What do you live for? How do you live for it? The answers to these questions are the mainstay of a life of excellence. Yet, we do not spend enough time to contemplate, meditate and pray about the big picture. Often corporations do the exercise. Strategy sessions they call it. Management getting together to hammer out a plan, the bigger picture, goal setting as well as tactics for people and placements to reach the goal – the goal being profit and ever increasing profit growth. The people and placements would only be a means to reach the projected targets.
What about the people? We, the people, need our own strategy sessions, personal growth seminars, goal-setting for a purposeful life and guidance on how to live the life we think we ought to. Whether we are part of a big corporation or work as an entrepreneur in a much smaller environment, we need life-coaching – a very popular career these days.
How will we know we are on the right road? How then will we not succumb to the pressures and pains of normal life in our world?
There is only one way – THE Way. We have talked about it often enough in our Pebble-discussions through the years. There is only one man in the entire history of mankind who has ever said I AM the truth, the way and the life. He is the same God who said to Moses, centuries ago at the site of a desert bush burning, his name is I AM. He is the EVERYTHING – the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end and everything in between. He is the source of every possible enhancement for your life – all that is true, noble, right and pure plus all that is lovely and admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. Here you are – you have it all.
Good, you might say. It probably sounds good on paper, but that is not how life is in reality. We contend with the cruel, the vile, the lie, the ugly, the bloody and every horror in between. Added to that we live with frustration, disappointment, destruction, disgrace and a deeply rooted fear that everything might just go much worse than now.
I would be the first to agree that just reading the headlines might suck me into a deep pit of depression and fear. That is exactly the point. Where is my eye for hope? Where do I look for the elevated life, the higher life? Which atmospheric vibes are my senses communicating to my brain for comfort and hope?
I don’t blame you if you feel quite despondent right now. Yes, those lives of the rich and famous without worries or fears look so good in the glossy magazine or Google link to the gossip page that huffs and puffs about the glitz and glamour out there. After all, the shutter of the camera captures a split second of a person usually when they are all dressed up and professionally prepared. That split second is then appropriately photo-shopped to portray the best possible image. In all this, have you ever seen a heart or mind? Our cameras and even interviews do not reveal the true thoughts and deep inner life-guiding principles of a celebrity or admirable personality.
Every individual needs to establish these guidelines deep within. It is personal and private. It is usually driven by long established perceptions of upbringing and education, or a life-changing decision to choose a particular way of life. When you choose Jesus, your life is elevated to the higher purpose of God. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and his ways are higher than our ways. He says so himself:
I don’t think the way you think.
The way you work isn’t the way I work.
For as the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think. (Isaiah 55:8,9, The Message)
How then are we brought so low?
One of the more successful strategies of our enemy is fear and doubt. Fear is unbelief – the direct opposite of faith. Fear is the disease of our time and from it springs a well of illness, mental and physical. It is an inexhaustible source of trouble.
Fear is not practised – it is the natural, instinctive reaction to circumstances.
Fear in this sense is not that initial fright or panic in an alarming situation. We all know the feeling of the adrenalin rush when our brains switch to panic mode and we make the swift decision to freeze, flee or fight. This reaction is survival and very necessary, but it is not a life style. When this physical panic mode is prolonged and ultimately determine our decisions, it is a recipe for crippling stress and malady.
Fear is not shock or superficial fright. To be frightened is good. It propels you into action to get yourself out of a life-threatening situation. Fear is the prolonged, nagging state of stress and anxiety that settles in your inner being and determines your decisions and life choices, like an inner badass to be placated and satisfied with constant trembling submission. When fear is the source of plans for the future and not the promises of God as it should be, we succumb to dread and a bleak perspective marked by the negative expectation. This is not a victorious life. The Holy Spirit is powerful and able to release your inner being and set you free to live boldly and courageously.
Our source is Jesus…
for in Him we live and move and have our being… (Acts 17:28)
For a child of God fear is stirred by the raspy, gruff voice of the enemy, planting thoughts of dread and alarm in the darkest hours of panic. This literally happens mostly at nighttime when everything seems worse than daytime. This state of crisis should put us on our knees with the Word open to allow the words of Jesus to heal our inner beings.
The best way to open up the channel for Holy Spirit ministry is confession. It is a liberating and powerful act to defeat those thoughts of fear. Recognize thoughts of worry and stress for what they are. It is the repetitive milling reflection on worst-case scenario and the source is hell. Submit the thoughts to the authority of God and confess the sin of fear.
Confession brings instant relief.
Confession breaks the hotbed of that fortified hellish attack thrown at us, called fear.
For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,
[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4,5, AMPC)
We continue our discussion on fear in the next piece.