We all need to “press the reset button” sometimes, just to stop everything going on around us that feels out of control and regain our focus and grounding in God.
The spiritual discipline of resetting will help you slow down and take your focus off of your circumstances and situations and place them instead on God.
In this article, we’ll walk through some important ideas to take into consideration as to why you might need a reset in some areas of your life. Then, we’ll focus on a few practical steps you can take to utilize the spiritual discipline of resetting in a way that is meaningful and practical for your own life.
Why You Might Need A Reset
As a minister and a follower of Christ, I have noticed, not only in myself but also in others I have ministered to, that our default position for approaching problems is to work in our own strength.
As Christians, I believe most of us genuinely want to rely on God, desire His guidance in our lives, and are committed to the Gospel. However, we can also very easily forget that God is always with us and can equip us for anything we face. As a result, over time we can find ourselves acting in ways that we may not want, are not honoring to our faith in God, or are not bringing about the results that we hope.
The demands of everyday life can snatch our focus from God and place it on our current tasks and problems we face.
In truth, it often takes very little to make us distracted from our calling to love God and love others. Sometimes there are major life problems that are causing us to lose our focus, such as an illness, loss of job, or major family rifts. However, there are also many other seemingly smaller issues that, if, allowed, can completely rob us of our focus on God. From an escalating argument with a loved one, to a co-worker not doing their part at work, to being cut off in traffic, or even going to the store only to have to stand in line for 20 minutes – there are potential issues around every corner that can make it difficult for us to focus on God and not on our present issues.
What the Spiritual Discipline of Resetting Does For You
The things we experience in life can shape our day, and even the course our lives. That’s why how we respond to circumstances, especially unexpected negative surprises, is of utmost importance while we are on the journey of becoming more like Jesus.
A reset helps you refocus and puts your confidence in the Lord while removing broken patterns of behavior and thinking. Resetting shapes your perspectives and helps you remember who God is while halting your tendency to work in your own strength. In this way, a reset is a form of humility, as you recognize that your way of acting and thinking has led you into places and responses where you don’t necessarily want to be. Furthermore, our relationship with God and connection to the Holy Spirit often convicts us and leads us to realize the places where we need a reset and need to take definitive steps to change our behavior and thinking.
So with these thoughts in mind, let’s take a closer look at the Spiritual Discipline of Resetting and see what steps you might be able to incorporate into your own life.
How To Practice The Spiritual Discipline of Resetting
1. Recognize The Need For A Reset
In order to reset, you first need to recognize and understand what you need a reset from. So how can you identify if there is an area in your life where you need a reset? Begin by looking for any reoccurring instances of behavior or thinking in your life that causes you problems, and yet you just can’t seem to stop or get away from.
For example, is there someone in your life who you find yourself continually butting heads with? That might be a relationship in need of a reset. Are there any temptations, vices, or behaviors that you’d love to stop, but just can’t seem to find the path forward? Again, this is another area where you might need a reset. Are there any thoughts, ideas, or concerns that you just can’t seem to stop worrying about, no matter how much you think through them or assure yourself? Again – a reset might be helpful in this area too.
In all honesty, there are an endless number of places where you might need a reset. So if you don’t immediately have anything pop into your mind as an area where you need a reset, just take some time spent with God (which is the next step) and ask Him to highlight for you the areas where you might need a reset.
2. Ask God To Help You Reset
This is undoubtedly the most important step in the spiritual discipline of resetting, because if you aren’t incorporating God centrally, then you are almost certainly not going to succeed in the way that you want as a disciple and follower of Jesus.
So once you’ve identified an area where you would like a reset, begin bringing it before God in prayer. Be open and honest with God about your concerns, what your hope for in the future, and how you’d like to change your thoughts and behavior. This is absolutely critical to effectively resetting, because again, this is a spiritual discipline. Resetting is about coming before God humbly and asking Him for help in reprioritizing your life and moving past actions and behavior you want to change.
In praying to God about resetting, there is no formula or patterns or specific things you need to pray about. God knows you, He already knows your struggle, and He’s always willing and ready to listen to you bring your problems before Him. Again, just be open, honest, and pray continually and earnestly to Him. Trust that He is listening and knows exactly where you are at.
Remember, prayer and staying connected to God are undoubtedly the most important aspects of resetting, because even if you took no other steps beyond this, you’ve already positioned yourself humbly before God and recognize your need for change. What could be more important than that?
3. Identify Tangible Actions You Can Take To Help You Reset
With the posture of returning to God in prayer about what you’d like to reset, the next step is to make a list of behaviors and thinking that you can control. If you’re able to identify some areas where you can make changes, then you will be surprised at how helpful those can be in terms of changing the overall response that comes from resetting, both among yourself and anyone else that might be involved in this process for you.
For example, imagine a scenario in which you find yourself repeatedly getting into arguments with a co-worker who you just don’t see eye to eye with, and this is the situation where you desire a reset. What are the things that you can control in this circumstance?
You might ask yourself, “Are there any conversation topics or scenarios in which these arguments keep happening?” For example, does a particular topic of conversation tend to lead to an argument? Or perhaps, these arguments always tend to happen during the busiest time of the week, when everyone is naturally stressed out to begin with. Or maybe you find that the arguments occur when you’re both forced to work together on a project, and there is little you can do to avoid it.
Take note – see what patterns or behaviors tend to lead up to the argument. If you always argue with this co-worker over the same subject matter, then perhaps you should just simply avoid that topic with them, no matter how much you may continue to want to debate with them. If the arguments always happen during the busiest times of the week, then you should mentally prepare yourself for those times and tell yourself that you’re going to keep your cool when the stress rises, and be ready beforehand. Or if you always tend to argue when you have to work together, perhaps you can find some other arrangements with your employer that will help you avoid that situation too.
This is just a hypothetical scenario, but hopefully, you can see how these are simple, practical steps that you can control. The same goes for just about any situation, there is almost always SOMETHING you can do to better improve the situation. So bring this before God, ask Him to help you think about resetting and what you might be able to do in order to take real-life steps to improve the situation.
4. Identify And Challenge Patterns Of Thinking That Will Help You Reset
Nearly all actions begin with thoughts, and many times those thoughts are the result of a pattern of thinking that has become so ingrained in us that we often can’t see beyond it. In many ways, resetting the way we think is actually more difficult than taking practical steps, because we have to live with our minds all of the time and rehearse and process situations even when they aren’t present in front of us.
So as you go about the discipline of resetting, ask God to help you think through any broken or incomplete patterns of thinking that exist in you, and ask for His help in freeing you from them.
For example, returning to the scenario of a co-worker you don’t get along with, perhaps some of the problem could exist in the general way you think and talk about this person. Do you often complain about them to your spouse at home? Do you generally think they’re a bad person who you just don’t want to be around? Do you find yourself dreading to be around them and generally don’t look forward to seeing them, even if they haven’t particularly done something?
These are examples of patterns of thinking, and yes, they can be broken too, especially with the help of God. As before, it begins by identifying these patterns and seeing where there may be lines of thinking that aren’t necessarily true. For example, in the co-worker you don’t get along with, are they actually a bad person, or are they just someone you don’t agree with, for whatever reasons? Challenging that kind of thinking about someone is a great step towards fixing the outward behavior and ending conflict with them.
But the same applies for virtually any situation where you want to reset. If you are able to get ahead of the situation through intentionality in your thinking, like the spiritual discipline of reseting, then you will likely be able to better control yourself when the time comes.
And don’t forget, there is always a strong possibility that forgiveness and reconciliation might be needed in any situation, both for yourself and others involved. If you haven’t asked for forgiveness for your part, first from God, then for yourself and others, then you’re neglecting the entire system of resetting that God has established for us through His Son and His love for us.
So spend time with God, resetting your thinking, asking Him to help you process through how you mentally approach the circumstances. Ask Him for forgiveness and to point you to places where you need to grow and change your thinking.
5. Intentionally Declare That, With God’s Help, You Are Beginning Your Reset
After processing through your reset, the next step is to simply take all of the work you’ve prayerfully done before hand and begin your reset. The reset itself is actually fairly simple – modify your behavior, change the ways you think. The true power of it, however, comes from God and your willingness to depend on Him.
You see, you may have tried to make changes in the past without intentionality, and just simply declared that you’re going to begin a “new day.” But the problem is that even if you do move past your initial issue, something else almost always comes up instead.
That why declaring a reset, intentionally deciding, “Today, I’m going to walk forward with God and I’m going to change my life,” has such tremendous capacity to change your world. A reset means no longer depending on your own strength, but instead bringing your needs and concerns before the loving hands of Jesus, who is willing to take your burdens and teach you a new way of life.
A reset is about saying, “I’m not going to fix myself – but God is, and I will allow Him to work.”
So to begin your reset, all you need to do is declare to yourself that you are no longer depending on yourself for all of your strength, and you are instead going to bring all of the spiritual and mental homework that you’ve been doing and ask God to show you new ways of thinking and behaving.
6. Continue To Raise Your Concerns To God. Adjust As Needed.
Once you’ve begun your reset, pay attention to where God is leading you and how your actions and thinking changes, or doesn’t. Of course, if you find that you’re seeing the results that you hoped for, then you’re likely on the right path. That’s a point of praise to God, thanking Him for His goodness and faithfulness.
However, don’t be surprised if adjustments are needed, setbacks occur, or other issues arise along the way. Remember, few problems or bad behaviors begin overnight, and they are rarely conquered in the same way. You’ll likely feel drawn to reclaim your old patterns, or feel strongly tempted or triggered to return to them at times. This isn’t the sign of weakness or failure on your part – you’re a human being, and you’re learning new ways to submit yourself before God.
When you fail in your reset, go back to the beginning of the process. Recognize where your made mistakes, look for practical, tangible steps you can take here and now to fix your issues, adjust your thinking…all while bring it before God in earnest, heartfelt prayer. Ask for His help Ask for His forgiveness, and trust that He will show you the way.
Move on past shame and begin again – and repeat as necessary. That’s what true humility before God will always look like, and it’s no different when you’re trying to make major changes like a reset.
Remember, the ultimate goal is connection and closeness with God, above everything else. He’s the true source of change, and He’s the destination. So regardless of what happens in your life, see every example of a growing relationship with God as a positive and beneficial result.
Every spiritual discipline, including resetting, is just a way of connecting with God and making Him a greater priority in your life. So don’t forget to see your relationship with Him as the primary purpose of resetting, just like every other practice as a Christian disciple.
Resources for Practicing the Spiritual Discipline of Resetting
If you really want a reset, then an intentional plan might do the trick. Every month in Forevergreen, we release a 30-day digital planner, a Bible study and workbook, and tons of other bonuses to help you be firmly planted in the Lord. In our monthly planner, we provide you with daily Scripture, a devotion, reflection question, prayer prompt, and a daily truth all to have an unbelievably effective and guided quiet time each and every day that only takes minutes to do.
Our program is called Forevergreen and is based on of Jeremiah 17:7-8
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”
If you are interested in joining Forevergreen and shaping your relationship with God every single day you can find more information here.