to lose some weight this year. In the center column, write out what attitudes need to change in order for this to work. Using the weight loss example, you could make a point to remember that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, and should be treated with respect. Instead of thinking about my body as a repository for chips and hot sauce, I need to see my body as a temple of God! In doing so, I am less likely to put as many chips into the belly! Another attitude that fits here: I am a servant of Christ. Image the servant living in a wealthy Victorian household. They could be called by the master any time night or day. By keeping myself strong, I am prepared to do whatever the Lord needs me to do. At the end of the day, I can review these two attitudes, “Treat my body as a temple” and “Be ready for service” and see how I did.
On the right, write out what practical actions you are taking to change things. Maybe something like “No snacks after dinner” and “Take a walk a few times a week”. This seems really simple, but adjusting your attitudes and making simple changes in your actions can make a huge difference in your success.
Do you believe that God has a plan for you that involves doing something different than you do right now? If so, what little steps are you taking now so that you will be able to “wear” that new identity when the time comes? If you do nothing different, nothing changes. Perhaps God is calling you to be a missionary or to enter a new career path. By taking little steps to head there, you begin to form that new identity within you.
Once the Lord called me to begin ministry work, I began to take little steps to walk into this change, and to see myself in this role, long before anyone recognized that I was doing these things. In fact, when things get really tough in the ministry, It helps to remind myself that it was God who called me, and despite the circumstances or man’s opinion, I am just supposed to be faithful and walk it out. Being able to see myself as a missionary and man of God is part of that. So all the times that I have preached to ten or fifteen people has prepared me for the times when there have been hundreds.
This mental identity change is important for another reason. Perhaps you have been given a prophetic word over your life. As soon as the going gets tough, the devil will confront you with the contradiction between where you are and what God has said about your life. The intent is by sowing doubt to make sure that you never “own” this word, taking hold of it by faith. Forming your new identity in your mind and attitudes and taking small steps in that direction help you to stand when this happens.
This is part of walking by faith, and not by sight. We “own” these changes in our heart by faith before we see them with our natural eyes. To walk by faith, you have to see where you are going by faith. If it is not there now in the natural, the only way you can see it is by faith.
“Keep watching and praying, that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
The reference here is from the garden of Gethsemane. The disciples had pledged to stand with Jesus no matter what, but in his hour of trial they could not even stay awake. Here is the time when Jesus could really have used someone praying with him. Jesus had called Peter to be a leader. Peter boasted that he would stand with the Lord no matter what. But we see where he was in reality. But later in life Peter became a bold Apostle of faith and was able to walk out his destiny in Christ.
Are you at that awkward point between calling and destiny? Take some positive action and baby steps in Christ, and begin to grow into the person Jesus is leading you to be!