Change the Channel
by Steve Backlund
Radios are incredible machines – they have the ability to tune into communication that is already in the atmosphere. Right now, all around us, are radio transmissions we can’t hear unless we have the right equipment and tune into the right station. This is true both spiritually and physically – we are all tuned into something in the spiritual realm, similar to a radio wave or channel.
Frequently, many of us accidentally tune into the wrong channels in the spirit, like:
“The accuser of the brethren” channel
“You are who your past says you are” channel
“Don’t get your hopes up” pessimism channel
“You are a victim” channel
But God has life-giving, identity-releasing channels for you. How do we know if we are listening to the wrong channel? We can check ourselves with a quick hope self-test. If what we are listening to doesn’t give us hope for ourselves, for others, for our nation, or for our circumstances, then we are listening to the wrong channel.
Also, if our interpretation of Scripture doesn’t give us hope, then we are listening to the wrong channel in how we interpret the Bible. For example, we can perceive the Bible from an old covenant perspective that causes us to fear punishment. We can listen to the “you’ve been disappointed” channel and our past hurts can also cause us to interpret the Bible in a flawed manner.
If we’re not interpreting Scripture with hope, we’re listening to the wrong channel.
Romans 15:13 says, “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” The moment we believe truth and properly interpret the Bible we should abound in hope; it should overflow from our mouths as our first response.
It says in Hebrews 10:23, “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” So the more that we believe that God is faithful, the more hope-filled we will be. I’m not into positive thinking, I’m into biblical optimism. Continuing on in Hebrews 10:24-25, it reads, “Let us consider one another and stir up love and good works, encouraging one another all the more as you see the day approaching.”We must first encourage ourselves, and be encouraged by what we are hearing. We have to make sure we’re listening to the right channel, one that stirs the desire in us to rise up and overcome.
There are so many people in the Bible that changed channels in the spirit to hear something else. Gideon was listening to the victim channel, to the “I’m stuck” channel, and the “I’ve got to protect myself” channel. But he chose to tune into something different when the angel of the Lord began speaking identity over him, calling him a “mighty man of valor.” Jacob was also listening to the wrong channel and in Genesis 32 wrestled with the angel, saying he wouldn’t let the angel go until he blessed him. This blessing was a revelation that his name, and identity, would be changed from “deceiver” (Jacob) to “Prince with God” (Israel).
Jeremiah was also given an assignment and a calling but he was listening to the “I’m only a youth” channel, so God asked him to change channels. Abraham changed channels several times, including in Genesis 17 where he received a name change from “exalted father” (Abram) to “father of many nations” (Abraham). This new name tuned Abraham into his biblical identity, not based on his past, but based on God’s promises over his life.
Are the channels you’re listening to giving you hope? If not, some channel adjustments need to be made.
Listen to these stations instead to restore your hope based on God’s truth and His perspective:
Your true, biblical identity
You are not who your past says you are
You are forgiven and in right-standing with God
God will finish what He started in you (Philippians 1:6)
God is going to change and grow what needs to be changed in you
You have a future and a hope because vision for the future gives power and purpose for the present
Today, I bless you to recognize any stations you may be tuned into that are robbing you of your true identity and God’s perspective of your life. You can do it. Tune in to that which gives you hope.
Upcoming Opportunities to Ignite Your Hope
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.