Thursday, July 17, 2014

Heavenward Thinking and The World's Positive Thinking Lies


"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27


As followers of Jesus, we are called to have "heavenward" thinking. Looking to and fixing our eyes on the "author and finisher of our faith." (Hebrews 12:2) Setting our hearts on Jesus and His sacrifice for us, a life in eternity, is heavenward, joyful thinking. God speaks His promises out of His heart of love for us to give our minds a renewal of true positive thinking.   

"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Psalm 27:13

There are many 'positive thinking' gurus these days. They teach that if we can just project a "rich" image and speak enough that we want to be rich, we will be rich! If we save up enough money, dream big enough and set our minds to these things, it will all happen! Just visualizing our dreams and working hard enough will help us build our dream life with our own two hands! Then we will be satisfied, fulfilled and our positive thinking has fulfilled our every desire. 

This way of life dethrones God from His rightful place, and puts our positive thinking on the throne. The 'positive thinking' lifestyle takes away from a life of total submission to the will of God and a pure dependency on Christ. Working with our hands, being focused, diligent and working towards ideals God puts in our heart are blessings. These are parts of heavenward thinking. The lifestyle gurus positive thinking makes one depend upon himself and his own thinking, never relying on God and getting to know His ways.

When an unexpected difficulty is thrown our way, an illness or a number of trying years, the god of positive thinking will not pull us through. Positive thought alone will let us down and leave us wanting to cling to something real and eternal.

The good news is God filled His word with truths, promises and love to carry us through. He shows His true, holy, God-centered positive thinking. We shouldn't rely on the new guru of the day to fill our minds with new thoughts and ideas that will not carry us into eternity. We can rely on God's eternal truths to fill our hearts and minds with His good and perfect will.

Jesus' tells us "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." John 16:33

If we face uncertainty, pain, loss and difficulty we know that Jesus has already overcome the world, and as believers we can share in those words He speaks to us and plant them in our hearts.

When we feel undervalued or that no one sees us, we know that God sees. "Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows." Luke 12:7

When we fear the future and it seems uncertain, or when we think God does not care about our life or dreams, we have His words of promise for our life. "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

When we lack strength to keep going, we can remember that by our strength alone we can accomplish nothing, all of our strength is given by God. "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

God's gift of His son, sent to reconcile us to God, to wipe away our sins, is God's ultimate positive thinking! He does not wish for any of His children to perish. He wants us to have eternal life with Him. God is a loving, gracious, merciful, dream giver, life giving God. He keeps all of His promises and cannot fail. Positive thinking gurus can never match or top God's gifts to us, or preach anything that will fill the heart, mind and soul the way Jesus can. 

Fixing our eyes on things that we can see in front of us now, focused on positive thinking to make them into reality as our only source of hope will leave us empty. Accomplishing one thing and rapidly moving onto another to fill ourselves will not satisfy. These things are temporal. Heavenward thinking focuses on the unseen, the things that are lasting.

"For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

 Our ultimate, eternal hope and life is only found in Jesus. Remembering, like Jesus, that following God's perfect will will lead us to the fullest life.  "...yet not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42)  This is the path to life in abundance, and a heart of communion with God. It's is God's perfect, holy and loving way. The need that we have to fill ourselves with 'positive thinking' to carry us through life is filled by God and His perfect love and promises that never fail.

"The Lord is righteous in everything he does, he is filled with kindness.  The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.  He grants the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cries for help and rescues them." Psalm 145:17-19

Prayer: "Lord, help me to see your unchanging love, to live in it and hold fast to it. Help me to cling to your promises of hope and life and not the worlds. Your promises are always life giving and fulfill the heart. Rid me of false positive thinking, and fill me with your steadfast, eternal hope and promises. Amen." 

"Teach me to treat all that comes to me with peace of soul and
with firm conviction that You will govern all." Amen
      -Elisabeth Elliot

"The Lord always keeps his promises;
    he is gracious in all he does.  The Lord helps the fallen
    and lifts those bent beneath their loads." Psalm 145:13-14





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