Over Thanksgiving weekend my family was able to go to a Homestead Heritage Fair that occurs in Central Texas every year over that weekend. The fair is put on by a group of people who desire to get back to the basics of life and be able to live off of the land. Their hearts are set on following God and putting down all the distracting things in this life, going back to a more simple, but fulfilling lifestyle.
The families that put this on display many of the crafts that they have done. Many of these items are also available for purchasing. Most of these crafts are built by children, from the age of 7, up through high school. Some of these displays are woodworking, metal working, quilting, various types of sewing, paintings, books, food, and much more.
Along with having many different crafts for sale, they also have many different sessions teaching or talking about various subjects. Some of these are harnessing a horse, cotton preparation and spinning, cheese making, sustainable gardens, rope making, horse training, raising goats or chickens, food preservation, and many more.
My wife and I focused on various sessions on gardening and raising chickens. On Friday we had brought most of our children, who enjoyed making some crafts and going through a petting zoo. They also enjoyed seeing many different farm animals up close.
One of the sessions I went to was called, “Small Homestead Energy Alternatives.” It was a session talking about various energy alternatives that people can do to save money on their energy bill.
The first thing the speaker talked about was for a person to take a serious look at how energy is used in the home. Then to take note of where energy is wasted in the home. When a person really looks at all the things that use energy in a home, it is quite amazing at how much uses energy. One thing for a person to do is turn off the lights and then look around the room for any other lights that light up in the dark. Each of those little lights are energy users, and usually wasting energy. One can also look for any leaks of air in doorways, windows and connections in the wall.
He stated that once you have an inventory of how energy is used, then you must work to change that pattern and use less energy. The number one thing to do is turn things completely off, rather than leave them in a stand-by mode. While in stand-by mode there is energy still being used that is actually being wasted, because it is not usefully being used.
This is probably one of the most difficult things for a person to do, because it requires a change of the mindset, a change in how a person does things or thinks about things.
Once a person changes his mind about energy usage, then the rest of the alternatives of providing energy for a house may be applied.
As helpful as this was for the house, God revealed to me that this can also be applied to the spiritual life also.
Paul tells us that we are to change the attitudes of our minds. We are to be a new person in Christ Jesus. This is a change of the mindset. Before knowing Jesus, you are a person who followed the ways of this world, rather than the ways of God. The desires of your mind were corrupted by deceitful desires, things that were not good and were selfish.
As a believer in Jesus, you must set your mind and heart on things above, things that concern God. As long as you focus on the things of this earth, you will struggle to be more like Jesus and to please God more. Focusing on God will help you to see that what He desires for you is better than anything you can choose or this world will ever offer.
Jesus said that if you really love Him, you will obey Him. You will want to do what He commands because you really do love Him.
All of these things come from a change of the mind. It is not natural for man to follow God. It is not natural for a person to love his enemy. It is not natural for a man to sacrifice himself for someone who does not love him. It is not natural to deny oneself for a physically unseen future. It is not natural to follow someone that cannot be physically seen.
Many Christians struggle with various sins in their life. They cannot seem to ever get a handle on rejecting that sin. With a change of the mind, it can bring about the needed victory over the sin. The mind has to learn to focus on what God wants and desires. The change of mindset changes from things of this earth to the things of God. At that point, the power of sin is no longer there. There is no more pull towards sin, because the pull of God is much greater and better.
Just as with changing the mindset in how you use energy in your home, you must also change your mind in how you follow God and reject the things of this world. Both ways go against the norm of most people, yet, both can be very beneficial to the person.
How is your mind today? What is your mind focused on today?