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Holding Destiny With Both Hands

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There are so many facets of the Christian life to take into consideration that we can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of things that there are to attend to. The issues of our relationships with our immediate families, our jobs, our ministries, our community involvement, and evangelism seem to be plenty to contend with on their own.
Christian disciplines like prayer, personal Bible study, witnessing, corporate gatherings, fasting, etc. seem to only add to the list. Then there is the fact that many of us have the ability to make simple things very complex.
Jesus spoke of and lived a simple lifestyle however. He wasn’t irresponsible but without the entanglements and cares of this world. King Solomon said:
Proverbs 4:23 ESV
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
Every issue of our lives come out like rivers from one central location -our heart- and what we do in stewarding our hearts will determine outcomes in our lives.
In the world that we live in our only true job is to trust our heavenly Father with the problems and situations that we don’t understand.
We then need to focus on stewarding our will to what we already know to be true.
My success in watching over my heart determines the measure of Kingdom breakthrough I will experience in my life. So this then become a key to many other facets of the Christian life.
This is why it can be so dangerous to start the pursuit of trends and fads in our churches. I am not saying that all that is happening is inherently bad, but it doesn’t take a genius to see that it’s not all good either.
Strengthening ourselves in the Lord is an essential part of stewarding our hearts. The tools that I use for doing that have become like automated responses to the warning lights in my heart. The fact is that I can only respond correctly to a situation if I recognize the signals my heart is sending to me.
If the oil light comes on in your car for example, and your response is to drive to the nearest car wash, you have clearly not understood the signals that you are being given.
Worse yet, the real issue hasn’t been dealt with and will soon result in a breakdown of some sort or another. What I would like to do today is give you some tools that will help you establish some foundational truths in our thinking that we can use to strengthen ourselves and hold on to our destinies with both hands.

We Become What We Behold

Our hearts and our thinking are intimately connected. We try in our Western culture to compartmentalize everything when it comes to this; the heart feels and the mind thinks.
Scripture says this:
Proverbs 23:
Proverbs 23:
Proverbs 23:7 ESV
for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
Proverbs 23:7 ESV
for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
Another translation says, as a man thinks, so is he.
The Hebrew word “heart” encompasses the whole of our inner being, not just the emotional aspects of who we are.
The heart is the seat of your mind, your imagination, your will, your desires, your emotions, your affections, your memory, etc.
It is also the centerpiece for your communion with God and gives you the ability to perceive spiritual reality. We have often sung the song “Open the eyes of my heart”, but what a joy we have when we truly understand the meaning. In this way, it is your heart that enables you to have faith.
Hebrews 11:1 ESV
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Our faith grows as we continue to perceive and understand different spiritual realities. That unseen realm of spiritual reality is right now controlling even the things that we look at and see everyday. When we understand this we begin to bring our mind and will into agreement with the reality of the Kingdom.
Are we focusing on the blessings and life of the Kingdom of God, or are we focused on the destructiveness of the enemy’s kingdom? Many focus on the darkness in this world because it is not only so easy to see, but it is daily trying to bombard us and encourage us to make fear based decisions about what we see.
The power agreement with spiritual reality through our heart focus adds another dimension to the principle that life flows from our hearts: You become what you behold.
Remember the Sunday School song, Be careful little eyes what you see?

Agreeing with Faith

The enemy uses lies to make problems appear to be bigger than the solutions we carry within us.
He is trying to distract us by any means necessary, but when it comes to us the decision in a no-brainer for us, I mean who really cares about what the devil is doing?
Nehemiah 6:3
Nehemiah 6:3 ESV
And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”
The truth is that I can only ignore the enemy when I am firmly convinced that I am doing a great work for God, a work that He has commissioned me to do. Our commission comes from our submission to the primary mission of heaven, that God’s will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Consider what has happened in Israel’s history to be a warning light to us here today.
Lamentations 1:9 ESV
Her uncleanness was in her skirts; she took no thought of her future; therefore her fall is terrible; she has no comforter. “O Lord, behold my affliction, for the enemy has triumphed!”
The key to either great purpose or great destruction lies in where we choose to sustain our focus. The realization of this should move us to fiercely guard our intimacy with God.

Knowing That God Is Good

I am convinced that the reason the enemy successfully entices people to have fear and anxiety is that he distracts us from the fact that we already have all the tools in our arsenal to defeat him
Genesis 50:20 ESV
As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.
The enemy excels at trying to get us to make on the spot decisions based on the current calamity. But if we take a moment and begin to rehearse the things that God has done for us, counting our blessings, we will realize the Lord has always and will always bring us through those spots that are beyond our own capabilities.
Our ability to connect with what God is doing in the midst of difficult circumstances depends on our ability to remember who He is and what He has done in our lives- our relational history with Him.
As you become more convinced that you are a person with great identity and purpose that you are prepared for the moment that you are standing in, and that all of Heaven is waiting to back you up as you choose to be faithful to your purpose, your perception of which forces are most at work in your life will shift. That is how Joseph was able to say after all that he had endured by the hands of his own family members that God had turned what they meant for evil into good for him.
I want to end this morning with this thought; God doesn’t create evil. But God is not beyond using the intentions of the enemy to promote the ultimate fulfillment of His will. If God is for you therefore, none can truly be against you.
Romans 8:31 ESV
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
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