Zephaniah 3:17 reminds us that God is musical and He rejoices and sings over you. - -
The LORD your God in the midst of you is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over you with joy; he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
Friday, January 1, 2016
Renewed Thinking for a New Year - - by Guest Garris Elkins
"5 Ways to
Renewed Thinking for a New Year"
By Guest: Garris Elkins, Medford, OR
One of the early indicators that revival and reformation
are coming to the Church is when we begin to realize God is renewing the way we think. Each new
season requires an adjustment in our thinking in order to move us forward into
a fresh expressionKingdom life and
As we enter the threshold of 2016, the Lord is inviting us to take
inventory of our thoughts to help align our thinking with His heart and Kingdom
Normally, I calendar a time at the end of each year to
process these things with the Lord before the New Year comes, but this year an
event took place that began that process a month early.
When the Paris terrorist
attacks occurred, our daughter, Anna, was completing a month-long teaching trip
that began in Morocco and
ended in Paris.
On the day of the attack, Anna had walked through the very neighborhood the
terrorists first struck only hours before. The nation of France went
into lockdown. The borders were closed. Anna was scheduled to fly home the next
day. Her return home did not look like it would happen.
Jan and I knew nothing of what was taking place in Paris. We received a
cryptic text message from Anna saying, "I am OK. We are all together.
When we first heard the news, Jan and I began to pray. We
also took our initial thoughts captive and submitted them to the good God who
loved our daughter and in whose hands she was held. Anna and her friends the
next morning were able find a taxi driver willing to take them to the airport
traveling along the deserted and fearful streets of Paris. They made it to the airport in time to
board their return flight home. Anna's text message sent from the seat of her
return flight brought us great relief.
The attacks in Paris
caused me to pause and reorder my thinking for the coming year earlier than
normal. As a result, I came away with
several points of reordered thinking
I feel were not only words for me but for the larger Church as we consider how
to represent the Lord to our families, our nation, and the larger global
community in the coming year.
Thoughts to Reorder Our
Thinking for the New Year
1) Taking the higher road of faith in seasons of
intense cultural stress will always seem foolish to those on a descent into
The higher road of Kingdom thinking is always up – up and above our current
understanding of reality. The road of descent into despair and over-reaction is
an easier road to take because it is navigated downward by human emotion and
logic without the uplifting effect of the Spirit's wisdom. The higher road will
require faith to navigate because it is paved with things not yet seen with the
natural eye. Those who are descending may call you a fool for following this
higher path of faith, but in the end its destination will be your testimony of
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so
My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.Isaiah 55:9 NLT
2) An image of goodness has the power to displace
an image of sorrow.
Today, take a break and turn from the images of sorrow and
the overwhelming struggles taking place in culture. I had to do this with the
repeated images of horror I was seeing from Paris. Reset your sight to Heaven where you
now sit with Christ at the right hand of the Father. This is your current
reality and God's preferred future for each broken person and every painful
situation you will encounter in the coming year.
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.Colossians 3:2 NIV
3) Forgiveness is the highest form of spiritual
Jesus was sent to set the captives free. He died and rose
again to offer all of humanity the gift of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the
starting point of all He does in our lives. Without forgiveness a new beginning
is not possible.
Every new thing God does in our lives can trace its
beginning back to an original work of forgiveness. As you consider the
possibilities of 2016, make sure you have allowed that work of forgiveness to have
its way in each of your relationships. This will be a fight, but well worth the
effort. You will know you have forgiven when you no longer desire to punish the
offenders in your life.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 NIV
4) A captive thought can no longer move with
thought we entertain requires the Lordship of Jesus Christ. A thought not
submitted to His Lordship will represent another kingdom and its failed
disposition for the affairs of life. Jan and I had to repeatedly take our
thoughts captive because our distance from Paris did not allow us to help our daughter
in any tangible way. In these moments it is easy to feel helpless and desperate.
Do not allow any thought to linger without requiring its
submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. As this process of Lordship deepens
in your life, you will begin to evaluate your thoughts with the mind of Christ.
This renewed thinking will bring freedom and peace.
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets
itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to
make it obedient to Christ.2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
5) Hope is always present in each and every
circumstance of life.
The fear currently invading the minds of our culture wants
to invade the thinking of the Church. Fear comes when hope is absent. Our hope
is not anchored in political resolutions or the temporary alignment of earthly
kingdoms. Our hope is secure in Heaven beyond the influence of earthly matters.
Our faith is a tether to that anchor. Each time we choose faith in response to
fear we will feel the tug on that line reminding us we are not flailing about
in life unattached to something eternal. We are always secure in Christ no
matter what takes place in this life.
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and
secure...Hebrews 6:19 NIV
Our minds are being filled with an increasing display of
images fueled by despair and grief. I saw a lot of those images coming from Paris as I waited and
prayed for my daughter to return home. In that personal drama, I discovered
once again the power of prayer, worship, and words of hope. These spiritual
disciplines have the ability to transform how we see the events of this life
and give us hope in times of uncertainty.
The power of reordered thinking allows us to see this life from
Heaven's perspective. That is the perspective of reformation and revival. God
has a distinct impact planned for our lives to make in the coming year. That
impact will be traced back to how we allowed ourselves to think.
Our cooperation with the Spirit as a renewed thinker will yield
supernatural results in 2016. Get ready! The goodness of God is coming in force
to displace the works of darkness.
Garris Elkins, Author and Prophetic Minister Prophetic Horizons