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Tag Archives: belief

The Mindset Behind a Miracle

In the last 25 years, sports psychology has impacted professional sports.  Individuals, star players and teams have sought help to reach their full potential.  Based upon books that I have read and from my own personal experience, the human mind plays a crucial role.  I’ve heard many successful athletes point to visualization, being able to see themselves making a catch, hitting a ball or sinking a putt.  When belief, faith and your mind intersect, the recipe for a miracle is set.

She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed,” Matthew 9:21.

The are two examples in the Bible of people who shared a common mindset.  Each sought medical help for a serious condition without any signs of improvement.  They came to the realization that spending money on doctors was a waste of time.  Thus, when word of a miraculous religious leader spread, hope came alive.  This good news gave birth to a thought listed in the passage above.  Despite suffering from a bleeding disorder for twenty years, this woman cast out any hints of doubt.  Eager to find Jesus, this resolve set the stage for a miracle to occur the moment she touched Jesus’ cloak.

When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  “Yes, Lord,” they replied, Matthew 9:28.

The final story refers to a pair of blind men.  Unlike the woman mentioned above, neither of these men could see.  Thus, they were forced to raise their voices once the commotion of Jesus passing by intensified.  Desperate to see, both began to shout, rising above everyone else in the crowd.  Recognizing their plea for mercy, Jesus had compassion on both men.  Like a doctor performing a preliminary check-up, Jesus asked one simple question, “do you believe I am able to heal you?”  The unswerving mindset within each led to another miracle.  The key to experiencing similar results today lies untapped within the mindset behind a miracle.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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Greater is He Who is In You

One of Jesus’ disciples makes a power statement in a collection of small books known as the Catholic Epistles.  One specific letter written by John addresses the two opposing forces within this world.  The first, the Holy Spirit and latter the ruler of the air, Satan.  Although both are invisible, John wants to encourage those who may be fighting a losing battle that God is greater.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world, 1 John 4:4.

However, stating this and believing it are two different things.  Whether you’re an athlete, competitive or trying your best to survive, experiencing a series of failures can break anyone’s momentum.  The devil preys on doubt, planting seeds within minds to second guess God’s power and who really is in control.  Subsequently, even the confident go through periods of darkness, fighting inner demons which seek to attack your heart, soul and mind.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds, 2 Corinthians 10:4.

At some point, the disciples passes the Christian torch to the apostle Paul whose missionary journeys gave birth to churches throughout the Middle East, Europe and Africa.  According to Paul, the only way to stand your ground against the enemy involves changing your tactics.  Whenever faith begins to falter or wilt, taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ is crucial.  As soon as this discipline is put into practice, then and only then will you truly believe that greater is He who is in you than is in the world.

by Jay Mankus

As Is Verse Could Be; Should Be

During my time attending a youth ministry trade school known as Tentmakers, a specific mindset was ingrained within me.  Instead of being task oriented, the curriculum stressed the importance of developing vision.  Subsequently, individuals must be realistic with their current position, the As/Is before reaching a desired destination, the Could Be/Should Be.

And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it, Habakkuk 2:2.

According to C.S. Lewis, success is the process of arriving.  Unfortunately, many people go through life thinking if I only achieve this position, salary or status, then happiness will be achieved.  This belief sets people up for failure, rarely taking time to celebrate the little accomplishments in life.  Those few who actually reach the summit, mountain top, may be unfulfilled pondering, “is this it?”

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay, Habakkuk 2:3.

To insure disappointment does not come knocking at the door, perhaps it may be beneficial to begin thinking about life in terms of As/Is, Could Be/Should Be.  While any type of change will take time to adopt and conform to, motivation in 2017 is still fresh.  Therefore, don’t waste the opportunity to transform your ways in the New Year.  Enjoy the journey with vision as your guiding light and the Lord the wind beneath your wings.

by Jay Mankus

When Evil Never Leaves

Evil is one of those traits which is shocking.  Whether its heinous, malicious or repulsive, the presence of such actions are chilling.  Any type of demonstration can leave eye witnesses shivering with fear.  According to Solomon, this cloud of darkness never leaves some souls.

Evil will never leave the house of one who pays back evil for good, Proverbs 17:13.

The concept of evil is often left to Hollywood.  Whether its a horror, murder mystery or science fiction film, few come face to face with a resident of evil.  Apparently, anyone who seeks revenge will be cursed with evil spirits that never leave,  This belief is similar to the Bible’s sowing principle, “you reap what you sow.”

Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life, Galatians 6:8.

In view of this scary information, its vital to avoid entering a world of darkness.  Instead, begin to keep in step with the Holy Spirit, relying on prayer to guide your way.  By doing this you will steer clear of the hauntings that other lost souls have endured.  Learn from the mistakes of others by fleeing from evil.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Faith Like Fly Paper

Modern technology often exposes archaic early designs of inventions.  Such is the case of fly paper, created to limit the nuisance of flies each summer.  This sticky substance was coated with a sweet fragrance to attract curious pests.  When intruders make initial contact, most can not escape, stuck until breathing their last breathe.

That your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God, 1 Corinthians 2:5.

For those individuals who chose to live life on their own, there are other pests who will invade your life.  Each incoming obstacle can wear you down mentally, sometime sucking the joy out of life.  Thus, its essential to develop faith, trusting in an invisible God to free you from burdens that stick to people like fly paper.

You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone, James 2:24.

While faith is an inward belief, faith without works is dead.  Action motivated by conviction is a sign of livelihood.  Unfortunately, many talk a good game, but do not back it up, sending a mixed message.  Anyone who follows this pattern is like a fly stuck on paper clinging to life.  Therefore, don’t trust in the world’s wisdom, but rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit to free you from the fly traps in this life.

by Jay Mankus

 

Faith + Patience = Blessings

Faith is like having an imaginary friend as a child.  However, instead of talking to this person, you develop a strong belief that everything will be all right.  Over time questioning parents are replaced by a cynical world, trying to convince you that you’re insane or hallucinating.  In the final episode of Joan of Arcadia, Season 1, doctors persuade Joan, played by Amber Tamblyn, that her encounters with God have been a figment of her imagination.  In the same way, when God is silent its not uncommon for many to lose faith.

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him, Hebrews 11:6.

Patience on the other hand is one of those virtues you would like to possess, but are afraid to pray for.  Anyone who asks God for patience will be ushered into numerous situations that will force you to learn this trait the hard way.  Beyond praying, patience is often acquired over a period of time in the form of lessons learned through trials.  Time has a way of helping individuals see the big picture, using hindsight to recognize God’s hand in your past.  Thus, patient people tend to lean on faith which ultimately leads to blessings.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, James 1:2-3.

When you add two numbers together in math, the outcome is always identical.  Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about life.  Job endured horrible disappointment which led friends to believe these events were a form of God’s punishment for some unconfessed sin.  These anomies continue to exist today, pushing faith and patience to the limit.  Nonetheless, if you follow the words of Deuteronomy 28:1-3, over the long haul you will find that faith plus patience leads to blessings.

by Jay Mankus

When Your God is Too Small

Confidence and faith often go hand and hand.  However, when individuals struggle to find consistent results, doubt causes many to question the power of God.  Thus, as circumstances go from bad to worse or dire, belief in God tends to shrink.

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind, James 1:6.

The author of the first Catholic letter, James, written to Christians scattered throughout the Middle East, witnessed this lack of faith during the first century.  James compared this behavior to the waves and wind on the Mediterranean Sea.  Whenever unexpected storms rolled in, the composure of believers disappeared, blown and tossed like a rag doll.

And have mercy on those who doubt; Jude 1:22.

The last author of these letters, Jude, had pity on those who wilted during trials in life.  Essentially, those people who demonstrated this mindset served a small God.  In view of this, James urged the community of faith to avoid falling for this lie.  Therefore, the next time doubt tries to whisper “you don’t have a prayer,” cling to the power of the resurrection to supersize your God.

by Jay Mankus