Hearing Something Higher Than What We Are Experiencing
by Steve Backlund
What we believe greatly influences what we will experience. Romans 12:2 says, "Be transformed by the renewing of the mind." Current mind renewal creates future experience. This is true in both the positive and the negative. I used to only renew my mind with my feelings and my past experience, rehearsing in my mind over and over things that weren't true according to the Word of God, but felt very true to me, like: "I feel overwhelmed. I'm a poor decision-maker. My prayers for my nation aren't working. I'm never going to change." As a result of renewing my mind with these lies, I simply recreated my past again and again. The Lord has shown me there is a superior way to live – The highest level of spiritual warfare is to think at a higher level than what we are currently experiencing.
"For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). Truly, the greatest strongholds hindering the purposes of God are not regional demonic principalities, but negative belief systems in the minds of Christians.
The nature of faith is to think and speak truths that are superior to the facts of our experiences. Though we shouldn't deny our past experience, we cannot get our beliefs from them. If we do, we will create self-limiting strongholds by renewing our minds with lies instead of truth.
If we are going to experience something different, we need to believe something different. And if we are going to believe something different, we need to hear something different (something higher than what has happened in our lives). One of the purposes of New Testament prophetic ministry is to pull down and dismantle the stronghold of past experience in the lives of those who hear the prophetic word.
In Judges 6, Gideon heard the angel's prophecy that he was a "mighty warrior." Gideon was certainly not living as a mighty warrior, but it was still the truth about him. At first, this word did not seem to penetrate his thinking, but like a seed, it took root and started growing within him and a nation was saved as a result. "Faith comes by hearing" (Romans10:17). As we hear something higher than what we are experiencing, it will start a process (like it did for Gideon) that changes our beliefs and eventually transforms our future into God's promises manifesting in our lives.
Here are some ways we activate this higher level of hearing:
- Hearing and sharing testimonies
- Speaking declarations
- Reading scripture out-loud
- Listening to hope-filled messages
- Listening to faith-filled worship music
- Associating with overcomers and great influencers
There is no limit to how much truth we can hear, so there is no limit to how much we can be transformed. Now, that is good news! For more on this topic, listen to this message on my podcast, below:
Tools from for Higher-Level Thinking
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.