Are You Always Playing “Spiritual Defense”?
Let’s talk about your heart. When you’ve been hurt, especially by other people, it’s easy to put up a wall inside and try to guard your heart from experiencing that pain ever again.
Old mindsets will trip you up, hold you back and keep you in a rut. It’s time to say “goodbye” to old mindsets and “hello” to new victories in 2016!
I am really excited to share such a timely message with you today.
Now, I’m taking a major risk today by telling you this. I have no idea what your beliefs are or if you adhere to a certain faith, or not. But I believe God has a message for you and me today. Please read this message from a position of maturity, so you don’t get all bent out of shape. Take what I’m about to share with you as a piece of hard-won wisdom, because I truly believe this will touch you deeply and impact every area of your life in the New Year.
We both need to hear this right now. As you read this, let yourself deeply receive it, so you will know God clearly brought this message to you, to prepare you for what I believe will be your greatest year yet.
Now 2016 awaits us as a fresh new year. A while back, I looked up every occurrence of the word “fresh” in the Bible. The first passage that stood out to me was Mark 2:21-22: “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; otherwise the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear results. No one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the skins as well; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”
You’ve heard that age-old saying, “Out with the old, in with the new.” But that’s just a saying… this is directly from God! There is actually a warning in this passage – you cannot add a new fabric patch on an old garment and expect it to work. If mending an old garment, you must use a piece of shrunken cloth. Otherwise, it will result in an even greater tear. Interesting, isn’t it?
I won’t go into great detail on wine and wineskins, but what you DO need to know: Animal skins were used to keep their wine in biblical times. (Today we prefer bottles or barrels, but they used animal skins filled with wine.) But they didn’t put new wine into old wineskins, as it would cause the skins to burst. New wine went into fresh wineskins.
This is a very clear message you and I need to grasp.
God is bringing something new. He is bringing NEW into your life in 2016. But we cannot carry the old with us! We cannot embrace the new, if we are carrying the old with us. He wants you to throw out the old and have fresh, new wineskins.
We cannot welcome new things while holding on to old mindsets, ways and habits. We must embrace it with new a mindset and new ways.
The next passage, II Corinthians 5:17, says: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
Did you catch that? If you are in Christ, you are a new creature!
What does it mean to be in Christ? If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus, the only begotten son of God, died on the cross and rose from the dead, ascended to Heaven and He lives, sitting at the right hand of the Father this very minute, then you are in Christ.
So if you are in Christ, then you are a new creature! It doesn’t say, “You MIGHT be a new creature,” or “Someday you may become a new creature,” or “You should be a new creature.” No, it says you are a new creature! Not someday… NOW!
It says the old things have passed away. What are the old things? Old doubts, old fears, past mistakes, past pain, past resentment and bitterness toward your spouse or your kids, the anger you hold against somebody you work or live with, the anger from your childhood, the business mistakes, the financial mistakes. The old things have passed away!
It goes on to say, “Behold, new things have come.” Not new things are coming; not new things will come in the future. New things HAVE come! They’re already here!
I really love this passage, and here’s why: through my work, I’ve encountered people who carry self-hate. It’s as if they are beating themselves over the head with a baseball bat, making themselves pay for the mistakes they’ve made. And whenever encountering someone like this, I have them repeat this passage over and over again.“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
I have to tell you a story real quick. It was January 2010 in Denver, Colorado. We had a sold-out crowd for First Steps To Success. A client I just love was there and she had something happen to her back and was in a wheelchair. She was in pain and so drugged-up, she didn’t even look like the same person. She desperately wanted to be healed. Her husband and daughter told her, “You’ve got to go to First Steps. I know the Lord is going to heal you there.” So, she came to Denver.
So there it was, Saturday night at our Spiritual Equipping Live in the Marketplace. The Lord told me He was going to heal her, so I brought her up to the stage. I had her repeat some things for a little while, and then here’s what came out of her mouth: “I know I’m paying for my sins right now.” I’m telling you, I got mad as a hornet. Because there’s only ONE who can pay for our sins… and it isn’t you or me. I knew the evil one was speaking out of her mouth and she was carrying a spirit of condemnation. She was holding the bat, beating herself up for the mistakes she had made.
I looked at her and I said, Renae, you say this after me: “Therefore if anyone is in Christ – and I am in Christ – then he is a new creature – so I am a new creature! The old things passed away; behold, new things have come!”
Another one I had her repeat was Romans 8:1, which says, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.“
Renae got totally healed that night. She was standing on the stage for 45 minutes, before realizing she was standing on her own, with no pain!
The old things had passed away – the wheelchair, the pain, the mindset of “I’m paying for my sin” and “I deserve this” – had passed away. The new things had come for Renae.
My friend, these two passages may be something you want to print and keep in front of you, as you head into 2016.
Don’t come into 2016 with your old ways of thinking. It’s old mindsets keeping us stuck. An old mindset, trips us up, holds us back and keeps us in a rut. The old ways keep you thinking about money, your job, your business, your spouse, your family, yourself. The old ways in which you looked at your future have passed away! The new things have come!
This is your chance for a clean slate, a new beginning, a fresh start. So embrace it!
As we begin the New Year together, we will discover the old mindsets and old ways we have carried through the years, and we will get a glimpse of what God has in store for us in 2016. I can’t wait to watch as you run with this. I truly believe this will set you up for outrageous success in the coming year.
If this has impacted you in any way, I would love to hear about it. What mindsets will you leave behind this year? What fresh new beginnings do you believe are in store for you in 2016? What insights did you gain today? Please let me know below – I will be reading your responses personally, because I love hearing about your success!
Also, if you would like to see your friends and family experience their best year ever, go ahead and just send this link to them. You never know who needs this message right now. So just as you have freely received this today, please freely share it!
And don’t forget to tune in for our weekly Spiritual Equipping episode of The Dani Johnson Show today for more biblical inspiration in the New Year. You can find the show on your TV and radio and please remember you can always stream today’s show right here on our website.
In great faith,
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