This morning before leaving to lead worship at a church in Chambersburg I help out once a month, I was listening to Joel Osteen’s broadcast. He was telling a story that really made an impression on me. Joel tells the story of a man who was a chronic worrier, always thinking about the worst that could happen to him. One day at his job he got locked in one of the refrigerated box cars without his radio or cell phone and no one was around. When he realized he was locked in, he panicked and started yelling and pounding on the door, doing this for hours until his hands were bleeding and he lost his voice. He knew he was in a refrigerated boxcar where the temperature was usually below freezing. He began to fear the worse, that he would not make it out and would freeze to death. He must have thought that he would not get out that night alive. The more he thought about it, the more cold he became until he was shaking from the cold. He found a cardboard box and wrote on it “So cold, body getting numb, these might be my last words”. The next morning when workers came and opened that steel doors to the boxcar they found him curled up in the corner, dead. The autopsy report revealed that he had indeed frozen to death. The amazing thing about this story is that the refrigeration unit in that car was never even on, the temperature was at 61 degrees. The man died because the thing he feared came upon him even though it was not the truth of what was actually happening.
Wow! This just really spoke to me. What you dwell on most often becomes a reality. So if you are thinking on things that are negative and fear based, it is not going to bring life to you. How many times have my thoughts brought death to my dreams, my hopes, my spirit and my body. The word of God says the following in The Message Bible:
So, I’m not to fret or worry? Is that even possible you may ask. This next part seems to be the key.
Changing how we think and speak is something that does not just happen. You have to continue to renew your mind by putting in the good and casting out all the bad. How do you fill you mind with the good? How do you only think on the best, the beautiful, the things to praise? Here is what I have found to work for me. I look up all the scriptures I can find that tell me about all the goodness of my God, all His love, His grace, His mercy He has for me. I seek out what He says about what I have because I belong to Him and am His daughter. Then I speak those words over myself. I find songs of praise that say the same things and listen and sing them all day long. I have found that the more I do this during the day, the healthier I feel, the more strength comes into my body, the more my spirit is uplifted and encouraged. The less time I spend listening to the negative things around me and only allow into my spirit and my mind the positive, life giving truths that God wants me to know, the more and more I become full of life and then death can have no place there anymore. It’s funny to say this, but in the presence of God’s truth, His life, death cannot live, it cannot stay as death. Life is breathed into the death and we are changed!
So, I encourage you…..Don’t think yourself to death. Think yourself into life.