My wife, Wendy’s, first question to herself each morning used to be, “How do I feel today?” She realized this was not the question to ask. The real question to ask is, “What do I believe today?” She began to understand if she wanted a different emotion, she needed to have a different belief. (She expands on this in her great book Victorious Emotions.)
The kingdom of God is not moved forward by good conduct but by good beliefs. The Old Covenant was advanced by focusing on behavior (the law), but the New Covenant is propelled by believing truth. This is confirmed by the Apostle Paul’s rebuke of the Galatians for not understanding this:
“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth . . . This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? . . . Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Galatians 3:1-5).
The way we get into the kingdom is the same way we advance in it. What is this way? It is by hearing the good news of the gospel and believing it. We are called “Believers,” and it should tip us off to what we are to prioritize.
Paul says we are “in the flesh” if we are primarily trying to grow by focusing on the works of the law (our conduct and behavior). Being in the flesh definitely creates bad feelings because we base our happiness on what is happening, rather than what we are believing.
So what are we to believe when we wake up? The promises of God are a great place to start. Here is a link to a blog called, “”5 Promises Igniting Biblical Optimism”.
Besides these clear biblical promises, I recommend declaring some or all of the “25 Declarations to Increase Influence and Leadership”.. Here are five examples from this list to start your day believing strong.
- Adaptability – I will thrive no matter what happens.
- Solutions – In every situation I face, I have many options, solutions, and divine ideas. There is always a solution.
- “Bottom-Lining” – Even if the worst happens, I will be okay.
- Identity – I am not who my past says I am; I am who God says I am.
- Valuing Process – I don’t wait for perfection to celebrate myself and be joyful.
Let’s follow Wendy’s example and ask, “What do I believe today?” when we wake up. For more on this, please listen to my podcast here.
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.