It’s August 2020! A time to RENEW as the end of this year rapidly approaches.
Sometime during the latter part of July, and for no apparent reason, I started thinking about the month of August. August is the eighth [8th] month of the year so we’ve only got four  more months till the end of the year! Can you believe it?
I’ve always been fascinated with numbers and their significant meaning. Of the multitude of ways God communicates with us, I strongly believe He uses numbers most significantly with me. You can see the use and pattern of numbers consistently throughout the bible. When carefully considered, you’ll notice repetitive meaning as it correlates to the events and it’s respective number itself.
A few numbers and their biblical meanings:
The number 5 often symbolizes God’s grace, goodness and favor toward humans and is mentioned over 30 times in Scripture. Five is the number of grace. When multiplied by itself, which is 25, it means “grace upon grace.”
In the Bible, the number 6 often symbolizes man and human weakness, the evils of Satan and the manifestation of sin. Man was created on the sixth day. Men are appointed 6 days to labor.
The number 8 in the Bible often represents a new beginning, meaning a new order or creation, and man’s true ‘born again’ event when he is resurrected from the dead into eternal life. The use of the number 8 in the bible typically symbolizes new life.
The number 10 is often viewed as a complete and perfect number, as is 3, 7 and 12. It is made up of 4, the number of the physical creation, and 6, the number of man. As such, it signifies testimony, law, responsibility and the completeness of order.
“Isn’t that fascinating?”
These are really just a few, but I wanted to briefly highlight how God uses numbers in supernatural ways. I do encourage you to do your own research theologically, scientifically and with some good ‘ole common sense knowledge. While I do have a mature knowledge about this, I wish I could say I’m an expert in this area but I’m not. It’s truly fascinating to not only see it, but to also understand one of the many spiritual wonders of God.
However, this post isn’t about numbers quite honestly. I just wanted to give you an insiders view how this post became what it is through the workings of my mind. I just know you’ll love it!
Reset, Refresh and Renew
… and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind
– Ephesians 4:23
Take a look at all the crazy events happening in this world today. Everyday there’s a breaking news story to report. Not only is it crazy, it’s chaotic, dysfunctional, toxic… find any similar adjective and insert it there. While this is happening globally, many of us deal with even more similar circumstances directly impacting our lives everyday.
Depression, financial issues, marriage, toxic relationships, drug addictions, internal affliction, secrets, unforgiveness, hatred; the list goes on and on. We all got stuff to deal with! What are your coping mechanisms? How do you manage your sanity? Are there times you feel your faith is being tested? I sure have my hands raised!
“Life doesn’t always happen the way you plan it but the way you walk sets out the expectation.”
As believers, we know there is purpose for us. We know that living righteously isn’t easy and with every test passed, a new level of trial awaits us. The Word of God talks about this clearly. What are you’re expectations as a child of God? There are moments you find yourself evaluating your purpose. Hitting you like a ton of bricks, perhaps you start realizing that your’re not quite there yet.
“Well, Hello there August!”
Now admittedly, I’ve had moments where negative thoughts creep in my mind. I’m talking about so negative that I begin to question the journey I’m on. Revisiting the number 8 for a moment, August is the 8th month of the year and “8” signifies a new beginning.
Reflecting on all this, I was lead to a particular scripture found in Ephesians. From the connection of numbers to the significance of new beginnings, little did I know that the Holy Spirit was leading me to find something great to encourage me. To reset, refresh and rene It was right there!
Are you a believer? Here’s some encouragement or perhaps a reminder I want to share with you today.
Take a look with me in Ephesians 4 and discover at least 3 principals the apostle Paul teaches to help us in our Christian walk. Let’s reset, refresh, and renew this August!
1. Reset Your Purpose
So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.
– Ephesian 4:17-18
To understand this principle, you first need to understand who you are indeed. The temporary hats we put on daily doesn’t ultimately define you. A wife or husband. A mother or father. An employer or employee. A doctor or lawyer. None of those titles are permanent.
No one complains when everything seems to be going well, right? What you experience and endure while wearing your “hat” could very well bring challenges. Your purpose and identity in Christ is not defined by the circumstances of our day. YOU, dear friend, are a child of God.
“You may not know the master plan, but always make room to know the Master.”
Your purpose revealed to you opens your mind to further understand that your walk influences the outlook. God begins to reveal things to you to broaden that understanding. You no longer rush through decision making. You no longer speak carelessly. Your purpose has been set!
Whatever the setting or circumstance, keep your purpose in the forefront of your mind. It is impossible to fulfill your God-given purpose unless you know God and give him first place in your life.
“Purpose in life starts with whom we know, not what we know or how good we are.”
Anyone who has a pulse and is sincerely making effort to live righteously can admit that it isn’t easy when we face tough times. But I think it’s because we somehow forget God’s promise to never leave us alone. He is there to help us through difficulties, to comfort us, and to lead us.
God does this by giving us a purpose and giving us provisions as we travel. He provides us with relationships of family, friends, and mentors. God gives us wisdom to make decisions and faith to trust him. Don’t despair; stay on God’s path.
2. Refresh Yourself
… that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit
– Ephesians 4:22
Unexpectedly, as I was driving on a highway a couple of years ago, I felt the holy spirit comfort me and begin to drop flashbacks of my life where God showed me favor. Reflecting on those times opened my heart to the very fact that I would not have been here today if it wasn’t for the Lord.
I’ve been walking with the Lord since 1993 when I invited Jesus in my heart at the age of 12. You can read more about my story here but my life has sure been adventurous. I always knew God’s purpose for me was special and BIG!
Like you, the moment I said YES to Jesus, I became enemy number one to the adversary. I no longer thought the way I thought, spoke the way I spoke, and my name meant so much more than what I allowed to be perceived.
“The enemy may not know your heart the way God does, but he’s invested his time to study your ways.”
Don’t flip that person off! Do not go back to that addiction! Don’t fall back on your ways! Listen, just don’t take the bait!
You might’ve once walked in a certain manner that did not please God, that did not reflect your true desires and perhaps threatened your life. Understand that God is ruler over light and darkness, over prosperity and disaster. Our lives are sprinkled with both types of experiences, and both are needed for us to grow spiritually.
When good times come, thank God and use your prosperity for him. When bad times come, don’t resent them, but ask what you can learn from this refining experience to make you a better servant of God. That person you once were, keeping you disconnected to the Father, is long gone! You are no longer who you were before.
No matter the circumstances presented in your season, stand firm in that NOTHING can shake your faith in He that is the Great I AM.
If you’ve recently accepted Christ, don’t stop there. Continue to grow in the spirit that lead you in the first place, connect with others who see your thirst for God’s will in your life and pray without ceasing. Your boldness to declare your love for God may very well save another soul.
3. Renew Your Mind
… and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth
– Ephesians 4:23-24
So you know your purpose… you know who you are… how can you remain sane in this chaotic world? Stay in the spirit! Continue seeking! Pray! We face new hurdles everyday presenting us with issues that steal our joy, our focus and our peace.
To renew your mind, require some work. Consecrate yourself to the Lord. He has no plan to move away from us, but we often move far from him or erect a barrier between ourselves and God when the difficulties come. We become so paralyzed and our minds become so flustered we can’t even think clearly.
“Who said that?”
Heaven or hell? To which kingdom do you subject to? We may not be able to control everything that happens to come through our minds, but we can control what stays there.
I get it – One moment you’re cool, calm and collected. Even though you may not be where you want to be, your faith remains strong. But suddenly something happens or someone says something negative that brings on storms of negative thoughts. From low self esteem to doubts of success, knowing the truth about yourself, including your purpose and identity in Christ, adds to the foundation of your conviction.
You are a spiritual being created by God, made in his image.
Renew your mind with holy habits. Fast. Spend some alone time with Him before the start of the day. Get real and honest with Him. Get into the word and discover a life verse or scripture that speaks to you. Remove the distractions. Spend time with other believers. Develop habits that brings you closer and closer to God.
Most importantly, PRAY. Every day. Every night. About Everything. About Anything. When you pray, be patient and know that He is at work. God hears and responds. BELIEVE THAT!
Renew EVERYTHING this month of August. You’re coming from a place of victory, not fighting for it.
Ready to RESET, REFRESH, and RENEW this August?
Leave a comment below – I’d love to hear from you!