Spirit

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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Is it a desire or distraction?

Is it a desire or a distraction?

It is good to have desires and goals. They are gifts from God that make life worth living. It only becomes a problem when we do not know if the desires and goals that we set for ourselves are a gift from God or a distraction from Satan.

We can only know the true answer to this question by examining the word of God. When we examine the word of God, we know that He will never give us a desire or goal that will occupy our mind day and night whereby we do not have time to daily read and meditate on the word of God. Once we put anything before the word of God, we know that our goal or desire is not a gift from God.

Another way we can tell the difference between a gift from God and a distraction from Satan is — God will not give us a desire or goal that has us obsessing over it. It’s not going to cause us to  become filled with Satan’s negative traits of anger, frustration, discouragement, depression, and other negative thoughts for not having this object of our affection. Again, God will never give us a desire or goal that will imprison our mind with negativity. Anything that imprison our mind with negativity is not a gift from God.

At one point our goal and desire could have started off as a gift from God. However, once we allowed the object of our affection to elevate itself above the word of God, this object is no longer a desire or goal but a distraction from Satan. We must keep in mind anything (including something good) can become a distraction of Satan.

In other words, whenever we take our desire or goal far beyond its God given limits, whereby we allow it to imprison our mind with Satan’s negative traits of anxiousness, frustration, depression, anger, confusion, discouragement, etc., then we have crossed over into sin.

Becoming too preoccupied with goals and desires to the point of putting them before God, is a distraction of Satan, not a gift from God. A gift from God will not dominate our thought life by having us obsessing over it. An excellent example of this fact is our desire to spend eternity in heaven.

As you know, everyone has a desire to go to heaven. However, we are not willing to rush the process of death to get there nor are we allowing our “normal” desire for heaven to dominate our thoughts day and night because we are not there. If we compare our desires and goals to our thoughts about heaven, we can easily tell if they are a distraction of Satan or a gift from God.

Consider my question from this perspective and it will give you a definitive answer to your delima. Again, if our desires and goals are truly a gift from God, then we would think about them on the same level as we think about heaven (Col 3:2). In other words, we will not allow our goals and desires to dominate our thoughts to the point that we become frustrated, bitter, depressed, and even angry for not having it.

I think the problem with answering our question is that most of us think from a checklist perspective. We think that just because something is good and wholesome it cannot be evil.

We forget that even something wholesome can be turned into a distraction.

Satan’s distractions can come in the form of a job, family, relationship, or whatever we put before the word of God. Anything that keeps us from reading and meditating on God’s word is a distraction from Satan. Again, these distractions can take the form of a job, a spouse, a friendship, or whatever.

Always remember, no one should ever come before reading and meditating on the word of God. If it does it is a distraction from Satan, not a gift from God.

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