Everyone’s listening intently. We’re on the third part of the series about ordinary men used by God.
“We already finished studying Philip and Ananias”, he scrolls down his tablet computer, “Now, let’s move on to studying Peter.”
I began to know how ordinary “The Rock” was. He made the same mistakes I did. What’s most interesting, we both have mindsets.
Henrietta Elegunde, author and life coach, gave a good description of what mindset is:
It consists of a person’s frame of reference, which includes a person’s knowledge, experience, goals, values, beliefs and attitudes. It can affect a person’s way of thinking, and the way he sees his life.
(Acts 10:9-14, NCV)
“I can feel my stomach growling!”, Peter noticed that the sun is already high while praying on the roof. Then an unexpected vision came.
Heaven opened up and he saw a big sheet containing all kinds of animals, reptiles, and birds being lowered down to earth.
Then he heard a voice,”Get up, Peter; kill and eat.”
He argued, “No, Lord! I have never eaten food that is unholy or unclean.”
In the book of Deuteronomy, God’s people were instructed not to eat certain animals for they are “unclean”. (Deuteronomy 14:3-8 NCV)
But the voice said to him again, “God has made these things clean, so don’t call them unholy!”(Acts 10:15 NCV)
In the New Testament, Jesus said, “There is nothing people put into their bodies that makes them unclean. People are made unclean by the things that come out of them.” ( Mark 7:15 NCV)
(“Whew!”I rubbed my belly,”Buffet anyone?”)
“God intends to break our mental attitudes and prejudices”, the Pastor emphasized.
In her article, Develop a Winning Mindset: Reinvent Your Mind, Henrietta Elegunde explained that our mindsets reflect where we have been, and what we have seen and heard, but not necessarily who God made us to be.
Hearing this revelation made me ponder about my own mental attitude. Whether positive or negative, a poignant question rose unexpectedly: “Why do I embrace one?”
Is it because it shapes ability and achievement?
Often we’re advised that our potential can be discovered once we tap into our inner selves where all the answers are found. Then, when we know specifically what we want, we are reassured we will have a destination in life and then we can move forward progressively. However, as time passed by, many ambitions got thwarted in the end. Their “fruits” are only temporal and not satisfying. Inevitably, their resources got drained.
I was one of them. I didn’t realize it early, but God patiently taught me that my actions are the fruit of the way I think. Right thinking results in right behavior. More importantly, I can’t bear fruit by myself if I don’t remain in “The Vine”.
God led me to seek the truth from Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
Paul encourages us,”In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus”. (Philippians 2:5 NCV)
Jesus knows He’ll die a criminal’s death on a cross yet He humbled Himself and was fully obedient to God for us to be redeemed from our sins and have eternal life. (Philippians 2:8 NCV, emphasis mine)
Jesus’ mindset is giving up, letting go, pouring out Himself for others. Consequently, God highly exalted Him, giving Him a name above every name. And He can do the same with us, His children.
His inclination is aligned with God’s purposes. Mine is self-absorbed.
How do we have the mind of Christ?
Remember Peter and his disposition? You’ll be amazed at his testimony! Later on, he declared, “By His divine power, God has given us everything we need to live a godly life. And we have received this by coming to know Jesus who called us to Himself.” (2 Peter 1:3, NLT, emphasis mine)
As long as we’re connected to God, His power is our power! What’s His becomes ours.(Maxwell, 1999)
Indescribable. He can see through the depths of our hearts and still love us the same. Truly, He’s an amazing God!