Jennifer LeClaire is now sharing her reflections and revelations through Walking in the Spirit, a new podcast from Charisma. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
If perception is reality, then a godly perspective of your trials and tribulations can deliver you from your worst enemy: your own unrenewed mind.
I can’t tell you—and, in fact, I’d probably be embarrassed to admit—just how many times I’ve allowed the perspective of my unrenewed mind to dictate my thoughts, feelings and emotions in the midst of what I perceived as overwhelming pressure. I can’t tell you how many times I didn’t think I could take another step; how many times I felt like giving up, calling it quits, throwing in the towel—and moving to some remote tropical island where the devil was less likely to find me.
Then after completely discouraging myself (instead of doing what David did and encouraging myself in the Lord), I discover that the pressure isn’t as pressing as my perception of reality made it out to be. I was foiled by the enemy that is my unrenewed mind. I took the bait—hook, line and sinker—by looking at the smoke and mirrors of circumstantial evidence through eyes weary from the spiritual battle. (Can I get a witness? Surely, I’m not the only one.)
Of course, later I realize that things weren’t really as bad as they looked with my natural eyes. That’s why I have asked the Lord over the years to teach me how to quit looking at things through my natural eyes and begin looking at them through eyes empowered by a mind that is set on the things of the Spirit. Paul put it like this: “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:5-6).
See, it’s all a matter of renewing your mind to God’s perspective. Yes, that means meditating on the Word of God, rolling over scriptures in your mind that deal with areas in which you struggle (whether that’s patience, anger, pride or some other carnally-minded thing). But I’ve learned another secret: When we grow weary from well doing, we need to return to the secret place of the Most High. He never faints nor is weary—and He can give us the proper perspective on any trial we might be facing. Once we see things from the Creator’s perspective, we’ll tap into the Creator’s joy—and the joy of the Lord is indeed our strength.
Here’s the promise: “He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:29-31).
The renewing of strength is an awesome promise. The guarantee of not growing weary and fainting … I’ll take that one, too. But I wanted to point your attention to the other part of this verse: “They shall mount up with wings like eagles.” Eagles soar higher than any other bird. Indeed, the eagle lives in high altitudes. The eagle can see at least twice as far as a human. And eagles are symbolic of prophetic ministry.
When you want a prophetic perspective—God’s perspective—on anything from your daily trials to your future decisions, wait on the Lord. Expect Him. Look for Him. Hope in Him. He will cause you to soar above the storms in your life like an eagle soars above the clouds in the sky. He will give you a prophetic perspective on your situation so you can see the proverbial forest instead of getting overwhelmed by the trees.
Now, it’s still up to you to renew your mind to that prophetic perspective. Your unrenewed mind will work overtime to walk you around the same overwhelming mountain once again. After all, that’s what the world trained it to do. It’s up to you not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).
Once your mind is renewed, you’ll have that peace that passes all understanding—and it will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus. Your perception will still be your reality, but your renewed mind will offer you God’s perspective of the victory that is yours in Christ. Amen.
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!