“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:12-14).
Weight lifters understand that muscles are built by pressing against resistance. Overcoming Christians also understand that resistance is a friend in our journey to become fully convinced about God’s goodness and His promises.
Salmon are a fascinating fish. They are birthed in fresh water, then live in the ocean for years, and finally come back to fresh water to spawn so that their species can increase in number. The remarkable thing about this process is that they spawn in the same location where they were born, and they often overcome great odds (waterfalls, etc.) to get there. God has put in them a homing device (direction) and an overcoming spirit to fulfill their calling. He has done the same for us.
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith” (1 John 5:2-4). We also have what it takes to go upstream in life (against the resistance). Truly, the victorious Christian will embrace a life of swimming upstream against old “mind currents” that want to imprison them in valleys of unfruitfulness. One way to do this is by setting the course of our lives with words to go against the flow of unbelief.
Here are some common situations that often contain lies, which can be combated with a specific promise of God:
- When experiencing lack and uncertainty, say, “My God will supply all my needs according to His riches in glory” (Philippians 1:9).
- When feeling hopeless, say, “God has a way to get me from here to where I need to be. There is a direction for me to take that is powerful and good, and He will empower me to walk in it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
- When feeling weak, say, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
- When you think you are a failure, say, “He who has begun a good work in me will complete it” (Philippians 1:6).
- When you don’t know what else to do, bottom line things and say, “I am going to be okay because my God will make things work out for me” (Romans 8:28).
These responses will help us set the course of our life toward God’s Promised Land and away from mediocre or shipwrecked living. There have been seasons in my life where I have had to focus extra time in speaking and thinking God’s promises. Remember, it is His promises that allow us “to participate in the divine nature” of supernatural living (2 Peter 1:4).
Spoken words have a powerful effect, but inner self talk, is also important to our lives. We resist lies first in our thoughts. More on this ahead. In the meantime, remember, you might be crazy if you don’t talk to yourself. For more in this listen to this week’s podcast here.
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.