That environment can be impacted quickly with just a few words or actions.
“Are we there yet?”
“Get on your side!”
“Mom, can you please tell them to be quiet!”
"He hit me!"
“I need to go to the bathroom!”
“Can you turn it up please?”
“No turn it down!”
“It’s my turn to pick a song!”
“Dad quit texting while you’re driving!” (I mean, I don’t do that, but I’m sure that is said in some vehicles.)
Then there is the moment when everyone in that small environment is impacted dramatically. You hear the words, “Who did that?!?!” Windows go down (no matter what the temperature is outside), people start gagging, eyes start watering, and you look around to see only one person left smiling in the car. Isn’t traveling fun?
We are always impacting our environment. With one word, choice, thought, or action we make either a positive or negative impact. The same people, in that same car, can say something positive, help one of their siblings, or even choose a song that can bring joy, hope, encouragement, and peace. What we do, say, and think impacts our environment on a daily basis.
Fathers need to realize this the most. What we do and say, how we react and respond, which is a reflection of our spiritual condition, makes a HUGE impact on our wife, children, and the environment in which we share. A father’s careless words, frustrated responses, secret sins, negative thoughts, defensive spirit, etc., can inflict pain, cause division, and push the door wide open to the enemy. "Who did that?!?" We did!
This is not about “positive thinking.” This is “Godly thinking!” As a believer in Jesus Christ, we all (father, mother, child, employer, employee, etc…) must allow His thoughts and way of living to influence every decision and action we take. This is yielding to His presence within us. He is the source of all things positive. That’s why Paul said in Romans 12:2,
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
We have a very real enemy that understands this principle too. He knows the power and influence of the images, content, speech, attitudes, choices, thoughts, etc., that permeate our souls (mind, will and emotions) whether consciously or subconsciously. His goal is to disrupt and dismantle anything that is God's plan and purpose for our lives and families. He doesn’t want Godly transformation to happen, and he definitely doesn’t want us to know God’s “perfect and pleasing will." His goal is to influence our thoughts and actions, so that we continue in the destructive cycles and behaviors that lead us away from God. He doesn’t let up either. I Peter 5:6-9 says,
“So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.”
When we humble ourselves under God’s power and influence, we are able to recognize and repent (make a 180 degree turn) in the areas where we allowed the enemy to gain a foothold and where we impacted our environments negatively. We become more alert and aware of the enemy’s tactics. As we listen and respond to His presence within us, we realize how our disobedience has affected our relationship with God and others. Then and only then can we stand strong in the faith.
This blog was put in my spirit weeks ago as the Lord led me to Isaiah 26:1-9. It describes the transformation that will take place in us and in whatever environment we enter as we yield to the Holy Spirit. We can shout with confidence,
“Our city is strong! We are surrounded by the walls of God’s salvation. Open the gates to all who are righteous; allow the faithful to enter. You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. He humbles the proud and brings down the arrogant city. He brings it down to the dust. The poor and oppressed trample it underfoot, and the needy walk all over it. But for those who are righteous, the way is not steep and rough. You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them. Lord, we show our trust in you by obeying your laws; our heart’s desire is to glorify your name. All night long I search for you; in the morning I earnestly seek for God. For only when you come to judge the earth will people learn what is right.”
I pray that, as believers in and followers of Christ, we can humble ourselves and allow the Spirit of the living God within us to transform our thoughts, words, and actions. Then we can stand firm and become strong in our faith as God's plans and purposes are lived out through our lives. He will be glorified and His kingdom impacted forever!
"Who did that?!" The Spirit of God did through a yielded, non-defensive, honest, & submissive life!
I’m so grateful for my wife Donna. The Holy Spirit has used her to help me recognize the importance of impacting my environment for the glory of God. She has been an example to me, our children, and so many others by how she lives day to day. Donna is an amazing artist, and she has used her gift in many creative ways over the past 21 years to impact our home & environment spiritually. She has placed scriptures, words, and images all over our house to purposefully impact our family environment for God's glory. It welcomes & encourages us and everyone who enters our home to be more aware of God's presence who dwells in us. Even when we travel she places post-it notes with scriptures on them on mirrors, refrigerators, etc., and it makes a difference. I wanted to close this blog with some pictures of what she has done as she yielded to the Holy Spirit’s leadership in our home.