I believe many times in the Christian and especially in the Pentecostal realm, we tend to do things in the name of Christ because we “felt” like it was from the Holy Spirit and instead of determining that by lining it up with the Bible, the living word of God, we tend to trust that our “feelings” are correct. But what happens when those feelings steam from negative, confused, judgemental or passive thinking?
I never realized until I read this book that the majority of the bad decisions I have made in my life were decisions I made based on present feelings and that those feelings came from faulty or negative thinking. After I read this book, I understood that it is the things that I think about constantly that are the things that soak up my life. If those thoughts are positive, I will reap positive benefits. If those thoughts are negative, I will reap negativity but it is all in how I think. There are three life lessons that I have learned to incorporate into my daily life in order to live a Christ filled life. When I tend to go through those “wilderness mentalities”, I have learned to always do my best to be positive, to regularly meditate on the Word of God, and to be thankful at all times.
Explaining the importance of being positive, Meyer tells us the mind is a battlefield. After reading 2 Corinthians 10;4,5, Meyer says that we are engaged in a war, our enemy is Satan and that our minds are the battlefield. The devil works diligently to set up strongholds in our mind and he does it through strategy and deceit and that he takes his time to work out his plan (16-17). In order to prevent the devil’s lies from penetrating our minds, we must defend them. You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind. Your life will not get straightened out until your mind does (27-28). Positive minds produce positive lives. Negative minds produce negative lives. Positive thoughts are always full of faith and hope. Negative thoughts are always full of fear and doubt (41).
What really struck me about this concept is how Meyer tells us that thinking positive isn’t ignoring the negative, but it is believing that God is bigger than you and your situation and that all things will work together for good as His word promises. I am generally a happy person. I laugh at everything, I like making other people laugh and having good conversations. However, when negative things do arise, I tend to get angry or seclude myself. If I am having a disagreement with a co-worker or an argument with my parents, I will just refuse to talk to them. When the Holy Spirit brings them to my memory, I let negative thoughts produce even more feelings of strife and it takes a long time to get over it. I remember one time last semester when I was so upset with my mother that I refused to talk to her for almost four months! Learning to be positive does not mean that the negative situation did not happen but it simply means that we believe that God will heal it or bring good from it. It means forgiving even if we don’t forget but allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our attitudes so that we do not become weighed down by our situations.
Meditating on God’s word is another huge lesson I have learned from this book. I believe that my biggest mistake early on in my walk with the Lord was not reading His word for myself. I became a christian at the age of fourteen and filled with the Holy Spirit by the age of sixteen. However, I would rather go on Wednesday nights and hear my youth pastor tell me what the Bible said instead of reading it myself. When I tried to read on my own, I often became very confused and frustrated and gave up. I let other people tell me how to live instead of searching it out myself. I continued this all through high school and finally during my senior year I had a very hurtful situation occur between myself and another family...