September 10, 2020
Our theme for this month is all about perspective. It is so critical on how much our perspective determines how we process our life, process life around us and process how we view God. This topic is so relevant to everything that is going on in the world in this season of 2020.
If you have ever listened to one of the Lioness Queen podcasts, you already know Rev. Dr. Marisha loves starting out reflecting on a poem that connects to the theme for the month. Here is a poem that gives a great insight on the thoughts we fight in our head that can shift our perspective about ourselves.
"A Life in Progress"
By: Krista O’ReillyDavi-Dagui
Fear is loud and bossy.
She can be vicious at times.
And the worst of it is that
She is often mingles truth with fiction
But you must learn to challenge
The stories she feeds you.
You get to be the boss of your thoughts.
You can learn to question
Whether or not
Everything she tells you is truth,
And nothing but the truth.
Since you have done the work
To deepen self-awareness
When she throws all your past failings
In your face you won’t crumble
Because you already know you are imperfect
AND you are beautiful
Of a building
Thoughtfully crafted life.
This poem is a great segway into the theme for the month with having the right perspective. The part of the poem that says “we must challenge the stories she feeds us, and we get to be the boss of our thoughts.” Yaaassss!!! We need to be more in control of the things we think about especially as it relates to negativity. This is where we have the most trouble with our perspective because we often believe the lies of the enemy and false narratives not realizing we always have control of your thoughts. God is a gentleman. He is a God of freedom and so he doesn’t use manipulative ways to control us. This is indicative of our free will; we have control over ourselves but often in our lives there is a specific word that gets us stuck in a place where we feel inhibited to do things. The inhibition to do, to conquer, to overcome, to heal, to forgive, etc all stems from this little word. As you read the items below, you will be able to identify with some of these sayings that we have all said either verbally or to ourselves that have inhibited our perspective.
- I cannot stop certain thoughts
- I cannot change the bad experience
- I cannot stop what they are doing
- I cannot stop being addicted
- I cannot stop feeling this way
- I cannot get a handle on my emotions
- I cannot stop thinking about it
- I cannot stop things from happening to me
- I cannot change what they did to me
- I cannot stop the negative thoughts
I am sure you figured it out but the word “cannot” sadly has infiltrated our subconscious in a way that we think and say more about what we cannot do than what we can do. If that is the case then who is actually in control? When we say we can do all things through Christ but consistently contradict God’s word, what happens to the power in that word? Have you ever thought about how many times you have said or thought the word ”cannot” versus what you can do through faith. Honestly, I believe all of us would be flabbergasted as to the amount of times that word has come out our mouth. In God’s eyes this equates to the number of how many times we have discounted his word. The question is why does that little word have so much power over us? Where did we learn the word from? Why does it have the ability to change your perspective? Have you ever thought about who controls your thoughts, emotions, feelings, and behaviors?
Let’s go all the way back to our childhood. Think about when you were growing up and how often you hated being controlled by your parents especially if you were a strong willed little person. The rambunctious child who never wanted to follow the rules or even the sneaky teenager who thought they knew everything. But no matter what, you knew that one day, you would be in control of yourself. You knew that one day you didn’t have to follow any rules in your house. One day you would live on your own, not required to make up your bed after you get up, not required to clean your room once a week, or didn’t have to wash the dishes after you ate. If this was your thought process as a child then there was an element in you that wanted to have the authority to control your life: mind, body and soul. When we were children, we weren’t afraid of anything until a circumstance altered our perspective. Normally as young people we are unstoppable and could believe in anything regardless as to what we saw or heard. We didn’t even realize the faith mindset we had as children but sadly often family, friends, and even authority figures have been the reason for the shift in our perspective.
Honestly, there shouldn’t be a difference in wanting to be in control of your life as a child and being in control of our life as an adult. What is the disconnect? Why do we allow circumstances to alter our perspective in a way that strongly influences and controls aspects of who we are? How is it that we allow experiences to shape how we think, how we feel and how we behave. We even allow the experiences of others to shape how we think, feel and behave. This perspective has the notion that we are our circumstances, trauma, tests, trials, and tribulations. Some kind of way we have allowed our subconscious to believe that we are our circumstance which is far from the truth. The reason for the disconnect is all about our faith or lack thereof. Sadly, this perspective has been taught to us subconsciously and we didn’t know it.
Let’s look at the scripture
2 Peter 1:5 - 9 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
In this scripture, Peter gives the christian virtues that everyone should pursue. Remember perspective is all about a disciplined faith mindset that God has already made provision for you to be able to accomplish as a believer. During this time, Peter is addressing a lot of the false teaching that was going on during that time. I honestly believe over the years, there has been a lot of subliminal deceptive teachings and ideologies that have gone forth in the world and even in the kingdom to water down the truth in God’s word. As a result, due to the deception and subliminal subtle messages, many have believed the false narratives and lies in their identity and their relationship to God. And this stance or belief system in the subconscious, opens the subconscious in a way that exacerbates our feelings, emotions, thinking and behavior over the truth in God’s word, over who we believe in, over who we are connected with, over our discipline to have the mind of Christ, over how we are suppose to pursue specific virtues because we are his children but it only can happen with the right perspective or in other words a discipline faith mindset.
The scripture starts out with that we are supposed to supplement our faith with and that is God’s “virtues.” The first virtue the scripture starts out with is “knowledge” which encompasses who God is; he is the living truth. Then the last virtue Peter talks about relates to God’s number one commandment and that is love. He starts with the word and ends with how we are to love others as we love ourselves. Having God’s virtues privies us to have access to everything we need. When you live based on God’s truth and walk out your life in love then your perspective will realign with the right perspective and a disciplined faith mindset.
We must be reminded that provision has already been made to handle our thinking, feelings and behavior. If this is the case, then why do we allow circumstances to shape these three areas in our life when we have access? In 2 Peter 1:1, Peter mentions that faith is given; it is a gift to believers and so it is the acceptance of this faith that walks us into a perception of who we are in the world and the power we have within. God does not require us to have faith without him and it is through him that we have the right perspective and disciplined faith mindset.
Now at times we can feel overwhelmed, anxious, traumatized, devastated, lost, and fearful for various reasons. This happens to all of us; no one is exempt from trials and tribulations. 1 Peter 1:6-7 says that sometimes our faith is tested and tried but on the other side of the coin it is strengthened as well and through this strengthening we have the ability to control our thoughts, emotions and behaviors but it requires the application of hearing and walking out the word of God which ultimately shows our character, it shows who we re in him. This is faith! We cannot allow any circumstances we go through to control how we think, feel or act when we use our faith. Our response to circumstances proves the character of our faith which shows our fruit or lack thereof.
In addition, when we do not have faith then we become nearsighted and allow subliminal and carnal messages to begin to take root in our subconscious. As a result, we fail to believe, fail to walk in God’s character virtues, fail to believe in who we are through him and fail to believe in what he can do. In other words, our nearsightedness of our circumstance can impact how we attach the circumstance to our identity. We attach it almost like it's another person living inside of us. It is a label that for some odd reason we want to carry the load and burden of it. Almost as if the attention from the negative circumstance boosts our self esteem in a way. Everything boils down to our faith; the gift God has given all of us freely… When we appropriate our faith leaning on his understanding not our own then we will begin to have the right perspective. What perspective do you have today about your life or your circumstances? Do you have a nearsighted birds eye view or a broad farsighted view?
If you think about God’s view from heaven. Is he really looking at your circumstance with a magnifying glass so that he can see things close up or is he looking from a broader objective perspective or view knowing that the circumstance will work together for you good? Now let me be very clear; God is concerned about everything that concerns us. He is a God who walks with us every step of the way and intercedes for us when we are so overwhelmed and do not have the words to say or pray. God knows that circumstances can be overwhelming just like they were overwhelming to his son and Jesus asked 3 times to take the cup from him. But even in the midst of our trials, God is always with us. We must be reminded that faith is an assurance that provision has already been made for you. It was made for Jesus before, during and after his death and it has been made for you. So when we face circumstances here are some things I would say from a Romans 8:28 perspective pops up in God’s faith mindset that he is asking you:
- What did you learn about you that needs to change?
- How can the circumstance bring me glory?
- How did you grow spiritually?
- How did the circumstance bless someone else?
- How did you bless the one who hurt you?
- How did you change your mindset to believe more in the supernatural power of God?
- How did the trauma from your childhood push you into your purpose?
- What fear did you overcome?
- What did you learn more about who I Am?
- What did you learn more about what I can do for you in your weakness?
I could go on and on but when you are too close to a circumstance you are blindsighted from seeing all of the endless possibilities, opportunities and blessings that can evolve as a result of experiencing the circumstance but it is all about your faith and it's your faith that determines your perspective. My question for you today is how is your perspective on your life right now, on the world and on your faith in God? If you are allowing the circumstances in your life to shape your thoughts, feelings or emotions then you have a nearsighted perspective.
Here is an exercise I want you to do.
For the next 6 days journal about the following ways how God can help you gain the right perspective over your life. It is not enough to know God can help you in any circumstance but we forget that it is not based on our strength but his strength. The energy from faith comes from him as your source not from within ourselves but it is the connection you have with him. Oftentimes we need to be reminded that when we have the right perspective then God can show himself strong in our lives.
Knowing God has already made provision for you. Write about what provisions God has made for you over the years past, present and future. Reflect on these provisions and remember that if he did it before, he can do it again. He is a God that doesn’t have favorites; you will always be his special gift. Remember the right perspective is receiving the gift of faith and applying it to your circumstance.
Knowing all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 is a powerful scripture with the right perspective. Write about a setback you experienced that the enemy tried to stop your from moving forward. Then write down all of the miraculous wonders that came as a result of your experiencing that setback?
You are never at the mercy of your circumstance because God’s grace is sufficient for you and his strength is made perfect in your weakness. Write about a circumstance in your life when you felt your weakest. Then write how God came in and showed himself strong in the circumstance without your help, skill, or ability. Remember your weakest moments are the times when God endows us with the strength we need to believe and have the right perspective.
Philippians 4:8 tells you what to think about and if you look at the list. The first item God tells you to think about is his TRUTH=THE WORD OF GOD! If you look at the list of ways we are supposed to think from this scripture, write about what you think is the most challenging to do and how you can surrender this over to God to do it. Always thinking positive is challenging especially when you are not facing the best of circumstances. There are things from this scripture that will not always be in the forefront of your thinking but when the negativity thoughts arise declare the word of God over that circumstance immediately. It is time we stopped listening to the voices in our head and declaring the word of God over our life. Just as the world was spoken into existence, it is time for us to speak life into ourselves in a way that triggers our subconscious to line up.
Renew your mind daily in order to be continuously disciplined in your thinking. The enemy will always try to get you offset and distracted. Write about a circumstance you thought you were delivered from but then a trigger popped up in your subconscious and took you 10 steps back. Write down your triggers and ways you can overcome them with affirming God’s word. Remember the enemy is always on his J-O-B but it is your job to know that he has had the same tricks since the garden of Eden. He cannot make you do anything against your will. The only trickery he has is to plant suggestions and seeds to see if they will grow. It is your job to know how to fight his devices with the word and the armor of God. You have a uniform but we need to use it.
Remember you are not your circumstance! Lastly, list 25 affirmations that are contrary to your circumstances. God never intended for circumstances to become our identity but when we do not have the right perspective we open our subconscious up to believe something God never intended us to believe.
Lioness Queens it is time to use the gift God has given us to have the right perspective about our life, the world and who God is to you. We are too consumed with what is going on in the world right now and do not have the right perspective about the pandemic, political, racial, health, disparities, inequality issues and the biggest issue we always say is that “we will never get back to norm.” Again it is all about our perspective; maybe God wanted a better norm, a better appreciation for all people, a better healthcare system, better police departments, better school system, better prison systems or even better political system. No matter what, it is time to use our faith and believe God has everything in control and that should be our perspective….it should not be what we “cannot” do but what we can do through Christ.