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Positive power vs negative power

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Positive thinking has positive power. Negative thinking has negative power!

     I bet you knew that! “That’s just logical,” you might say. But there’s a vast difference between knowing about this power and feeling the impact of such power.  

     I know all too well the effect of negative thinking. I wrote a book, entitled: Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, based on  my first hand experience of this destructive force. Regretfully, it took me many years before my eyes were opened.   Thankfully, I didn’t live my whole life ignorant of the enemy’s power. 

Positive power at work

     Recently, while in a low mood (prime time to get attacked by fiery darts) my mind strayed to the recent departure of two of my children. Both lived relatively close to me. And with a son living in Africa, their closeness was a constant source of comfort. Then a few months ago, two of my three daughters, moved in opposite directions about 11 hours away. The negative power of sadness began to claim my thoughts. 

     Yet, in these moments, the following thoughts began rising to the surface: “During the times your children and grandchildren lived nearby you made a ton of wonderful memories. Why don’t you focus on those instead? Start thanking God for those memories.” So I did. As I filled my mind with one blessed memory after another, the negative power fueled by negative thoughts diminished. The more I praised God for those sweet memories, the better I felt. 

     But not one to give up easily, Satan sent me another fiery dart. My thoughts were redirected towards another situation in my life that has the potential to create burdensome thoughts. On the tails of my recent reminder, I was prompted to find the good that came out of that burdensome situation. A bit harder perhaps, (Satan’s is clever like that) because the burden is something I continue to wrestle with. Yet, the good is there! Once again, the negative was drained away and the positive began to soothe me.

     As a Christian, I live by the God’s Truth and not the lies of fiery darts. My mind is being renewed every time I spend time with God in prayer and His Word (the Bible). 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV

     So, think about it. A mind not experiencing renewal by God’s Truth, is a mind subject to negative power. The negative power of Satan’s lies and manipulation. A decision to take to heart John 3:16, allows us the resources to expose Satan’s negative power. A power that is no match for the positive power of God’s Truth. 

 

Thanks for my trials!

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give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:8

In All circumstances?

How can we be thankful for the not so good circumstances?

   I have come to understand the answer to this question quite vividly as I was counseled by God during the writing of Fiery Darts.

   For too many years, my walk with God was characterized by more defeat than victory. Then, just a few years ago, I began to experience a gradual, yet powerful, transformation in my faith walk. As God continued to shed light on the darkness, which had plagued my walk with Him, I began to identify the source of my defeat. It became glaringly clear that negative thinking was at the core of my problematic walk with God. p. 14  FD 3rd edition

The Results?

   I learned to identify the great civil war (p.44 FD) that was going on within me. Eventually, I became more skilled in  distinguishing between the thoughts originating from my flesh, my natural bent, and those which were being whispered to me by God.      

     Finally, the attacks from my enemy, which were designed for my defeat, began to fall short of their mark. With every trial, I gained more strength, as long as I saw it from God’s perspective and rejected the fiery darts!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3 NIV

The reason I can be thankful for the trials?

    Some trials I continue to wrestle with! But now instead of despair, I know joy. Instead of defeat, I know victory! It’s God’s battle plan for our trials. 

to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor. Isaiah 61:3, NIV

Unleashing the power of thankfulness!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV 

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Ephesians 5:20 ESV 

Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Philippians 4:6 ESV 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Colossians 4:2 ESV

Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

In reading the above verses identify the common charge?

Yep, giving thanks!

When are we to give thanks?

Always, in every circumstance, for everything, in everything, in prayer!

   But ask yourself this question. When do I give God thanks? Is it at the dinner table, or when God has given me something that I need or especially when He gives me something I want? 

Okay, now ask yourself another question. Do I thank God when I am facing problems?

   In all likelihood the last thing we feel like doing when we are burdened with problems is to offer God thanks. Instead, we want to be free of them and will immediately ask God to deliver us from them. And sometimes in our own strength we will design a solution which often just trades one set of problems for another. The weight of our burden only grows heavier!

   Often when problems beset us we just can’t seem to focus on anything but those problems. Our thoughts are consumed with the problems. We think about them all the time because we are analyzing them and trying to figure out what we should do. We bend to the temptation to voice our thoughts about the problem to those who will listen. Therefore just like Peter, because our eyes are fixed on  the storm, we begin sinking. (Matthew 14:29)

Ah, but isn’t that just what a fiery dart is designed to do?

Yet, when we decide to take our focus off the problems and begin thanking God in those problems  the power to turn evil into good is unleashed.

   Therefore, think about the problems you are now facing. Would you like for God to turn those problems into something that produces good in your life? Of course you do, but beware Satan would much rather have you sink.