Hey Church. We’re winding down our day with Part 3 of the Overwhelming Odds segment from Brother Nobles’ message. We are still navigating strong and our mindsets, unshaken.
Add some strength to your strength, on us.
Share this with a friend who’s willing to do anything that will help get us in the quarantine end zone. (Reaching out to you, sports lovers.)
Paul Encouraged Himself
Acts 26 opens with King Agrippa telling Paul he has the right to speak for himself and to go ahead and talk. He does.
Oh, he does.
He flatters Agrippa a bit (not a bad idea) and tells him how he has lived a good Jewish life since his youth and how he persecuted Christians until everything changed one day on his way to Damascus. After Paul talks, King Agrippa tells Paul he almost persuades him to be a Christian. May we live in fear of the word almost.
Get to the Encouraging Part
Brother Nobles told us we sometimes have to look in the mirror, which does not mean you have to stand in front of a literal mirror. Hold up a figurative mirror by asking yourself, “What am I thinking?” I do not have to think of myself like the carnal mind. I can choose to think myself happy.
Happy = there is an underlying peace, joy, and happiness that is in our soul and in us that will not allow carnal thinking or conditions to take it away.
Think: I am one of those people whose God is the Lord! I don’t need to be encouraged every day because I know that I am happy.
How did Paul do it?
Let’s Hear It.
Paul was facing a LOT. However, he had already put some things in place in his life and mind. He knew what God had done for him. He was in that condition of thinking himself happy long before he got to this place.
It should be in us continuously. Paul was not having to work all this up in himself. He had already changed his way of thinking. His whole thinking pattern was where it should be way before he stood in front of King Agrippa. He had already planted that pattern in his life. When he was under house arrest in Rome writing to Timothy–he had that mindset.
We Have to Set This Same Pattern.
One — Bring your thoughts into captivity. Paul had already brought into captivity his thoughts into obedience to Christ.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” -2 Corinthians 10:5
Two — Control what you’re thinking in the privacy of your heart. Paul had already applied Proverbs 23:7 to his life. Every. Single. Day.
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” -Proverbs 23:7
Near the end, Paul had already planted that seed and been living in that mindset. He did not allow any condition to pull him out.
We Are in a State and Condition Unlike Anything We’ve Been In, But . . .
We can learn to be content.
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” -Philippians 4:11
Paul was content because he knew God had him. The scripture never said he liked it. It said he was content.
How Do You Know If You Are Content?
One — When the condition has not unsettled you.
Two — When the condition does not have you off the mark because of it.
Three — When you are sure you’re in a good place because you know God still has you in His hands.
Last, But Certainly Not Least
Thanks to some military readiness of workers working with one hand and carrying a weapon with the other, these builders all work with swords strapped to their sides. No men of the guard stop–even to wash or change their clothes–but they keep their weapons in their right hands at all times (and maybe a few cases of five-hour energy). The smell might have gotten a little funky, but one thing did not: this man and his workers successfully and quickly built the walls of the city.
Can you believe we’re already on the last one? Part 4 is waiting, and it’s a doozy.