“I lived in constant turmoil,” she said, “I even questioned my salvation.” I sat at a small, round, oak stained wooden table that had been tucked into a cramped nook by a bay window, listening as Ariel recounted her journey from living in constant anxiety to a life of total peace. Sitting there in Ariel’s kitchen listening to her testimony, the images of the faces of fellow Christians I had met formed in my mind. People who, like the Ariel of years past, lived in a state of emotional turmoil, unsure of what life would bring, unsure of God’s love and His satisfaction with them.
Reviewing her life, Ariel spoke at length about how she had viewed God. Multiple times she spoke of her love for God and how the enemy used that love to cause her to be introspective; focusing her attention on every part of her life that she felt fell short of God’s expectations. Believing that God would only accept her if she did the right things and lived her life to the exalted level she was sure God demanded, her shortcoming caused her to spiral into a self-loathing and depressed state of mind. It was during this time that her love for wine came to the surface. More than just liking an occasional drink, she was addicted. It was the only thing that seemed to calm the emotions and give her some semblance of peace, even so, she wanted to be free. “If I really loved God I wouldn’t keep drinking,” she remembered thinking daily. “How could God ever accept me if I can’t even give up wine for Him?” Her anxiety continued to overwhelm, getting to the point she wasn’t even able get a good night’s sleep.
“It was really bad” she exclaimed, “until that day!”
Just as I was about to question her about “that day” I notice a huge smile from ear to ear cross her face and her eyes lit up as she began her explanation. “I remember like it was yesterday” she cheerfully continued. “I was sitting on the edge of my bed, head hung low, wallowing in self-pity when I heard His voice.”
“Whose voice” I interrupted.
“God’s voice of course! I was sitting there when I heard Him clearly speak to me. He told me that He loved me and was pleased with me. He continued saying that whether I ever took another drink or not did not change His love for me!” You could see her eyes well up with tears of joy and love as the emotions from that day overtook her. “It was that day I finally understood. It was that day I discovered that His love is unconditional and not dependent on my actions! It had nothing to do with what I did, He loved me no matter what! It was at that moment I felt His indescribable peace pour over me” She then continued on to tell how from that night on she has had wonderful rest when she sleeps, and from that day she has been free from her addiction to wine.
As children of God we are called to live lives dominated by peace. We are not to allow fear and anxiety have any voice in our life. Even though to many the thought of living free of worry or fear seems like a myth, a place like Shangri-La, a place that is eternally sought after but never found. Living in peace is not an unattainable myth, it is how we are empowered to live.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-8)
So how do we enter into this life of peace, free of anxiety and fear? Well, without trying to be over simplistic, the answer is found in knowing God and understanding His love for you.
Years ago I was on a mission trip traveling to China, Thailand, and Cambodia. One day during the Cambodian part of the trip we had some free time so my son and I went to a market with the intention of finding people to pray for. As I walked up to one young teenage girl I could see what looked like fire inside her and by the look on her face could tell she was in pain. Approaching her Holy Spirit told me she was being tormented in her dreams. I relayed through an interpreter what I had been told, and the young girl confirmed it to be true. She said that just a few nights before a red dragon came to her in her dreams and cursed her. Ever since that night her body felt like she had a fever and was affected with agonizing pain in her abdomen. As the interpreter finished explaining to me what had been said, a huge smile came across my face. I knew what was about to happen. I turned to the girl and said, “I have good news, Jesus is Lord and that red dragon is not. Sickness must leave now!” In an instant her countenance changed as the fever and pain left her body. As I turned to walk away Holy Spirit said, “Ask her why I healed her.” I turned back to the girl and asked if she knew why Jesus healed her. As she shook her head in the negative declaring she did not know, Holy Spirit spoke again. “Tell her it’s because I love her too much to leave her in that condition!”
Like Ariel and the young Cambodian girl, God’s love for you is unconditional. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, said, or how you feel. He loves you and that will never change. It is that unconditional love that brings His peace, the assurance that your Heavenly Father loves you too much to leave you sick, bound, or lacking. In Genesis we read that before God created Adam He created everything else. He did this so that the only thing Adam needed to do once created was enter into the Sabbath rest with His Father, knowing everything he could possibly want or need was already provided for. Likewise, your Heavenly Father has already provided everything you could possibly want or need. Knowing He will not withhold any of it from you gives you the peace and assurance to live free of anxiety and fear.
A few years ago the Lord had me buy a plasma ball, a globe filled with a noble gas and with a high-voltage electrode in the center. When you plug them in and turn them on plasma filaments extend, like bolts of lightning, from the electrode to the inner surface of the glass. To me it always looked like a source of ultimate power; a nuclear reaction going off inside the globe. Anyways, He had me buy this plasma ball and then told me to place it in front of me, turn it on, and sit there and watch.
So that’s exactly what I did. Hours upon hours at a time, for months, I sat there in a dark room staring at this electrical reaction, this ultimate power. Gradually Holy Spirit began teaching, showing me something, changing my perception. He allowed my awe of what I was seeing grow as my imagination went wild with the power I believed I was viewing,. My mind roamed to the point I imagined the reaction within that globe was like the reaction occurring in the sun. At that moment He reined my mind in and began refocusing my vision. He began showing me that it was a great power He wanted to show me, but not in the globe. The globe was just there to represent the great power that is found, not in the sun but in the Son. I began to look at the globe and this time instead of seeing it on the table in front of me I saw the reaction going off within me! It was as if I was looking at those bolts of plasma shooting out of my body from deep with me. I began to see the reality of Christ in me, the same Spirit that generated the power to raise Christ from the dead was in me and radiating out of me!
I was fascinated and in awe of what I was seeing. Every day I would sit and stare at that globe and every day I saw that same image of the power deep within me. I began seeing it grow bigger and more intense, shooting out of me with a greater ferocity until I could feel it gushing out of every cell in my body. During this time others would come around me and comment about “what they felt” when they were around me. Some had no idea what it was; others knew it was the Spirit of God. People would weep as Holy Spirit’s presence brought their Daddy’s love, others would get healed, and some just felt peace.
So why am I telling you this story? Its simply because I want you to take the time to look in a different direction, to change your perspective. It’s easy to focus on the difficulties of life that seem to be in your face all day every day. Those troubles that shout in your ear demanding your attention, demanding that you spend your time focusing on them. But I’m here to tell you that Holy Spirit is gently saying, “Hey, look over here for a minute.” He wants you to gaze deep into your spirit and see the enormous source of power within you; it’s the Christ in you!
Another little fact Holy Spirit taught me early on; you empower the thing you focus on. So many times in our attempts to defeat the enemy, to get the breakthrough we need, we focus on the problem trying to control it. We feel if we put forth enough energy, if we pay it enough attention, then we can fix the problem. The truth is that the more you focus on the problem, the more power you give it to control your life. Change your perspective! Focus on the ultimate power source that is contained deep within you, focus on Christ and His finished work. As you begin focusing on Him and the reality that He has already provided whatever it is you need, then you will find that your environment will begin to change. You will begin seeing the provisions of God’s Kingdom manifest in your life. You will also begin to discover that within you is also the power to change the environment of those around you. Your eyes will be unveiled to the reality that with the fullness of Christ in you, there is nothing you that can stand against you. With Christ in you, you are invincible!
I’ve had the privilege of teaching hundreds of people to look for pennies. “ Look for pennies,” you might ask? Yes, and it is beginning to change people’s lives. Before you write me off as completely crazy, let me explain what I’m talking about.
Some time back, a friend of mine called me to talk. During the course of our conversation he mentioned that he had been finding pennies everywhere he went, and when he would see them they were always laying heads up. I then began telling him what I was hearing from the Lord. Hearing that the reason for the “heads up” was the Lord telling my friend to pay attention and get ready because a financial blessing was coming his way.
It wasn’t long after that while ministering in a church the Lord had me use this example again. This time He wanted me to use it to train the people to focus on Him and the things of His Kingdom. He had me tell them to start looking for pennies on the ground and every time they saw one, pick it up and thank the Lord that He provides for their needs. Some people will tell me, “its just a penny.” I realize that, but it was never about the penny, the focus was never about a coin, but about God’s provision. The purpose is not to supplement your income by finding pennies but to cause you to change your perspective.
When Adam was created he was created with God’s nature. He and Eve not only had the image of God but were also created to think like Him. Unfortunately that way of being and thinking was short lived because Adam sinned, causing him to take on the nature of Satan. Adam’s mind became warped, thinking like Satan instead of God. Adam became self-centered and naturally focused. He began getting his understanding and beliefs from his natural senses. His mind was now being controlled by everything around him.
The vast majority of people today are no different than Adam. I’m not just talking about those who don’t acknowledge Christ as their savior; the majority of Christians are no different. From the moment we are born we are trained up under a fallen world. We are trained to trust our senses above the Word of God. We may learn that God will supply all our needs, then we look at our bank account and start questioning God’s ability. We are told that by the stripes of Jesus we have been healed, then we feel the pain and wonder when or if it will happen. We are taught by a fallen nature to believe it only after you see, hear, smell, or taste it. We are taught that it’s our natural senses that bring us the truth not the Word of God. That type of thinking causes us to be subject to every storm that comes our way. We adopt a belief system of hanging on and riding out the storm instead of being an overcomer.
Scripture clearly tells us that in Christ we have been made a new creation, a brand new creature that never existed before the finished work of Jesus. It also says that we have the mind of Christ. Now this new creation that you are now, in this present age, as you are reading this article, is created in the image of God. You are one Spirit with Jesus, meaning you have His nature and you have His mind. You are to think like Him and act like Him. When confronted with adversity then you would think about it and approach it in the same way Jesus would. Jesus never endured the storm; he spoke to the storm and changed His environment. In the same way, you are not to wait and see what the environment says to determine what you believe to be true. No, you determine what Jesus thinks about the situation then speak to it and see it change and come into alignment with Jesus’ desires. The environment, through our senses, is never supposed to dictate what we believe; we are to dictate the condition of our environment!
So, lets get back to the pennies. The purpose of looking for the pennies is to change your perspective. Its purpose is to cause you to begin looking for and expecting the will of God and the supplies of the Kingdom of God to manifest in your life. If, as scripture clearly says, you do indeed have the fullness of God within you, and you contain the kingdom of God within you, wouldn’t you expect to see evidence of it around you? Of course you would!
Years ago the Daddy taught me a very important lesson on perspective and focus. He told me, “You go the direction you look. You empower the thing you focus on!” That is why when you focus on God’s provision, when you look for it, expecting to find evidence of it in your life, then you empower the Kingdom within you to manifest around you. You cause the Christ-in-you to be magnified, attracting and empowering the Kingdom of God both in your personal life and in the world around you.
Change your perspective and what you focus on. Don’t listen to that fallen nature that says believe what you see, hear, taste, smell, because surely God hasn’t really provided. Listen instead to the Christ-in-you, declaring what is TRUTH! Assuring you that God will never forsake you and He will always provide. Look for it, expect it, then see it manifest!
With you . With me . With God
The kingdom of God made simple.
A blog by Dr. Jonathan Welton
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