“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).
Change Your Beliefs, Change Your Circumstances
I used to assume that because I was a Christian, it automatically meant I operated out of hope. I was wrong; it was really just a theology of hope. Then, when Steve and I realized the connection between hope and the renewing of our minds, after years of thinking we were powerless victims to our circumstances, our lives literally began to transform before our eyes. Fast forward two decades and we can unequivocally say Romans 12:2 actually works – it transforms you, it transforms your circumstances! Developing a lifestyle of uncovering lies that have become strongholds in your life and replacing them with God’s truth about those circumstances is one of the most valuable processes you will ever invest in.
If the truth sets you free, then a lie will restrict you. Truth empowers you. So the question is, is what you’re believing empowering you? Or do you constantly feel like a mouse on a wheel, always running yourself ragged but never feeling like you’re getting anywhere? We were never supposed to be victims to our circumstances; our role is to create a mindset where we actually begin to do the works of God, naturally. Don’t try to do the works of God without changing what you believe, because you’ll get tired. I’ve tried it as a leader, I’ve tried to look like a good Christian and it was hard work! But when I started focusing on what I believed, I did something different. The first question most of us ask when something isn’t working is, “What am I doing wrong?” The bigger question we should be asking ourselves though is, “What am I believing when I’m doing it?”
Is it possible that life is more than survival, performance, or whatever we have narrowed it down to in order to feel like we are successfully living? Yes, it is! God wants us to take every thought captive that exalts a person, circumstance, or emotion over God’s promises. He isn’t against our hopeless thoughts because they disgust Him, but because He knows that our thoughts become fortresses and carry a force in the unseen realm that affect our everyday lives.
I used to work up the emotion of hope for hopeless circumstances because I thought it would prove that I trusted God. Every time I felt hopeless, I would try to subdue the emotion and take it captive. It was a never-ending battle of forcefully trying to subdue hopelessness. If we continue to force ourselves to have hope or “feel loved” without first changing what we truly believe, we will live in a constant battle within ourselves. We will be in a perpetual state of subduing ourselves because “forcing” the emotions of hope and faith is temporary! We do not want to subdue emotions, but we want to change the thoughts (strongholds) that are producing our emotions. We must change the beliefs that govern our emotions.
If we can build negative strongholds that exalt themselves against the truths of God, then we can build positive strongholds around the knowledge of His goodness, power, and love. We can intentionally develop healthy inner strongholds for our identity, acceptance, and abilities. How do we do this? The answer is simple. Let’s take the belief that we are “favored by God and man” as an example. To build this belief as a “stronghold” in our minds, we first need to ask God to reveal every thought that would resist this belief and ask Him to reveal the truth in each of those areas. Then, we need to consciously look for scripture and circumstantial proof that indicates we do have favor. We need to rehearse and declare them until a new stronghold is erected.
By taking truths that we intellectually believe, and making them into strongholds through declaring, meditating and receiving revelation, we can be sure that new, healthy responses and emotions will automatically follow!
Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of this Spiritual Strength Training series with Wendy.
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.