In these strange and difficult times, we all need a reminder of where our hope is found…come to the Well…
By Shirley Fruchey
“… Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”—Philippians 4:8
I LOVE the “center feature” in Microsoft Word. Whether I am writing a paper, preparing a flyer, or some other project, I always begin with the center. I feel it starts my project off in an organized way. I have a “title” right there in the center.
When we think about our spiritual walk, we can also apply that “center feature.” The title of our life needs to be centered in Christ Jesus, and then we can build from there. In my Real Estate Escrow career, I learned very early on that the “title” to a piece of property is crucial to every transaction. Whoever is on title owns the property. They have a vested interest in that property, which establishes their ownership. So, when we put Jesus on the “title” of our life, we center our story on belonging to him.
Our salvation in Christ is the beginning of our Life Story, and then we decide how to fill up the chapters. (2 Corinthians 5:15) That is where the decisions become crucial. When we live by God’s directions in Philippians 4:8, the chapters of our Life Story are going to be filled with encouragement, joy, and hope.
Sure, there will be twists and turns in the plot and storyline now and then, but the hero in our Life Story (that’s us) will always prevail when we belong to Christ Jesus.
Now, because we live in a flawed and imperfect world…there is also a villain in our Life Story. This enemy looks for every opportunity to interject himself in our life to take over the story. He doesn’t always show up in the obvious either. He doesn’t always enter as the hideous, dark cloaked figure, swooping in to take over.
That would be way too obvious. We would be looking for that. If Satan came on the scene, in our Life Story, with evil and terrifying music playing in the background, we’d recognize it immediately and write him right out of the storyline.
Instead, he sends in his “minions,” and they may not seem evil either. They may even resemble the harmless little characters of a Disney movie, but they are tiny little stinkers that scuttle into our Life Story. They will try to infiltrate every chapter like a computer virus so that they’re almost virtually undetected until their nasty little damage is done.
Disguised as seemingly harmless little “character flaws.” They hope we won’t recognize them as the wicked evil spirits they are. One of the most dangerous of all is the Spirit of Negativity. It tricks us into believing lies. That, looking at our Life Story as the “glass half empty” is a normal and natural part of who we are. This little devil whispers things to us like “get real, you dreamer” or “that’s wishful thinking” when we strive to live our Life Story by God’s principles in Philippians 4:8.
And do you want to know what the worst problem is? If left to run wild, the Spirit of Negativity grows. No fertilizer needed! That cartoon-looking minion expands with every twist and turn. It eventually becomes a giant dark figure of disillusionment, growing into discontentment, growing into greed, anger, and so on.
If this happens, it’s a mess difficult to untangle. But, there’s hope for us who belong to Christ because he is “on title” of our life.
We can pull out the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (Eph 6:17), and take that demon down! We can hit Control +Alt+Delete in the Word Program of our Life Story and “reboot” that monster right out! BAM! Gone!
Now, if you find yourself with some repair work to do after the battle, just patch those holes up with the Word of God, and he will make things good as new. We can trust in that. (Rev 21:5) If you need to get help with the repairs, that’s okay too. You may need to call in your trusted prayer warriors, family, or even professionals to help get you back to the “center feature.”
Going forward in this brand new year, I encourage you to refresh your Life Story Program centered on Christ and the promises in Philippians 4:8.
See you at the well.
Shirley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org