Introduction: If we believe that we are losers, we will sow and reap like losers. But if we believe that we are winners through Christ, God can help us to sow and reap like winner. A key idea in today’s discussion is “We should work on keeping our space occupied and developing supportive relationships.”
1. Develop some occupying routines. Notice that Matthew 12:43-45 urges us to keep our spaces occupied, so the devil will not come and take up our space. We should have some occupying routines for our minds – morning, afternoon, and evening routines.
The Sunday School and preaching material is a good start with some journal notes. We should have some occupying routines for our mouths. Work on talking about your faith more than feelings (see Pro. 18:21; Rom. 8:28; Heb. 13:5b; Ps. 30:5b).
We should have some occupying routines for our behavior/actions. We should have routines that help us care of our health, wealth, supportive relationships, and contributions to God’s kingdom (see Gal. 6:9). Let’s work on having some occupying routines.
2. Develop some weeding habits. Notice that Ephesians 4:27; II Corinthians 10:4; I Peter 5:8 support the devil being willing to start small and grow, until he destroys us. Instead of being a reactionary victim, develop some habits to weed out the devil’s weeds and influence.
Pray for discernment of demonic activity. Stand up on God’s word (e.g., Ps. 27:14; Phil. 4:19; Isa. 54:17). Busy yourself with God’s will. Don’t wait until your emotions settled. Serving people who are less fortunate than you are, fellowshipping with positive people, and even singing can be helpful. Let’s work on killing the weeds of the devil in our lives.
3. We should nurture the good. Notice how Ecclesiastes 4:1; Romans 12:5 underscores the importance of strong supportive relationships. To have strong supportive relationships calls for us nurturing the good.
We can and should learn how to be likeable, trustworthy, and encouraging (e.g., put birthdays on the calendar, make friendly calls, return calls, and make time for fun activities). We all want people who love, respect, and encourage us. We need to practice being this kind of a person (see Jn. 13:34-35).
Strong supportive Christian relationships (see Gal. 6:9; Rom. 8:37) help us to stand up against the devil and enjoy our journeys. The strategic fellowship, discussions, and service of our growth groups are steps in the right direction of our church helping us with relationships. Let’s work on nurturing the good in relationships.
4. Forgiveness and reconciliation. Notice that Matthew 6:14-15; Romans 12:17-21 are good supports for forgiveness. To forgive is to let go of the pain and expectation of correction. We should do this quickly and with no regard for what the other person has done, so we can focus on positive experiences, stay in fellowship with God, and clear the path for God to handle those who have mistreated us.
Reconciliation is concerned with the hard work of restoring trust, instead of just acting like nothing happened. It calls for some confession and repentance on the part of the one who has caused offense.
It calls for forgiveness and some vulnerability on the part of the one who has been offended. Unfortunately, too many are so fixed in their ways that they are unwilling to do their part. Let’s work on forgiving and being open to reconciliation.
5. Controlling the negative. Notice that Psalm 1:1; Colossians 2:8 talk about the company that we keep. There are likely to be some toxic people in our lives.
Instead of trying to change them, you have to control what influence you will allow them to have on you. Some need to be restricted and others need to be evicted from your life. Let’s work on controlling the negativity that we allow into our lives.Please click here to let us know, if this has been quality and helpful information for you (i.e., make sure you let us know the name of the article). Feel free to share your questions and comments about the article as well.