In I Kings 19, Elijah ended up in a cave (both physically and spiritually). He was in a spiritual cave due to tiredness, disappointment, and spiritual warfare. The main symptom of a spiritual cave is this: what you feel is true is not actually true, even though it feels very true. Elijah felt and believed he was the only godly one left, but God gave him a perspective upgrade by telling him there were 7,000 others who had not “bowed the knee to Baal” (I Kings 19:18). In other words, there was 7,000 times more positive things going on than what Elijah thought. (Even prophets do not always perceive things correctly).
God is extracting multitudes of people from spiritual caves right now. People are being healed of disappointment and are seeing that things are not as bad as they feel to be. I believe even today God is doing 7,000 times more in the situations we’re facing than we think He is.
Remember, most spiritual heaviness, discouragement, and depression comes from believing lies, not from circumstances or physical ailments. As we replace lies with truth, we will increase in both hope and influence.
As we approach the midpoint of 2017, here are five lies not to believe about 2017 world events:
- I am a victim of what is happening around the world – A victim mindset believes we are powerless to bring change unless circumstances around us change first. Those with this belief system will be hindered greatly in forward movement and influence. The promises of God obliterate victim thinking. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23).
- There is no hope for our future – There is always hope. “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” (Romans 15:13). My wife, Wendy, once asked the Lord, “Aren’t some circumstances hopeless?” She heard this response, “Wendy, I will give you permission to be hopeless about anything I am hopeless about.” Ha, we have never heard God say about anything, “I am hopeless about that.” Truly, there are no hopeless circumstances, only hopeless people. Once people get true hope, it is impossible for circumstances to stay the same.
- I need to withdraw from society and just wait for Jesus to return – One of the reasons Christians do not have hope for the future is because of an “end times” view that things are supposed to get worse. This expectation is in contradiction to what we should believe will be the result of our praying, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). We are not called to withdraw, but we are called to believe our prayers are working and that we are to “do business until (He) comes,” (Luke 19:13). This “doing business” is becoming engaged in society and causing improvements wherever we go.
- The devil is winning – We may believe the devil is winning if we feed on the secular news more than on testimonies of what God is doing around the world. It may feel true that the devil is winning, but it is not true. Jesus said, “I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail,” (Matthew 16:18). Jesus gave assurance the devil will not win. If you want to be convinced more about this and that good things are coming, I suggest you read Kingdom Horizon: Eight Reasons Why Earth’s Greatest Days Are Unfolding by Robert Fraser.
- I cannot thrive in life now – Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). In the previous verses he said he would be content no matter what happens. In other words, he is supernaturally empowered by God to be inwardly successful in all of life’s circumstances. He says he will supernaturally thrive in every situation. Those who believe they will thrive no matter what happens will thrive no matter what happens. Those who are waiting for better circumstances before coming alive and moving forward will probably never have the ideal time appear.
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.