Saturday, September 7, 2013

It's over for me!  My family doesn't believe in me.  Other people don't believe in me. God doesn't believe in me.   How could God let this happen, we took a step of faith?  What do I do now?  God must be punishing me.  How could God let this happen (repeated)?  What's wrong with me?  What am I going to do now?  I don't know what to do!  How could God let this happen?  I must not be good enough.  I must not be able to hear God's voice.  I'm a loser and a failure. God's mad at me.  Nothing good ever happens to me.  How could God let this happen. 

What I'm describing in the above paragraph is the thoughts you often experience after an apparent failure or tragic situation in your life.  Maybe something big you had been planning didn't meet your expectations and immediately you started wrestling with negative thoughts in your mind. 

That's right, there's a battle going on and the ground this battle takes place on is the soil of your mind.  And with every positive or negative thought you allow to remain in your thinking you are planting seeds that will produce fruit and determine the direction of your life.

That's why the following verse in the Bible is so important!  "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5) Another powerful and revealing verse is "As a man thinks in his heart so is he..." (Proverbs 23:7)

After our failed attempt to plant the church in Colorado there was a day when I realized I had been losing the battle in my mind.  For several weeks I was continually asking my wife is she believed in me.  In her kindness she would always reply "you know I believe in you."  Then one day she'd had enough!  I asked her again if she believed in me but this time her reply was a bit different and eye opening.  She said, "It's not me who doesn't believe in you, it's you who doesn't believe in you." 

In that moment, as soon as she spoke those words, it's like a light bulb was turned on in my heart and I realized  I had been losing the battle in my mind and believing a lie.  You see, the negative thoughts I mentioned above are just some of the thoughts I had been struggling with.  And I was charting the course of my future with all these negative thoughts and making it more and more difficult to recover from our loss. 

It was like God allowed me to expereince a needed awakening that to this day has radically changed my thought life and put us back on the path of recovering all that was lost and being used by God again to love and encourage people all over the world. 

But for this to happen I had to take action.  Here's what I did and you can't miss this, it's very important!  I started replacing those negative thoughts, not with just some random positive thought I had, but with God's thoughts about me found in the Bible. 

Over and over I began to read verses that talked about God's unfailing love and His power to restore.  The following verse is one I've continually reminded myself of.  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28) Here's another great verse from the Old Tesament.  "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

There are many more verses in the Bible that we can use to replace the negative thinking.  I heard a minister say this not long ago and it's so true. "I can't afford to think anything about me that God doesn't think about me."  Now think about that! 

If you and I are going to move forward and Dream.......Again it's imperative that we win this battle in our minds.  Our enemy is a liar and an accuser but we can overcome the negative thoughts with the Word of God. 

These days I'm continually reminding myself that God still has a great plan for our lives.  Now I find myself thanking God for what He is doing in our lives and ministry.  We know He's preparing us for a greater day and the best is yet to come. 

If you've been through a difficult, discouraging season in your life I want to encourage you.  One of my favorite movies to watch is "Castaway" with Tom Hanks.  I even have two volleyballs with the bloody hand print in my office at the church.  At times if you walk in you'll find me talking to them.  One of my favorite lines in the movie is near the end after Tom Hanks character has been rescued.  He says, "I know what I have to do now.  I have to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise." 

If you're having a battle in your mind I hope you know what to do now.  And when you begin to replace those negative thoughts with God's thoughts toward you, the Son Jesus Christ is going to rise in your heart and you're going to move forward and DREAM.......AGAIN! 

Encouraging the world,

Ken Woolf