Where do I have my focus, part 1?
15th of September
I might as well have called it: “What kind of expectations do I have?” I will start by sharing a personal story with you.
I live in Sweden. One day I went away for a few hours and I left my mobile at home. When I returned, I saw that a friend of mine had called on my mobile. It was both a missed call and a message that promted me to call her. She had never called my mobile before, only the regular phone. This was also at a time when she is usually at work. She is a teacher. What do you think that I thought of first? I “saw” a car accident. Then I imagined that one of her students was in a terrible situation. The next alternative was that our plan for a trip to Israel was ruined. I hardly thought of a nice message. I tried to call her, but no answer. Then I was almost sure that she was in a hospital. I asked the Holy Spirit if I should start praying, but no Spirit of Prayer came over me. I tried to stop thinking about it and sent a message: “CRISIS?” She called me late in the evening and laughed. She had been far away from any crisis. She had been in a nice meeting and that was the reason why she had’nt answered. Do you want to know why she called in the first place? She had left her work a little earlier and she came across a shop with skin bags. It was sale and she could get a 70% discount. She wanted to give med a nice birthday gift and a surprise to my daughters and wondered what kind we wanted. She was so exited since it was so cheap. Then I started to laugh, both in relief and self-irony. I heard that a nice bag was waiting for me in Norway and everything was pure happiness. God used this story to wake me up and show me how negative my thoughts had been. My thought-pattern was full of catastrophies. Quite a few do call me for prayers when there is a need, but that is no excuse. My youngest daughter suggested that I should think that a million is on its way next time I come in a similar situation.
I think of all the times that I have seen an ambulance and I immediately look where it comes from. Where are my family-members exactly now? There might be many thousands living in the same place and why should “my people” be in that ambulance? I usually pray for the people in the ambulance and that has nothing to do with my wrong thinking. I and my family pray daily for protection so it is totally wrong to even think that an accident has taken place. WE ARE UNDER THE BLESSING AND PROTECTION. DO I BELIEVE IT?????
I share these things with you since I know that I am not the only one with such thoughts. I have talked with others who immediately call their family members when they see an ambulance. They might get a sense of panic when they do not get hold of them. These are Christians as well as non-believers.
WHEN NEGATIVE THOUGHTS COME TO US FIRST, OUR EXPECTATIONS AND THOUGHT PATTERNS ARE WRONG. I hope that you see that I write to both you and me. I need the help of the Holy Spirit and we are working on the problem. It is actually strange since I have trusted God in other situations that have been quite dangerous.
We can go back to the first situation with my friend. I asked God if I should pray. I do believe that is a good rule, but when God is’nt giving you anything, it is time to stop thinking about all the possible negative possibilities. THANK GOD FOR HIS GOODNESS, CARE AND PROTECTION. When we think about the negative possibilities, we give more attention to what the devil can do than to God. We give the devil power. Have you forgotten that Our Daddy is with us all the days till the ends of the earth? (Matt.28:20) We are not there yet. We can also read in the Bible that His mercy endureth for ever. I recommend you to read psalm 103, 23, 18 and 118 often. The New Testament are full of His promises. LET US FILL OURSELVES WITH THE THOUGHTS OF GOD. THEY WILL TEAR DOWN THE NEGATIVE ONES.
I will mention another true story. This was told by my pastor. Our church celebrated recently 25 years of existence. When it started, it was very small and every new step they took, was a step of faith. It semmed impossible to buy a lot to build on. Once that was bought, it was almost impossible to get permission to build and no bank would grant a loan. They experienced miracle after miracle and small and big answers to all their prayers. The day of dedication was a day of great joy and of great expectations. It was built for many more people than necessary for the moment. The service started and all seemed so great until the pastor saw a small black spot on the wall in front of him. His attention was glued to this black spot for a very long time. His entire focus was on this little spot. How could he? This was the day they had longed for and now they were gathered in gratitude. The pastor forgot the rest of the fantastic building. Is’nt this what the devil wants? He wants to draw our attention away from God. 99,9% was perfect, but it was this 01% that got the attention.
WHAT DO WE LOOK AT AND WHAT DO WE TALK ABOUT? We are often using most of our time to talk about the things that are not perfect. What is perfect actually? If an unexpected guest comes, what do you say? Many are coming with lots of excuses, the floor is’nt washed, the windows are not so clean; lots of rain lately. Most of the people would never have seen that if you had’nt drawn their attention to it. THEY CAME TO SEE YOU. Do you think that you are important to anyone? Do you believe that you must be perfect to be loved? There must be reasons why we talk about things that really do not matters. Just think if could have said: “Oh, so nice to see you, come in and I will make us a cup of coffee. It is some time since we have had a nice talk.”
What do you do when you get your result from an exam? Your mark is fine, but you made one mistake. I am sure that many of you will remember this one mistake and this is what you talk about. It is a saying that goes like this: “We learn from our mistake”, but this is not positive learning. It would be so much better if you could rejoice over the good mark and the great answers. Thank God, some do.
I know of people who cater big parties. Then one little thing drops to the floor and they say: “Oh, the party is ruined.”What a lie. It was a very successful party, but a very small thing went wrong.
Why do we do these things? Many people are bound by fear. They are afraid of failing. They might be afraid of what people say to and about them. Maybe they have an inferiority complex. They might have been brought up with lots of criticism.
God does not want us to harbour such emotions of fear and inadequasies. He is like a good father and he is proud of us. He does not walk around with a magnifying glass in order to find some faults with us. We are way too often using a magnifying glass to see if we can find some black spots on others and ourselves. GOD SEES US THROUGH THE BLOOD OF JESUS AND IT IS WRITTEN THAT LOVE COVERS A MULTIDTUDE OF SINS.(1.Pet.4:8)
LET US FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE IN OURSELVES, IN GOD AND IN OTHERS. THAT WILL MAKE US HAPPY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!