Your Attitude Creates Your Altitude

Years ago I picked up a saying from my Air Force military training; “Your attitude determines you altitude.” This is one of those truths that stick with you throughout your life because you know that your attitude impacts every aspect of your life.

No matter what season of life you are in, your attitude is a key player in your level of contentment. Attitude is more important than wealth, education, good looks, popularity, relationships and almost anything else the world may consider important.

As a follower of Christ, your attitude is an indicator of your level of trust and devotion to God. Having a vast knowledge of Scripture will not necessarily make you a successful believer. Some of the most miserable people I have met are Christians. They weren’t miserable because their faith didn’t work, they were miserable because their attitude was rotten.

If you are a businessperson, your attitude will be a key element in determining your success, but it will also see you through a tough business climate. If you think you can’t succeed or make it through the tough times, then your attitude will be your downfall.

As a committed follower of Jesus, maintaining an attitude that reflects our dependence and trust in a sovereign God to guide and direct us is an important element in maintaining inner peace. Many times we can’t control our circumstances, or what others say about us or do to us, but we can control our attitude. A negative attitude is usually a result of your reaction to a given situation. We can choose to trust God, and believe He is in control, or we can choose to be fearful and hopeless.

When you live with a Christ-centered worldview, the normal response to any crisis is to let go and trust God to give you wisdom and peace. By trusting God in every situation, we develop an attitude of dependence. We have this inner peace that everything is going to turn out right, even though we can’t see the end result. Why? Because we know God is ultimately in control.

The Holy Spirit allowed Paul to use the word “Abba” when referring to God in Galatians. Abba is a term of intimate affection that denotes “Daddy”, “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His son into our hearts, crying “Abba! Father!” Our heavenly Father is not only our God but also our daddy/protector who loves and cares for every area of our life.

Bottom Line
Our attitude reflects our level of trust. God wants us to love and trust Him so completely that our life reflects contentment, regardless of our present circumstances. Because we are loved, cared for, and watched over by our loving God, we should rest in the fact that Christ is enough. Remember, your attitude determines your altitude.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NASB)

When You Are Backed into a Corner

When my children were little I told them about a trap I built when I was a kid to catch rabbits. So to illustrate how it worked, I built a trap to show the kids how to catch a rabbit. First thing the next morning we checked the trap hoping to find a rabbit. But to our surprise, we didn’t snag a rabbit but a possum. The closer we got to the trap the more the cornered possum would hiss and show his sharp teeth. He was cornered and ready to attack.

How do your respond when you are backed into a corner?

I have often said, “When a person is backed into the corner they will either come out swinging or they will display the grace of God.” I think too often we display behavior and attitudes that are more like a carnal believer than like the Savior we follow. There is a thin line between properly defending yourself and displaying a quiet and calm spirit.

Speaking of responding with Grace, the late Roy Hession said it better than anyone I know. He said;
“Every person who crosses us, every person who discourages us, is God’s way of breaking us. It creates a deeper channel in us for the life of Christ. The only life that pleases God is His life, never our life. Our self-centered life is the exact opposite of His. We can never be filled with His life unless we are prepared for God to bring our life constantly to death.” (Calvary’s Road)

How we respond when pressed reveals our level of brokenness and maturity. All of us have occasional weak moments, but regularly challenging those who disrespect us is an indication that we may be walking in the flesh.

Living in a contemporary world that is constantly more hostile and intolerant of believers, our flesh is constantly challenged. The moment we say to the Lord, “I want to live for you, obey you and become all that you want me to be,” the Lord begins the work of breaking us. He allows circumstances to come our way that will reveal who and what we are trusting in, other than Him.

Peter is an example of the typical “on fire and committed’ believer. He very boldly declared that he was willing to go to the mat defending His Lord. But the Lord knew what was inside of him and knew that only failure and challenge would reveal Peter’s self-centeredness. He knew if Peter was going to be a successful apostle his dependence upon the flesh would have to be exposed.

The Death Process
It is called a death process. When Jesus declared that we must take up our cross and follow Him, He wasn’t speaking of us dying on the cross. He was referring to a spiritual death process that only the cross could produce. “For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus sake, that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal body.” (2 Cor. 4:11)

It is only through various trials, failures, and sometimes suffering, that we experience the death process. These events and incidences are designed to show us our self-sufficiency and expose our hypocrisy. It’s a stripping from us all that we are holding onto for security and worth. Then we are given the privilege to surrender and abandon our own life and exchange it for Christ’s life and sufficiency.

Bottom Line
During every test and trial responding with Grace is our goal. When we respond with Grace we are acknowledging whatever is going on, it’s OK. God in control, and we choose with an act of our will to trust Him. But when we acknowledge that “every person who crosses us, every person who discourages us, is God’s way of breaking us”, then we will realize that God is at work in our life to “create a deeper channel in us for the life of Christ.”



I once spoke in a church on the subject of Self-Condemnation.  Before I spoke, I asked the congregation if anyone had experienced self-condemnation the preceding week. Most all raised their hand and admitted that they were in some way involved in self-condemnation. One lady even acknowledged that she was struggling with condemnation that very day.
Do you struggle with condemnation?  Are you frequently beating up on yourself, thinking you are not good enough, holy enough and worthless?  Have you been told or made to believe that you are not important? Do you have a sense of being useless or unimportant? When we choose to believe those false messages we set ourselves up for a sense of condemnation.
When I speak of condemnation, I am not referring to a sense of guilt or conviction because of unconfessed sin. Holy Spirit conviction is a good thing; it drives us to repentance and restoration of broken fellowship with our Father. 
Condemnation is defined as “the act of giving disapproval; to judge yourself unfit for use or service.”  It is a by-product of our flesh and it never comes from God.
Condemnation is one of the devil’s most effective tactics. He capitalizes on our emotional weakness and insecurity, then using little effort, he pushes us toward condemnation.  Actually, we do most of the work for him – all he does is gives us a little nudge.
Condemnation is a by-product of the law of sin and death
The apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:1; “That there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”   When someone becomes a follower of Jesus he is no longer under the sentence of condemnation.  Matter of fact, in the next verse Paul even indicates that condemnation is a by-product of the law of sin and death.  In other words, there is never any room for condemnation in a believer’s life or vocabulary.  When the law of sin and death was conquered at the cross, it was replaced by “the law of life in Christ Jesus.”  To accept and even verbalize self-condemnation is to acknowledge that Jesus’ death and resurrection has no supernatural power, and leaves us without hope of victory.
The truth is, because of the resurrection, we have received a power that trumps the power of sin and death and all its by-products, such as condemnation.  Our identity is no longer tied to our performance. We are no longer a sum total of our failures but we are now an expression of the living, victorious Christ within.   His life is now our life. What defines us is Christ’s life within which is characterized as holy, righteous and victorious.  We are all these things regardless of how we perform or how we appear in other’s eyes.  That’s because our identity is not tied to our performance or emotions but to who we are in Christ.  It is important to remember;
“We are who we are by birth (spiritual birth in Christ), not by our performance.” 
That’s the reason we don’t live in the past. We can’t change or fix the past, we can only live in the now, one day at a time, trusting the living Christ within us for today. If you fixate on the past, you can never provide hope for the future. The past and all its baggage becomes your life. You are bound to repeat the past over and over again.
What’s the key to dealing with condemnation?  (1) Acknowledge that your thoughts of condemnation are sin.  Until you acknowledge that this pattern of thinking is sin, condemnation will dominate your life. Repentance of wrong thinking is just as important as repentance of wrong deeds. (2) Stop believing the lie.  Since condemnation never comes from God then its source is not trustworthy and is built on deception and lies. Condemnation is not the real you. (3) You must affirm the positive. That means practice the positive affirmation of your identity in Christ. Just as you rehearsed thoughts of condemnation, now rehearse thoughts of your identity in Christ. The power lies in verbally acknowledging the truth about who you are in Christ.  Because you act out what you think, you must practice setting your mind on truth. Why is that important? It’s because the truth is what sets you free! Setting your mind on God’s truth is a supernatural action that heals the mind of constant condemning thoughts.
You now have a choice
Picture it this way.  In the left hand you have condemnation and all its baggage.  In the right hand you have the truth of your identity. Which will you chose to believe? The left hand that promises nothing but misery and destruction, plus new negative emotions that will soon be piled on top of what is already there?  
Or will you choose the right hand which offers truth, victory and rest? This is a belief system and lifestyle that was designed and given by God himself as a gift to you.  By applying the truth of your identity you can now experience the release of “trying to measure up” to unreasonable expectations and constant thoughts of condemnation. 
God does not dwell in the land of condemnation.  He dwells in the land of rest for the weary. The more you entertain the condemnation cycle the more it will dominate your life.  Instead, enter the “rest cycle”.  There is a rest for the people of God and we enter that rest when we make a decision with our will to lay all our anxiety, all our condemnation, and all of our fear at the foot of the Cross.  Those things you bring to the cross are put to death. After you bring it to the cross then choose to believe what He says about you.  You see – it’s really about allowing the living Christ in you to be basis of your identity.(Colossians 2:10)
That reminds me of the lyrics from a song sung by Christian artist Larnelle Harris;
“It’s not in trying but in trusting
It’s not in running but in resting,
Not in wondering but in praying,
That we find the strength of the Lord.
Because of Christ,