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The people of Israel wandered around in the desert for 40 years, making what should have only been an 11-day journey. Why? Was it because of their enemies, their circumstances, or the trials along the way? Or was it something entirely different that prevented them from arriving at their destination?
As I pondered this situation, God gave me a powerful revelation that helped me, personally, and thousands of others. The Lord revealed to me that the Israelites spent all that time in the desert because they had "wilderness mentalities."
We really shouldn't look at the Israelites with such astonishment, because most of us do the exact same thing. We go around and around the same mountain instead of making progress. It takes us years to experience victory over something that could, and should, have been dealt with quickly and put behind us. God showed me that wilderness mentalities are wrong mindsets.
We can have right mindsets that will benefit us or wrong mindsets that will hurt us and hinder our progress. Colossians 3:2 teaches us to set our minds and keep them set. We need our minds set in the right direction. Wrong mindsets not only affect our circumstances, but they also affect our inner life.
There was a time when my circumstances weren't bad, but I couldn't enjoy anything in my life because my mind was "in the desert." Dave and I had a nice home, four lovely children, good jobs, and enough money to live comfortably. However, I couldn't enjoy our blessings because I had several wilderness mentalities that had me trapped.
Some people see things negatively because they've experienced unhappy circumstances all their lives and can't imagine anything getting any better. Then there are those who see everything as bad and negative simply because that's the way they feel on the inside. Whatever the cause, a negative outlook leaves a person miserable and unable to make any progress toward the "promised land."
God called the children of Israel out of Egypt (bondage) and into the land He promised to give them as a perpetual inheritance—land that flowed with milk and honey and every good thing they could imagine. It was a land where there'd be no shortage of anything they needed—land of prosperity in every realm of their existence. Most of the generation that the Lord called out of Egypt never entered the Promised Land; instead, they died in the desert. To me, this is one of the saddest things that can happen to someone—to have so much available but not be able to enjoy it.
I was one of those people for many years of my life. I was on my way to the Promised Land (heaven), but I wasn't enjoying the trip. My mind was in the desert, and I was dying in the wilderness. My wilderness mentalities, or wrong ways of thinking, were keeping me from dealing with those areas of life that God wanted to touch and redeem. I was stuck...going around and around the same mountain; but thank God for His mercy. He helped me identify and change those wrong mindsets. Today, my mind is renewed. I have a new way of thinking, and I've been rescued from the desert.
What God did for me, He can certainly do for you. Ask Him to show you your wilderness mentalities and help you make the necessary changes. He can deliver your mind from the desert and help you enjoy the journey to the promised land!
This article is taken from Joyce's audio teaching, Where the Mind Goes, the Man Follows.