Close your eyes and think back of yesteryears when you were a kid growing up. Could you recollect the aspirations and the dreams that crossed your mind? Could you recollect what you thought you could be in life before something happened and thus your life took a detour that landed you where you are today? That dream that was placed upon your virgin mind was probably God’s vision for your life. For example, think of Joseph: the dream he had in life later became his vision, mission, purpose and destiny fulfillment. Genesis 37:2, 5-11 explains this explicitly. But have you ever observed and asked yourself why people don’t become who or what they dream of or had believed God wanted them to be in life or what they were designed and packaged to be in life.
THINK ON THESE:
v It may not be because they were sinners/sinful – I suppose that a lot of sincerely morally-upright, holy, praying, prayerful men do not actualize God-given purpose for their lives. They love the Lord, did everything devotional but were never functional destiny-wise but ended up dysfunctional. See Eccl 10:7.KJV
v It may not be because of unfriendly atmosphere – enemies here and there. History is replete with people who went through hard circumstances, unfriendly society and yet succeeded and made impacts despite spiritual, economic, political or other environmental factors not favourably disposed towards them. A Biblical example is Daniel. You should ask yourself “why are others making impact within the same difficult environment and I am not? Am I not wasting away?
v It may not be because of poor parental background or place of birth. Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin. It was said of M. K. 0. Abiola to have been born by a poor wood seller. So also Odutola of Odutola tyres. So stop blaming your past. It is not because God does not love you or answers your prayers. He does. He even said – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11
The problem of becoming the persons that God wants you to be is not necessarily a problem caused by perceived spiritual enemies, wicked spiritual forces or some other whatnots. It is simply a mind problem: how you think, how you live. It is about the thought pattern and the philosophy that rules your life. It is about what you think about yourself. See Prov 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: KJV
A man becomes what he thinks, so a family, a church, a country, or a people. Personality is a thing of the heart. It is not about what people say about you. It does not matter what people call you. It is what you call and think about yourself. Nobody can label you anything without your consent. It is the thought that holds your attention that determines your action; and this invariably determines your destiny. You are where you are and what you are because of the dominating thoughts that occupy your mind Your thought life, not your background or circumstances determines and shape how your life will be.
So also the problem we have is not God problem; it is a problem of thought pattern even when we know that God has a great plan for us like Joseph and Daniel. Our dominant thoughts either give us wings to fly or fetter us and thus hinder us from flying. The quality of one’s life is proportionate to the quality of his thinking. You can’t think poverty and experience prosperity. It is what you think that you get and become. Like Toyota, ‘good thinking, good product.’
However, walking the red carpets of success would demand from many the need to break through certain mental limitations. Some of these patterns of through are what I attempt to address, especially those that I think have become strongholds in the minds of most people, particularly people that are coming from rough, tough, broken and fractured backgrounds. These thought-patterns, not necessarily household enemies, as many of us would want to think, have placed bounds, limits, hindrances, drawbacks and restrictions over our lives and whatever we can be.
NEGATIVE THOUGHT PATTERNS THAT MUST BE DEALT WITH:
- SHORT-SIGHTED VIEW OF YOUR LIFE:
- SELF-REJECTING THOUGHT:
- SELF-DEFEATING THOUGHT:
- THOUGHT OF IMPOSSIBILITY:
- SLAVISH MINDSET:
- THOUGHTS OF DOUBTS:
- SUICIDAL MINDEST:
- PAUPERISING MINDSET:
1. SHORT-SIGHTED VIEW OF YOUR LIFE:
This thought pattern bespeaks of one never see oneself becoming somebody or go far in life. It is clearly manifested in people who never have broad and farther perspectives about their lives. May be your father never went far in life beyond what is common in your society, so learning from acquired experience from your environment you never believe and never bother to plan to go as far .as you can in life. This affects your prayers and lifestyle. What you see is what you become and get.
See Gen 13:14-17 and Gen. 15:5-6:
To cure Abraham from this kind of mindset, God would need to ask him to lift up his eyes from his surrounding environment. Some of us need to do that. You’ve looked around and down for long; there is little or nothing admirable you could find. Lift up the eye of your mind; stretch your imagination in to the realm that natural eyes could not see. Your imagination, given by God, surely determines and influences your expectation in life. So, what do you see in the long run? It is what you ‘see’ that you both pray and labour for. The differences in the power of inner sight basically could explain the differentials in peoples’ lives.
Secondly, in Gen 15: 5-6, God would still need ask Abraham to take certain step to see correctly. What was that? God brought him forth abroad — God took him out of the tent he was used to for the past ninety-nine years of his life. Sometimes you need to ‘step out’ of what you are used to so as to be able to see correctly what you could become. People, situations, developmental history, environments, etc go a long way to shape up your mindset! So, be careful with the environment in which you are growing and ask the Lord to open your eyes to see correctly.
2. SELF-REJECTING THOUGHT:
This line of thought goes this way: “I cannot become somebody in life: If people are ever becoming a success story, it can never be my turn. I am not fit for the top.” For example, when favour was extended to Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, he saw himself is equivalent to a dead dog and sure, even when promoted against all odds, when his character and fidelity was tested, he proved to be a dog in the days of David’s trial.
2 Sam 9:5-8: 5
It is not being humble calling yourself what God does not call you. Sometimes perceived wise men like Bildad see themselves as worm, as found in Job 25:6; even the Psalmist did same in Psalm. 22:6. But could you look up what the Lord, your Creator says about you through the mouth of David in Psalm 8:4-6
Sometimes people reject themselves based on age, economic status, or level of education. A wider knowledge however shows that, given a proper mindset and accurate self esteem, no matter the degree of poverty, ignorance or illiteracy, a person may rise to the toast of his days and the generation to come. Age, education or wealth are no necessary parameters to determine who succeeds in life. David, for example, appeared to be like an inconsequential nonentity in his family during the Royal Anointing Service conducted by Prophet Samuel until God brought him out. Success is within. It is an attitude. It is a mindset. It is a spirit. The basic truth is this: you must accept yourself as created in the image of God. You are God’s replica here on earth. In Psalm 139:14, the Psalmist declares what is common to all men: 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. KJV
3. SELF-DEFEATING THOUGHT:
Life is warfare and not funfair; to think otherwise is to end up a victim. However, in the battle of life and destiny, many end up a failure not because the devil defeats them but simply because they defeated themselves even before confronting their battles. When a man has a self defeatist mindset he has filled up in his mind thoughts of failure that attract the spirit of failure. In Numbers 13:31-33, we see the old Israelites, who had .Jehovah Sabbaoth, as their covenant God, self-defeated before they ever attempted any warfare. Num. 13:31-33
No matter the various resources and aid around a person with self-defeated thought, the projected picture on his mind is simply that of failure and that’s what he gets at the end of the day ‘for as he thinketh, so is he.’ See also Numbers 14:26-38. Research has shown that many people that appear bold and courageous on the outside are deeply involved within, struggling with the feelings of failure. People doubt and fail themselves before ever attempting taking an adventure. They do fail indeed because it is impossible for anybody to believe he is a failure and succeed at the same time.
How do people become bound to this kind of thought pattern? Possibly because they attempted to do something and failed in the process and were jeered by people around them. You must understand this: failure is an event and not a person. Thomas Alva Edison gave the modern man electric bulb light. He made a total of 1,099 other patented inventions. To make the bulb, it was only at the one thousandth time that he had breakthrough. Before the breakthrough, many people told him he was only wasting his time, but he forged ahead. Had he listened to the discouragers and the silent whispers of defeatist thought pattern, he would have nothing to show for his 999 failed attempts. There is something in you that the fear of failing would not allow to come out. Will you die with your potentials and dreams?
So, don’t give up! As someone said, “falling down doesn’t make you a failure, but staying down does.” Robert Schuller adds “failure is never final…” Are you going through academic, business, financial, career, moral, etc failure? The experience is simply teaching you that the way you did it is not the right one; get up to re-arm yourself to do it right and better. There is no success story without its time of failure. This piece is to assist you learn how you may do it and turn your life to a celebration of unending success. Oliver Goldsmith writes that “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
4. THOUGHT OF IMPOSSIBILITY:
People bedeviled with this kind of thought always operate with the mindset that everything good is impossible with them (but they somehow believe that evil is a possibility) and for them even when they have all working for their favour and to their advantage.
The Israelites in Psalm 78:19-25 exemplified this.
One thing must sure be clear unto you. Whatever is a possibility .today had been previously said to be impossible by some people. For example, it was previously thought impossible that man could fly or drive at above certain speed limits until some possibility thinkers like the Wright Brothers invented plane. If you can conceive it, it is possible. Now, before you conclude that something is impossible, think of what God has helped you achieve in the past or what God has done for you, for others or through you or through others. Just as failure, poverty and misery are possibilities in your mind, so also are success, prosperity and peace; it only depends on the side where you pitch your tent.
The band of impossibility is broken by faith in the God of all possibility. To him who believes, the holy book says ‘all things are possible.’ A man of possibility mindset says ‘I can do all things through Christ that strengthens (empowers) me.’ Now, look at the greatness of the God who resides in you and empowers you, know for sure that absolutely nothing is impossible for God has not given you a weak mind but a strong mind to conceive and believe that destiny fulfillment is a possibility.
5. THOUGHTS OF SLAVERY AND SERVITUDE:
This is a kind of mental attitude that makes a man serves as a labourer and never think to be a labour employer or develop for himself another stream of income. Most people in civil or public service posses this mentality. They find it easier, cheaper, safer and convenient to be employees and not employers of labour irrespective of how they are being treated. A vivid example was the mixed multitude among the Israelites in Num 11:4-7.
A mentality such as this makes men to be concerned about what to eat today and nothing else. The fear of failing, if given freedom to be independent is ever present. Creativity, innovation and a spirit of adventure are non-existent within such a mindset. They live from hand to much and the fear Of being retrenched is ever present. At best minds such as these operate on the level of average.
You must come to realise that Christ has set you free from all bondage: spiritual, mental and physical. Thus you are free to be you. Getting out of this rut requires you asking yourself this question Instead of the question ‘What must I do for them or with them?’ substitute ‘What can I do for myself and by myself being free?’ Walk in the consciousness of the liberty wherein you have been made free in Christ.
6. THOUGHTS OF DOUBTS:
This kind of thoughts never allows a man get hold of God to move on his behalf. It is a great limitation- James 1:6b-8 says … For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is. unstable in all his ways. KJV Anyone who doubts God would surely doubt himself; and self doubt is gravely damaging. Central to it is an acceptable feeling of failure.
Solution: Accept your self worth
7. SUICIDAL MINDEST:
This is a thought pattern that is always turns towards death and suicide. People with this experience always consider death an escape route whenever they are faced with challenges and oppositions. Elijah the Prophet, in the days of his weariness, burnout and depression shows this in 1 Kings 19:1-4
People possessed with such a mindset and perspective never find any reason for looking for the brighter side of life and thus are unable and unmotivated to pursue something worthwhile with their lives. If you are walking through this valley, you need understand that you were not born to die, you were born to live. Only one Person was born to die that all men may live, and that’s Jesus Christ and He lives forever for you to have abundant life. Always look for the brighter side of life in the midst of gloom. Like the Psalmist, you can declare ‘I shall not die, but live to declare the works of God in the land of the living.’ Adversities should not compel you to consider death as an option. You are a poor specimen if you can’t stand the pressure of adversity. Prov.24:1O.
8. PAUPERISING MINDSET:
This is a mindset that tends towards poverty particularly after wasting precious opportunity. It always results from a self-condemning guilt consciousness. Luke 15:17-19
A person with this kind of mindset simply looks for bread not dignity of humanity. He cares less what he does or how he is treated as long as there if food on his table, nothing more, nothing less. No matter how you labour for food, don’t forget there is a measure of dignity that should go with labour.
Some of these thought patterns have become a demonic stronghold that the more you think to forget about them the more they are reinforced in your mind. Life is reciprocative, what you meditate on manifests in you.
Listen to God
1. Understand His plan for you– Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. KJV Jer 29:11 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. NLT
2. New heart/new spirit– Ezek 36:26-27 26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and Twill take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. KJV
3. Do something for yourself now- speak to your heart and life– Ps 42:5-6, 11 5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. 6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites, from the hill Mizar. 11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. See also Psalms 45, 43
4. Believe on the report of the Lord about you. Don’t allow adversity to redefine you.
5. Pull Down the Strongholds– 2 Cor 10:3-5 3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; KJV