Recently, I upgraded to a new smartphone and, as always, when it came time to update software in my new phone, several glitches began to occur within varying apps. Similarly, I tried to update the software for my work computer and found that much of my software was not compatible with the new operating system. In both situations I had a choice to make. I could either throw the device against a brick wall and be done with it or I could go through the process of restoring the device to its intended settings. In the world of computing and smartphones, what do we do when we have a problem with said device? We restore it to its default settings. In the simplest of terms, that means I restore it to its original and intended operating settings put in place by the manufacturer.
In the battleground of our minds - in our hearts and souls…in the way we think - why do we not do the same? As you may or may not know, grief over the loss of my dad in August of 2017, set in motion a glitch in my thought process - especially in the way I think about myself. Rather than restore my mind to the default settings Father intended for me, I allowed the lies of the enemy to take me further down the rabbit-hole of stinkin’ thinkin’.
Here are a few of the lies I had believed in no particular order of importance: I have been abandoned by the church which led me to an inability to trust others; I am irrelevant and no longer needed; I am utterly alone, an embarrassment to the body of Christ and an anathema to the world; I am not worth pursuing.
Stinkin’ thinkin’ is simply believing a lie the enemy has planted in my mind that is contrary to God’s default setting for me as a new creation in Christ. If not corrected, one lie leads to negative feelings of being ‘less than’, negative feelings lead to attitudes of failure and failure leads to patterns of wrong behavior, and wrong behavior leads to system failure. So what do I do when I find myself in system failure? I reboot the system. I reset my thinking to the default setting provided by Father God. And just what is the default setting provided to each and every believer in and follower of Christ? We find our default setting in the Word of God…specifically in Matthew 6:33.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Matthew 6:33 NASB
What does it mean to seek first His Kingdom? To me, that means simply ‘God rules’! God is in control even when the world around me is losing its collective mind. It is the basic operation system afforded us by the work of the cross and makes Romans 8:28 make even more sense.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28 NASB
Either God is in control or He is not. From this point of view, my circumstances become opportunities to see the Kingdom of God come to pass in my life. Feelings of fear reveal my need for the King’s point of view and are quelled by receiving God’s deep, abiding love for me…in just LETTING Him love me!
Feelings of loneliness reveal the simple fact that I have taken my eyes off of the One Who never leaves and never forsakes.
Feelings of hurt and abandonment reveal my need to forgive and that I have no real right to be offended in the first place. An added benefit of forgiving those who have wounded me is that the wounds are healed the more I lavish love on the very ones who hurt me…and I am able to receive more of God’s love for myself!
Feelings of irrelevance reveal the very reality that as long as I have breath in this physical life I am needed.
Feelings of wallowing in grief reveal my lack of faith that I will see my dad again…that he is more alive than me!
By seeking first the kingdom of God, I reboot and reset my operating system - the way I think - and go back to the operating system within which I was intended to live my life all along. By seeking first the kingdom of God, I infuse Jesus into each and every situation. Bad moods or feelings of hopelessness reveal the state I would be in had I never been pursued by Jesus in the first place.
Seeking first the kingdom involves repentance. Repentance is simply changing the way one thinks! Repentance is a good and wonderful thing…for as a man thinks in his heart, so he is according to Proverbs 23:7! Feelings always betray our thoughts. Feelings can be altered by altering the way we think. Think about the way God thinks about the world and about yourself and repentance comes quickly and always ushers in more freedom.
Seeking first the kingdom and His righteousness means God is in control and that His righteous justice will always prevail in spite of what happens around us.
Seeking first His kingdom leads to having all our needs met. What does ‘all these things will be added to you’ mean, after all? ALL THINGS!
Feeling wounded? Seek the kingdom and grace will lead you to forgive and to love.
Feeling alone? Seek the kingdom and you will find the presence of God with you and in you.
Feeling irrelevant? Seek the Kingdom and you will find purpose and a mission.
Feeling defeated? Seek first His kingdom and put off the lie and replace it with the truth that Jesus is your victory.
Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and repent of the lies you have believed. Believing a lie leads to wrong attitudes. Wrong attitudes lead to wrong behavior. Wrong behavior leads to the enemy building a stronghold in our minds. Resetting our minds to the kingdom default settings tears down the strongholds because we have been given the mind of Christ and the weapons of our warfare are not of flesh and blood but are mighty through God to the tearing down of strongholds, to the casting down of imaginations, to the bringing down the idolatrous heights of human thinking that exalts itself above the thoughts of God, giving us the power to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. And we don’t stop there. When we have obeyed God by resetting our thoughts, we are then to exact recompense on the disobedience of the enemy by taking down the accuser and his lies and sending them back to hell where they belong. That’s 1 Corinthians 10:4-6 way of wiping the hard drives of our minds clean and getting back to right-thinking.
We can all use a little resetting and retuning…and in God’s view of things, we see more of the big picture…so why would you not take time to assess your own thoughts each and every day? When in doubt, reboot the system rather than allowing it to lead you to system failure. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness by seeking first the King and getting to His point of view.