Note: We are in the process of revising one of my favorite books, Victorious Mindsets. We are rewording certain parts of the 50 devotions, plus adding lies to overcome, declarations to make, and practical wisdom concerning each victorious mindset. Here is a sample from the book which we hope to have available by the first of the year.
I have come to the conclusion there are approximately four “normal” weeks in a year (in which there are no major unexpected happenings or that are not extremely busy). These “normal” weeks are what we envision when we set goals, plan weekly routines and arrange our daily habits. They are few.
My frequently occurring rough weeks caused me to have an excuse for setting aside my strategy of personal development. “This has been a tough week,” I would say. “Things have been very hectic. I have been busy doing important things.” This is fine on occasion, but I realized that almost every week was like this. I was under a deception of believing that a lot of activity meant I was moving forward in God’s destiny for me. This was wrong thinking.
I am now realizing those who grow radically in Christ are those who have found a way to be consistent in powerful habits, even in the toughest of times. Being busy is not enough, but we must focus on following through on repeated “customs” in our activity. Daniel exemplified this when he was commanded to pray only to the king or he would die. “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days” (Daniel 6:10). Daniel had made a commitment to certain life-producing “customs,” and he was not going to let even the threat of death stop these.
Remember, there are few normal weeks. There will always be a reason why we can’t attend church, spend time with God, finish that goal, keep a commitment, minister life to people, be joyful, treat others with respect, or to exercise and eat right.
Every strategy for personal growth must include wisdom to help us follow through on our customs during difficult and busy weeks. The quality of our lives is based on the quality of our commitments in these things. Like Daniel, we can find the keys to staying focused on the goals God has given us. We can do it.
LIES TO OVERCOME CONCERNING THIS MINDSET
I can only thrive in weeks where nothing unexpected happens.
I am not an adaptable or resilient person.
I can only keep my commitments and keep a good attitude in weeks that go totally as I have planned.
God is frustrated and hindered by the unexpected things which happen in my life.
It is impossible for me to have peace and joy because of what is happening in my life.
DECLARATIONS TO STRENGTHEN THIS MINDSET
I thrive no matter what happens.
I am energized by the unexpected things that happen in my life.
I have an unusual ability to follow through on my commitments in non-normal weeks.
There is always a solution for every difficulty I face.
I abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Learn to do what you don’t feel like doing – Both successful and non-successful people do not feel like doing many of the things they need to for victorious and influential living, but successful people find a way to do what they don’t feel like doing (while others don’t). For instance, I don’t often feel like writing books, but I have brought accountability into my life to help (even paying people money if I don’t write).
Intentionally create margin in your life – Margin is the space between ourselves and our limits. Wise people believe for and find strategies to get margin in their emotions, finances, time, energy, and other areas. Richard Swenson has written a good book on this called Margin.
Know you are building your joy muscle – “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). We don’t need strength at the end of the battle but in the middle of the battle. We need joy now so we can be strong in a non-normal week, but it is usually not convenient to walk in joy. As we realize we are strengthening our joy muscle, it will help us thrive when things aren’t everything we had expected them to be.
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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.