People regularly ask me how I have been able to do what I've done—write books, publish books, travel, speak, daily social media presence, and teaching. My answer is pretty much the same as I share with them my journey over the last 20 years to confront and replace limitation thinking. What is limitation thinking? I'm glad you asked but for the answer, you know the drill: You will have to read on.
This series is equipping you to live the abundant life that Jesus promised you would have. It's not about prosperity or an abundance of things, but it's a life that bears a lot of fruit for God's kingdom and glory. Each week, I present a PowerPoint for Living that summarizes the lesson as we been study David's life for clues to identify the PowerPoint. This week, let's go to Psalm 13 to look at another lament of David's:
How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? (Psalm 13:1-2, emphasis added).
David was crying out to God because of what David considered to be His inattention to David's plight. In these verses, notice that David was "wrestling" with his thoughts that were producing daily sorrow. Fortunately, David won the wrestling match, for we read, "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me" (Psalm 13:5-6).
Many people don't take an active role in their thought process. They assume they're stuck with and in their anxious, fearful, worrying, and otherwise negative thoughts with no recourse but to give in to their natural destination of anxiety, fear, and worry, with crippling effects. However, you aren't a victim of your thoughts unless you want to be, for if you learn how to wrestle them into submission, you can be the beneficiary of thoughts that will lead to better outcomes.
The first step in wrestling with your thoughts is to recognize you have them and identify them for what they are. Twenty years ago, I had to recognize that I was afraid, terrified even, of my own creativity. Thus, I hid from it and made excuses for why I kept it in a cage under lock and key where no one, not even I, could access it. Once I acknowledged I was afraid, I determined why. Fear of success was actually the cause, for I was fearful that my success would lead to criticism and ultimate failure when I couldn't handle the increase from my success.
Once I had that in place, then I had to replace those fear thoughts with new thoughts. That didn't happen overnight because they weren't planted and didn't take root and eventually bear fruit overnight. It was hand-to-hand combat as I daily, sometimes all day, had to say to myself, "That's how I used to think, but God hasn't given me a spirit of fear. I'm confident that He has equipped me to be fruitful and creative. I am a creative person!"
Then I started to set new goals that were more consistent with my new thoughts. Instead of setting a goal to write one book a year, I increased that to two, then three, then more. Eventually, in the first year of the pandemic, I wrote and published seven books. And now I have applied that same process to every area of life. I confronted and dealt with my limitation thinking that was limiting not only myself but also God. I will never go back to the old ways.
To summarize, your PowerPoint for Living this week is
You no longer need to be a victim of your thoughts but can be the master of them. To do that, you must learn to wrestle with and overcome your thoughts that are limiting your ability to live the abundant life.
To do further study on this matter, read Romans 8:1-17 and 12:1-2, and then 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 to see how God's Spirit will help you with this process just like He helped me. But you must be willing to do your part as often as it takes to replace your limiting thoughts with the spiritual thoughts that are the seedbed for your abundant life. Have a blessed week.