Isaiah 26:3 says, Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee. Notice that God has given us a promise, but we must meet His condition. The promise is: He will keep you in perfect peace. The condition is: if your mind is stayed on Him. The mind plays a vital part in your being kept in perfect peace.
Some people may think that I am talking about some mind power. No! I am not talking about mind power. I am talking about the power of God’s Word in a faith-filled heart and a renewed mind.
You should know that you are to be sober-minded and that you should develop a right mental attitude. As you do this, you will begin to learn how to approach every situation in your life without worry or fear.
In the following scripture, Jesus teaches us that Christians are not to take any thought (worry) about the material necessitates of life:
22Therefore, I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. 23The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls? 25And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 26If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest? 27Consider the lilies, how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28If then God so clothe the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith? 29And seek ye not what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of a doubtful mind. 30For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Jesus is telling us how to live a “worry free” life. He says that we do not have to live in suspense or have a doubtful mind. We can live with a positive attitude, knowing that God will take care of us if we seek first the kingdom of God. If we do this, then it pleases the Father to give us the kingdom (v. 32).
The things that Jesus said belong to us are the very things that Satan tries to get us to worry about the most. He tries to make us doubt that God will ever give us the necessities of life.
Just before Jesus left the earth, He said, Lo, I am with you always (Matthew 28:20). He also said, I will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). In spite of what Jesus promised, many Christians still suffer from insecurity, which is one of the greatest of all fears. Satan wants the Christian to be insecure, and he attacks them with everything imaginable in order to cause them to worry and fret.
But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto they fathers, as it is this day.
Yet many people still greatly fear that they are not going to have enough to meet their needs.
Fear is a spiritual force that will destroy a mental attitude. This is the reason Jesus said, Take no thought…fear not…Be not of doubtful mind. He said, Don’t you know that your heavenly Father loves you and will take care of you? There is no need for you to worry about anything. O ye of little faith (author’s paraphrase).
If Satan can create fear in your heart and cause you to have a wrong mental attitude, he can stop you from receiving the blessing of God. Satan comes to kill, to steal, and to destroy. Fear is what opens the door of your life to him.
Fear is the parent of three great diseases that infect the human mind: APATHY, INERTIA, and PROCRASTINATION. They are all brought on by fear.
Apathy means becoming indifferent, having a lack of interest, having a lack of motivation. Inertia is inactivity and passiveness. Procrastination means to hold back and to put off until later.
Jesus said, Take no thought. Why does He say that? Somebody might say, “Well, I just can’t do that. I can’t live on this earth without thinking about what I am going to wear, and without thinking about food and shelter.” He didn’t say, “Don’t think!” He was implying that we shouldn’t worry about anything. Jesus was talking about doubtful thinking or negative thinking here. He said, Take no thought for these things for your heavenly Father knoweth that you have need of them. And He said, Fear not…it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Quite a few years ago, I was going along doing what I felt God wanted me to do and having a good time, when all of a sudden it looked as though the bottom had dropped out. I know that Satan has not learned any new tricks, and he has probably pulled the same thing on you. But as I was doing what God had instructed me to do, I realized that my finances had stopped. There were internal problems in my organization. In fact, there was a lot of strife. The next thing I knew, I was approximately $20,000 in debt. I had been paying my way and believing God to owe no man anything but to love him. Everything had been working well, and God had honored His Word in everything.
Then it happened! I cried, “Dear God! I have $20,000 worth of bills, and I don’t have enough to pay them!”
The devil hit me with this: “You ugly thing! You go out there and preach that God meets your needs, and you can’t even pay your bills. Why don’t you just go and hide somewhere and just shut down this ministry!”
I was tempted to call Kenneth Copeland and ask him if I could have my old job back. Oh, it would have been easy to do that. The blaze was burning – Satan was about to shove me in the furnace, and it was hot. I wanted to play around in self-pity and say, “Bless God, I have been out there preaching the Gospel; I have been faithful; I have travelled this United States from one end to the other; I have driven all night; I have preached three and four services a day, seven days a week when it was necessary. God! Why did this happen to me?”
No! The reason I was in the trial was that I had opened the door to it myself. I had been so busy that I had gotten out of fellowship with God’s Word, and it made me a prime target for Satan’s attack.
So there I was in a $20,000 furnace, and it was hot. I did not understand why it was happening to me. I thought that I had been doing all the right things and that everybody loved me. I had no enemies who would want to see me in a situation like that. It started playing on my mind. And the more I thought about the situation, the more I realized that I was not doing what Peter said to do.
He said when you are in that kind of situation to gird up the loins of your mind. I had been letting my mind run away with me. I sat there in that $20,000 furnace and thought negatively.
I have been in the Word of God since 1968. I am not a novice. I knew what the Word said to do. And I knew what the Word said would happen if I was a doer of the Word. But at that moment, I wanted to just play around in self-pity and do nothing.
That caused the disease of APATHY. I felt indifferent about it. I couldn’t have cared less at that moment if I won or lost.
I want you to know, at that moment, I felt very different about the Gospel. I did not care if anybody got saved. I did not care if anyone got delivered. In fact, I did not really care if I got delivered. The only thing I can remember saying was what John said in Revelation, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.”
Somebody might say, “Oh, Brother Jerry, you shouldn’t tell people those things.” Listen, I believe in being honest with people. Someone may be having these same thoughts, and my testimony could be the inspiration they need to be delivered.
I thought, “Bless God! I have dedicated my life to God. I am doing everything that I know the Gospel tells me to do, and then I get stuck with this!” That was wrong thinking. That did not line up with the Word of God.
The next thing that happened in my mind was the disease of INERTIA or inactivity. I did not know anything; I did not want to talk to anyone! I did not want to read my Bible, nor want to do what I knew I should be doing. I was in the midst of a trial, and I was not doing what I was supposed to be doing.
When you are in the midst of a trial, it is not the time to run from the Word. But you see, sometimes we allow ourselves to learn things the hard way. And that was what I was doing in that situation. It was not God’s fault. God was more than willing to teach me in His Word how to avoid a $20,000 furnace. But I chose to do it the hard way.
Then came the third mental disease: PROCRASTINATION. I thought, “Tomorrow, I will get into the Word of God and get out of this mess. I know I can get out of this, but I am just not going to do anything now. I guess I’ll burn some more.
Can you see the danger of these terrible diseases? They cause you to have a wrong attitude. And you may say, “It makes no difference what I do. It won’t work anyway.”
The devil doesn’t play fair, and that is the reason Jesus said, Take no thought…Don’t be of doubtful mind…fear not. He is telling you and me how to avoid those $20,000 furnaces.
After I had cooked awhile, I finally decided, “Praise God, I know better than this.” And I got into the Word. I picked myself up by the ear and said, “Jerry Savelle, you are not a failure. Failures are not God-made. And you are not going to fail.”
The fact that I had failed once before as a businessman started coming to my thinking. Satan kept telling me, “You failed in that business, you jerk, and you are going to fail in this.”
I said, “NO!” When I was in that business I was not a believer, but I am now. I am a partaker of His divine nature, and it is not God’s nature to fail, praise God.” I pulled myself up out of the furnace and began to feed my inner man the Word. I began to gird up the loins of my mind. I began to draw from that creative power in God’s Word. I spoke the Word to that $20,000 furnace, and I want you to know I came out of it.
Oh yes, it was difficult. It looked as though I would never get out. But I want you to know, praise God, today I am out! And I’ll never go through that furnace again. Do you see what I am saying? A right mental attitude about the necessities of life is important. Jesus said, Take no thought.
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