Promotions, Thoughts, Joy

I wonder what this world would be like if we promoted employees the same way God promotes us in life? Jesus, Himself, is a direct result of a lineage born through Uriah's wife, whom King David took after having Uriah killed. Moses murdered a man and God still used him in a mighty way to free Israel from Egypt. I could give you a long list of individuals in the Bible that God did amazing things through, despite their personal failures, but would have never been given the chance to do those things had people anything to do with it. I mean, Jesus would never have been born if God had held David accountable for his sin for the murder of a man. Think about that! What wonderful works of God have been lost because of the way we handle murderers today? Forget about murder. How do we treat people for even the little things we believe they did wrong… that offended us? What happens to our own lives when we let negative words and thoughts affect the choices we make for our self and our families.

I know many of us know this, but do we really have a revelation on God’s grace and desires for our lives? Only God can see the end from the beginning. Only God knows the fullness of the giftings He put in each of us. Only God knows what we are really capable of. Only God can encourage and lift us up in a way that gets us to believe in what we really can do through Him. Having had employees under my care, I know the weight of making decisions that affect the lives of people. I have seen what the world would say in regard to promotion verses what God would say. God has grace upon grace, even when we don’t always make the same call He would.

As my family and I move to the U.K. to serve the Lord, I imagine some might say, "He doesn't deserve that." or "I could do so much better than he could.". Let me be the first to tell you, the enemy has said the same thing to me and more. He says, "You haven't done enough or are not gifted to this calling.". He says, "You are an embarrassment. You will just fail just like you failed in this area or that area." Satan says, "Go back home to where you grew up and take care of your family." Satan says this and more. Has God ever given you a Hope to be followed by tons of lies from the enemy on why that really is not what God called you to or how you don’t qualify? Do you have a revelation of what God has called you to? Often, God is just waiting for someone to say, “Yes, use me Lord.”, despite feeling incapable. God qualifies the unqualified. It is in Him and through Him all things are possible.

If I were to get in agreement with Satan about everything he told me, I'd be in a ravine some where drinking myself into despair. There is no negative thing or thought that a person could say or think about me that I have not already heard from Satan. Let me say, you cannot get in “thought agreement” with the lies of the enemy... about yourself or OTHERS! What does it say in 1 Corinthians 10?

“Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who according to outward appearance am lowly among you, but being absent am confident toward you: But I pray you, that I may not be bold when I am present with the confidence, wherewith I reckon to dare against some, which think of us as if we walked according to the flesh. For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [of the flesh], but mighty by God to the destruction of strong holds;) Casting down reasonings, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”

– 2 Corinthians 10:1-6

Are you in readiness to avenge all the disobedience of your thought life, casting aside all reasonings and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God? Do you know what a stronghold is? Adam Clarke’s commentary on this verse describes a strong hold very well and the results of captivating every thought to the obedience of Christ.

“Allusion is made to a strongly fortified city, where the enemy had made his last stand; entrenching himself about the walls; strengthening all his redoubts and ramparts; raising castles, towers, and various engines of defense and offense upon the walls; and neglecting nothing that might tend to render his strong hold impregnable. The army of God comes against the place and attacks it; the strong holds οχυροματα, all the fortified places, are carried. The imaginations, λογισμοι, engines, and whatever the imagination or skill of man could raise, are speedily taken and destroyed. Every high thing, παν ὑψωμα, all the castles and towers are sapped, thrown down and demolished; the walls are battered into breaches; and the besieging army, carrying every thing at the point of the sword, enter the city, storm and take the citadel. Every where defeated, the conquered submit, and are brought into captivity, αιχμαλωτιζοντες, are led away captives; and thus the whole government is destroyed.”

- Adam Clarke commentary

When I was young, I loved castles and knights. I still do. I look forward to visiting all the castles in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and any other European country I visit. But when I think of the above descriptions as the stronghold of the enemy, the thought of overcoming such a fortress seems insurmountable until you see what happens when you hold every thought captive. There is only One who has overcome our disobedience and fulfills our obedience. Romans 5:19 says,

“For as by one man’s disobedience, the many were constituted sinners, so also by the obedience [unto death] of One shall the many be constituted righteous.”

That word, obedience, has a deeper meaning than just blindly doing something. The word obedience is hypakoe, in greek. Hypo means with or by. Akoe means the sense of hearing, the thing heard, instruction (namely oral), and of preaching the gospel. When you put hypo and akoe together for hypakoe, you get the meaning; by or with the thing heard or by the instruction heard. When you are listening to Jesus (the Word), it is by Him and through Him you have obedience to do all things He says. Makes me think of effortless change because it was by Jesus's obedience we were made righteous and it is through Him (the Word) every thought is held captive.

Do you know you are always following some “thought instruction” in your head? Every obedience (decisive action) you make is guided by the thoughts in your head. In a way, you could say you are always following negative thoughts or Godly thoughts. Where do your thoughts come from? What are you in obedience to today?

Creflo Dollar shared a simple teaching about how words lead us to our destiny in his book called “8 Steps to Create the Life You Want”. I list them below.

1.     Revolutionize your words; they become your foundation

2.     Words produce thoughts

3.     Thoughts produce emotions

4.     Emotions produce decisions

5.     Decisions produce actions

6.     Actions produce habits

7.     Habits produce character

8.     Character produce destiny

The words you listen to, verbally or in your head, lead you to your destiny. Jesus IS the Word of God. His Words are life. It is the Word that was sent to heal us. He SAID, and let there be light and it was so.

The first thing I try to do when I recognize a negative thought pattern is to start saying what God would say about the matter. There are times I don’t “feel” like saying anything positive. Sometimes, the first thing I can do is just shut my mouth despite what I may be experiencing in the flesh. Every circumstance may scream, “No, NO, NO!”. But God is saying YES, YES, YES, AMEN (It IS so!). When I heard Creflo teaching about the above, he said, “You can’t fight a thought with a thought.” Try it sometime. Wait until you are experiencing a negative thought pattern and try thinking positive at the same time. It won’t work. He went on to say, “You fight a thought with a spoken word.” The first thing you do when you realize you have a negative thought pattern going on in your head is you find a Word of God that says the truth about the matter. You may not be experiencing the truth in your flesh but you will find the more you speak the truth, the smaller that negative thought pattern gets in your head until your thought life starts affecting your emotions and you begin to get excited instead of downtrodden. Keep on and you will find your emotions beginning to explode with excitement and you start dancing and praising God that you have the victory until you yell a mighty shout and the strongholds of the enemy fall, just like the walls of Jericho, and you can walk on in and take possession of all that God promised you.

It’s really hard to overcome anything in life without experiencing emotions that give you strength. One of the most powerful, strengthening emotions you can have is joy. Satan would want to steal our joy. Nothing pleases him more than for you to lose your hope. Faith without hope is dead. In my next article, I will discuss what joy the Lord is talking about as our strength in Nehemiah 8:10 and what real hope is all about according to Romans 15:13. I pray this is a blessing to your life.