Too often believers get sucked into what the world is saying and then get trapped into thinking like the unbelieving world thinks, instead of how God thinks. In 2 Corinthians the devil is called “the god of this world,” so it makes sense that the things of this world will try to take us down. But the Lord gives us instructions through Paul:
“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]” (Rom 12:2 AMP).
We need to stop listening to people constantly saying how bad things are. If we start talking about it and agreeing with them, we’re going to bring it into our own life, even if we actually have it pretty good. If we continue to look at and believe all the negatives that the media propounds, we won’t recognize the good when it does come. I experienced this recently.
The construction business in Las Vegas had slacked off. New casinos weren’t being built, so a lot of people, including me, were sitting at home waiting for the business to pick back up. I was off of work from my union painting job for a few months and had to hustle to make ends meet. I began to get somewhat fearful and depressed. I had things that I needed and I didn’t have the extra money in the bank to pay for those things. I was doing well and then what happened? I prayed for the money but I wasn’t seeing quick results and I still had the needs. I felt like I was sinking like Peter in Matthew 14:
“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me” (Matthew 14:25-30).
Peter was walking on top of the water, spiritually on top of the world, but when he started paying attention to the blowing wind, he began to sink. We’ve heard the phrase, “she’s full of hot air,” or “he’s such a blow-hard,” which refers to someone who is just spouting off absurdities and foolishness. When Peter looked at and listened to the blow-hard wind, he got afraid and began to sink.
1 Peter 5:8 says: “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Like the boisterous wind that Peter heard, the roar of a lion is loud, deep and horrifying. But it is still just a noise and it really can’t hurt anyone. However, since fear is believing on the negative side, if a person lets it take hold, the lion will definitely come to maim or kill. In actuality, the roar could be only a recording, totally deceptive and no lion there at all!
When I started listening to and looking at the roaring of financial instability, it said, “You can’t have what you need because you don’t have the money.” I began to sink just like Peter did. I was getting fearful of the boisterous wind, fearful of the roaring of not enough money. But I immersed myself in teachings and scriptures about God being my supply and I began to say, “The Lord is my only source.” Then I followed His instructions to me.
I thought I needed money for a medical bill, but the insurance decided to pay the whole thing. I thought I needed money for a portable DVD player to listen to Bible teachings on the way to work; the Holy Spirit told me I could use a laptop instead. I thought I needed money to buy a new oven since mine had quit working. The Lord told me to call the home insurance I have. They said they would cover it and I only had to pay $55. The boisterous wind and the roaring of the lion vanished entirely. God had totally answered my financial needs with very little of my own money.
John 10:10 says the devil is a thief and he’s around only to steal, kill and destroy. The Lord’s mission is to give us an abundant wonderful life. Our God is diametrically opposed to the god of this world and we need to be too. We have to stop looking at circumstances the way the devil wants us to and put our focus on the Lord’s ways instead.
Think how much could be changed in our own life and the many lives we touch. The boisterous winds that predict our sinking and the roaring that says, “There’s not enough,” can be replaced with walking victoriously through it all with our eyes focused only on the truly victorious one.
QUESTIONS FOR PONDERING OR DISCUSSION
1. Can you think of a situation in which you started to get fearful because of something you heard or read? Were you able to reverse the situation?
2. Can you recall a time or two when someone started talking negatively about current circumstances and you joined in? How did you feel afterward? Was it profitable or would you consider reacting differently in a similar situation?
3. Have you had times when you’ve thought God should answer your prayer in one way and He answers it in a totally different way from what you expected? Explain.
4. Have you considered taking a day or a weekend to just focus on the Lord and not look at or listen to worldly things? If you haven’t done this, or if you are thinking about doing it, how would you plan your time? Would you pick certain teachings from preachers you like? Would you read particular sections from the Bible? What subjects would you focus on?
FOR FURTHER STUDY
1 Corinthians 1:27
2 Corinthians 4:3-5
2 Corinthians 10:5
1 Timothy 6:17
NOTE: This is a revised chapter from my book WINGS. There is one chapter for each week of the year so it would make a great Christmas gift that would last the whole year long. Find it on Amazon under my name. Right now the printed and kindle version go for under $10.