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.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? Yahweh is the everlasting God, the Creator of the whole earth. He never grows faint or weary; there is no limit to His understanding. He gives strength to the weary and strengthens the powerless. Isaiah 40:28-29, HCSB
Isaiah was writing to the Israelites who were in captivity in Babylon. God through Isaiah meant to encourage them as they looked forward to returning to Israel. And as they waited for the promised hope, thoughts (of a fiery dart nature) would tempt their minds with discouragement. They would grow faint and become weary.
But God had promised them they would return to their beloved homeland. And because He is everlasting, the Creator of the whole earth, He had a ready supply for their weariness. They knew that His strength could be their strength from the promise of His Word. Therefore, each temptation to despair could be extinguished by these true and powerful words from their Creator God.
We live our lives with the hope of John 3:16. And like the Israelites, we must wait for that hope to be fulfilled. In the meantime, things can get pretty rough can’t they. And if we are not on our guard, those trials can overwhelm us. Especially, if our minds are not saturated with the words of God. With every trial, our strength can be worn down and our power can be depleted. In such a state we become vulnerable to the destructive force of fiery dart thinking. Ill prepared to receive the promised hope.
You see, as we wait for the sure hope of heaven, Satan is working on a plan to impair our witness. He tempts us with thoughts of doubt concerning God. He secures the success of this plan by tempting us to ignore God’s word. Ever felt too busy to read the Bible and pray? We put it off till later but often later doesn’t come.
But if our minds are saturated with God’s words, fiery darts get exposed pretty quickly. Verses like Isaiah 40:28-29, remind us that God is our strength and source of power to defeat the enemy’s fiery darts.
As we encounter weariness and become weak from the trials we face, it would be helpful to remember Isaiah 40:28-29. Yes, the reality concerning our life here on earth is that it is fraught with trials and temptations. Yet, those very trials can make us stronger and more prepared to receive God’s promise. God’s strength will become our strength and we will have more power to resist temptations.
The Las Vegas tragedy leaves us feeling that evil has the upper hand. The enemy of all of mankind, Satan, would have us drowning in despair. He would have us questioning God as to how something so horrible could happen. He would have us becoming angry with God. His aim is to manipulate our thoughts so that we can’t find anything to feel hopeful about.
There’s a verse in the Bible, John 16:33, that tells us that in this world we will have tribulation. Well, we certainly know that’s true. Las Vegas only confirms it. We know from personal experience as a nation and as individuals that trials and troubles are a common thing in this fallen world we live in, Yet, our initial reaction when tragedy strikes is to cry out, “Why God? How could you let this happen?”
In times such as these, we must remember :
God has warned us and tried to prepare us for the consequences of sin. After we messed up His original plan, He didn’t give up on us. He made a way where we could know peace in the midst of turmoil and tragedy. Because He knew that our rejection of Him would bring inevitable and sometimes tragic consequences.
But take heart:
Jesus not only has overcome the world but He will return and straighten out the mess Satan has made of it. But until then we must not allow the fiery darts of hopelessness, anger, or despair blind us.
May we light the candle of faith. Only then will we see good triumphing over evil in Las Vegas. It’s an unspeakable horror, yes! But we can’t let that rule our thinking. Instead we must focus on the truths of God that pour forth in abundance from the beautiful stories rising out of the ashes of Las Vegas.
One by one, prayer by prayer, people are seeking God for His strength in overcoming this evil. They are reaching out to each other to assist, protect, or bring healing, With every act of bravery, self-sacrifice, love, compassion, etc. the enemy is being defeated.
My summer has been jam packed with mountain top experiences. As much as I could, I lived in the celebration of every moment. Yet, I knew that come the end of August, it would all come to a screeching halt. Then would come the valley.
I think one of the most troubling aspects of my valleys is that I am tempted to forget what I know to be true about God. The reason being is that Satan never lets up with those fiery darts. With all those fiery darts swirling around in my thoughts, it’s hard to sort through all that mess and find those Truth Thoughts.
And I know that if my low times become severe enough, depression can set in. Depression is a wicked thing! One of the most deadly tactics used by Satan in depression is to drain our thoughts of hope. He will shoot one lie after another, clothe them with common sense truths, and if we fall for it… Yep, depression!
Because of that common sense truth, we will entertain the thought, and the poison of the lie will permeate our thinking. It is the lie that will motivate our actions, which is contrary to God’s will. p. 38, 3rd Edition FD
In a previous blog, I wrote about my summer of extreme highs and lows. I had a future to face that looked bleak to me. I couldn’t figure out how I was going to face it or handle it. Then one night as I was reading my bible, I came upon the following verse: Proverbs 23:18
The key words for me in this verse were ‘future’ and ‘hope’. As I meditated upon this Truth thought, the darkness began to recede. I’m still in the valley, but I’m not in despair. It’s still hard, but it’s not hopeless.
Then just yesterday, a friend shared another verse with me: Jeremiah 31:25
I have been languishing, for sure. And I certainly am weary. Yet, I know that it is vital for me to ‘receive’ those Truth’s. That’s the secret of my survival.
Therefore, I take one day at a time (that’s scriptural) and proceed forward. Perhaps with caution, but nevertheless forward.
I love being a mother! I love being a grandmother! I have always felt these roles to be more of a calling for me than anything else. My perspective on Motherhood finds its basis within that calling. Motherhood fulfills me like nothing else.
Yet, I raised my four children in a time when Motherhood had begun to loose its splendor! The feminist movement had a lot to do with that, I think. Fortunately, my mother and my maternal grandmother were splendid role models. Their positive influence offset the negative influence of society’s changing perspective on Motherhood for me.
But the most powerful force that shaped my mindset regarding Motherhood was the awareness that God had called me to this role.
His calling on my life, carried me when I felt like a failure as a mom. His calling gave me strength to mother when I felt I had none of my own. His calling motivated me to respect the individuality of my children. His calling influenced me to take a positive approach with my children. His calling impressed upon me the importance of being a godly example to my children. His calling kept me grounded in what was truly important concerning my children. His calling defined the values I wanted to instill in my children. His calling helped me to teach my children how to stand against the world.
I could go on and on. But suffice it to say, having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, made ALL the difference in how I mothered my children. It was His calling that helped me recognize the fiery darts that were set to undermine my role as a mom. His calling empowered me to reject the lies the World declared about Motherhood. His calling implanted His Truth in my mind and replaced those lies.
Too many women have allowed the world’s concept of truth to alter their thinking about Motherhood. Rejecting the role given to them by God, they have given themselves over to lies and manipulation. Removing God’s Truths from their lives and replacing them with the lies prevalent in our society has deadly consequences. For the unbeliever, obviously, but for the believer as well.
Christians, weakened in spirit, will not have the strength to stand against the world. It stands to reason, then, that the weaker Christians are spiritually, the more likely they will succumb to fiery dart attacks, designed to alter their attitude and actions toward what’s going on in the world. p. 48 FD, 3rd Edition
Obviously, there are those in our country who simply don’t understand the purpose of prayer. From their public words they espouse the negative thought (fiery dart) which promotes the idea that God doesn’t care about what we are going through and isn’t about to fix the problems associated with the recent terrorists attacks.
They don’t realize that God, indeed, is going to fix this problem with evil once and for all when Jesus Christ returns (Matthew 24:44). But God has a timetable, and He has a plan, and we must trust Him to work things out in His way and in His time. In the meantime, we must trust Him and,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippines 4:6-7
Because apart from God, deep and lasting peace is unattainable. Because it’s at times such as these when we are falling apart that we need a strength outside ourselves to see us through. Praying opens us up to receive this strength which comes from God. For He knows suffering is going to affect us all and His plan is to provide a way to handle our suffering and come out on the other end of it stronger than when we entered it. Therefore, suffering, which is inevitable, can refine us if we choose to pray for God’s strength, or it can ruin our lives, sending us into despair and defeat.
We therefore must make a choice, and I recommend the following plan of action:
1.Recognize these negative thoughts for the fiery darts they are
2. Reject this thinking; don’t let it take root
3. Replace the fiery dart thought with a Truth thought. (The Bible is full of them)
“God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7, (gives us the strength to resist the temptation to fear).
“For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16(shows us just how much God cares for us)
“…The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 (confirms the power of prayer)
I love my country, but I do not love the way she is behaving. I am a Christian and I believe that God created this world. (I seriously don’t see how any force other than God could pull off what He did in the Creation.)
And I believe that God purposely provided a revelation as to who He is and what He did and plans on doing for the human beings He created, in the book we call The Bible. All for the purpose of revealing His plan for our salvation, through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ alone!
Most of our founding fathers believed in God, revered the Bible, and felt committed to establishing laws for our country based on the Truths of Scripture. But today, it is extremely difficult to find much evidence that our nation’s leaders believe in God and/or revere the Bible as our founding father’s did.
There are prominent men and women who are declaring that our country is under judgement because our nation has turned her back on God. Considering the state of affairs in our nation, I hardly see how that could be denied.
But there is an aspect of the dilemma our country is facing that escapes most people. I point this out on page 1 of my book:
Scriptures are obvious in describing Satan’s plan in John 10:10a,“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;…” (NIV)So what is it that the Enemy desires to steal, kill, and destroy? The answer is obvious – anything God has planned for us!
The second half of John 10:10 reveals an aspect of God’s plan for His children,“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV)p. 1, FD
I strongly believe that Satan’s first step in stealing, killing, and destroying the good plans God has for us (as individuals and as a country) is to direct our attention away from the Bible’s Truths. Once he has accomplished this then we become easy prey for his fiery darts (negative thoughts).
By removing the guiding force of the Truth’s contained in the Bible, Satan is free to manipulate us into destruction (again, individually and as a country).
And because we as individuals and as a country have been manipulated to turn our thoughts and attentions towards the World’s concept of truth instead of the Holy Bible, then we find we are no longer capable of recognizing or even respecting God’s Truths. Instead, of combating fiery darts with Truth thoughts from God’s Word, we find individuals and our country’s leaders defining right as wrong and wrong as right. (which by the way is described in Isaiah 5:20)
So what are we to do?
First and foremost we must return to the Truth’s of Scripture. That is the only weapon that can successfully fight the fiery dart thinking with which Satan uses for our destruction. IF we truly desire for our nation to be healed then as individuals we must:
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14