Spiritual Strength Training, Part Two: Process, Progress, and Motivation

Spiritual Strength Training, Part Two: Process, Progress, and Motivation

“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).

Click here to read Part One of this three part series from Wendy Backlund on training your spirit.

Part Two: Process, Progress, and Motivation

Upon embarking on this journey of renewing my mind with truth, God began to show me how often I was doing things in the wrong spirit, with no faith. In fact, I was operating out of the opposite of faith. I would continually live a life of sacrifice and obedience to what God was saying to do, but my belief system was never at work. I worked for God, but I wasn’t partnering with Him. I would say things like, “Okay, you want me to be a teacher and speak, but I’ll just prove to you that it won’t work, that I can’t speak,” instead of attaching faith to it. Now don’t assume I’m telling you this is always easy – we’ve been working on our belief systems for twenty years! Some strongholds that need to be broken down will crumble as quickly as they were erected, others may need much more time, and that’s okay. Be okay with the process; God’s okay with process. Just notice the milestones, notice the improvement, and keep going!

Renewing your mind is a lifelong commitment. You never stop learning when it comes to discovering and walking out God’s truth for your life. Even a year ago – after preaching this message all over the world, all the time – I still had strongholds to do with a particular belief system that needed breaking down. When we first started traveling, I put on a lot of weight. It finally got to the point where I decided, “I’m going to lose this weight!” I’m naturally a researcher, so I looked up women my age and how to lose weight, and all it did was convince me that women my age can’t lose weight. The “experts” all said it was partly because of our lifestyle, and partly because of a metabolism issue, mixed in with what seemed like a million other reasons! But even then I would say, “I’m determined – I’m going to lose weight,” so I started dieting and was hardly eating anything and still not losing an ounce. I was totally frustrated and felt like I should be dead from lack of food, when finally God said, “Wendy, why are you trying to do something you don’t believe you can do?” And that’s when the penny dropped.

He said, “When you try to do something you don’t believe you can, you are actually opposing yourself.” Our subconscious can actually cause resistance and we end up sabotaging ourselves with our belief systems. He said, “The more inner unity you have, the more powerful you are.”  Think about what it’s like when you hear a note that has such perfect frequency that it touches your heart and resounds throughout your entire being. That’s what we want to do with the Word of God; we want every promise, everything He says, to come into such inner unity that it continually resounds within us. Years ago when Bill Johnson used to come to Nevada in the 90s and speak, people would come up to Steve and me and say, “Did you hear what Bill said? That was so powerful; it rocked my world!” And I would think to myself, “We said that! How come it didn’t rock your world when we said it?!” It wasn’t until years later when God started speaking to me about inner unity that He brought that to my mind and said, “Remember when that happened? It was because Bill had greater inner unity with what he was saying, and the more inner unity you have with a promise the greater weight and authority it carries when you speak it.” That’s the goal of the Word – we don’t want to memorize it, we want to have inner unity with it.

One of the greatest tools that helped me to establish greater inner unity was learning how to celebrate my progress. God had me focus on what my thoughts were doing to my body which made me realize I would lose motivation every time I entertained condemning thoughts like, “Oh no, I’m back to where I started. I knew I hadn’t changed.” You can literally feel the energy draining out of your body when you think like that, but when you look at it differently and say, “Oh wow, I did stumble and fall, but I didn’t stay down as long this time!” and you celebrate your progress, it actually motivates you to keep changing! In response, God said, “I only want you to have thoughts that motivate you to keep changing. Get rid of all the thoughts that make you want to quit.” Our thoughts are meant to be motivators, and when we allow them to do just that, they become our greatest friend rather than our biggest foe.