It’s that time again. We’re all too familiar with it – the Christmas festivities are over; the New Year has been ushered in; and now momentum is being built and schedules are ramping up to see our goals for the year established. Each of us has things to do in the days and weeks ahead. There are meetings to attend, assignments to fulfill, secret place times with the Lord to be prioritized, and various other happenings. How we think and talk about these future events will dramatically impact the quality of our experience and our capacity to bring our best in every situation.
Here are three alternative ways we can approach our schedules in the coming days, weeks, and months:
1) With Foreboding and Worry – Hope is the confident, joyful expectation that good is coming. Foreboding is an expectation that bad is coming. Worry is imagining life without God, rehearsing a future without expecting God’s promises to manifest themselves in powerful ways.
Just as meteorologists seed clouds to bring about rain, I used to seed the clouds of my future with pessimism. I would think and say things that reflected inferior beliefs. For instance, if I had a meeting with a challenging person, I would release dread into the spiritual clouds concerning that meeting. This lack of victorious thinking hindered how much God could do.
The truth is, God is always bigger than any circumstance, He always turns up, and He is continually looking to establish His grace and power in every context. When we align our beliefs with this powerful reality, it not only enables us to partner with His higher perspectives but it also makes a way for us to influence and empower those around us to do the same.
2) With Passivity – When we are passive, we have a “whatever will be, will be” attitude. We are basically emotionally neutral to an event, meeting, or to a new day. We don’t have any big expectations in the positive or negative. We believe faithfulness is simply showing up.
When we allow ourselves to passively approach our days ahead, it’s not long before we often find ourselves established in a cycle of allowing life to “happen to us,” rather than positioning ourselves in a way where we “happen to life.” We are God’s empowered people. He wants us engaged and proactive in everything we do. Having high expectations isn’t simply wishful thinking – it’s taking dominion over every circumstance, taking ground where the Lord has given us influence, and joining our “Yes” with heaven’s to see His Kingdom established in mighty ways.
3) With Hope and Faith – This is the highest level of preparation and approach to engaging with what is in front of us to accomplish. Just as I mentioned earlier, hope is the confident, joyful expectation that good is coming. Faith believes something is happening in the positive, even when it is not seen. Those who function in these mindsets understand that faithfulness is not a matter of simply showing up, but in how we think before we show up (and how we think while we’re there). They positively seed the clouds of their future through thoughts and declarations like, “Tomorrow is going to be a great day,” or “This meeting is going to change the world.”
Expectation is another word for faith. When Jesus said in Matthew 9:29, “According to your faith, let it be to you,” it could be translated, “According to your expectation, let it be to you.” I don’t want to be in the habit of expecting negative things to happen, or even nothing at all – I want to stir up the expectation to believe great things will occur in the days ahead. Diligently establishing this as our automatic approach to life will create greater inner victory in us, and will bring increasing breakthrough to those around us.
Join with me in declaring these higher truths over the next 30 days and see how powerfully hope, faith, and expectancy can transform your mind, heart and circumstances:
- God always shows up!
- Great things are happening even when I can’t see it!
- As I engage with God’s higher perspectives, difficult circumstances are being transformed!
- I make great decisions!
- I experience victory and God’s goodness every day – in my life and in the lives of those around me!
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.