Everyone has a paradigm.

Paradigms are how we see life. Paradigms are formed throughout our life span, some paradigms are permanent, and others are temporary. Some seasons are filled with joy and laughter, and fun. Other seasons are laced with trauma, crisis, and temporary disappointments.

Temporary Disappointments

Have you ever believed God for something, and it failed to happen? I have. Disappointment can create a filter of negativity and unbelief. Constant disappointment is like a sucker punch at our faith, and disappointment diminishes our Trust and creates confusion. As a result, our faith is shaken and short circuits our belief system.

Do you remember the children of Israel?

And the people of Israel, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. And Miriam died there and was buried there. Now there was no water for the congregation. And they assembled themselves together against Moses and against Aaron. And the people quarreled with Moses and said, “Would that we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord! Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we should die here, both we and our cattle? And why have you made us come out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place?

Like the children of Israel, disappointment can lead us down the path of grumbling and blaming God. Have you ever said, “why did God let this happen?” This happens more than we care to admit.

God allows things that we cannot understand. Believers are forced to trust God more than we will ever understand. Trust is a substructure when the rug is pulled out from under our feet.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5–6, NKJV)

When we trust God, we acknowledge Him as God. Acknowledging there is a God leads to understanding, and understanding leads to direction.

Lingering Setbacks

Have you ever faced lingering setbacks? Lingering setbacks occur when we wait for God’s answers. Lingering setbacks affect our faith in negative ways and steal our hope.

In delay, our faith shifts from active to dormant. Believers that suffer lingering setbacks do not permanently lose their faith; they shut their faith off for a season. Stagnant faith is equal to having no faith.

We must realize that lingering setbacks will happen. A negative paradigm can steal your destiny and stop your spiritual growth? God uses lingering setbacks for His purposes. These setbacks purify our Trust and strip us of our tendency to control and manipulate.

The best way to handle lingering setbacks is to stay in faith, remain persistent, and draw near to God.

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16, NKJV)

Negative Thoughts

When negative thoughts are pervasive, strongholds develop in the mind and emotions. Strongholds begin through trauma (molestation, verbal abuse) or tragedy (accident). Most strongholds enter during our childhood years. Strongholds are formed in dysfunctional areas such as family, personal abuse, neglect, or generational curses.

Signs of strongholds:

  • cycles of repeated sin
  • constant excuse for sin
  • pervasive lying
  • lack of responsibility
  • rely on pity for gain
  • blaming others

These strongholds build their fortresses in the soul realm, and they operate through thoughts, feelings, and emotions. For example, the stronghold of addiction convinces the addict that there is no life without drugs and alcohol. The addict believes this to be true — “as a man thinks, so is he.”

This belief (no life without drugs) is the paradigm through which the addict sees life. This paradigm affects every decision and wages war in the individual’s soul.

Paradigms are battlefields

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. The weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments, and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience when your obedience is finished.” (2 Corinthians 10:3–6, ESV)

God gives us access to His divine power. His power can shift the negative paradigms to positive. If we fail to remove the paradigm, we will never experience a life of freedom and permanent change.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (II Corinthians 5:17, ESV)

God has the power to shift our paradigms, and it all begins with becoming a new creation in Christ Jesus.

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