Straight Talk, by Joyce Meyer

wilderness

Is your attitude causing you to journey in the wilderness longer than you should?

If you are facing a struggle in your life, perhaps the problem isn’t what you think it is. Many times, we focus on another person or a situation and we think that’s what is causing us to be unhappy. But the real issue might be that you have a bad attitude.

It may seem like your problem is your spouse, your children, a co-worker, the traffic, the economy, your church ... but actually, you might be wandering around in the wilderness, unable to find your promised land because your attitude stinks.

I can relate to this. There was a time when, just like the Israelites, I used to blame the things that were wrong in my life on my outward circumstances instead of looking at what was in my heart. I remember when God taught me this as I studied Scriptures about the Israelites’ journey through the wilderness.

What’s Keeping You From Your Promised Land?

We can learn a lot about the importance of a good attitude by looking at the Israelites. Consider this: The Bible says there was an estimated 1.5 million people who came out of Egypt. God delivered them from slavery and led them on the journey to their Promised Land, a place described as flowing with milk and honey. The trip should have taken just 11 days; instead it took them 40 years!

Why did that happen? In Numbers 14, we see the people were continuously grumbling and complaining about everything. They even complained about the bread that God miraculously provided for them. Anytime something difficult crossed their path, they were ready to give up and go back to Egypt—back to slavery.

What’s astounding is that out of the 1.5 million people who left Egypt, only two from the original group made it to the Promised Land. It seems even today there are many believers who have escaped “Egypt,” which represents their former life of slavery to sin. They are always looking toward the Promised Land but seem to end up wandering around the same mountains their entire life, dealing with the same problems, having the same issues.

Are you one of these people? Do you feel like you’ve been going around the same mountain long enough?

Early in my walk with the Lord, I was wandering around in a wilderness of carnality. That’s what the wilderness is—fleshly living that lets your soul (mind, will and emotions) be in control. This leads to a lousy attitude, because when our soul is in control, we aren’t submitting our thoughts to Christ, thinking and acting like Him. Let the Lord work in your soul. He wants to change your attitude by changing the way you think.

Get a New Attitude

Ephesians 4:22-24 says: “Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; and be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness” (AMP).

In these verses, God lovingly asks us to stop acting like we used to. This takes effort on our part, but by God’s grace and with His help, we can change. The key is to constantly renew our mind each day with God’s Word.

Although I’ve been teaching from the Bible all these years, I still have to make a daily decision to renew my mind with God’s Word. God has brought me a long way and some things are easier now than before, but I haven’t “arrived.” There are still times when I need to take off the old nature and put on the new nature of Christ. It’s part of the lifelong journey we all have in our walk with the Lord.

As you become more like Christ, you’ll get closer to the promised land God has for you. Renew your mind with God’s Word every day and enjoy the journey!


Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored nearly 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Do Yourself a Favor ... Forgive (Hachette). To read her past columns in Charisma, go to charismamag.com/meyer. For more information, visit joycemeyer.org.

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