How do you handle pressure, more accurately, the pressure of competition? Are you one of those BLESSED people who excel under pressure? You know the kind....stack up the pressure and they seem to THRIVE. Well....I never was one of those. It was always easier for me to believe I’d lose than win. I expected failure from myself way more than success. And by golly....I had a history to PROVE my expectations! I could easily recount the times I had a brilliant chance to snatch a victory and I choked...screwed up....blew it. What I DIDN’T KNOW, was that I was harboring within myself the enemy army that was there to rush out and sabotage my success anytime the chance arose. I thought it was “just my luck”. Well, that’s the verbalization of losers for sure. Blame it on something OUTSIDE myself instead of locating the enemy within. What I discovered was, it was my own THOUGHT PROCESSES that was sabotaging my success right at the point of victory. I went through literal YEARS where I had first place HANDED to me on a silver platter and I would somehow screw it up at the very last....and give first place over to someone else....and come in second....always second...or worse. I remember KNOWING I had something won and fear would hit me that I was about to win something so, “don’t screw this up like you always do” would be my thoughts. What would I do? You got it.....at that moment I would fumble. I remember writing a speech in FFA that took me all the way to state competitions. I knew that speech
frontwards and backwards. The judges and the audience were eating out of my hand...some even wiping tears.... I had a couple more lines and then the closing. I remember thinking....”I’m about to win STATE!” At that point, I went BLANK....I recovered and moved to the closing statement only missing a sentence....but it wasn’t perfect. Even though it was by far the best speech for that year, I forfeited first place AGAIN....and came home with a second. Always second.
I didn’t know then what I’m about to tell you now. The Bible tells us the answer. (It has the answers to everything!) 2Cor.10:4&5 tells us....”pulling down STRONGHOLDS and casting down IMAGINATIONS and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.” Strongholds: a fortress, a castle. Militarily speaking it’s like this: Our imaginations...how we let our thoughts go...either paint pictures of us succeeding or failing. For instance, someone who is always expecting to be rejected without even being aware of it, IMAGINE themselves not being accepted. Therefore they ATTRACT rejection. Our past hurts, failures and negative experiences, etc. begin to build thought processes....imaginations...that we portray in our minds. As this becomes a habit, we literally build a FORTRESS that harbors the power (given permission by us) to cause what we believe to come to pass! It’s a stronghold that safely harbors the power to keep us from succeeding and WE BUILT IT! How do I tear that fortress down? I’m so glad you asked! Not by simply thinking positive thoughts, though that’s great, but by changing our whole thought process! I love what Bill Johnson says, “I cannot afford to think anything about myself that God doesn’t think about me.” That’s it. Start causing your thoughts and imaginations to align with the way God thinks! I
It’s brutal to change our thought process, but if we want success, or peace, we MUST. What holds my focus holds me! What attracts my attention multiplies in my life! Check out where your mind goes in your imagination and you have found the source of what’s fueling your life.