THINK About What You’re THINKING ABOUT
The cycle of DESPAIR continues! Afghanistan, dysfunctional leadership, open borders, inflation, attacks on religious freedom, covid variant and the political drama seems to soak up the oxygen in the room.
Too often we find ourselves succumbing to despair in our thought life, and the words we speak. Are we speaking words of fear, instead of faith over our families, communities and country? Am I the only one challenged with this? Don’t think so.
Life is filled with REAL CHALLENGES for each of us and we can recognize them, so we’re not living in denial, nor do we have a Pollyanna mindset.
NOW is the time to make and continue the CHOICE to go forward daily in FAITH, not Fear. Perhaps it’s our greatest daily challenge. It’s above our pay-grade to determine the future, that belongs to God. Yet God is greater than our greatest challenge! Any serious Bible student can see part of a prophetical road map, yet we’re called to “occupy” or continue to do kingdom business (Luke 19:13), not retreat, nor live in daily fear. We’re called to live by faith (2 Corinth 5:7).
I saw this today in an article that bears repeating….. “To be a Christian in our culture is no easy thing, because it demands of us to live in faith, instead of fear; to live in HOPE, instead of DESPAIR; to live in love, instead of enmity. The NARROW GATE is difficult to pass through because it is so much easier to live in fear than faith. But that is not the invitation we have received, for the One who invites us to follow through the narrow gate is the same one who promises abundance of life to those who do follow.” Evangelist James Koester
WHAT is FAITH? Everyone has trust or confidence in someone or something. Self, government or God? Who or what is the foundation of your faith? “NOW faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
FAITH can be Seen and HEARD! Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matt 12:34). The individual receiving Christ as Savior – confess with your mouth (Romans 10:9 -10). Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). When finding a new identity IN Christ (2 Corinth 5:17), I can do all things through Christ (Philip 4:13. There is therefore NOW no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)
Jesus tells us to SPEAK to the mountains in our life (Matt 17:20). He used the mountain as a teaching opportunity to speak to the CHALLENGES in their life and ministry. What mountains are you facing today? Strongholds (fear, despair, intimidation, anger, lust, a critical judging spirit, etc.), addictions of alcohol or drugs, family issues.
WHY is that important? Faith can be heard by the words we speak. We all make choices daily. Aren’t you glad God forgives us when we make some wrong choices? I am! We can choose to speak faith and not fear or despair.
Is There a CONNECTION Between Faith and the Words We Speak?
HOW can we walk in faith NOW? Obviously, it begins with TRUTH that we find in God’s Word. We read, memorize, meditate and fill our mouths with truth (Joshua 1:8). Transformation comes from the Word (Romans 12:1-2).
Meditate means to think about, to roll over in our minds, to mutter or speak with our mouth. As we do so, the DNA of God becomes a part of us. Proverbs 18:21 says "The tongue has the power of life and death..." Our words can either build us up, or tear us down.
God has words, Satan has words and we have words. We choose which one we’ll place ourselves in agreement with. “They OVERCAME him by the blood of the Lamb and by the WORD of their TESTIMONY; they did not love their lives unto the DEATH” (Rev 12:11)
God Has Words, Satan Has Words – We Choose Which One We’ll Place Ourselves in Agreement With
The most important person we speak to daily (besides the Lord) is ourselves. SELF-TALK is what we say to ourselves. The average person can speak up to 150 words per minute. Some more, some less. Yet, we can INTERNALIZE (self - talk) up to 500 words per minute. Too often, we allow our old nature, our selfish nature and society to DOMINATE our internal self - talk. It's normally negative, not positive, destructive, not constructive. WHY should we allow God-talk to become our self-talk? Speaking the truth of scripture to self (Godly truth) brings freedom. Godly truth provides us the avenue to be "transformed" (Romans 12:2) to become more like God. That's why our real daily battlefield is often in our mind; our thought life. "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
Think About What You’re Thinking About
Our faith and our words are connected. Jesus said, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" (Luke 6:45). May I encourage you (us) to IDENTIFY God's promises and begin to memorize, mediate and speak them over you and your family daily? We are not who we feel we are, because our emotions change more often than our Missouri weather. We are WHO God SAYS WE ARE. That's a decision we make, but we learn to manage it in every season of life. I’m not trying to become legalistic, but rather intentional.
HOW CAN WE SPEAK FAITH (truth) over our lives, families, communities, etc.? I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but Karen and I have been praying and declaring some scriptures over our lives for a number of years. Lamentations 3:23 -23, Psalms 103, Psalms 119:105, 2 Tim 1:7, Philippians 4:19, Revelation 12:11, Jeremiah 29:11 are a few of them.
We’ve been speaking Luke 2:52 over our two grandsons, Lucas (10) and David (3); For our entire extended family 3 John 2, so that we can accomplish God’s PURPOSE in our lives.
Some will dismiss this prevailing thought by saying, "Ed, you can't live in denial of what's transpiring in our country - world today." Denial is not a river
in Egypt. Jesus said, "I have told you these things, so that IN ME you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have OVERCOME the world." (John 16:33)
May We be OVERCOMERS Through Faith in HIM and HIS Word!