A sure-fire way of clearing your mind of the negative and destructive thoughts, when a crisis has you in its grasp, is to pray for the peace and rest that is yours because of Christ’s sacrifice and the presence of the Holy Spirit who comes from the Father and lives in the heart of every believer. This sounds too simple but in fact, it is just that simple. However, don’t confuse peace and rest with problem solved. This is only the beginning of a process that involves relying on the Spirit of God to help you, once again, put down roots so will begin to grow in the presence and grace of the Lord. The promise is that once those roots have been established, the “fruit of the Spirit” will once more grow and become your daily sustenance (Galatians 5:22).
Facing our demons, our sin and its consequences, is not something we can hope to be successful at on our own, it requires being equipped by God. Before entering into the battle it is also important to realize that there are forces at work you will never see or hear, yet you know they are there by the havoc they cause in your life. These unseen forces are the work of Satan and his demons; they are real and ever-present in the world today. Our society has tried to relegate them to the realm of superstition and fiction but such ideas are not only wrong but dangerous and to ignore them is foolish. Satan, his demons and his power to influence and destroy, will be with us until Christ returns and “throws” them “into the lake of burning sulfur.” It is Satan and his demons, not us, who “will be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Revelation 20:10)”
The equipment we need to wage this war against the powers of evil is described in Isaiah 11:2-3 and if we rely on them, our success is sure. Employing these seven God given tools or weapons against evil is how we can recover from the crisis and turmoil of our circumstances and once again grow in the love of Christ. So let’s take a closer look at what God has provided us through His Spirit.
The first is the Spirit of wisdom, a term that is not used a great deal these days because we have replaced wisdom with the word, “information.” It would be foolish to deny that we do indeed live in the “information age.” Never before in human history have people, around the globe, had access to such vast amounts of information and data. It really is quite an accomplishment of our age, but you have to ask, “How better off are we as a result?” I’m not talking about being able to switch on your GPS to guide you to where you need to go or being able to get the score of the ball game on your cell phone. I’m talking about being truly better off; it is what those whose lives have collapsed around them are seeking for themselves and those they care about most. It’s about being equipped to live a life that is characterized by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Paul tells us in Galatians 5:22 that the way we can enjoy all of these is by living in the power and influence of the Holy Spirit. When we finally come to realize that faith in Christ and walking with and in Him is the way, the only way to live in this world, that’s when we will know that the Spirit of wisdom lives within us.
Wisdom isn’t just about having good judgment based on our experience and the information available. It is about having a God given perspective of the world in which we live and not allowing ourselves to be misled by the wisdom of this world. For the time being, our world belongs to Satan and once we accept this harsh reality and decide to reject him and his wisdom, only then will we be on our way to living in the wisdom that only comes from God and enjoying the benefits described in Galatians 5:22.
I had a co-worker in the office once challenge me on this point by asking, “I thought you said that God created the world and he declared all it all good?” I responded, “Your right on, that is until you come to the dust-up in the Garden of Eden with Satan, that’s when the world became the Garden of Evil.” Paul refers to Satan as “the god (small g) of this age” and his mission is to “blind the minds of unbelievers, so that we cannot see the glory of Christ.” By contrast, he says of believer’s in Christ, “If we are out of our mind, it’s for the sake of God. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. If we are in our right mind, it’s for you.” Wisdom gives us clarity of mind and a new focus. That new focus is to be on others first; as a demonstration of our gratitude for the love that God has poured out on us. The world will say that we are out of our minds for being selfless, but that is nothing more than the wisdom of the world, the wisdom of Satan.
Tool #357 “Do not put out the Spirit’s fire…test everything…hold on to the good…avoid every kind of evil.” 1Thessalonians 5:19-22