As a coach I know that taking calls on the phone is one thing, and taking live calls in front of 30 new hires watching you and needing to learn everything you are doing, trying not to make any big mistakes that they'll have to unlearn... that is a different ball game entirely.
There are people watching us at work. It's one thing when you are newly saved, people don't know yet. You curse about a rude customer and no-body really notices, they do it to. It's another issue entirely when you are "The Token Christian" in your department, probably more vocal and known for your stance on issues and love for God than any other Christian there, and people know you write blogs and do things for the ministry locally... Then you get every eye watching you and when you make a mistake everyone notices.
The problem really isn't the random curse that comes out every few years, when you let your old dead self come back for a moment. That can be quickly repented of. It's keeping a positive attitude day in and day out in a room full of people prone to the negative. Trying to live by faith in The BLESSING, and then being tempted to be angry at every other call because things don't "LOOK" like they are going your way... that is the hard example to walk out.
Trying to live out that Christian life in front of others is hard. But there is yet another element to this. Work shouldn't be hard right? We are redeemed from the curse. We don't toil like unsaved men. The BLESSING should be at work in our jobs, giving us maximum bonuses and promotions, right?
So what is our struggle? Why do we find it so hard to stay positive? Why is it so hard to speak faith, rather than speaking the curse, which is what we see around us? Our struggle is not with flesh and blood. Our struggle isn't really even with the devil, because he's a defeated foe. Our struggle is with ourselves. Our old ideas, thoughts, imaginations, and world views that still need re-programming.
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
- This word means: stronghold, castle, fortress, fortified opinion, anything on thought or idea upon which one relies.
- Imaginations: Logismos
- From the root word Logos: Words, Speech, Doctrines, Sayings
- This word means: Imaginations, Arguments, Reasonings, Reckonings, Computations, Judgments, Speculations
- Knowledge: Gnosis
- This word means: Knowledge, General Knowledge, Intelligence, Science
- Thoughts: Noema
- This word means: Thought, Mind, Device, Mental Perception, Purpose.
Simple Example of Visual Memory: You are going to a friend for advice. He is busy so you want to remember what you were going to talk about. It's late in the night when you remember and you don't want to get up and get a pen and paper. You are contemplating a new business. You want to talk to him about the fact you are feeling a bit tossed around by your emotions, and you want to know if you should accept the invitation you received to a new business venture.
Now imagine a Boat, being tossed by the wind and waves. Sitting on the boat is a letter with a heart on it. Go ahead and smell the water and hear the waves crashing around you into the boat. Take a few moments to really let this image sink into your mind. Let it play like a movie in your imagination. Now see your friend and Advisor in the boat. Add details to it if you like. Later, when you want to recall what you wanted to ask him you will get this image of him in a boat with a letter on the floorboard with a heart on it. That will remind you of the feeling you have about being tossed about and the invitation. This is a simple example.
“The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can't are both right. Which one are you?” ― Henry Ford
So imaginations are powerful images we use to paint the world around us. We do this without thinking about it, but we should be thinking about it. We also need to look at these other two words. We cast down Knowledge and Thoughts. Knowledge is derived from experience and study. You know certain things to be true. What you know is based on what you have heard, seen, studied, decided to believe, etc. However what you know could be wrong. Man KNEW that the earth was flat for many years. Idiots KNOW that we evolved from monkeys. They are all wrong. The earth is not flat, and we certainly didn't evolve from monkeys. So we must check what we think we know. Maybe at work you KNOW that a certain sales goal can't be reached. With God ALL things are possible. Therefore it CAN be reached, if you will change what you know.
1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Psalm 55:22Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.
Philippians 4:5-75 Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.Our thoughts, knowledge, and imaginations all bring us to a point of focus. There is something we are setting our minds on, either on purpose, or by default. That group of running thoughts, background knowledge, and imaginations equate to care. We either care about God's kingdom and God's agenda, or we care about ours. This word translated thoughts is also found again in Philippians 4 as the word Minds. Our Minds are made stable through prayer and thanksgiving.
With all the best intentions you can love God and want to believe that He will provide, but if your mind and heart are full of thoughts, knowledge, and imganations that contradict God's promises, you will be like the man in James 1: Double Minded - Receiving Nothing.
So we need to recognize the thoughts, imaginations and knowledge that are in our way, and replace them with the correct ones. Our best tool for this is Prayer and Thanksgiving. As you pray in tongues, allowing the Holy Spirit to pray through you... then pray the Word... then thank Jesus for everything you can think of to thank Him for you will find that these contrary thoughts are being replaced with right ones.
Then read, read, and read, more bible. Let the pages sink into your eyes. Imagine yourself overcoming by the blood of the Lamb. Let THAT type of imagination be the foremost in your mind.
You may actually have to declare a FAST from all other activities ( no more TV, Games, Facebook... etc), until your mind has been renewed and you are finding yourself convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that God's word is true. When you don't struggle anymore with negative thinking or worry, you are now renewed to The Word and ready to take on your day.
Here is a hint: Are you smiling? When you wake up: Do you wake up happy and enthusiastic?
What does the start of your day look like? Please comment and share your morning routine.
Darrell G. Wolfe