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)

Three Areas of Struggle

“For in Him (Christ) all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority. “ (Colossians 2:8-9)

You have been made complete” what a wonderful concept, to know that in and through Christ’s indwelling we have been made complete. God supplies all we need to become what He intended for us to be. It’s all wrapped up in the person of Christ in us, living His life through us. By resting and trusting in the living Christ we have abundant joy and peace.

What a great design for living. God, in His wisdom, removes all the “performance based acceptance” obstacles in our path to Him, and replaces it with His very life living within us. We don’t have to strive to measure up to some religious standard, we just live in obedience to the Spirit of Christ within us.

Even though this is to be the normal Christian life, many of us are guilty of living in and out of this joy, rather than abiding in Him. There are many distractions along the way that hinder this trust in Christ. I want to address three particular areas of struggle that most often rob us of our joy and peace.


Webster’s dictionary defines rebellion as: “the action or process of resisting authority, control, or convention”.

The Scripture calls rebellion a sin because it is a deliberate refusal to do what you know is the will of God. It is a willful choice not to obey His authority. It is a choice to do what we want to do regardless of what we know God has said.

When the Holy Spirit prompts us to do something and we ignore His prompting, then that becomes rebellion. When we know the Scripture has clearly commanded us to do or be something and we willfully ignore it, then we are acting in rebellion.

King Saul acted in rebellion when he willfully disobeyed God by presenting a sacrifice on his own, rather than waiting on Samuel. When Samuel the prophet confronted him he told Saul that “behold to obey is better than sacrifice.” God’s obedience is always for our good and to help us live in the fullness of joy and peace.


A double-minded person is a fence sitter. They are like a politician who waits to see which way the political wind is blowing before he takes a stand. A double-minded person often wants to hear what God has to say, but wants to wait before he decides whether he will obey. James tells us that a double-minded person is “unstable in all of his ways.” (James 1:8).

As a committed follower of Christ our only option is to trust God completely. We are to completely give our life to Him without reservation, knowing that He will never leave us nor forsake us. We must trust Him for whatever comes our way now and in the future. We must live like Joshua of old who said to the unbelieving crowd of Israelites, “If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)


Pretense is an act of giving a false appearance or masquerading to be someone you are not. It is attempting to display qualities that you do not have. It is trying to be spiritual when indeed you are struggling with trying to measure up. It is being a hypocrite.

Jesus said, “These people draw near with their words and honor me with their lip service, but their hearts are far from me, and their reverence for Me consist of tradition learned by rote.” (Isaiah 29:13)

I think most believers who are pretentious do not intend on being that way, they are just attempting to measure up to a perceived standard for acceptance. To them, doing things for God is their way of attempting to please Him. Their thinking is if I do enough good works, then God will love me. Their concept of God is closely aligned with someone who felt they never measured up to their earthly father’s acceptance. So they carried over the “doing good things for dad so he will love me attitude.” They have yet to discover Christ as their very life.

Pretense is about attempting to mimic what God has already provided through Christ. Because of Christ in us, we no longer have to attempt to measure up, because we already measure up in Christ. Because of the resurrection we are one with Him and the Father (John 17). Our goal is not to try to measure up so we can get God’s favor, but our goal is to now rest. We are to rest in the promise that the Father accepts us because we are now in Christ.

Instead of doing so I can be, I now am being so that I can do. We don’t have to live a pretense but we can rest in the truth that Christ in me is enough. We now live to allow Christ to live His life through us, and as a result, we will do the will of the Father.

Bottom Line

Rebellion, double-mindedness and pretense will rob us of our spiritual birthright. God has provided all that we need in the person of Christ within us. Embrace the Cross by humbling yourself, and giving up on self-centeredness, and receive the gift of Christ’s life in you…as enough.

“Without him we can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

Overcoming Fear

“For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but a Spirit of power, love and good judgment. 2 Timothy 1:7”

Fear is a powerful emotion. It can cause us to make drastic decisions or cause us to shrink into indecision. It can cause us to lose sleep, lose reason, lose our appetite and lose our hope. Like any powerful emotion, fear can control us to the point of becoming something we do not want to become.

Are you gripped by fear of what will happen in the near future? Are you at a major crossroad in your life that causes you to doubt yourself and your ability to make good decisions? As fear begins to slowly encompass you, remember that this fear is not from God, it’s from the enemy. The enemy desires for you to abandon your hope and cease trusting God.

The reality of trusting God only comes into play when you are faced with overwhelming circumstances and fear. Then you have to choose and take control. Will you acknowledge that this fear is from the enemy and cast it aside and trust God? Or will you let the enemy get into your head and render you useless?

Paul told Timothy (paraphrased) “The fear that you are feeling right now is not from God, it is from the devil. Instead of believing the lies that fear produces, believe God. He has given you a spirit of power, love and a sound mind”. That means that Christ has given you the power to overcome the fear, the love of God to assure you that He is in control, and a sound mind to make good decisions, even in the midst of doubt.

The key to overcoming doubt and fear is to have more confidence in the Lord’s ability to lead you than you have in the devil’s ability to deceive you. Trust the inner peace and cast aside the doubt and fear.

Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20)

Stewardship of the Mind

During most of my Christian life nearly every sermon or lesson I heard on the subject of stewardship had to do with money. So to me, spiritual stewardship was about our relationship to money. It wasn’t till years later that I realized that our relationship to money was only a part of spiritual stewardship. Biblical stewardship relates to every area of our life.

Giving money, reading your Bible and regularly meeting with believers is just part of our spiritual stewardship. I have met numerous believers who were tithers and faithful church members but their lives were a mess. I think part of the reason is they neglected the necessity of being a good steward in all areas of their life.

One of the major areas of neglect is in the area of setting our mind. Our mind is a wonderful gift from God. Our mind has the ability to create, reason, compute and to dream great things. When we become a follower of Christ our life changes and we have a brand new nature (2 Cor. 5:17), but our mind needs to be developed to think consistent with our new nature. Theologically, that’s called the act of sanctification. It is up to us to be a good steward of our mind and learn to think with the mind of Christ ( 1 Cor. 2;16). If we don’t intentionally set our mind upon truth, then our mind will naturally go the way of the flesh and the culture. The Scripture admonishes us to set our mind on things above in Colossians 3.

In this devotional I want to address four hindrances to good stewardship of our mind.

Worry – Worry begins with little things, things that seem insignificant. But if those little worries are left unchecked a pattern of worry will develop, and soon worry becomes a way of life. As a follower of Jesus, there are many reasons for us to avoid falling into the worry trap. First of all, if God takes care of the flowers and the birds, He will take care of us. (Matthew 6:25-34) Also, the Scripture tells us to be “anxious for nothing” in Philippians 4. Worry is our acknowledgement that we don’t believe what God says applies to us. We must learn to bring everything to God in prayer and trust Him to give us wisdom and strength to face every issue of life. Bottom line, you can choose to worry or you can choose to trust God.

Indifference – This is a slippery slope and a very serious place to be as a committed follower of Christ. Indifference is tied to the principle of fence sitting. For some it is a safe place to be, but the decision to be indifferent is really based on fear. The Bible speaks about indifference in the book of Revelation when it refers to the church of Laodicea. Jesus said, “Because you are neither cold nor hot I will spit you out of my mouth. “ (Rev. 3) The Scripture teaches anything less than radical trust in God is lukewarm. When we are indifferent in our commitment to Christ it affects every other area of our life. We become indifferent about our relationships, about opportunity, our job, and about hard decisions we need to make. Indifference is a choice of the mind. If you are a fence sitter, get off the fence and get back in the game.

Indecision – Motivational speaker Jim Rohne said, “Indecision is the thief of opportunity.” I can’t tell you how many times that indecision has caused me to miss an opportunity to share my faith or give comfort and care to someone who needed an encouraging word. It has also cost me to miss out on a business opportunity or two. Indecision sometimes causes us to over-think a situation and causes us to not trust the voice of God. Is your indecision based on fear or a lack of wisdom?

Doubt – Doubt is tied to indecision and fear. We ought to be cautious and careful to weight our decisions with logic, but you can’t let doubt take over your life. Once doubt sets in you doubt the past, the present, and then the future. This is where setting your mind on truth is essential. When you surrender your rights and expectations to the Lord and begin to rest in Christ’s love, your legitimate doubts will become a red flag and your unfounded doubts will flee. The Scripture says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding and He will direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5)

Proper stewardship of the mind begins by giving our worry to God, trading in our indifference for positive faith, then casting our indecision and doubt aside by putting our trust in God.

Dealing with Fear

As I look back on my counseling career one of the most prevalent problems I discovered among believers is the issue of FEAR. I do understand that most everyone has some sort of fear. The level of fear ranges from simple fear, like loud noises, to severe phobias like the fear of being touched.

Sociologist tells us that every person is born with two fears, the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Every other fear is man-made. How each person develops the different types of fear has been debated for years. I think it is a combination of how you were raised, and your worldview, as well as your primary influences such as friends, culture, and your life experiences.

Regardless of how we developed our various fears the bigger issue is how we handle our fears. Fear left unchecked will control us and will be a major factor in our day to day inner peace and our general sense of well-being. If you don’t learn to contain and control your fear your life will be characterized by fear. Fear could become a way of life.

There is not enough space in this short article to go very deep on the subject of how to deal with fear, but maybe the following observation will help.

Fear is based on the future and is generally characterized by “what might be”, rather than what is true at this moment. God’s intention for us is to live fully in the present but not in the past nor the future. When we live in the past we have a tendency to be an angry person. An angry person is usually an argumentative soul. Normal for them is to stir up disharmony and create a stressful situation.

When we live in the future we become fearful. We tend to worry about “what might be” rather than what we are experiencing in the present. When you are fearful and live in the future it causes you to “hoard or run.” You have a tendency to hoard because you fear what you might not have in the future. You run because you think if you can change the location the fear will go away.

The opposite of fear is trust and rest. Hebrews tells us that “there is a rest for the people of God…let us make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fail by following their example of disobedience.” (Hebrews 4:9-11) Through Christ’s redemptive work on the cross we are given a unique opportunity to draw on God’s provision of supernatural rest. That means we now have a choice, we can worry or rest. There are not psycho-mind games to play when dealing with worry, we just learn to rest in Christ’s provision. Christ is enough.

As a committed follower of Jesus, living in fear is the ultimate insult to God’s character. I know that sounds a bit harsh but God’s provision of “Christ in us” gives us the ultimate power and ability to live victorious over fear’s domination. Fear is opposite of trust. When we choose to fear rather than trust, we are in danger of offending God’s character.

If God is all powerful, and He is, and He is all knowing, and He is, and He is everywhere, and He is, then why live in a world of “what if”? If you are living in fear then you are enslaved. It doesn’t matter what you are afraid of, or even if you don’t know what you are afraid of, the enemy is using fear to enslave and control.

When we received Christ we became someone that we have never been before. We received a new nature, became the “tabernacle” of God, and were given the ability to dominate every fear that comes our way. In Christ we are both positionally and literally fearless. (Romans 8)

So the next time you are tempted to give in to fear remember the following steps:

1. Acknowledge to God that you are indeed fearful. You realize that fear is a lack of trust in God’s ability to control your future.
2. Declare with an act of your will that this fear is inconsistent with who you are in Christ. Then cast your fear upon Christ. (1 Peter 5:7)
3. By faith, walk in your identity in Christ and take God’s peace, rest and provision.

Now here is the question you must ponder. Will you “put on Christ” and draw on the rest that is yours and be fearless, or will you choose to be controlled by fear? The choice is yours.

“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him…for in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.” (Colossians 2)

“If we are to better the future we must disturb the present.”
-Catherine Booth

The Pivotal Moment

For three years the Disciple’s lives had been consumed with ministry. Not so much a physical ministry of hands one ministry, but one of learning. They had been in a spiritual laboratory, sitting at Jesus’ feet watching, listening and sensing the love of God in its purity, power and holiness. Then as they daily walked with Jesus they observed Him in action, loving the unlovely and drawing people to God. Jesus was an example of a man perfectly submitted to the will of God and filled with the Holy Spirit.

If there was ever a job you couldn’t wait to get up to every morning, walking with Jesus everyday was such a job. Watching Jesus heal the deaf, raise the dead, make the cripple walk and love the socially cast-out sinner had to be the greatest job ever.

Initially the disciples believed that Jesus was going to physically restore His kingdom on earth now. They thought they were going to be delivered from the dominion of the Roman government. Apparently the masses also believed that. When Jesus taught about being the bread of life the Scripture says, “…many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore.” Jesus then asked His twelve disciples, “do you not want to go away also?” (John 6)

Yet another pivotal moment was about to occur in the life of the disciples. The more they walked with Jesus the more they began to realize that Jesus didn’t come to earth to destroy the Roman government. He came to set the spiritually captive free and give eternal life to all who believed.

This next pivotal moment began to unfold when Jesus started praying what the Lord’s Prayer in John 17. Picture this moment in your mind as Jesus started to pray. This was the time when Jesus and His band of disciples were at the height of their popularity, great miracles were occurring, the masses were following them, and then Jesus begins to pray.

“…the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify thee…I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work which you have given me to do. Now glorify me together with yourself, Father, with the glory which I had with you before the world was…and I am no more in this world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in your name…but now I come to you; (John 17)

I don’t believe the eyes of the disciples were reverently closed at this moment, agreeing with the Jesus in His prayer, saying “amen, so be it Lord”. I think they were wide-eyed, looking at each other, shrugging their shoulders, wondering what this prayer meant.

Yet, looking back at this event after the resurrection they realized that this was a major pivotal moment in their life. This pivotal moment would become the very foundation doctrinal teaching of God’s grace.They also remembered the rest of this prayer recorded in John 17;

“20″I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. “

The extraordinary truth that Jesus revealed to them is a new concept of relationship prophesied by the prophet Jeremiah several centuries earlier. This was a promise that God would personally indwell them and would be always with them, and in them. This good news is this promise is not just for the Apostles but also for us today.(Jeremiah 31:31-33)

20″I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;

God’s desire for us is that we live out of and enjoy our union with Christ. Because we are placed in Christ, and Christ is placed in us at salvation, we came into a divine union relationship with God.

What’s my point? For every pivotal point in our life, God is there with a revelation of Himself. If you undergoing a season of doubt, fear, suffering, or testing, remember that this is a pivotal point where more than likely, God is giving you a new revelation of his goodness and his glory.

Living Life Looking Backward


Nearly everyone knows someone who is filled with resentment, discouragement, and frustration.  Many of these folks seem to be angry at the world.  Where is this behavior coming from?  It comes from living in the past or as I like to say, “Living life looking backward.”

Living backward is a sure sign that something in the past is controlling the present.  We all have past hurts that we vividly remember.  They are like scars that remind us of previous wounds that we would like to erase from our memories.  The issue here is not do we have scars?  The issue is do we let the scars of the past control our future?

When I teach on the subject of biblical forgiveness I usually have someone approach me afterwards and say to me that they had been taught that true forgiveness is completely forgetting about the past event.  I would respond,“that this is impossible.”  I then tell them the story about me jumping on the bed when I was a kid and landing on a pair of scissors that went up my leg.  The event was frightening, the pain was real and the doctor didn’t use anesthetic when he sewed me up.

Do you think that I can forget that incident, not on your life?  Fifty plus years later I still have the scar to prove it. But the key point is I don’t let this past event control my life. I don’t dwell on the pain and the fright that the doctor caused me, but every once and a while I will see the scar and I will be reminded of that day. My scar reminds me of the painful event.

In a similar manner, when we allow our hurtful past to control our present, we begin to live backwards.  We are allowing the past to set our attitude and agenda for our life.  True forgiveness is not totally forgetting the past but it is simply letting go of the past and not letting it control our present.

I remember a series of counseling sessions with a man who had a very hurtful and nasty divorce. The betrayal and hurt was overwhelming.  I asked him, “Have you really forgiven your ex-wife?”  He said, “Yes I have.” Then I said, “Then why do you bring her up with anger nearly every conversation we have?”  I knew he hadn’t forgiven, not only because he couldn’t stop bashing her, but because he had become an angry man.

Left unattended, the root of unforgiveness go deep and causes us to live in both the past and the future.  We live in the past because we are angry and we just can’t get past the anger.  The anger touches all of our relationships.  When the roots of anger spread out it also causes us to live in the future. When we live in the future we become fearful.  Living in the past causes anger and living in the future causes fear.  So the person filled with anger lives in the past and the future, vacillating between anger and fear.  Real peace is only found in living in the present, trusting God for today and living in the now.  We are only at peace when we leave the past in forgiveness and put the future in God hands.

You do have a choice.  You can choose to hold onto the past and live looking backward or you can chose with an act of your will to forgive. You may be saying, “I just can’t let go.”  That’s correct. You can’t forgive on your own. Forgiveness is a supernatural act.  Forgiveness becomes a supernatural act when you surrender your helplessness and inability to God. Your part is to repent and with an act of your will, by faith, forgive. Then allow the Holy Spirit to do His supernatural work in you to complete the transaction.  God will never ask you to do anything that He will not enable you to do.  Will you take that step of faith and stop living life looking backward?