Rabbi Schneider - Confronting Your Situation
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The thing that makes your world different from my world and my world different from your world, the thing that makes our worlds all different is what we think about. The Bible tells us, "As a man thinketh, so he is". You know, you could be standing in a space 10 by 10 with seven other people, and yet each one of those people are living in a different world than you. They're in a different place. Their mind is focused on different things. They're perceiving and experiencing life differently than you are, even though you're standing in the same spot and are experiencing externally the same thing. You may all be, for example, at a sporting event, or a play, at a restaurant, and yet each person that's gathered in a small space is experiencing the external environment even differently. Why? Because each one is perceiving it in a different way, and it's all in the realm of thought.
This is why it's so important for us to get a hold of our thoughts. And in order for you and I to get a hold of our thoughts, as the scripture says, bringing every thought captive to Christ, in order for you and I to get a hold of our thoughts, there are certain things that we must believe. In order for us to subject our thoughts to the Lordship of Messiah, in order to subject thoughts of darkness to the light of Hashem, we must have revelation of the truth. And as I spoke last week, the first thing that we need to be absolutely convinced of, what we need to be sure of, if we're going to think supernaturally, is that God is good. We have to know that God is good. And if we don't have revelation about this, if we don't know this in our kishkas, in our guts, in our inner man, we're going to be overwhelmed by all the darkness that's outside of us. Because we live in an atmosphere, beloved, of darkness.
John told us the whole world lieth in the power of the evil one. Jesus said in the book the church, "I know where you dwell. It's where Satan's throne is". As I said last time, all around us we see horrendous things happening: children dying at a young age, people in other parts of the world starving to death, people being assaulted, killed, raped. There's terrible things happening all around us. So how can you and I believe that God is good when all these bad things are happening all around us before our very eyes? We can only perceive God's goodness, beloved, through revelation and through faith and the truth of His Word. God is good. But it's not just enough to know that God is good. We also have to know that God is sovereign.
I'm reviewing now from last time. God is the Lord over our lives. And we need to be convinced that even as nothing was able to touch Job, even as Satan was not able to touch Job, except by God's permission, you and I, if we're going to subject the enemy's thoughts under our feet need to know that we are protected in the love of Hashem. That nothing can touch us without God's permission. And because God is good, anything that touches us is for a good purpose. This is why Paul said, "All things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to His purpose". And then Paul went on to say, "What everything was working for, what makes everything good". He says because everything that we go through is being used of the Father to conform us to the image of His Son.
So we need to face life every day believing that God is good. We need to face the day with courage and confidence, knowing nothing's going to touch us outside of God's goodwill. And that whatever challenge we encounter every day, whatever wave hits us, we need to rejoice. This is why James said, "Rejoice in your trial because the testing of your faith produces gold inside you. You're going to be refined by the fire. And as a result of going through the trials, in faith, you're going to be made complete, you're gonna be made strong. And when you get strong, you'll be happy. And when you're happy, you'll have breakthrough".
And so we need to face every day with joy and confidence knowing that God is good. Now, thinking supernaturally also involves getting the mind of Christ. We need to be praying that the Lord would help us to transform our minds so that we would think like Jesus thinks so that we would see things the way that He sees things. We need to be in a constant prayer dialogue with the Father and the Son through the Spirit every day, that we will be perceiving our reality the way that the Lord perceives our reality. And this is a challenge. This is not something that happens in an instant. It's not something that happens all at once.
But every day we find ourselves in a multitude of circumstances, dealing with a multitude of stimuli that come into our mind, thoughts, and in the midst of these thoughts, in the midst of the battle, in the midst of trying to get our bearings about life, about what to think, how to feel, to be in alignment with the Lord, in the midst of this, we need to be praying in the Spirit, "Father God, help me to find You in this. Help me to know what it is that You're wanting to do in my life right now through this. Help me to know what You want me to receive from You right here and right now in this situation".
No matter where you're at. You're in an uncomfortable conversation with somebody? What you should be doing is praying internally to the Father, in the Son, by the Spirit, "Father, help me to know your mind for me in this situation. Father, help me to know how to position myself in this conversation that I'm having right now so that I can feel your peace and have Your thoughts. Help me, Father, to receive in this trial right now exactly what it is that you're wanting to deposit in me".
We always are moving forward, we're not running. We're moving forward through the challenges, through the darkness to receive from the Lord what can only be received in that particular trial. And so it's important for you and I to recognize that too often we get deceived by the enemy. And rather than looking for God in the trial, looking for us to receive what the Lord wants us to receive in the midst of the battle, instead of just being grounded, instead what we do is we try to run from the trial, even if it's just a trial in our thought life. In other words, a bunch of thoughts come at us that would produce worry, or fear, or depression, or unbelief. And without even recognizing it, sometimes what we do when we're hit with a barrage of thoughts... So I'm talking about difficulties. It could be either a difficulty that's taking place in the visible world or it could be a difficulty that's taking place just in our mind or imagination.
Too often what we do is rather than staying grounded in the Lord in the midst of the difficulty, looking to Him, praying to Him, asking to receive from Him what it is that we can receive from Him here, asking Him what He wants to do in us in the midst of this trial, instead what we do too often is we try to run from it. The enemy Christ to take us out of abiding in the Lord in the here and the now. And he tries to seduce us to run with temptations of pleasure. So all of a sudden, I noticed in my own life... I started recognizing this years ago, when I'd be sitting before the Lord. I have a special couch that I would sit on as I was sitting before the Lord. And I would just be sitting there, I'd be at peace, I might be there a half hour, and all of a sudden, a thought came to me that caused some type of anxiety, caused some type of fear, some type of worry.
And I started noticing, as soon as a thought of worry or anxiety came to my mind, all of a sudden, I would stand up from my couch to go get a drink of water or to go to the refrigerator, or to go watch TV or whatever. And I started noticing whenever a thought a fear of pain came, I stood up to do something else. Why? Because I was running from the anxiety, the fear, and the pain. In other words, rather than staying grounded in God, sitting in the couch and dealing with the thought, saying, "Lord, how do I stop these thoughts? Lord, why did this thought just enter my mind? Father, help me to overcome this thought. Help me to take these thoughts captive".
Rather than doing that and breaking them and moving through this, instead what happened is the enemy seduced me by putting a thought in my mind for pleasure. "Go get something to drink. Go to the freezer. Have an ice cream bar, whatever it is". He put a thought in my mind of something that would take off the heat of the anxiety or the worry. "Go do something. Go get busy". That's why workaholics sometimes work so much. They're running from their anxiety and their pain. But I realized what I was doing. Fortunately, I was grounded enough through the grace of God that I had insight into recognizing, "Hey, this habit you have of getting up off the couch as soon as a thought comes that produces anxiety, what's happening is you're running from this".
I didn't realize that before. If I wasn't conscious, I wouldn't have even recognized what I was doing, running from the thought by going to do something that would give me pleasure. I remember years ago, to give you another illustration of this, I was with a friend. The friend was kind of antsy, they said, "Let's go for a walk in the woods". So we drove to a beautiful park. We walked less than a half mile, probably a quarter mile. And the friend all of a sudden said to me, "Let's go to Starbucks to get a cup of coffee". It's like they were constantly trying to run from their pain. They were constantly trying to run from their anxiety. They thought if they went to the park they'd be at peace. But then they got to the park and they didn't have peace, so the enemy put another thought in their mind.
"Go to Starbucks, get a cup of coffee, then you'll have peace". Then they would go to Starbucks. Then what would happen while they're drinking their coffee? They still wouldn't have peace. Then they say, "Well, let's go back to the house and talk". You see that we're constantly running, being driven by the enemy, not even knowing what they were doing. The problem was that wherever they went, there they were. And we need to remember for our own lives, you can't run from your pain because wherever, beloved one, you go, there you are. You can't escape it by running. So we need to dig down deep and face our anxiety and our fear and our worry and our pain. We need to face them in God so that we can move through and get a breakthrough. not only does the enemy try to decive us by cusing us to run from our pain through temptation of pleasure. It could be so many type of pleasure, wither its you know work-a-holicism you know whatever it is there are so many different thing the enemy can seduce us with just thoughts he puts in our mind to take us out of gods pocket.
I remember another experiance that illustrates this. Years ago I had been praying for peace. I had been asking the Father for His peace. Literally, it had been my focal point in my prayer life for a full year. I was focused on asking Father for peace. And after praying for approximately a year, I had a visitation one night from the Holy Spirit. And in this visitation, I was in this lush forest, this hugely green... When I say huge, I don't mean it was so big, but I mean it was so rich, it was so full of life. And all around this almost secret secluded forest, just full of green, lush life, all around it were rock formations, big huge rocks, you know, going up about 12 feet up from the ground upwards. And on the rock formations there was ivy growing.
So what I'm trying to paint for you is a picture of how beautiful and lush this secret forest was. It just wreaked of God's life. I'm in this secret place. And as I'm in this forest, this secluded forest, the waves of God's peace just were billowing over me. I mean, I never have had an experience like this before since where I was so emotionally captured by the peace of the Holy Spirit, literally feeling billows and waves of the immense, powerful Spirit of the Lord rolling over me. I'd been praying for it for a year and now I was in it. It was happening. Supernatural billows of peace rolling over my soul.
And all of a sudden, in this experience, beloved one, I feel the Spirit of the Lord and I see in this encounter the Spirit of the Lord leading me deeper in to the center of the forest where there was a simple, wooden picnic table setup. Nothing on it. But I knew that the picnic table represented the center of the forest, and the Spirit of the Lord was drawing me towards it. And I knew that the picnic table represented the bounty of God's peace. The Spirit of Lord was leading me to the picnic table in the center where I would even feel more extreme peace. And all of a sudden, as the Ruach HaKodesh was leading me towards that picnic table where I was going to experience even more and more, all of a sudden he began to draw me deeper into this lush forest, a piece of pizza appeared in the vision of the night. And the piece of pizza was probably about this far from my nose.
So I'm being drawn deeper into God's peace. And as I'm being drawn deeper into His peace, a piece of pizza emerges. And it was the best smelling pizza I ever have smelled in my entire life. And as soon as that happened, as soon as that pizza appeared and I smelled it, my mind became divided. On the one hand, I wanted to yield to the Spirit of the Lord and be drawn to the center of the force where I would experience even more of His peace. Yet on the other hand, my flesh was enticed and stimulated. When I smelled the pizza, my flesh was crying out to have a piece of that pizza, and I was divided. And I said, "Lord, Lord," and I said, "Can I have a piece of pizza and then move deeper into the forest with you"?
And as soon as I yielded to that thought in my mind in this vision of the night, Bam, the experience ended. It was over. I mean, I knew it was over. I was conscious it was over. And immediately I got out of my bed, I got down on my knees, I begged Father, I begged Hashem, "Oh, Father, forgive me. I traded in your peace that I've been praying for for a year for a lousy piece of pizza". I was so grieved. I said, "Lord, I'm going to go back to bed. When I fall asleep, will you come to me again let me have another chance". But you know what, beloved one? I went back to sleep, but it didn't happen again. He didn't come again.
The next morning I woke up and I was still so grieved, I sat down on my couch, I began to pray, said, "Lord, what happened? Was that Satan trying to rob me"? But then I thought, "Lord, even if it was Satan, I still believe, God, that you're sovereign and you're the architect of my dreams, that there's a purpose in everything. What happened? Why did that happen"? And I felt the Lord was saying to me, "If you deny yourself the natural, you'll have more of the supernatural".
And so I say that to you as we're talking about having a supernatural mindset, thinking supernaturally, I'm sharing that experience with you to show you how the devil can try to entice us with thoughts of pleasure to take us out of the place of experiencing and being grounded in what the Lord is doing in our soul. So be on guard, be on guard that you don't allow yourself to run from pain to pleasure. Because if you do that, instead of going through the pain, the enemy is going to rob you of what God wants to give you in the midst of the challenge that you're in. And God wants you to face the challenge with confidence, with courage and joy. He's hardening you as a warrior so you can be strong. And when you get strong, you'll be happy.
You see, as soon as Yeshua was baptized, immersed at the Jordan River, the Bible says, the Spirit of the Lord led Him into the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil for 40 days. Yeshua was warfaring. He was resisting. He was so weak afterwards, the angels had to minister to Him. But He came out of that temptation experience in the power of the Spirit. So don't run from your trial. Don't run from worry. Don't run from fear. Don't run from your circumstances. Stay grounded. Believe that God is good. Believe that He's doing something good in your life right where you're at right now. And say:
Lord, what is it you're wanting me to receive from You right now? What are you wanting to show me now? Help me to find my place in you right now. Help my roots to grow deep in You right now. Help me to face the headwinds head on, not to be deceived by trying to run from what I'm experiencing into some type of false pleasure. And Lord, deliver me from running from my pain.
Beloved, God wants to gird you, ground you, and root you right where you're at. He's making you strong. He wants you to know that greater is He that's in you than He that's in the world, and that He's causing all things to work together for good in your life right here and right now.