In my book, Wounded and on the Run I talk about the posture of a bull elk when he’s polishing his antlers and how his whole focus is to shine up his antlers to impress.1 Our posture is important to God because He knows we tend to fall into the trap the hunter, Satan sets for us. And as the hunter willingly waits for us to take the bait so we get caught up in an external posture of trying harder which leads to people-pleasing that moves toward a performance-based predicament which keeps us focused on ourselves we miss the process of the renewing of our minds.
It all comes down to the starting point of checking our internal posture first. Good posture starts with working on our internal posture and understanding what’s going on with our minds. As Pastor Bill Johnson points out, “If the mind wasn’t important it wouldn’t be worth renewing” and this is why we need to become inwardly transformed so it changes how we think.
Paul talks about the transforming power of the gospel and how our internal posture needs checking in Romans 12:1-2. ‘I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship. Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.’ [TPT]
Sounds like Paul was sharing some practical tips on the internal posture of thinking rightly. In another translation of the same scripture, it says, ‘Do not allow the world to mold you in its own image. Instead, be transformed from the inside out by renewing your mind.’ [TVT] For our minds to go from the ideals and opinions of the culture that surrounds us we need the Holy Spirit to do all the renewing. Nothing in our own strength or striving is going to have any lasting effect unless we surrender and yield to thinking differently.
So, how do we realign and reassess our internal posture? Well, here are a couple of things to consider…
King David shows an example of appropriate internal posture when we are approaching God. In Psalm 5:7 says, ‘But I, by your great mercy, will come into your house; in reverence will I bow down toward your holy temple.’ David knew that humility, devotion, and worship were a way of showing God that we have an awareness of who He is and who we are in our relationship with Him. When we come to Him with this internal posture every speck of our ego and pride gets swept up by His greatness because our worship is never based on whether we feel like doing it or not, it’s based on surrendering and cultivating our faith that relies completely on Him rather than from our striving.
Bill Johnson says, “A yielded imagination becomes the sanctified imagination. A sanctified imagination is positioned for visions and dreams. It’s the sanctified imagination that becomes postured to hear and see from God.” As a writer, I have to continually check my internal posture. Unless I keep yielding my mind to what God wants to say through my words they’ll never have the transforming power backing them up to help change the way people think.
The discipline of writing has forced my internal posture to keep returning to the ‘why’ I wanted to write in the first place, else all those hours and hours and hours and hours and…well, you get the idea, are pointless, and believe me, we writers can think of far more exciting and enticing and fun things to do with our time than sit staring blankly at a blinking cursor on a computer screen all day long, hoping the mystical forces of nature will grant us access to the enchanted forest where we will discover a magical potion that transcends us into a magnificently creative author.
I’m sorry, my sanctified imagination got the better of me just then. But the point is, and I do have one, is that my internal posture has to be checked regularly as I’ve taken the long, slow process of training my mind over the years to keep doing what God has called me to do.
I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not a writer and what does writing have to do with internal posture? Well, regardless of what job you do or where you’re at in life, we all have faith that relies on God’s help to not fall into the trap of trying harder which leads to people-pleasing that moves toward a performance-based predicament. And it all comes down to the starting point of checking our internal posture first. [Sorry if you feel like you’ve read that part before, you have, and it bears repeating]
Our internal posture needs to be having regular check-ups with God on a regular basis as it’s an ongoing process that will keep renewing our mind one day at a time because in the words of Bill Johnson, “The renewed mind is the target of the Lord in every single day of your life.”
Where have you fallen into the trap of trying harder which leads to people-pleasing that moves toward a performance-based predicament?
Perhaps pray this prayer,
Jesus, please highlight the areas in my life where I have fallen into the try-hard, people-pleasing, performance-based trap the enemy has laid out for me. Help me to check my internal posture regularly and help me to stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around me but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how I think and let me come before you each day because You are worthy to be worshipped.
1 Excerpt taken from ‘Wounded And On The Run: How the worst pain can lead you into your greatest calling’ by Wendy Parker. Published by Daughter Of Love & Light (DOLL) Ministries. Adelaide, South Australia, 2022