“For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work, and the way I think is beyond the way you think.” Isaiah 55:9
The term “attitude” comes from older French, Latin, and Italian words, similar in sound, used to speak of tendencies or aptness of disposition. In the 1700’s the word is used technically to describe the posture and appearance of a figure in art based upon what the artist is attempting to communicate of their disposition or state of mind. Generally speaking, the word came to mean the appearance of the physical body in respond to the state of mind or mental state of a person.
Let psychological discussions attributed a person’s behavior to that person’s mental tendencies, a settled opinion or judgment reflecting in their physical posture. Slang uses include a contrived facial and physical expression that is designed to communicate a state of mind, especially in the 1960’s and beyond. Today, we see an attitude expressed rather distinctly as a means of communication in clothing, facial expression, posture, style of talk and walk, that shows attitude in more complex ways.
For example, a young person wearing all black, pants on the ground, a bow tie with penny loafers, or body piercing, is certainly expressing an inner disposition or tendency of thinking. The tattoo has become a very popular means of openly advertising hidden, personal attitudes; making a decision to leave a visible picture or mark on your body communicates something of what impression you wish to make upon people.
The term in slang also speaks of a person with a predominant negative attitude: “He has an attitude.” This usually means a bad attitude.
Habits are behaviors repeated and learned, followed repeatedly and regularly so as to happen without conscious thought or conscious mental processing. Habits are accepted and tolerated, good and bad; habits are not easily altered once set or established, especially ones that have a spiritual component attached to them.
In the same way, attitudes are not easily altered, especially those with a spiritual component attached to them. Powerful, spiritual experiences can alter our attitudes significantly: the rich man’s attitude toward the beggar Lazarus certainly changed when he looked across the great gulf from torment of Hades and saw Lazarus in comfort of Paradise!
Attitude is a habit of accepted thinking and serves as the basis for judgment. A person’s habitual response to authority or leadership, to work or play, to other people or places, can be understood as a habit of thinking, a mental response or reaction, often based upon unconscious conditioning, a way of thinking that isn’t based upon conscious processing but upon previous judgments and decisions of past experience.
Some people simply respond to me as a leader because I am a leader, no matter how much they honor me as a man of God. They have a subconscious response not based upon experience with me, understanding of me or my words or heart, or a conscious analysis of who I am and what I say. Their response is recognizably based upon something going on in their mind more than something going on between us. That is an attitude.
God habitually thinks about or toward a person, place, or situation based upon perfect knowledge and understanding of His priorities and previous decisions. God doesn’t think about things the same way we do, and His attitudes are not our attitudes. We can see the contrasting attitudes of God and Samuel when God rejects Saul as King of Israel.
God says, “When are going to stop grieving over Saul?” God had already processed His change of attitude toward Saul: “The Lord repented or comforted Himself for having chosen Saul to be king of Israel.” God had a change of attitude about Saul when He saw that Saul had the wrong attitude about his assignment. God had given Saul a new heart to experience God’s passion and develop God’s attitude about the kingdom, but Saul pushed the wrong buttons – the button of “fear of man,” and the button of “rebellion.”
God tells Samuel to get God’s attitude about Saul. Then, Samuel goes to anoint David and reveals another attitude inconsistent with God’s attitude. He looks at the outside instead of the inside, and God rebukes his mental process. “Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks upon the heart.” God is telling Samuel to get God’s attitude about the situation and the people involved. As soon as Samuel sees David, a revelation of God’s attitude toward Jesse’s sons and David’s destiny was revealed. Samuel learned a great lesson about the revelation of God’s attitudes.
“My ways are above your ways, My thoughts above your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:9
God wants to share His attitudes with us so we can function according to His habits of thought. We have the mind of Christ so that we can function with God’s attitudes. This process is at work every day we live in the True Vine, and we learn more and more about God’s attitude by being surrendered to His revelations of God’s attitude. We are constantly making attitude adjustments that change our attitudes to be more like God’s attitudes.
Getting God’s Attitude
Attitude is a posture; therefore you need to align with God.
One meaning of the term “attitude” comes from outward posture or the complex response of the body to the soul and spirit. The look on someone’s face is often readable. The “body language” of a person may be a reflection of their attitude. The tapping foot or fingers. The frowning brow or pouting lip. The tense or relaxed shoulders. The crossed arms or hands on the knees. The overly still features of the face that are set in an attempt to hide inner feelings. The subtle way a person reveals what they are feeling. The “tell” of a person’s mental processing that is readable.
The mind is complex, and the brain serves that complexity. The billions of inputted impressions, images, and information that flows through the brain so the mind can reach decisions and process the information flow of life shape the soul. The decision made and conclusions reached become part of the mind set. Paul says that we should not allow the world around us to shape the soul, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind. Paul says, “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” The Bible sees attitude as a spiritual condition.
The Bible is the graphe or written Word. The revelations of that written Word or from Holy Spirit directly though our spirits are rhema or revealed Word. The mindset of God is called logos. Jesus is the Logos. The Bible reveals the logos. Holy Spirit searches the logos of God to communicate and convince us of God’s attitudes through revelations. Father disciplines us to stop unwanted behaviors, often based upon inadequate or faulty habits of thinking or attitudes, so He can produce new attitudes as a basis for transformed, renewed mind expressed in proper behavior called “righteousness.”
Attitude as posture means that we our outer man is changed by transformation of our inner man. We can express God’s posture by gaining a revelation of His attitude, choosing to make His attitude our own, and responding to life from God’s mindset. This is a process of training, discipline, and painful corrections that stops unwanted behaviors and establishes habits of righteousness.
Attitude is a position; therefore you need to stand where God stands.
God has way of involving Himself in things. He positions Himself so that He is involved independent of the situation. God is never the victim of circumstances as we sometimes are because He positions Himself properly. God is never in an awkward position, out of position, or late getting into position. His position is always the proper position from which to see and experience what’s really going on.
Often, we are out of position and our perspective is altered by our point of view. From that poor position, we get a poor perspective and develop an improper attitude. God never stand in the way with sinners nor sits in the seat of the scornful as Psalm 1 describes. If you are a victim, you are in the wrong position. If you are a quitter, you are in the wrong position. If you are a survivor, you are in the wrong position. Sitting in the seat of the scornful positions you to see things from the wrong perspective and develop the wrong conclusions. Wrong conclusions or judgments produce the wrong attitude, or attitudes inconsistent with God’s attitudes.
Paul tells us that we are seated together with Jesus in the heavenlies. Obviously that doesn’t mean physically because we are physically situated in this present world. This speaks of a spiritual positioning from which we can get a heavenly perspective. Both are vital adjustments to getting God’s attitude.
Attitude is a perspective; therefore you need to see what God sees.
When you are in the right position, you can gain the proper perspective. You can see things from God’s point of view. Even then you need revelation to understand what God understands about the situation, but you are limited in gaining God’s attitude when you are out of position because you are missing God’s perspective.
Ephesians 5:16-17 says, “Walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise. Redeeming the time because the days are evil.” Paul describes a lifestyle based upon a perspective of wisdom that makes the most of the time given to us. Once we are positioned with Christ, we have His perspective. We can see as God sees so we can respond from God’s point of view, with God’s attitude.
Attitude is a persuasion; therefore you need to be convinced of God’s decision.
Attitude is changed through repentance, and transformation begins inside with a changed mind. Gaining God’s position and perspective, we develop a persuasion of God’s attitude that proves to us what God wants.
Sometimes we have great passion to please God but lack the inner strength and vision of how to make that happen. We feel the terror of missing it. We experience the emptiness of exchanging what-God-wants for the reality of what we can actually live. We create a justification for this level of living from the world around that persuades us that this is the best we can do – live with it! Now, that is an attitude!
We may develop a persuasion for the enemy or the world or ourselves that justifies our rotten attitude; but when we have God’s position and perspective, we see both God and ourselves from His point of view as a source of persuasion. Jesus says, “When Holy Spirit arrives, He will convince the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.” This is not condemnation but corrective persuasion. In this way, you gain a can-do attitude! You are convinced by God. You then have God’s attitude!
Jesus says, “The light of the body is the eye; when the eye is single, the whole body is filled with light. When the eye is evil, the whole body is filled with darkness. If the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” [Matthew 6:22-23] When we do not have God’s perspective, we are filled with darkness, a great darkness! That is, what we focus upon becomes a source of attitude and a habit of thinking. What we listen to becomes a source of attitude and a habit of thinking.
The devil and the world will persuade you much differently than God. You become a victim of the voices of people whose position and perspective is far from God’s, and they will persuade you into an attitude just as foreign to God’s attitude.
Attitude is a preparation; therefore you need to know what God is doing next.
From persuasion comes preparation. You cannot be properly prepared when you function from a bad attitude. One of the fruit of a prophetic nature and life is a vision of what God is doing next, and a persuasion forms within you of that expectation. You are motivated now by what God is doing next.
The persuasion of this world, people, and the devil will have you persuaded upon the basis of your past. They will say, “What is determines what is next.”
God will persuade you to prepare for you future. He will say, “What is coming next will determine what you do right now.” Hell will give you ten reasons to stay the same; God will give you ten reasons to change.
All the beefing up of the muscles and physical body for a race is but part of the preparation for winning. The attitude by which we proceed can make the best of that natural ability or empty it of its greatest power. Great weapons do not make brave soldiers; they empower brave soldiers with the equipment to better face their enemy.