The airwaves fill our eyes with numerous life principles that promise to change our lives and make our dreams come true. Motivational speakers convincingly tell us to believe in the power within, to think and aspire for great things and to believe in ourselves.
They claim that what we visualize and dream comes to pass every time. So the power to get what we want is in our thinking. Change your thoughts and attitudes and life gives you what you want. Really?
If you are not a Christian, what you’re about to read will seem like total nonsense because you don’t have the Holy Spirit to teach you the things of God. If you are a Christian, I welcome you to consider what the Bible has to say and let us reason together.
First, let us head this warning, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8. Notice that the world has a way it sees and does things!
Like you, I’ve heard preachers on the pulpit tell their listeners to desire for more, to raise their faith and trust God for more. Don’t settle for less. Desire to shop in better places, live in better neighbourhoods, take your kids to the best schools in the land, go for your dream house or car etc. Sounds good doesn’t it!?
And there is a catchy verse in Proverbs 23:7 that is the foundation of think big and positive thinking movement. “For as he thinks in his heart so is he.” Who is the Bible talking about? The context is of a stingy man who is not sincere in his hospitality and gives food to someone but is concerned more about the cost. Therefore like this man, we are what we think. Sure!
If you were to think about it, are you really what you think you are or you are what God says you are? Does what I think change or remove the fact of who I am? Can a sinner who think they are good become a saint?
The way I see it, the person from whom you get your ideas determines the course of your life. My thoughts do impact my behaviour but the person who informs my thoughts makes the whole difference.
Now tell me, my fellow Christian, who informs our thoughts most of the time? Is it the secular Tv shows, movies, music, motivational speakers or the teachings of God’s servants?
I dare say that only the Word of God has the power to change your attitudes and make you think right. I am afraid we have elevated the mind above the Word of God. These days it is the mind that has the power and not the Word.
Unless the heart is changed by Christ and the mind is renewed by Holy Scriptures nothing good can grow in the human mind that has eternal significance.
When you take a critical look at the church today, what do you see? What is the focus of the gospel in comparison to the focus of Jesus and the apostles he left to continue on his mission? Do you think Apostle Peter or Paul would preach such sermons? Did the early Christians chase an easy and comfortable life for themselves? Were they motivated and hyped to think of better things for themselves here on earth?
What does the Bible tell us to focus on? “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.” Colossians 3:1&2
What a Christian should be and do with his life does not originate from his thinking but from the purposes of God for his particular life. God says, “I formed you in your mother’s womb. I knew you even before you lived a single day. I planned your whole life and wrote the days of your life in my book. I know your future as I know your past.” Refer to Psalms 139.
How then can I begin shaping my life and future by thoughts when I have no idea of what tomorrow will bring? Am I really in control of my life?
The carnal man delights in taking credit for his accomplishments but a Christian must know and always remember that apart from Christ he is nothing and can do nothing. John the Baptist inspires me greatly because he understood two important truths.
First, he understood that we can only receive what God gives us – that’s why he didn’t mind his disciples leaving him to follow Christ. Second, he knew that when Jesus comes into the picture, he must decrease and Jesus must increase – Christ takes centre stage.
Did Abraham think big or positive to become the father of nations and father of faith? Did Moses think big to deliver the children of Israel? Did David think big to become the king of Israel? Clearly, God chose and appointed these men to accomplish His purposes in their generation.
Now, let’s look at Jesus, our example. His singular focus in life was to do the will of His Father. He didn’t come to do what he thought or wanted. Right from the start of His ministry, He pursued the purposes of God for His life. Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am the one I claim to be and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. John 8:28.
The apostles were busy preaching the gospel even when it cost them their lives. They seldom thought anything of their lives unlike the modern preacher who is more concerned of earthly wellbeing than the heavenly home to come.
A story is told of a man called Baruch. He used to ascribe Jeremiah’s words on scrolls and was very worried about his future. To bring him back to his senses, God said, “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the LORD, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.’ ” Jeremiah 45:5. Have we forgotten the fate of this world we live in?
Desiring big things for ourselves is not only a lie but it is also selfish. Trying to make things happen through positive thinking is a burden and a delusion. Man once again is falling for the lie of becoming a god unto himself!
As a Christian, I belong to Christ, God is my Father and only the Holy Spirit can empower, counsel and help me in everyway to will and to do according to what God wants. I don’t have to come up with dreams for my life purpose is already determined, known and written down. I am simply a vessel of God here on earth.
I don’t sit down and think big or think small. I do my duty each day – work hard, give my best, plan to the extent I can. Then I study the Word of God, meditate on it, do my best to obey it and trust God to lead me on the path I should take. He orders my steps.
And as the Bible repeatedly remind us, the righteous live by faith not by sight. If Christ and the Holy Spirit live in us, should we not given them full control over our lives?
Do you remember the key to success and prosperity given to Joshua? Hasn’t God promised to order the steps of the righteous? Read Joshua 1:8, Psalm 37:23.
Dear Christian, let us be alert and careful as regards conforming to the thinking patterns of this world. There is always a motivational speaker who will tell you how powerful and capable you are in bringing about your dreams through dreaming big or visualizing or thinking positive. That’s a destructive lie.
We are not home yet and if we ever believe such lies we shall be robbed, left confused and disappointed. Wrong expectations even from God always lead to misunderstanding, frustration and heartbreak.
Our focus should be to think like Christ. The word of God is Spirit, scriptures are life for our souls, bread for our hungers, water for our thirsts and a light to our path. Jesus is Truth and the more of the Word we have in us the more of Him we have in us. Should we not focus on the Author and Perfector of our faith?
A Christian must come to a place of assurance that God will not deny Him anything good. What He wants you to have that you don’t have yet you will have. He will bring it to you in His time and in His way.
Rather than sweat needlessly thinking big, seek God first, ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what God has in store for you. Only the spirit of God knows the things of God concerning your life. You will be a much happier person if you learn to receive your answers from the Spirit and wait for them to come in the physical. You will no longer carry the burden of wondering how to bring your big dreams to pass but you will look to God to bring to pass what the Holy Spirit has revealed to you.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians l 4:8.
Meditate on scriptures and on the revelations and promises of God. Spiritual maturity demands that we surrender all our self-interests, give up our lives and the need to save ourselves and sell all out to Jesus and follow Him each day. What He does with our lives is not really upto us. Our part is to believe Him – who He says He is and do what He commands – then carry the cross apportioned us.
Our Lord Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.” Matthew 16:24&25.
Thinking big or positive says “It’s all about me.” Thinking like Christ, his kingdom and his plans for my life says “It’s all about Jesus.” Is your mind preoccupied by the eternal things or temporary things?
|Think Big or Positive||Think Like Christ|
|1. First is “My…life, dream, desire etc”||1. First is “His…kingdom, purposes, will etc|
|2. Focus is mostly on earthly things||2. Focus is mostly on heavenly things|
|3. Thoughts originates from personal desires||3. Thoughts originate from the mind of God|
|4. Inspired by self||4. Inspired by the Holy Spirit|
|5. Ask God to come and join what a person is doing||5. Joins where God is at work and through his leading|
|6. Often brings worry, anxiety and stress||6. Brings peace, joy|
|7. Personal effort to make things happen||7. Obeys God and follows His leading and God makes things happen|
Thank you for reading Pass On Leadership. I welcome your comments and thoughts – as iron sharpens iron, so should we sharpen one another. We may not always agree, but the Holy Spirit teaches and leads us into all truth. God bless you.
Scriptures For Further Study
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians l 4:8
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2
“For the word of God is full of living power. It is sharper than the sharpest knife, cutting deep into our innermost thoughts and desires. It exposes us for what we really are.” Hebrews 4:12 NLT
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. 17 It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.” 2 Timothy 3:16 NLT