Getting too close to shore was a real concern. When the wind blew in the direction I wanted to go, sailing was easy-peasy. But tacking against the wind meant I had to adjust my lines, work the tiller, and continuously course-correct.
Actually, most of sailing is continuous course-correcting. And so, my friend, is life.
Life is a constant monitoring of circumstances, adjusting when necessary to aim at our destination and avoid crashing. The good news is Holy Spirit is always working in our circumstances, inviting us to course-correct when the winds of life change.
We aren’t sailing alone. We have a Guide, a Teacher, a Comforter (John 16:13).With Holy Spirit, sailing means working with the wind to make progress. Good sailing sets the sails to allow the wind to work for us. Holy Spirit is good at that.
God’s Word tells us that He ordained every day of our life before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:16). The circumstances that life brings your way aren’t meant to fight against you like a strong wind— they are meant to work for you to get to your destination, your destiny.
What if, instead of fighting the winds of life, we allow them to work for us? They would catapult us into our destiny instead of delaying us.
We have a choice: We can either hold the lines of our sails and the tiller of our rudder with Holy Spirit guiding us, or we can allow the circumstances of life to keep delaying us, leaving us frustrated, angry, and discouraged.
That is how the devil wants us to respond. Jesus told us the devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), and when we hold on too tight to the lines and tiller, Holy Spirit doesn’t have room to course-correct. We can let the devil steal our joy, our peace, our relationships, our destiny, or we can learn to sail with Holy Spirit guiding us, moving and growing in joy and peace.
David is a great example of someone who continuously invited Holy Spirit to course-correct him. In Psalm 139 he prays, “Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me. Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares. See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on, and lead me back to your glorious, everlasting ways...”
David wasn’t perfect. In fact, he made a lot of terrible mistakes. But because he remained sensitive to Holy Spirit’s guidance, he was able to course-correct.
This is our model for life. God doesn’t expect us to do it alone. Today, let’s make David’s prayer the cry of our hearts, too. Let’s invite Holy Spirit to continuously course-correct us and lead us deeper into our destiny.
Sometimes we have those moments, because of a scripture or a song. Suddenly, we get what God has been trying to tell us. The big life lesson hits and (cue the mental head-slap) we get it.
That was my moment, one of the first ones. Enough was enough. My feelings had been in the driver’s seat of my life for too long, and every storm seemed to wipe me out. God was calling me to marry my feelings to my beliefs so that I could live the abundant life He created for me.
The story in Deuteronomy 7 describes Israel in the wilderness, preparing to head into new territory. It was a new season. They had reached their destiny. God gave them instructions for living in this new land. He was helping them to stay safe, and to walk out His divine plan. He knew what challenges they would face and addressed them before they ever stepped foot on the land.
God knows our propensity to be driven by our feelings. He knew Israel would face things that would draw their hearts away from Him. He knows the same is true for you and me. One of the most understated dynamics of our walk is the impact our feelings have on our faith. Feelings are real, but they are not necessarily reality.The truth is our feelings don’t always line up with our beliefs. We look around us and begin to compare ourselves, wanting the things others have.
God always has a simple process, though it may be hard and make us uncomfortable (especially when it comes to our emotions). But it’s always simple. He speaks to our beliefs about our identity to help us manage our emotions. He reminds us who we are, so that our feelings can get behind our beliefs. This is how he spoke to the Israelites, before they entered the Promised Land. This is how we, too, live in our Promised Land.
There are four beliefs that stand out to me in Deuteronomy 7:6-7:
These four beliefs can remind us about our identity, when our emotions are running rampant.
What are your feelings driving at today? Ask God what feelings you have that aren’t married to your beliefs. Let Him highlight the one He’s working on. Ask Him what you’re believing that this feeling needs to get behind. Let God remind you that you are holy, chosen, His, and loved.
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Many of us collect something. Some of us collect many kinds of things. However, sometimes we collect things unintentionally, especially in our thoughts.
For years, I was at the mercy of my thoughts. Since I didn’t manage them, they had me by the tail, and with the slightest hint of a storm, I was tossed around like a leaf in autumn.
My negative mindset led to many decisions that left me in a mess. Our thoughts lead to our attitudes, which dictate our decisions and direct our destiny.
For years I was heading further and further away from my God-given destiny because I was collecting negative thoughts.
I have always enjoyed collecting souvenirs from memories and trips. Recently my hubby and I have begun collecting “souvenirs” from moments we have seen God’s hand at work in our lives.
These memories are so much more valuable to us because they remind us of God’s faithfulness and intimacy. We find these “collections” help us manage our thoughts when negative mindsets come sliding back in or bang us around in a storm.
What we collect in our thoughts is in many ways a matter of life or death. Healthy thoughts that are grounded in truth are like medicine to our souls, minds, and hearts; unhealthy thoughts are literally toxic.The good news is that we get to manage our thoughts, so that they don’t manage us.
Here is a short list of how you can do that every day.
Collecting healthy mindsets allows us to live on purpose.
Word for the day:
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ... (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Father God, I confess my mind is a battlefield. I choose to examine every thought, so that it aligns with you. Help me to see forgiveness as a tool for my spiritual health and give me the courage to be honest with my heart and my mind.
Author: Anne Say
I looked at her life and wished it were mine.
She had a godly husband. I was a single mom. She had a beautiful home. I lived in a rental dive.
The list went on until I sighed a prayer, God, please change my life. Discouragement and exhaustion had been flooding my soul. Everything I tried left me tired and confused. My physical body was exhausted, my heart felt drained, and my thoughts were spinning down a black hole of discouragement.
The most powerful phrase in scripture.
But God heard my cry.
Before they call I will answer; while they are yet speaking I will hear. (Isaiah 65:24, ESV)
As I look back over the years to the day I barely breathed that prayer, I can see God’s hand leading me.
He truly heard my cry and came to my rescue. It wasn’t until years later that all the pieces became visible. In that moment of comparison, He began the steps to change my life. I couldn’t see it until later. He didn’t text me to let me know He was on it. But I know that now, and this verse reminds me of many of those moments.
Maybe you think I’m crazy, but it all begins with a thought. Mindset matters. Our thoughts flow out of our hearts, and they direct our attitudes and actions. Mindset matters because it determines the direction of our lives, either toward or away from our destiny.
With a simple thought, we affect our emotional health, our physical health, and most importantly, our spiritual health. With a simple thought, we can live that abundant life Jesus promised us with joy, with peace, and with exceptional results.
Our thoughts come directly from our beliefs. Our thoughts about God, about ourselves, and about our faith directly impact our actions, our lifestyle, and our faith journey. It is the most important thing we control in our lives.
Mindset matters. What we think of ourselves matters. What we think of God matters. Most of the challenges that we face in our faith walk, even in our regular daily walk, are because we have a faulty mindset, specifically about our identity.
Our understanding of who we are, uniquely and as part of God’s family, is the foundation for a successful Christian walk. When we know who God created us to be, quirks and all, we can begin to clarify the purposes and visions for our lives.
Word for the day: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10, ESV)
Prayer: Father, help me to accept all of who You made me to be, just as You accept me. Help me to reconcile my past, my quirks, my shattered dreams to the plans that You have for me. Thank You for choosing me. Thank You for hearing the cry of my heart before I spoke a word. Hear the “yes” in my heart for all you planned for my life. In Jesus’ name. Amen
Author: Anne Say