It seems like we live in a world that is very negative. Yes, we have a lot of things to be negative about, but there are also things in our lives that are good and positive. Why is it so easy to be dragged down by the negative comments of others? Why is it so easy to feel pretty good about your life and then within seconds someone will make a comment and all of the goodness goes out the window? It is so easy for me to be swayed in that direction. God can be so big to me and within seconds He will shrink down to be quite small. So, the next giant that I face on a continuous basis is called “Negativity.”
I have a very good friend who has gone through a lot of things and when she is talking she will say, “God’s got this. He knows what He is doing and He will take care of it.” For years I have envied her confidence in God. I am not saying that I don’t believe that He has it all in the palm of His hands because I know He does. But, it is her confidence that I want. I get so bogged down in negativity that I can’t see past the circumstances. I allow all the comments or feelings that I have weigh me down instead of looking at God and who He is.
The fact of the matter is that God is able. No matter what I think or feel at the moment, God is always able to take care of my issues. My focus needs to be on that fact. He has the ability to do far more than I can imagine. My problem is that I am looking for God to do for me like a genie in a bottle. “Oh please God, if you would just …….. (I can fill in the blanks with all sorts of things that I would like for Him to do.) Being like this has done nothing but bring me doubt, confusion, negativity, frustration and anger towards God. When I focus on what He isn’t doing, I am setting myself up for trouble. I need to kick it to the curb and focus on who He is and the fact that He is a good God who is so much more than a genie in a bottle.
Are you tracking with me here?? I have to quit looking at God as the answer man. He is so much more than that. I know that because I am a “doer” makes it even harder because I want God “to do” for me. I am not saying that asking God to do things for us is wrong, but I need to have the right attitude when I go to pray. Ephesians 3:20-21 says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
I struggle with, “But I want it now!” I struggle with God’s timing. I struggle in the wait. When I take my eyes off the fact that God’s timing is perfect, I get frustrated and angry. I am like a toddler stomping my feet wanting it now! My struggle is the fact that I am focusing on the problems. The problems are getting my worship instead of Jesus. I am wanting God to go and do what I want Him to do. After all, I think my solution is the best possible solution, right? (Oh brother!) I need to be the kind of believer that knows that God’s perfect timing is everything.
So, what I need to do is grab a hold of myself and calm down. I need to make a deliberate decision to focus on God and ask Him to change my perspective. I need to focus on Him and not the problems or the situation. Priscilla Shirer says, “A mind fixed on the right thing—the right person—can change everything. When was the last time you just told your stuff to shut up and go to sleep, and then gave your full attention—deliberately and intentionally—to the living Lord? Your Father. Your caregiver. Your provider.” (I can actually say shut-up and it is okay!)
I think these next words by Priscilla are so important. “Christianity was never meant to be so intrinsic. It is extrinsic. It is all about looking outward toward Jesus, not inward at ourselves. Our enemy is the one who wants us focused on ourselves—on our humanity, frailty and need. God, however, wants us focused on Him—on His deity, His ability and His boundless power.” Does this resonate with anyone else??? I have spent most of my life being intrinsic. My focus needs to be on the One who has the power to change me. He is the only One who can handle the situation.
So, I need to learn to turn to Him automatically instead of bog myself down in my problems. I need to make a conscious decision to look through the lens of God’s power and might. I need to tell the negative voices to shut up and go away because my God’s got this! I can’t look at the problems any more. I need to look at Jesus who is always there fighting for me. I just can’t let the problems bog me down. That is exactly what Satan wants me to do.
God is able to do anything—ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING—and I need to trust His ability and willingness to do it. When I look back and see all the things He has done for me, I am amazed at what He has done. I need to focus on those things and not the things that aren’t happening. God is sovereign and I need to trust His decisions. Priscilla states, “But whether or not God chooses to do something is a question of His sovereignty, not His ability. Whether or not He will do it is His business. But believing that He can—that’s our business.” So my job is to believe that He can and then realize that He is always working on my behalf.
You see, because of my Dad and others, I haven’t had the privilege of having many people working on my behalf. That has had a huge affect on me. Scripture has helped me tremendously in this area. If you struggle in this area, I would like to share some scripture with you.
Psalm 145:17 “The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His does.”
Psalm 84:11 “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless.”
Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
We are guaranteed that He is always working on our behalf. I might not understand His ways, but He is always doing what is best for us. I need to be reminded on a daily basis that my God is able. I need to focus on who God is instead of all the problems and issues. I need to remind myself that He is working on my behalf. He is able to do far more than I can even imagine.
I am going to leave you with some encouraging words by Priscilla Shirer. “But, listen, believing in Jesus—I mean really trusting Him on a practical, daily level—is supposed to be real. It’s supposed to work. It’s supposed to transform us and make us different than before. We’re supposed to “watch expectantly for the Lord,” to “wait for the God of my salvation,” fully confident with the biblical assurance of faith that “my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7
So, dear friends, I am choosing to look for Him every day as He works in my life. I am going to train my mind to focus on His words and worship Him for who He is. I am asking Him to change me into an extrinsic believer who is focused on who He is and not myself. I want to tell the giant of negativity to take a hike because my God is able and will do what is best for me. I am praying that I can grasp how wide and long and high and deep His love is for me. Because when I can grasp it, I will have the confidence to say, “God’s got this!” Until next time……..
Photo by Rachel Mathew Photography