It has been a few weeks for me into 30 days of a negativity fast. As soon as I established this intentional season of further removing negativity, a horde of negative circumstances popped up. We’ve been out of our home for over 3 months and there came about some major hurdles towards the renovations being completed. My kids were getting in trouble at school and they have needed some extra attention to work through some strongholds that are kicking up. Amongst a whole list of other pressing situations, I feel the pressure wanting to rise up and sap my energy and ability to see things through positivity and hope.
It seems like as soon as you make a major decision to change, the resistance of the enemy rises up greater intensity than before to push you back. We have to be ready for it. I have had some tougher days in not allowing negativity to flow through my talk, but each day I am learning new things to implement to keeping growing and not allow the enemy to get the upper hand in my thoughts and words.
One thing I am learning about personal spiritual growth is that everything comes down to our emotional state. If we can learn to cultivate a healthy state of mind and a well balanced mood, we can overcome anything. Its usually not the problem that arises that is the biggest factor, but our cultivated state of mind before the problem even shows up thats important.
Mood is critical and we cannot let circumstances determine our moods. Yet for many, their moods are swinging like a wrecking ball. I know there are many factors that influence this, but we often approach our emotional state like victims rather than warriors. I have found that having rule over our spiritual state is a major sign of spiritual maturity. So in order to do that, we have to daily invest into a healthy emotional state.We often approach our emotional state like victims rather than warriors. Click To Tweet
I have not arrived, but I have found three key practices that I know for certain can truly help us cultivate an overcoming state of mind. They are scientifically proven to be effective if practiced with tenacity.
1. Get Moving
Your body is a temple, but that does not mean you are to sit like a temple. Many times Christians can emphasize being spiritually engaged while ignoring some simple things we can do physically that can add so much value to our state of mind. Today’s sedative culture is not built on how God made our bodies to live.Your body is a temple, but that does not mean you are to sit like a temple. #getmoving Click To Tweet
We were meant to have some good movement throughout the day; stretching our physical strength and building physical endurance. Your muscles were not meant to sit in atrophy.
If you notice, many of the things we do to interact with God can be very physical responses, including, dancing, praising and shouting. These are all very physically active postures. I’ve had many people tell me, “Mark, I can praise God quietly in my chair.” That’s not praise, that’s meditation. (That’s a whole different subject.)
God’s power provides energy, but I have found that I need to physically be obedient and step out with my physical faculties.
If I feel stuck emotionally, the first thing I usually do is change my physical posture. Sometimes physical obedience to change jump starts it in our minds. I stand up, get moving and start talking myself into a better state of mind. Changing our physical posture engages our faith for change. I stand. I walk. I pull my shoulders back. I look up. I position myself in the posture of an overcomer and get moving.
Don’t make it complicated. Get out there and walk. You don’t have to run, although breaking a sweat can really help. The release of endorphins and positive neurotransmitters become activated with any kind of exercise. Studies even show that exercise can be more effective than an anti-depressant.
Exercise can enhance optimism and stimulate your brain’s creative abilities. When we get creative, hope gets activated as well, which opens up positivity. Physical activity can help stimulate the development of new synapses and enhance memory function.
I was not born with a naturally athletic physical stature. In school, I always had to work harder to run and develop my physical skills. I always struggled with endurance, but decided I was going to stretch my body as much as I could to get the maximum out of the body I lived in. At times, I have had to work harder than others to get my body into better shape. But I have found that it starts with small steps that are practiced regularly.
2. Get Quiet
The mind needs time to take a break and think about nothing. Now I am not talking about zoning out in front of the television, but peaceful stillness, where you are not racking your brain about the days problems, chores and concerns.
The greatest way we can do this is by practicing daily solitude of stillness. When you practice stillness, you allow your brain to rest and your good thought pathways become more solid. This can involve many things, like worship, prayer or meditation, but really it can be a simple act of ceasing activity and just letting your mind rest.
Sometimes the hardest thing for people to do is to sit still and not do anything. We thrive so much off of constant activity, we don’t know when to stop. This often fuels negativity, because when we don’t recharge, we work ourselves to the bone and lose the freshness that comes with a well balanced heart.Sometimes the hardest thing for people to do is be still and do nothing. Click To Tweet
Practicing daily stillness forces us to engage the rest of God and trust in His infinite power over us. Stillness causes us to face ourselves. We address our worries and brokenness with the restoring truth of God’s Word, while releasing the issues of our heart to him.Practicing daily stillness forces us to engage the rest of God and trust in His infinite power over… Click To Tweet
Studies have shown that people who practice some form of stillness or meditation often see greater results of stress reduction and even healing of disease. The body responds well to peace. So take daily pit stops to do nothing but to be still and know that God is God!
3. Get Talking
In addition to stillness, we need to use our words with greater effectiveness. Negativity becomes greatly empowered with our speech. We can observe our negativity most by the words we say. We can also see it in the hope-filled words we don’t say.We can observe our negativity most by the words we say. Click To Tweet
Our words reflect our hearts. Tell me what you have been saying lately and I will tell you where you are probably headed. Most people I work with in personal sessions have not utilized the power of their words. In addition, Satan has caused modern culture to cheapen the power of our words. We can beat ourselves and others up with our words, but think it has no meaning. Watch any news show, reality television show or listen to the radio and you will see that people can say anything without realizing how their words affect people.
So many want to be healed and free, but they continually sabotage their progress with their constant words of hopelessness and pessimism.Tell me what you have been saying lately and I will tell you where you are probably headed. Click To Tweet So many want to be healed and free, but they continually sabotage their progress with their… Click To Tweet
In addressing negativity, we are not just removing negative speaking, we are also adding in hope-filled words. You can’t only remove negative speech, sit in silence and expect yourself to experience breakthrough. You have to replace one with another. Every overcomer must learn to leverage the power of words to steer into greater victory.Every overcomer must learn to leverage the power of words to steer into greater victory. Click To Tweet
I do this in two areas: repentance and declaration. I use repentance to break agreement with thoughts I am listening to that are hindering me. I speak to fear, depression and oppression and command them to leave. But this only works well when I do this out loud.
I also use the power of declaration. Every day I am declaring who God is and who I am as His child. I am declaring where I am headed and what my future holds. I am using my words to guide my heart and set the focus of my life’s direction.
I have found that utilizing my words can be so helpful to get myself out of a rut. On one hand, I can believe God to take some serious risks, decisions that would make most shake in their boots. But over time, I can get a little hesitant, and my words go quiet. It is then that I need to awaken my mouth to declare the truth of God’s Word; even if in that moment I don’t feel anything at all.
Question: So where do you need to begin to move away from negativity and into the hope of God? Pick one, and begin making a change. Try doing something for 30 days to jump start your transformation.