The Lord first spoke the word “mindset” to me several years ago. A friend had died of sickness. We had gone to the hospital to pray for her and I had seen the light of Jesus shine on her and bring wholeness. I had spoken the things I saw in the Spirit over her. She felt heat. Others had come and prayed for her, spending hours worshiping in her room. She was recovering. Then I got a call two days later that she’d gone home to be with the Lord. I asked God, “Why?” And He said, “mindsets.”
In the last couple of days, God’s been talking to me about this a lot. The free online dictionary defines a mindset as: 1. A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations. 2. An inclination or a habit.
I googled “mindsets” and found out that there’s a book out called, “Mindset” by psychologist Carol Dweck. Here’s an excerpt from it. “For twenty years, my research has shown that the view you adopt for yourself profoundly affects the way you lead your life. It can determine whether you become the person you want to be and whether you commit to and accomplish the things you value. How does this happen? How can a simple belief have the power to transform your psychology and, as a result, your life?“
Now I don’t like psychology for a very simple reason. It does not acknowledge that man is a spiritual being that needs salvation. It is ‘humanism’ at its worse; man trying to fix himself without Jesus. And once again, I’m sure this book will tell us how to fix our thinking through positive affirmations. But this understanding of our thinking is profound.
The online dictionary also talks about “collective mindsets.” A story is told that in 1974, psychologists were trying to reorient the American Indians to have ”correct goals” such as a house and a full bank account. But their historical viewpoint of success was so different that it was impossible to get them to think ‘correctly.’
The term ‘apostle’, which we see in scripture, is a secular term that was first used in Roman/Greek culture. The Romans were conquering vast territories and claiming them as part of the Roman Empire. But when the conquerors would return to these regions, they found that the culture of the original country had not changed. The people were not becoming “Romans.” So they left ‘apostles’ in the area to change the culture! These people were to be an influence and infiltrate the culture with Roman/Greek thinking! http://www.impactnetwork.net/pdf/apostle.pdf They were sent out to these regions to transform the culture!
This is the reference point that Paul would have been using when writing. He was charging us to be apostles to this world. We have been ‘sent out’ by Christ to affect our culture, to change men’s thinking, to tell the world that there is access to God through Jesus Christ. But instead, many of us have been indoctrinated into the world’s thinking. We are salt that has lost its ‘saltiness.’ Salt is a natural preservative that people used to keep their meat from spoiling. Jesus wants us to be salt and light to this world.
We say more with our actions than we say with our words. Especially when we are parents, we have a huge influence on the mindsets of our children. If we eat dinner together every night and then spend time as a family in God’s Word and in prayer, we are establishing a truth in our children; that we cannot go a day without the Word of God; that we value the principles of God’s Word; that God is our first priority.
If our children see us up every morning before they are, praying and seeking God, it sends a message. If our Bible is always open and we know what it says, and we quote it, it sends a message. If the first thing we do when our children are sick is to lay hands on them and pray, we establish that we believe God’s Word regarding healing. It becomes established in them that God heals. They begin to experience healing through faith and when they are sick again, they do what works; pray, repent of sin and receive healing.
Our culture and society has an understood truth. When you are sick, you go to a doctor. Medicine heals you. Some things cannot be healed; they are chronic or worse yet, terminal. Some pharmaceuticals will help the symptoms but you will always be sick. When medication causes negative side effects, you can take another medication to get rid of that side effect. Everyone needs health insurance. Getting sick without health insurance might mean that you could be refused medical care. If you are given medical care without insurance, your bills could destroy your finances. Doctors have the final authority on your health.
This becomes a deep routed fear in people. It becomes a mindset.
Many times believers in Christ believe that they have right thinking based on truth because they believe Jesus is the Son of God Who died for their sins never realizing that they are still believing lies from the enemy in every area of their lives. They have deep routed mindsets well established from their childhood.
Then consider the ‘collective mindset.’ Nothing reassures us that we are ‘right’ better than having a group that agrees with us. We find comfort in that; that everyone thinks like we do. We pass this thinking down from generation to generation; from church to church.
Jesus talks about mankind as ‘sheep that need a shepherd.’ Without a shepherd, sheep don’t know where to go or what to think. They are known for flocking together and not separating from their flock. It is very hard for us to think independently and risk the rejection of others. We are much more comfortable getting into the center of a group of like believers and hiding there; approved of and accepted.
When Jesus was on the earth, He spoke the most harshly to the religious of that day: the Pharisees. The Pharisees religiously observed the Sabbath, they tithed and fasted and prayed. But Jesus condemned them saying that unless we become more righteous than they, we will not see the Kingdom of Heaven. He called them hypocrites and told them that they invalidated the Word of God by their traditions; teaching their own traditions as the doctrines of God. (Matthew 15)
A few years ago, I heard about Heidi and Rolland Baker’s ministry in Mozambique, Africa. www.irisministries.com At that time, it was reported that they had raised over 70 people from the dead. Heidi was going into the villages there and calling the people to come and hear about Jesus. She was especially having success in the deaf receiving hearing and I always think it’s so wonderful that the first thing these people heard was the Name of Jesus!
When I first heard about this, my mind sort of did a little overload –“ What?! Over 70 people raised from the dead?!” I could not comprehend this! As the years have progressed, I’ve listened to her on line. In one session, she was speaking to a large group of pastors in Africa. She asked them how many of them had raised people from the dead and every single one of them raised their hand!
One pastor told the story of a woman who was the people’s leader in witch craft. She died and the Lord told him to go raise her from the dead. He didn’t want to -LOL. When he obeyed, the woman came to life praising Jesus and now serves Him with all her heart. Many of the villagers have committed their lives to Christ because of her testimony and the transformation God has done in her life!
Bill Johnson, pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, CA, and the author of, “When Heaven Invades Earth” says that when we share testimonies of the wonderful things that God has done, it creates an atmosphere for miracles. People need to hear the wonderful things that God is doing. It expands their thinking and they begin to think outside their mindsets.
Pastor Johnson’s church has been experiencing miracles for years. They are pressing into God that their territory, Redding, California, be a cancer-free zone. They are seeing tumors fall off, deformities from birth corrected, cancer healed and many other healings and miracles. They are breaking the mindset that God does not operate today the way He operated in the New Testament.
God’s mercies are new every day. He will help us today. But, He tells ‘US’ to renew our minds in His Truth. He tells us not to be conformed to this world in our thinking. He’s not going to do it for us. He has given us His Word and His Spirit and it is our choice to renew our mind and seek Him or to continue to believe things contrary to His Word, just because we’ve found a group that will agree with us.
We like to tell ourselves that if Jesus had come to the earth today, we would have recognized Him. We would have followed Him and honored Him. But He’s on this earth today. He’s omnipresent in the form of the Holy Spirit and many ‘believers’ have not recognized Him.
God gave us free will. We can choose. We can decide to follow God with our whole hearts or we can stay where we are. There is always more. He is infinite love; infinite mercy; infinite truth.
Jesus’ last commission to us was this: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel (The Good News!) to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. THESE SIGNS WILL ACCOMPANY THOSE WHO BELIEVE: In My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; THEY WILL LAY HANDS ON THE SICK AND THEY WILL RECOVER.”
We have to start with a new mindset. We have to start by believing.
Mindset – A fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations. 2. An inclination or a habit.