So you're convinced that you need to take action against the fear breathing threats against you. And you're asking, “What's next?” The next step is to learn how to separate mere threats from truth.
Truth comes from God, and only from God. Thankfully, the faithfulness of God toward us is not affected by our faithfulness toward Him. He always speaks the truth to us, even when we're not paying attention. Romans 3:3–4 indicates that the faithfulness of God cannot be nullified by even our own unbelief. No matter what the situation, God will always be proven true and every human will always be exposed as a liar.
I apparently can't generate any truth from within my human nature. This does not mean I don't have any truth in me; it means any truth I have in me originated with God and not with me. So, just because somebody tells me something doesn't mean that it's true. And just because I think up something doesn't mean that it's true. I can't assume that my opinion or the opinion of any other person is necessarily true. Let me illustrate with a possible health scenario:
- If you begin to have a significant issue in your body, what are your first thoughts? (Your first thoughts are very revealing. Those first thoughts are the majority opinion of all your thoughts.) Are those first thoughts telling you that your health is threatened? What does God say?
- So you decide to go to the doctor. What if she says you are okay—that it's nothing? Is she telling you the truth? What if she says you are not okay—that your health is threatened? Is she telling you the truth? What does God say?
- What if the doctor sends you for some tests and you don't get a good report? Are the tests accurate? What if the tests give you a good report? Are they accurate? What does God say?
My example is only an illustration, but real situations like this are lived out every day of the year, all over the world. Conflicting reports are common, indicating that some of the reports are simply not true. But what is true? What is a person to believe? What are the threats and what are the facts? And if the facts are coming from man, is it possible that they are not real but just more threats?
Undoubtedly, the stress of a serious threat can take a serious toll on your physical and emotional health—and become a sort of a self‐fulfilling prognosis. Job said, “For the very thing I dreaded has happened to me, and what I feared has come upon me (Job 3:25 NET).”
Threats to our health, our finances, our relationships, and other areas of our lives create a tremendous amount of daily stress coming against our well‐being. I'll ask the question again, “What does God say?” In the midst of all these threats, if we want any relief, we must ask the question, “What do you say, God?” And we must know that what He says always trumps anything that man says. I will illustrate with an abbreviated testimony from my own life:
I took out a new term life insurance policy about six years ago that has been very expensive. Because of my existing medical records and because of the results of the paramedical exam, I was rated in what I remember to be the eighth or ninth non-tobacco class—a costly rating. At that time in our life, Sherrel and I were easily tossed around by all the threats coming against us. It wasn't much fun.
While we have always taken good care of ourselves with food and exercise, we have become even more aggressive when it comes to the spiritual aspect of our health. Sherrel and I no longer tolerate anything that comes against our bodies; we don't even tolerate fatigue. So it is completely out of character for me not to go after a high-priced life insurance policy and replace it with a cheaper one. But as much as I hate to admit it, I was intimidated by the possibility of having to deal with new test results that might be as bad as or worse than the old ones. Oh, I had all kinds of other justifications for leaving things as they were, but on March 8, 2012, Sherrel confronted me about the fear that was really underlying all my procrastination. So I applied for a replacement policy that very day.
As insurance agents, most of our clients consider the doctor's report to be the final authority in their lives. Day in and day out, we listen to people defining themselves by some report coming from somebody other than God. Because God's opinion is the only one we're interested in, Sherrel and I have to be very intentional to keep from getting sucked into that culture of fear. I know what a mental and spiritual battle it is to live in good health. (For the record, I am not opposed to physicians; I am opposed to physicians who leave God out of the process.) I am healthy, and I certainly didn't want to have to fight some report trying to tell me otherwise. So I went to bed that night with considerable apprehension about the up‐coming exam.
In the middle of that same night God woke me up and spoke to my heart, “Don't let reports tell you the condition of your body. You tell the reports what they are to say about the condition of your body.”
If you think that sounds completely crazy, I agree. Who in their right mind would consider that a person could tell a report what it was going to say? But that's what I did.
I studied the underwriting guidelines for the life insurance companies we represent. Because my mother died of cancer prior to age sixty, the best rate I could get possibly get was “preferred non-tobacco,” which is the second best class. So I was determined that I was going to move up from the eighth or ninth best rate to the second best rate. On a piece of paper I listed the minimum standards for that rate. Based on what God had told me, instead of praying that my body measure up to those minimum standards on the test results, I told the reports what they were going to say about my body. And I posted those required results on my computer during the days leading up to the exam.
There is much, much more to this story that has to be saved for a later date, but for now I will tell you that the results of the paramedical exam were exactly what I told them they were going to be.
“What does God say?” It's worth a listen.