LOOK ABOVE THE BAR

Colossians 32 “See then, you have been raised with Christ, ……Set your minds on what is above, not on what is on earthly things.”

Many people are going through trials of inferior interior thinking. Poor self-worth plagues many. In the book, “The Power of Positive Thinking,” by Norman Vincent Peale, he shares a story of a pole vaulter. On this particular day, he was up for a scholarship. That meant that if he made the vault, like he had made it before, he was going to get an athletic scholarship to college. You can imagine the pressures that were on him.

Have you ever noticed, when pressures are on us, that is when the inferiority thinking rises to the forefront of our thinking? This young man stood there, looked at the bar, and then looked at his pole. He knew, inside of himself, that he did not have what it would take to make it over the bar.

Here is what his coach said to him. These are time-tested bits of wisdom that we can use to go over a barrier that may be in front of us in life.

He said to the young man: I want you to throw your heart over the bar. In your imagination, I want you not to see anything below the bar. In your imagination and eyesight, only see the things ABOVE the bar.

There are so many times in our lives when we are looking at the ground and all the things BELOW the “bar.” Then, we look up for a brief moment and think that the bar looks so high. We say to ourselves, “I’ll never get over that. I wish I could, but I can’t.”

If, ahead of time, we can visualize everything ABOVE the bar and nothing below the bar, we will have a lifting power of God inside of us to throw us up and over any obstacle in life. It will work every time, because you are more than flesh and bone. You have the Spirit of God with you, and God is giving you the strength and courage to go anywhere you want to go.

If you wish to keep a comfortable place in your mind, and have a peaceful soul, you must distance yourself, at least somewhat, from negative distractions around you. But distancing yourself isn’t easy, especially when so many negatives are struggling to get your attention and your participation.

C.S. Lewis advised, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth
and you will get neither.” That’s a wise reminder. You’re likely to hit what you aim
at, so aim high – aim at heaven.

When you do, you’ll be strengthened in character as you improve every aspect of
your life. And God will demonstrate God’s approval as God showers you with more
spiritual blessings than you can count.

St. John Chrysostom stated, “Whoever seeks earth before he seeks heaven will surely lose both earth and heaven.”

A gentleman was suffering from inferiority thinking. One evening, Dr. Norman Vincent Peale was backstage getting ready to speak, and a man stepped up to him, handed him a business card and said, “Can I speak to you for just a minute?”

Dr. Peale said, “I’m sorry, but I just can’t. I am going on stage in just a moment to speak. But I will talk to you after the program is over.”

Dr. Peale then went to the lectern and started to speak. As he was speaking, he saw the man pacing back and forth at the back of the auditorium; his head was down and it appeared that he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. Dr. Peale really wanted to talk to the man,
but after his presentation the man was gone.

He just couldn’t get the man out of his mind. He realized he had the man’s business card, so he decided to call him. The man said, “Everything in my life rests on a meeting tomorrow, and I just don’t feel that I have the power in me to pull it off. I no longer believe in myself. I’ve had some setbacks, and I’m very concerned and worried. I just know that my whole career is going to plummet after this meeting, tomorrow, fails.”

Dr. Peale reminded him that no one single day in our lives can destroy our future. But he also talked to the man and gave him a prescription. He said, “I want you to take this prescription with you. It is Biblical. Use it during the day, tomorrow. I believe it will get you through.” He asked the man to turn in his Bible to Philippians 4:13 and said, “I want you to read this to me now, out loud over the phone, and I want you to read it all day long tomorrow.” It says: “I can do all things through God who strengthens me.”

They read it together. Then he asked the man to write it down and carry it with him. As he faced his challenges, he could pull out his card and realize the Truth that he was not alone; God was with him and would work with him and through him, to bring him through the day.

Right before that important meeting, he read the verse. Imagine yourself reading this before something you have BIG to do in your life. “I can do all things through God who strengthens me.” The man read this probably 200 times during that day.

He reported later on that he came out just fine, just as we will, when we realize that we are not alone. The pole vaulter who started to visualize things over the bar was awarded that athletic scholarship. And we will get what we want in our lives too.

Here are 10 powerful steps to help us overcome an inferior interior thinking.

1. Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding.   Never picture yourself as failing, in any way. Never doubt the reality of your NEW mental image. so always picture success, no matter how things seem to be going in the moment.

2. Whenever a negative thought comes into your mind concerning your own
personal power, deliberately voice a positive thought to cancel it out. Philippians 4:13

3. Do not build up obstacles in your imagination.  Minimize your so called “Obstacles.” Difficulties are just barriers in your imagination that need to be overcome.

4. Do not be awestruck by other people. Never compare yourself to another. You are YOU and you are unique and special – a child of God. Remember always that the same spirit of God that was in the greatest people who have ever lived IS INSIDE OF YOU.
5. Repeat the following ten times a day (Romans 8:31): “If God is for us, who is against us?”

6. Get a good friend or a competent counselor with whom you can discuss your life – a witness to your life. You can always talk to your Bethel pastor or real world pastor.

7. Repeat the following ten times a day (Philippians 4:13): “I can do all things through God who strengthens me.” Then, at the end of the statement, add the word “now.”

8. Make a true estimate of your own abilities, and then raise it by 25%. We are our own greatest critics. As good as we think we can be or do, we can be and do better with God’s help. You cannot even imagine the power of God in you that can work through you. You cannot even imagine what God can do inside of your mind.

9. Put everything in God’s hands and believe that, with God, ALL is possible right now.

10. Remind yourself that God is with you, and nothing can defeat you. Believe that you can receive power from God right now. And receive it!

So many times, we let the joy of life slip away because we fret, worry, and fume over things. Most of the time, we do this more out of habit than what is actually happening in our lives in any moment.

Here is a description of fretting and fuming.

The word “fume” means to boil up, blow off, emit vapor, be agitated, be distraught, and to seethe.  The word “fret” is equally descriptive. It is like a half-whine or a half-cry. We continue doing this, and we do it to those we love the most.

People especially seem to do this to their spouses. We tend to half-cry or half-whine, especially when we have a cold and we want to be taken care of.

In Psalm 37:1, it says: “Do not fret.” We half-cry, half-whine about what is ahead of us. The problem is that this sets up our mental condition for the whole day. We have to take responsibility to stop this, once and for all, and allow the ALL power of God to come through us.

So many of us are on such a fast pace-treadmill of life – physically and emotionally. We have to slow the tempo inside of ourselves and become quiet again. We need to allow the sounds of God in the stillness to come through us so we can feel the joy of God.

It is impossible to have peace in our soul, if the pace is SO accelerated inside of you. God, inside of you, works slowly, steadily, and quietly. God says in effect, “Go ahead if you must. Go as fast as you want. When you are worn out and fatigued, come back to Me, and I will heal you.” But why not accept that help from the very beginning? Why do we have to wait? Life can be so rich if we will slow down just a bit, and live and move and have our being in God, in each moment.

God, inside of you, moves in stillness. God moves, slowly, in a perfectly organized manner. The wise tempo is at God’s rate. When things are done at God’s rate, things are done correctly and without rushing.

A man shared this insight: “Recently, I was walking in the woods. There is nothing that renews a person like a walk in nature. There is a wonderful silence there. Yet, the woods are not really silent. Wind was blowing through the trees; leaves were rustling; small animals were scurrying about, doing their daily business. It felt so good to be in tune with God’s nature.

“Then, as I am literally reaching euphoria, some people come along, carrying a boom box. They are carrying their synthetic noise with them at the top volume. They were missing everything that’s good about life in the moment.”

We are like that so many times. We may not bring a boom box, but we bring our interior thoughts that are playing at a loud volume. We just need to slow the tempo of our emotions and get in tune with God.

There was a time, when I was driving with someone who was complaining about something going on in her life, and I said, “WOW! Look at those gorgeous wildflowers and bluebonnets in the field over there! She said, “What field of flowers?” I knew enough to pull to the side of the road, get out of the car and see the hillside; We must take time take time to see the beauty in our lives. The woman, who a moment before was complaining was NOW overcome by the beauty of God.

Life is so incredibly beautiful and so good. If we will just slow the tempo down a bit, magical things happen inside of us-an inner power comes to us in the stillness that is the foundation for us to believe in life.

We need to develop a calm philosophy of living. I am reminded about what
it says in Psalm 23 [paraphrased]: The Lord is your shepherd. You shall not want.

What do you want? Do you want more courage and strength? Do you want to feel positive about who you are in your life?

God makes you lie down in green pastures and leads you beside the still waters. God restores your soul. God leads you in right paths, for God’s namesake– God’s sake.

God will lead you in the right career moves and in the right personal moves in your life. There will not be mistakes, if we slow down and think about where we are going(with God at the helm).

Even though you may walk through the darkest valley, where things are not going well, God will make things go well and you will fear no evil, for you are with God. God’s rod and staff will comfort you.

God, You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. That means, no matter what we face, even people who don’t like us, we have a feast prepared before us of ideas and good thoughts that will feed our interior. The table prepared for us will feed our soul.

Your head is anointed with oil. Your cup overflows. Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow you all the days of your life, and you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

For the next 24 hours, I ask you to deliberately speak in positive terms about everything in your life. I ask you to speak, positively, about your job, your health, your relationships, your marriage, and your future.

GO OUT OF YOUR WAY to speak, optimistically, about everything. The pessimistic way doesn’t work-it NEVER did. Talk positively.

After doing this for 24 hours, I ask you to make it a new habit throughout the whole week. You will be well on your way to a permanent interior change. You are going to find out that you have formed a new positive interior, and that what you were thinking before about wasn’t realistic at all, but was pessimistic. You will find out that what you are thinking about NOW is coming to pass.

You must feed your mind as you feed your body. To make your mind healthy, you must feed it nourishing and wholesome thoughts. Therefore, this very hour, you begin to shift from negative thoughts to positive thoughts, in EVERY area of your life.

For the next six months. I ask you to take your Bible, go through the New Testament, and highlight every sentence about faith. As you do so, it will begin building in you–not as words written 2,000 years ago, but words about you, NOW.

After you underline all these passages, I ask you to commit one per day to memory, and know it is the absolute positive Truth about who you are. (For example, look up Mark 11:22-24.)

Make a list of all your friends and acquaintances. Then, out of that list, choose the most positive friend and spend time with him or her. See what they have, and let it wear off on you. Once you have it (and you will, quicker than you think), LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE – spread some of that light around.

I’d like you to join me in a moment of prayer:

God, today I desire to cast out and eliminate inferior interior thinking inside of me, once and for all. Dear God, I acknowledge these inferior feelings are not true of me, and I ask that I will, at a soul level, realize the Truth. I ask for a better and more successful life. Help me, dear God, to cast out those old, unhealthy thoughts. I ask for an infilling of new, vital, dynamic, faith-filled thoughts. I pray for an inflow of new thoughts. Re-make me, dear God, and my life, in Your image. In Jesus Christ’s name. . . Amen.

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One thought on “LOOK ABOVE THE BAR

  1. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be really something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of it!

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