A very close friend of mine sat me down a couple of weeks ago and carefully told me about a dream she had about me. I could see in her eyes that she didn’t want to offend me in any way, but she could not keep this dream to herself. She said that in her dream, I told her I let two strangers in my house, but immediately regretted allowing them to enter. I told her it would take me three days to go and get these strangers out of my house.
I thanked my friend for sharing with me because I could immediately identify the two strangers from her dream. I have made it no secret that I wrestle with fear and anxiety often. I like the idea of labeling them as strangers because God intends for me to live an abundant life, even during stressful times. I have learned God wants me to pray always about the good as well as the bad things that happen in life.
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
Philippians 4:6 (AMP)
I know the Bible tells us in Romans 12:2 to renew our minds, but I never really knew how to renew my mind. Until now, I hadn’t researched it and really put a system in place that would work for me on a long-term basis. I'm learning to be strict with myself about allowing negative thoughts to run free in my mind. When a negative thought pops up in my mind, I stop to notice it and refuse to think anymore about it. I believe this is exactly how to apply Romans 12:2 in life. I started asking myself if God would want me to think this about myself. Would God want me to sit here and waist 30 minutes thinking that I’m going to fail at everything I do? Or would He rather me spend 30 minutes thanking Him and thinking of creative ideas to accomplish everything I have on my list of things to do today?
I also needed to be on guard for keeping negativity out of my life. I stopped watching many of the television programs I love. Many of those shows I watched for years. It was hard, but I did it! I can't explain it, but my life has been so much better since I let the negative shows go. My mind is free.
Now, when I think a negative thought, I don't let it continue. I don't let negative conversations happen in my mind. I certainly don't allow another person's opinion of me stop my progress. Most importantly, when I think something negative, I immediately say these scriptures:
This scripture gives me confidence when making business decisions and helps me to keep moving forward!
I Timothy 1:7 – (The Message)
God doesn’t want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.
When I mess up and allow a negative thought to run free in my mind, I say this scripture to give me comfort.
Lamentations 3:22-23 – (ESV)
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
When I sin and just get the whole thing completely wrong, I use this scripture. I apply this to my thought life and my business decisions because I need to know there is a safety net under me if I make the worst decision of my life.
I John 1:9 – (NIV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
This is the last scripture I say to keep myself quiet and calm. This helps me to remain faithful instead of fearful. It's my insurance that I'm on the right path and that He is on the path with me.
Psalm 37: 5-6 – (The Message)
Open up before God, keep nothing back; He'll do whatever needs to be done: He'll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon.
Now, this isn't easy. This is HARD! Who wants to be strict with themselves – nobody! It's easier to let things go, but we are God's chosen. The world is looking at us to teach them the way. We have to hold ourselves to a high standard. The world is looking to us for guidance. We have to show them how to live a disciplined life that is for the glory of God. Renew your mind and don't allow strange spirits into your body or your temple. It's not how God designed your life to go.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV) says,
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
If a stranger comes into your life but does not produce these things laid out in scripture, it's not a spirit from God and needs to be removed by applying the Word of God to it.
Philippians 4: 8-9 (AMP)
Brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.