I recently wrote an article on overcoming a mental block. Before you can overcome any mental block, you must first realize it is there, and that it is possible to get beyond it.
Let’s face it, if you think you are no good at math, you avoid it like the plague, and you shy away from anything numbers-related all the time. There’s a good chance that you will never be any good at it.
However, if you know math is your weakness, but you are determined to overcome it, you can. It will take some work; you will have to focus on various mathematical concepts, perhaps get a good teacher, take it one step at a time. But most importantly, you are going to have to come to grips with the fact that you can learn it, and you will learn it.
Learning math is a great example of overcoming a mental block. Many will remember being taught basic math in elementary school or perhaps junior high school. The teacher introduces a concept at the beginning of the lesson. Your mind immediately begins to process the concept, and usually the first thought will question whether you’ll be able to understand it or not. I was a little odd when it came to math; I always thought of it like puzzles. If you worked with it long enough or thought about it from different angles, typically the answer would reveal itself.
However, I know there were many who struggled with math. How did I know? They told me. And if your thoughts towards math, or any other conceptional idea, are that it is difficult to understand, for you it will be challenging.
Proverbs 23:7 tells us that as a person thinks in their heart, so are they. If you think math is difficult, for you it will be difficult. If you think it is easy, it will be.
“Brother Tim, math is hard!”
I know, you told me. But why do you say that? It’s just as easy to say, “Math is easy.”
“But that wouldn’t be true.”
Not true for who? Do you think math is hard for God? Didn’t He give us the mind of Christ (reference 1 Corinthians 2:16)? Do you think God would proclaim math is difficult? We were created in His image (reference Genesis 1:27), why shouldn’t we speak and act like Him?
If you are going to overcome a mental block or any long-standing stronghold, as my Pentecostals or Charismatics might say, you are going to have to change the way you think on the subject. In other words, you are going to have to change your mind, which is exactly what the Apostle Paul wanted us to do anyway (reference Romans 12:2 and Ephesians 4:23).
Changing thoughts starts with changing your words, not the other way around. When you decide to appropriate a promise of God in your life, such as divine health or righteousness, you will have to start speaking it long before your mind will grasp the concept.
I can remember the first time I heard a teaching on righteousness and how I was made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (reference 2 Corinthians 5:21). My mind could not comprehend what I was hearing. There was no way I was the righteousness of God. I had so much sin in my life; if it wasn’t evident in my life, it was certainly in my thoughts.
I could not bring myself to say out loud, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.”
Then I changed my mind. I made a conscientious decision to speak the word of God and not my thoughts concerning the word of God. I decided the word of God represented truth and my own thoughts did not.
I opened my mouth and said, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.”
It seemed every demon in hell assailed me.
“Who do you think you are? You’re not the righteousness of God. Why just yesterday you (insert numerous sins here).”
I’ve since learned they attacked my thought life to get me to say something different. As long as I was speaking the word of God, they were mad, but there was nothing they could do about it apart from tempting me to speak something different.
It wasn’t immediate. As matter of fact, it took a while. But I remember the day it happened.
I was pacing through the house, struggling to say, “I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.”
I was declaring it repeatedly when it hit me, I am the righteousness of God! Not because of anything I had done, but because of what Jesus did in His death, burial, and resurrection.
The realization came rushing in and I felt like a blind man seeing for the first time. My mind had been changed. I had taken a promise from the Word of God and made the decision to believe it regardless of my previously-conceived thoughts and actions.
And that is what it’s going to take for you, too, Dear Reader. If you are going to change your mind, you first have to realize that your mind can be changed. And then you have to take the actions to change it. If it’s math you want to learn, realize it can be done and take whatever action you need to learn it (my personal philosophy is, if a person can do it, I am a person, therefore I can do it). If it’s incorporating a promise of God in your life, you’re going to have to be determined to see it come to pass in your life and get ready for a fight. The devil isn’t going to roll over and give up just because you made a decision to believe. But if you diligently speak the word of God, meditate on it until it becomes a part of your life. You will see a change.
Tim Hughes is a lay minister and elder at Ascension Life Church in Athens. He can be reached at email@example.com