15 Apr 2007

Can the mind bring a thing to pass?

Submitted by theshovel
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Do you think that the mind is so powerful that when we desire something enough and believe it to be that it will come to pass? —Dave

No, I do not. However, and this is the part that brings things to pass that otherwise get left in the dust, when the mind believes something to be possible the individual is released from the constant negativity that would otherwise keep him from following up on these dreams or ideas. When we believe something cannot happen, we won’t even try. As a matter of fact, we will actually sabotage any of it from even getting started. If affects what you think and say, and of course, affects those around you from either trying it themselves or supporting you in the effort. Those who believe certain things are possible will attract the attention of others who would also like to see the same things come to fruition, and the synergy will continue to expand with others getting on board (often behind the scenes helping bring the thing to pass).

If you believe something is possible and go after it, there is a much, much better chance of that thing coming to pass simply because the belief will alter the things you say and especially the things you do and the things you perceive that would otherwise not be even considered or done. It’s no guarantee, but to assume right from the get-go that something cannot be done pretty much condemns the futile pretenses most go through in an effort to prove that it cannot be done. In other words, if I believe it can’t be done, I feel obligated to prove it you so that I feel better about myself when I can’t make it happen. Sometimes, it’s easier to accept the impossibility of a thing than to lose the thing I really want. I mean, sometimes a thing IS impossible (or at least not worth the effort) in a particular place or time or culture. Sometimes, it is wise to realize that a dream or a goal will take too much effort that would alienate you from everything else … especially family or friends.

Even Paul commented on it when he advised the Corinthians about seeking from from slavery. The fact was that in many cases it would make things worse or simply become life-long drive that could destroy everything else. His advice (in my own words): “if it’s actually a possibility then go for it”.

Jim :)

Jim, So do you think that our thoughts can really prevent us from our dreams or goals? I mean how powerful are our thoughts? This is a question that not only applies to our dreams, but also to Christianity. My thoughts use to convince me of my sin, of my guilt, of my shame. How I viewed God and myself made me do certain things and brought things to pass. And then Paul talks about us being given the mind of Christ. It seems that as my thoughts began to change, my guilt, shame, fear and all of that started to leave. In fact, the reality of Christ actually became real to me. —Dave

Yes, there are two wisdoms, two minds. According to one of those minds, your growing thoughts had determined the reality of Christ to have been bogus —even without specifically thinking about him. It is the new mind that accepts the truth of him, for after all, it is his mind. We often jumble everything together falsely assuming that it must be (or must have been) the power of our thoughts that bring this reasoning of Christ about.

The reasoning of the natural mind is an empty-based reasoning, for what that mind is devoid of is the spirit of God. All of its reasoning is a search to fill that void. It is looking for a replacement, whether or not it believes it is looking for a replacement. The dreams or goals of that reasoning are connected to ultimate fulfillment and/or happiness.

So, back to the question: What the mind can believe or perceive it can achieve? Only within the parameters of its nature and resources.

So what about just everyday life? Just how powerful are our thoughts? If someone desires something enough and aligns their thoughts with it…can they bring it to fruition?

I must admit that it makes sense that believing something to be possible and going after it will make it more possible to achieve.

Obviously, a person must decide if what he/she is going after is worth the sacrifice. In other words, just because you can achieve it does not mean it is worth it. —Dave

Can those dreams be brought to fruition if sought after? Possibly. There is no guarantee of it. The bottom line truth to a dream being brought to fruition is that it soon becomes just another step along the way in a life-long venture in dissatisfaction. Such dreams or goals are never enough. In fact, if such things were really “dreams” would they be so easily discarded or even despised later? There is no “happily ever after” in the natural fulfillment of dreams.

As to guaranteed achievement of one’s plans this is what James addresses in that famous section where people have lifted their “If the Lords wills…” misquote.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” James 4:13-15

The whole letter of James had revolved around the distinction between the two wisdoms. Unfortunately, religious slop has blended them so well together that we are too influenced to see it for what it says. He was saying that the wisdom of man (and specifically here, the religious Jewish wisdom) had reasoned that it could achieve whatever it planned to do. “I will do this and produce this result within this amount of time.” James’ response reflects back upon his earlier comments about the temporal nature of the flesh. It can be here today and gone tomorrow. His criticism to the arrogance brought on by the fleshly mind was to say that true wisdom would recognize such limitations as it pursued its goals so that it would know that all is of the Lord. James was addressing the fact that the arrogance of the fleshly mind destroys sound reasoning. In the example he used, there was an assumption that the one making his plans would still be alive a year from then. Of course, the religious mind turned James’ words into a lifeless formula. It is quoted by some who want to make sure they are following correct Biblical protocol, by others who need an excuse for not succeeding, etc.

So what do you think about your dreams? Do you go after your dreams? Where do those dreams come from? Is it “wrong” to desire your dreams so much and belive them possible that a person is willing to go after them with all their heart? —Dave

For me, I have discovered that my dreams and goals have changed dramatically. Despite the fact that I have been disappointed over the years, I have come to realize through it all that Christ is my real dream, my real goal. That doesn’t mean I don’t have things I’m moving toward, because I do.

I have made goals over the years that I came to realize were futile simply because I was not willing to do what was needed to be done for success. I tried one of those multi-level home-based business ventures knowing that the people I accepted as friends and companions were mostly the kind of people I needed to avoid in order to succeed. My best chances at building a successful business would have been to join a large organized church filled with already successful people and to make friends from among those who would join in my venture. That’s the way it works. And that’s exactly what I would not do.

In my musical ventures over the years, I was confronted a few times with advice that my music was as good as anything out there but that I needed to compromise what I was writing and saying so that it wouldn’t offend the religious community. It turns out that my true dream and goal was not about becoming popular but about Christ himself. It also turns out that I really loved much of what transpired along the way as well as the connections I made with people.

You asked: Is it wrong? I suppose one could call it such in view of futility, but the truth is that it was through the experience that I recognized the overwhelming value of Christ … and of the life that was happening in the process of that discovery. The fact is that I needed to discover in real time that my life was really what I was learning it was.

Another thing about having a sound mind is that I may (and have) gone after that which others have discouraged me from. Why would I choose that which is counterproductive to that which is considered success to those around me? Just remember that some of the most amazing discoveries over the years have come through those who never realized the “success” of their ventures. Some were even branded as heretics by the Church and therefore by society. Interestingly, many really great discoveries have been made by those who may have believed in the true God, and pursued what they did because of it … despite the opposition.

Love, Jim

Jim, Thank you. I really connected with what you shared with me.

So what opportunities in life do you take? This is not necessarily related to finances. If an opportunity awaits you and you find yourself excited to try that opportunity…do you take it in hope of realizing your dreams? —Dave

I can tell you of opportunities I have taken, though it may sound less than exciting. Over the years, I have chosen to not let the prospect of financial advancement dictate my course in life. No doubt it has its disadvantages, for unless something changes drastically I will be one of those men who find it necessary to work for years to come. I have taken the opportunity to be with my family through thick and thin. And also to share this freedom despite the displeasure of some. I take the opportunities to stick my neck out when I’d be better off pulling it back.

When I speak of dreams, I guess I’m referring to things that you want to see in your life. I will be the first to admit that our so called dreams don’t satisfy that “void”. but, do we give up on our dreams altogether because they won’t necessarily satisfy us? I know you aren’t saying that…I’m just asking questions out loud. —Dave

Believe me, I also know of the desires you speak of. Moving to Tennessee (or possibly SW Virginia) is something we’re pursuing even now. The house is up for sale now, but then again, the market is not what it was. Of course, God can change that, but for all I know, he already did. What I (and Sherri) would really love is to find a large place with a lot of mountain acreage and numerous buildings so that we could not only provide our kids with a place to stay until they find something different (unless they wanted to stay on) but also a place to open up for visits and gatherings and weekend retreats, etc. I love the land and I love the mountains and scenery … and the less dense population. I wish I didn’t have to do the regular job thing. And I would love to travel around, sometimes to just see the world but definitely to get around and visit my many friends around the globe.

If I understand this right, James is saying that we cannot do anything unless God grants it? is that right? In other words, the fact that I just took a breath and I am still living is totally up to God. O.k. But, do I give everything I got and go through “open doors” trusting that if it works God will make it work? At what point to you give up?

Actually I think I know the answer and I think you shared it with me Jim. Christ within us leads us and if we pursue something that is contrary to Christ within me…then I probably will end up not wanting the thing that I wanted so bad in the first place.

I have to admit that I find it really fun pursuing my dreams and aspirations. Whatever happens is fine by me. I know that God has His hand in my life…in fact, He lives within me. And if my dreams change so be it. —Dave

Same here, bro! I do get a thrill when considering certain things I’d like to see happen. The interesting thing has been that I don’t regret what I’ve been through. The truth is that I have desired to share the life of Christ with those who want to hear it, and as I consider my history I see that it has happened. I have desired to minister to people in real ways, and God turned my life upside down so that I couldn’t get around reality in my sharing. I did not desire many things that I have gone through, but it has been the means by which I have realize what true life really is.

Love, Jim

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