Have you ever asked someone how they were doing and they answered sadly, “Fine, under the circumstances.”
It’s a nice way to tell you that things are not going good. Maybe they even continued by telling you about all the problems that are going on in their life.
Problems are a part of life. I understand that the only people that don’t have problems are buried in a cemetery. I have been around long enough to understand that when people develop a mentality of simply “living under the circumstances”, they are robbing themselves of victories that could become theirs.
Would you rather listen to this teaching?
Romans 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!
Partnership and Process
When we are born into God’s family, we receive both God’s abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness.
Reign in life through Jesus Christ.
God wants you to reign! Did you see that? It’s not my idea, it’s God’s idea from the beginning. It’s not His plan for you to live under the problems of life, under stress, under fear, under lack, under depression. He wants you to reign.
But, whether you do or not will depend on what you believe and if you access what is rightfully yours. And, what you believe comes from what you feed your mind and spirit.
When people walk through dark places it is very easy to develop a “survival mentality.” I believe God has more. I believe “He always causes us to triumph through Christ.”
Not Under the Circumstances- but Thriving thorough Jesus
Let me strategically step off the path I was taking for just a minute. Can I share some powerful thought changing, victory taking verses with you? And, would you mind if I put my name in the verse and maybe you should put yours in their too.
Isaiah 40:27 NLT says
(But I’m going to put my name in there) So, here goes. O Pat, how can you say the LORD does not see your troubles?
O Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights?
28Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
29He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
30Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
31But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles They will run and not grow weary They will walk and not faint
Psalms 78 lists miracle after miracle that God had performed for the Children of Israel. Then verse 40 KJV tells us “they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.”
Here’s a picture of living UNDER the Circumstances
With the exception of Joshua and Caleb, a whole generation of God’s people failed to receive God’s promise because they were afraid. Their fear is an emotion that comes from wrong thinking. Their fear robbed their faith. They didn’t believe and they didn’t obey.
They could control what they believed and what they did, but they couldn’t control their consequences. Therefore, they didn’t receive the promise and they couldn’t blame it on God.
Do you see how what they heard fed their fear? Even after Joshua and Caleb tried to encourage them, they didn’t believe. They saw the magnificent fruit, but the stories of giants loomed bigger in their minds and then their hearts.
1 Timothy 4:7 BSB But reject irreverent and silly myths. Instead, train yourself for godliness.
Train your thoughts…
because they are critical to every area of your life.
A baby isn’t born knowing how to walk or talk.
It has to learn to do tons of stuff. A baby is curious so it reaches for things, tries to sit up, roll over and crawl. As its body grows stronger, it practices until it becomes proficient at each step of the progression toward walking.
Body. Soul. Spirit.
You are a triune being with a soul and a spirit that lives in a body. Your soul is made up of your mind, will and emotions. Your mind is to your soul what your brain is to your body. It is important to realize that your mind can change your brain; affecting your health, emotions and beliefs.
Romans 8:5 NIV
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
This is a tug of war. Who is going to win? The stronger side!
Too many times we live under the circumstances because our minds are not set on the things of the Spirit.
We have a storage shed at our house.
It is shaped like a two story barn. Wayne stores all kinds of stuff, including junk inside. I could live out in the barn if I wanted to live there. I don’t want to live there because the house is a much better place to live. There’s no air conditioning or beds or bathrooms in the barn.
You can live out of human reasoning or out of wisdom of God. God made you. He knows what is best for you, so it doesn’t make sense that we would ignore His plan and/or instructions.
Since He designed how our spirit, soul and body function together, it is abundantly clear from Scripture that our thoughts REALLY matter. When we understand the mind is to the soul, what the brain is to the body; we will begin to think different.
The queen bee is essential to keep the bee colony alive. When a hive of bees needs a new queen bee they select an ordinary bee, then develop a new queen by feeding it royal jelly. The ones that don’t eat the royal jelly are ordinary worker bees. The bee is transformed by what it eats.
The Bible clearly tells us how to be transformed. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 NIV
What is feeding your thoughts?
The Word of God does the same thing to a believer that royal jelly does to a bee. It transforms us!
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. Romans 8:5 NIV
That Scripture identifies that where you focus you mind is where you will live. If you live according to the flesh you’ve got you mind focused on what the flesh wants. Did you see that?
But the converse is also true. It is imperative that we deliberately and strategically shape and conform our thoughts by thinking on God’s Word. God won’t do it for us. But the powerful Word of God produces change when we assimilate it like your body assimilates food. God’s Word nourishes, it develops faith and shapes beliefs and values.
Big Take Away– Problems are a part of life, but when your goal is just to survive instead of thrive you’ve got a bigger problem than your problem. You’ve got a believing problem that is rooted in a thinking problem.