Spirit

Looks can be deceiving

LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING

If you take time to examine life, you will see that at first glance, things are not always how they appear. For example, let’s use success. It would appear that someone is successful because they have a lot of money and material things. The rich man Christ described in Luke 12 proved this to be false.

From Christ’s perspective, success is not about having a lot of money and material things. The aforementioned is Satan’s definition of success. Many people such as the rich and famous have plenty of these things and yet, for the most part, they are lonely, miserable people; hence why they drown their sorrows in sex, drugs, and alcohol.

Having a lot of money and still being miserable is not true success. Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with having material things or money, provided we put them in their proper perspective. The point I am making is that money cannot buy you the attributes of Christ; which are love, joy, peace, and happiness. This is what true success is made of.

Money can help aid these things; but our love, joy, peace, and happiness is NOT contingent upon having lots of possessions, accomplishments, career, etc. The mere fact that Christ refers to riches as deceitful lets us know that many of us put the wrong value on riches. In Mark the 4th chapter, Christ places riches on the same level as sin.

What Christ is conveying to us is that material things without God do NOT constitute success. King Solomon proved this fact. King Solomon, you might say, was like a scientist of life. His approach to life was like a scientist working in a lab. He placed life under a microscope, so we can view it from both perspectives, God’s and Satan’s (Ecc 7).

With this in mind, let’s look at King Solomon’s life at the beginning of his reign. During this period in his life, Solomon aligned his heart, soul, and mind with God. Through this union, he had love, joy, peace, and happiness; the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). As a result, Solomon was able to enjoy his blessings (1Kin Chapters 3-10). Because Solomon placed God first in his life, he was blessed beyond measure with wisdom, wealth, power, prestige, and whatever else he desired (Matt 6:33; Ps 37:4; Josh 1:8).

Sadly, like Eve, Solomon failed to protect his thought life (mind) from Satan. In other words, he accepted Satan’s character and as a result, his possessions, accomplishments, and physical companionship did not give him the fulfillment of the heart.

When our heart is void of Christ’s attributes (love, joy, peace, and happiness) we cannot have true success.  We not only have Solomon’s knowledge to prove this fact, we have the lives of many “influential people” to confirm all of the above.

Although people such as the rich and famous have many companions, fame, possessions, accomplishments, and all forms of riches, many of them are lonely, miserable people (Ps 37:16). They have the spirit of Satan guiding them, which is why they suffer from emotional distress. Inward, their lives are tormented and miserable. These people have no real peace and happiness because they do not have Christ (Pro 16:8; 15:16).

We can only obtain the attribute of Christ by possessing His Spirit. Since most of the rich and famous have Satan’s Character, their life is cursed. They fail to realize that peace and happiness can only come from within us and not from a relationship or what we possess (Lk 12:15; Ec 5:10).

The mere fact that physical things cannot bring about the attributes of Christ such as love, joy, peace, and happiness is evidence that material things and companionships can only aid in what spiritual attributes already exist within us. A successful life is a life that is filled with the attributes of Christ.  

If you take time to examine life, you will see that at first glance, things are not always how they appear. Looking at our surroundings, you will think that this world is striving and getting stronger and improving every day. At first glance we see buildings being built, people rushing to and from work, traveling, etc.  

However, the opposite is happening. In reality, this world is decaying daily. Every day, this earth is transitioning more and more into hell. Things are not always the way they appear. This is why we must take time and analyze what we are truly believing and seeing. Let’s use something physical like these luxury apartment buildings that are currently being built in Chicago.

Developers are constantly building these types of buildings even though most people cannot afford them. After these apartment buildings are built, all of these buildings remain 60% empty.  Looking at the construction that is going on, you would think that this world is booming and there are plenty of jobs for everyone.

This cannot be further from the truth.  Actually, there are very few jobs available to anyone. Needless to say, only certain people get hired for these jobs. And even fewer people get to live in these luxury high-rise apartment buildings. Most people can barely make ends meet. Nonetheless, these luxury high-rise apartment buildings are constantly being built with poor people’s money.

At first glance, you would think that these companies are rich and have all sorts of money to do whatever they want. In reality, they just know how to milk the system (a.k.a. the government).  What we do not see is that these companies are going to the government and getting, write-offs, tax credits, etc. to build their luxury high-rise apartment buildings that most of the public people cannot afford to live in.

Also, what we do not see is the government making up these deficits (write-off, tax credit, etc.) by overtaxing the middle class and poor people to help fund these developers and their projects. They use government money because they know that most people do not stop to think that this business of building luxury-high-rise apartment buildings is a scam to milk the government out of taxpayers funds.

Projects like these keep the majority of the public middle class and poor and unable to live within our means because the government keeps taking our means. Companies doing projects like these are the real reasons why we have so many poor and homeless people.

The government comes to us common folk to cover the deficit that their family and friends created. Again, the point I am trying to make is that – you would never think that this world is dying just by looking at our surroundings.

The point of this conversation is to be vigilant in protecting your mind and focus on gaining Christ’s attributes. Always be cognizant of the fact that we live in a world of deception so things are not always how they appear.

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What is your house built on?

what is your house built on_ blog graphic

Christ assured us that we will have trouble in this world. He also assured us that if we build our house (meaning our heart, soul, and mind) upon the rock (meaning, the word of God), we can overcome our troubles. Discover how our troubles will not control our life or destroy us.

What’s Hindering You?

what is hindering you

This question makes me think of Peter’s failure to complete his quest of walking on water to meet Christ. This one incident in Peter’s life has a lot to say about our subject matter, “What is stopping you from success?”

Peter’s failure demonstrates how we can allow Satan to use our surroundings to hinder us and even destroy our desire to succeed. Peter’s lack of desire to continue walking on water proves that it is not our surroundings or situation that hinder us, but where we choose to focus our mind. To help us understand this fact, let’s look at a chapter in Peter’s life.

If you recall this event, when Peter started his quest to walk on water, he was filled with faith. In other words, Pete’s focus was completely on Christ when he started to walk on water. Peter’s focus was not on his surroundings or his limitations. Peter kept his attention on Christ. As a result, Peter  was able to accomplish the impossible. He was able to walk on water.

With this in mind, the question becomes,“What happened to Peter’s state of mind (aka his faith) that made him think that he could no longer walk on water to meet Christ? The only answer is because he took his eyes off of Christ. Whenever we take our focus off of Christ, Satan will hinder us. The mere fact that Peter was able to walk on water before he became distracted by Satan, indicates that it is our focus of the mind that determines our true success or failure in life.

When Peter started out, his state of mind (aka his focus) was completely on Christ. As a result, he was able to do the impossible “walk on water”. Again, the question becomes what stopped Peter from completing his walk on water? Peter’s surroundings had not changed, everything was still the same. Therefore, the answer to this question can only be, Peter took his focus off of Christ. Whenever we take our focus off of Christ, Satan and his demons will storm into our life hinder and even stop us from succeeding.

Satan will use whatever we allow him to imprison our mind with. This hinderance can come from a wide range of lies and deceptions. It can come from a difficult family members, a boss or co-worker.  The point is, once we take our eyes off of Christ, Satan will imprison our mind with all sorts of negative circumstances to cause us to want to give up and quit .

In Peter’s case, Satan used the “the boisterous wind” to cause Peter to give up and quit. This chapter in Peter’s life proves that once we allow Satan to enter our mind, he will derail our faith. All of which will hinder and even stop us from succeeding in life.

We know this to be true because it was not the wind or Peter’s surroundings that stopped him from finishing his quest to walk on water to meet Christ. If you recall, the wind was boisterous before Peter started to walk on water (Matt 14:24-31). Therefore, it was not the boisterous wind or his surroundings that caused him to become fearful and lose faith. It was Peter’s focus.

Peter took his focus off of Christ. As a result, Peter never completed his goal of walking on water to meet Christ. The same applies to us today. Whenever we take our focus off of Christ and start to look at our negative circumstance, we will never get a solution to our problem so we can live the extraordinary life God desires for us.

When we allow Satan to control our thought life (heart, soul, and mind), God has to stop and help us solve our problem and cleanse our soul. God will never ignore the fact that we are allowing Satan to control. Besides, even if God did ignore our sinful state of mind (being filled with Satan negativity)  and solely focus on helping us while we are allowing Satan to control us, we would behave like swine and trample all over God’s helping hand. We would not respect or even be grateful for God’s blessings.

As a result, God will not ignore the fact that we are allowing Satan to control us and just give us the solution to our problem. It would be a waste of a blessing as to why God refer to such as casting His pearls before swine (Matt 7:6).

Again, Peter’s surroundings did not change. It was his focus that changed. Peter took his focus off of Christ. Peter started out with strong faith and a “can do” attitude. In other words, he had the zeal and determination to succeed, which is faith in its true form.

Peter started to sink when he took his eyes off of Christ. Peter took his eyes off of Christ.  Peter started to see what Satan wanted him to see. The boisterous wind and not Christ. The same thing applies to us when we take our focus off of Christ. We will start to see what Satan want us to see:  

  • This situation is hopeless.
  • I will never going to get out out of this mess.
  • I am never going to (insert unattained goal or desire), so I’m not even going to try.

If we learn from Peter, we would know not to look at our problems the way Satan wants us to see them. This incident of Peter lets us know that our problems cannot hinder us if we keep our focus on Christ. It was Peter taking his eyes off of Christ that caused him to give up and quit his pursuit to walk on water.

The mere fact that Peter was able to start walking on water, is evidence that he was able to accomplish his goal. The only reason Peter did not complete his walk on water is because he took his focus off of Christ. Peter’s short lived accomplishment confirms that our failures have nothing to do with our troubles or our surroundings but solely on us taking our focus off of Christ.

If you’re not sure what’s hindering your life, you will be able to quickly identify that your focus is not on Christ. Once you change your gaze to solely focus on Him you will live the extraordinary life He wants for you.

 

 

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