When my husband and I were dating, he took me to a chiropractic conference. It was one geared towards marketing a chiropractic office. I was in my (very) early twenties and it was my first business conference. I remember really leaning in when they started talking about affirmations. I believe they even made us all stand on the chair we were sitting in and repeat together the affirmation that was scrolling on the giant screen at the front of the large conference room. Although I was new to the world of chiropractic and even newer to the business side of it all, I felt the energy that filled the room. To see hundreds of adults standing on chairs and declaring powerful truths over their profession was something to behold!
In the last 13 years, I have been to a few different conferences for businesses of various types: chiropractic, writing, a home-based business I was a part of, as well as faith-based conferences. They all drive home a key point: your thought life is the keeper of your actions. It might be packaged in a completely different way depending on the common thread that brings the attendees together, but a major goal in each conference is to get you to think positively about the product you sell, the skill you have, and your ability to execute success.
This is a foundational truth that has biblical support. The Bible talks a lot about your thought life. We see characters who struggle with bouts of hopelessness and depression, but so often if you look at the big picture, they lived an amazing life. God showed up powerfully in their lives, yet their thoughts and mental power could still pull them into the pit. I bring this up for two reasons:
- You are not alone. From the greats to the least of these, we all have moments of weary thinking.
- Your thought life is incredibly important to evaluate and maintain.
One of my favorite examples of someone who had stinkin’ thinkin’ and still saw miracles was Elijah. He was cared for by ravens and still doubted that God saw him and met his needs! He displayed unshakeable faith in God by challenging the worshipers of Baal to a showdown of sorts between their god and his God. He even dumped water on his wood beforehand and God still consumed his offering in fire. (Side note: my favorite part of that story is when he trash talks the Baal worshipers by accusing their god of daydreaming or relieving himself! And that was BEFORE God showed up–talk about bravado!) The very next chapter we see Elijah terrified and running for his life! It is easy for us to give Eli the big eye roll here, but how often do we forget to be captivated by the miracles we have seen in our lives as soon as our circumstances turn south?
I love the story of Elijah because he makes us all feel human. I also appreciate the truth we can tuck away in our hearts about God. A common theme that I really believe God wants us to grasp from the pages of our Bibles is this: Our lack of faith or our depression or our _____ (fill in the blank with any human shortcoming) in the moment does not make us useless in the Kingdom. Let me make this even clearer. God has never and will never require us to be perfect. Before the beginning of time, the realization and solution to this problem was taken care of. What God wants is our heart and a total surrender to the reality that we cannot do this on our own. That’s it. Your pride will tell you that this is too high a price or that you are somehow giving up your freedom with this belief. But can I share a secret with you? One that someone on the other side of the leap can share with full confidence? Living a fully surrendered life is the most free kind of life there is. And the best part? This life is just the beginning. It will only get better from here (Earth), I promise!
Here is another piece of hope from Elijah. He goes back to truth about God. Although he has been known to slip into bouts of depression or hopelessness, he doesn’t stay there. He keeps fighting to be sure of God and His unmistakable power. That is what I want to encourage you with today. Going back to my story about the chiropractic conference. These men and women of the profession weren’t hearing these affirmations and being shocked to hear brand new information. They were being reminded of the passion they once had or the confidence they once possessed. We write to remember, and when you take time to write down truths about who God is or truths about who He says you are, you are able to be reminded. Even when your mind is so low, it can’t (on its own) remember, you can look at your journal or highlighted scriptures in your favorite Bible and you can speak truth over your heart.
Challenge: Write two truths about God and two truths about who He says you are in your journal or on a few index cards and read over them every day for a week. See if this begins to bring your mood up or your focus a little higher.