Going to the next level is based on day to day character building habits, not on sudden bursts of brilliance or anointing. It is not a magic formula. It requires a decision to do God’s will, and the willpower to follow through, no matter what the circumstances.
You will not wake up one day with a huge ministry, a successful business, or a happy family. It takes a lot of hard work changing yourself, before your surroundings start to change. This is where perseverance is vital.
Your success begins with you. Your today determines your tomorrow. Today’s seeds produce tomorrow’s flowers or weeds. Your thoughts and attitudes will become actions, your actions will become habits, your habits will determine your character, and your character shapes your destiny.
Attitude - Actions - Habits - Character - Destiny
James the Apostle said it like this, “After desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;
and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death” (James 1:15). Desire is in the realm of attitude, that attitude gives birth to an action (sin), the sin grows and becomes a habit, the habits become one’s character, and the end result (destiny) of this sin is death.
The opposite is also true. Good desires lead to right actions, right actions produce righteousness, and ultimately, righteousness leads to eternal life, a glorious destiny! This climb towards righteousness begins with a right attitude.
Change your Attitude
If you want to go higher in God, your attitude will begin to change. Attitudes always produce actions. Attitude causes actions and actions determine the direction your life is headed in.
When your attitude changes, your actions change, and when your actions change, your altitude in life will change!
If you want to change where you are going, you must change the way you are thinking. Your spiritual growth begins with your attitude. We need to fill our mind with good things. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).
Jesus knew how important attitude is. In the old law, it was forbidden to commit adultery. But Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, “Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a women lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27‑28). The words of Jesus show that the very act of thinking about having an adulterous relationship, is a sin. Attitude is so important!
If our mind is filled with what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report our attitudes will be good. But, if we fill our mind with evil, ugly, sinful lies our attitudes will be bad. Garbage going in always results in garbage coming out. Change your attitude by changing what goes into your mind.
Change your actions by changing your attitude.
Change your Actions
A change in attitude always proceeds a change in actions. When a person sincerely changes his heart attitude, a change in his actions will follow. The psalmist said, AI have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes” (Psalm 119:59). Notice, the psalmist considered (thought about) his ways, and after he had thought, his actions changed.
Repentance requires a change in attitude. It involves a 180 degree turn from doing wrong, to doing what is right. As long as a sin is justified in your mind, you will continue to sin, but after your attitude changes about a sin, a change in action quickly follows. True repentance always comes from a change of attitude.
Once there was an old man who was reflecting back on his life. When he was young, he was idealistic and he had wanted to change the world. But he failed. By the time he had become middle aged, he was weary, and all that the man wanted to do was to change his family. In that also, he failed. Now that he is old, he just wants to change himself. He realizes that if he had concentrated on changing himself when he was young, he also would have changed the world.
If you want to change your life, change your attitude first.
Your thoughts produce actions, and your actions are extremely important. "I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve" (Jeremiah 17:10). Notice, God knows our thoughts, but he rewards us according to our actions.
Every action is important, every step is taking you somewhere. Right actions produce righteousness. Righteousness means Adoing what is right in the eyes of God.” We can not achieve perfection alone, our own righteousness is as filthy rags in the eyes of God, but through Jesus we can do what is right. This is why God has given us the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), so we can do the same things Jesus did. Your actions will either pull you closer to God, or they will push you away from Him. What kind of actions are you engaging in?
Change your habits by changing your actions.
Change your Habits
Regular actions produce habits. A habit is something which you have become accustomed to doing on a regular basis. There are both good habits (developed by good actions) and bad habits (developed by bad actions).
Habits can change. It is said, “If you can do something continually every day for thirty days, it will become a habit.” The best way to begin changing your habits is by changing your mind.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...” (Romans 12:2). The pattern of this world is a set of habits. This pattern of habits is often called the rat-race of life. It is composed of the continual search for another dollar, the lusting after wrong things, the coveting of a neighbors worldly goods, or the search for adventure; all of these things form a pattern of habits. People wake up in the morning, and they race through the day, thinking only of themselves, and then they fall into bed at night without accomplishing anything. Every day, God is not acknowledged, and the person continues to live a life of sin, day in and day out, for an entire life.
This is the pattern that we must not conform to. A change of habits will only come with a change of mind. This change of mind must occur through God’s word. The only way to renew your mind is by knowing God.
When we renew our minds with God’s word, we begin to think like Jesus. When someone begins to think like Jesus, they begin to act like Jesus. Suddenly, habits begin to change. The worldly pattern of lying, cheating, stealing, coveting, and hatred suddenly begins to be transformed.
A new set of habits begins to form in the place of the old habits. The habit of loving others, the habit of being thankful, the habit of worshiping God; these are the habits of a person whose mind has been renewed by the word of God. Focus shifts from, “me, me, me” to “God, God, God” The question changes from “What do I want to do?” to “What does God want me to do?”
Change your character by changing your habits.
Change your Character
Your character is who you really are. Character is what you do when no one is watching. The things you do on a daily basis will continue to be the things that you do in the midst of a crisis or an opportunity. We can change our character by changing our minds.
This is the greatest commandment and it should be the guiding principle in our character development. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, “Love your neighbor as yourself” ( Luke 10:27). Loving God, and loving man, are the basis for godly character. Our relationship with people flows from our relationship with God.
Change your destiny by changing your character.
Change your Destiny
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is‑‑ his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
God’s will for your life is good and pleasing. Your destiny is to be with God for all of eternity. After your mind is renewed, you will be able to find what God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will is. What is God’s plan for your life? What is your destiny?
Destiny is a synonym for your destination. Where are you going? Which direction are you headed in? At the end of your life, where will you be? Will you have accomplished what God wants you to accomplish?
Samson had a destiny, but his actions and habits caused him to fail (Judges 13-16). He allowed wrong attitudes to guide his life, and they led to his downfall. He ended up losing his life because of a wrong attitude.
Joseph, on the other hand, fulfilled his destiny (Genesis 37-47). He experienced kidnaping, false accusations, prison, and disappointment before he was finally exalted. No matter what he went through, he kept his attitude right. He became a ruler of the mightiest kingdom in the world, because he had a good attitude.
Remember, thoughts and attitudes become actions, actions become habits, habits become your character, and your character shapes your destiny. Our destiny is on the path of the righteous. God has ordered our steps from the beginning, He has an awesome destiny in mind for His children.
How high you go with God is directly related to how high you want to fly. Your attitude determines your altitude. Do you want to fly high with God? If so, pray this prayer with me.
I do not want to be satisfied with where I am. I desire to fly high where the eagles soar, I want to be closer to you, Father. Help me to change my destiny by changing my attitude. Show me your perfect way, O God, and direct my steps.
In the name of Jesus,