Spiritual Strength Training, Part 3
“Do not allow this world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind. As a result, you will be able to discern what God wills and whatever God finds good, pleasing, and complete” (Romans 12:2).
PART THREE: Working Out our Spiritual Muscles
As I inched my way further along in my weight loss journey, God ended up saying, “I want you to stop dieting and for the next three or four months I want you to begin to make declarations that it’s easy for you to lose weight.” I would imagine and declare things like, “My body’s a fat burning machine,” and, “It’s easy for me to lose weight.” As much as I’d like to report that He just magically made it disappear, I did have this divine convergence where I discovered, after my daughter suggested I see a holistic doctor, that I was allergic to so many of the foods I was eating which was a large contributing factor in why I couldn’t lose weight. He put me on a special diet. And it worked! My success didn’t mean I didn’t have to do something different (often, we still need to partner with God by changing our actions), it just meant that before I did it, I had to actually imagine and believe something different. Hope began to rise up and a confident, joyful expectation that good was coming soon became my renewed belief system – and that is when the change happened.
God told me once that I was no longer to create my identity from my past but from my future. I was to be like children who looked to their parents for their potential and abilities. So instead of getting my identity from my current state, I had to focus on what I was becoming. In order to live from our future and receive the full benefit of how God created us, we need to take advantage of the power of imagination. We can do this by allowing God to paint a picture of our future as a supernatural being. See yourself enslaved to righteousness, successful in everything you do, full of favor, wisdom, power, and confidence. Imagine yourself able to change atmospheres and seeing sickness flee from the glory of God that you carry. In other words, look at your Heavenly Father and “see” your future.
We all say, "Amen" when someone starts taking care of themselves, going to the gym, and lifting weights because they want to strengthen their body. Yet God says, “The joy of the Lord is our strength,” (Nehemiah 8:10). We need to have a discipline of joy in our lives. If you want longevity and health, spiritually and emotionally, you have to make joy a priority.
When you first learn to lift weights you don’t say, “This feels fake! I tried to lift 300 pounds and it didn’t work!” And yet we tend to think, “When I laugh at lies, it feels fake.” No, it’s just rusty! It’s a muscle to build. I know this because I had to work it out in my own heart first. When I was laughing, I would often laugh on the inside until God said to me, “Wendy, there’s no health benefits to laughing on the inside. That’s why you’re weak and tired all the time.” So, I got serious about it, and still to this day when I catch myself laughing on the inside, He will remind me, “Laugh out loud!”
Renewing our mind isn’t optional when it comes to living a victorious, powerful life. It’s spiritual strength training that tears down strongholds and develops the discipline needed to continually walk in the truth of who God has called each and every one of us to be!
ABOUT WENDY BACKLUND
Wendy Backlund, along with her husband Steve, is from Bethel Church in Redding, CA. Wendy and Steve have a unique ministry that ignites hope, passion, joy, victorious mindsets and healthy relationships. They were senior leaders of renewal churches from 1991 to 2008 (Round Mountain, Nevada, and Weaverville, CA). The Backlunds travel regularly ministering to churches and leadership teams. Wendy has a passion for setting Christians free from their past and empowering them in their walk with Christ. She is a revelatory speaker, author, and teacher, enabling people to see life from a supernatural perspective.
Learn more about Wendy and her teaching at wendybacklund.com.
For more resources from Wendy, click the links below: