Two weeks ago I was facilitating at a Strategic Retreat for one of the blue chip companies in Zimbabwe and one of the executives asked me a question: “Doc, how come you are so highly motivated in spite of the economic challenges the country is facing? What is the secret? How do you remain motivated in such a turbulent and volatile environment?”
Grace tidings with Dr Doug Mamvura
You could also be asking the same question. The answer is in the Word of God.
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord.” (Habakkuk 3:17).
There is a difference between a thermostat and a thermometer. A thermostat regulates temperature. On the other hand a thermometer measures temperature. If you are born again, you ought to be a thermostat. You should never be affected by what is happening out there. The Bible makes it very clear that “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Friend, there is no power, force, challenge, problem or obstacle that is greater than the power of God that is inside of you as a believer. That knowledge on its own will enable you to regulate the temperatures out there.
As a believer, you have to believe the Word. This is why you are called a believer. Let God be true and every man a liar (Romans 3:4). We can’t just be sitting around doing nothing, getting spiritually fat and lazy until we become stagnant, sleeping on the church pew, hollering “Amen” every so often and yet we don’t apply the Word. Most of us are just good at “hearing” the Word never practice it.
If you believe that indeed “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world”, why are you so panic-stricken? Why are you so anxious and desperate?
Why are you failing to sleep? Jesus told us not “to worry about our future” (Matthew 6:34). Apostle Paul tells us not to “be anxious for anything”
(Philippians 4: 6-7). Psalm 127: 2 states that “He gives His beloved sleep”. If you don’t believe these scriptures, why don’t you go and tear them off your Bible?
Most of us are regulated by what we see, hear, touch, smell and feel. This is why we are living “under circumstances” instead of “above circumstances”.
Have you ever wondered why Apostle Paul says “we don’t move by sight but by faith”? (2 Corinthians 5:7). You hear some believers saying “we have to be realistic”. They actually mean that we have to be carnally minded, not spiritually minded. To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life (Romans 8: 6- 10).
The word “carnal” is describing as a mind that is controlled by only physical things as perceived by the five senses. A person who is only physically minded (carnal) will also not receive or understand spiritual things. Notice that a carnal mind cannot be subject to God. It is naturally opposed to God and His ways. With your carnal mind you will never be able to tap into God’s wisdom to live a successful life in the midst of turbulence. Remember what happened to the disciples when they were in a boat with Jesus. There was a huge storm and they started panicking. On the other hand, Jesus was asleep in the midst of that heavy storm (Matthew 8:24-26).
Then they cried: “Lord save us! We are perishing.”
I really liked Jesus’ response: “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Jesus is asking you the same question as you try to come to terms with the economic challenges. He is saying: “Why are you fearful?”
This seems like a foolish question. The disciples were about to drown and yet Jesus was asking why they were fearful. Similarly this may seem a foolish question to you because you are financially embarrassed and you don’t have money for transport, rent, food or school fees.
These disciples were not going to drown. Jesus had told them to go to the other side. This was the One who created the heavens and the earth and that very lake and the wind that was blowing the waves. His Word is more powerful than anything it created. Therefore, there was no need to fear. They were going to make it and Jesus knew it. The problem was they didn’t believe what He told them.
Likewise, the Lord has promised us success. The only reason we are afraid is because we don’t believe His promises. God’s promises don’t mean we won’t have storms, but the Lord has spoken to all of us that we are going to the other side. He said in this world you shall have trials and tribulations but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.
We are victors, not victims. The Bible says “whatsoever is born of God, overcomes the world” (1 John 5:4). Allow the thermostats within you — that is Christ — to regulate the temperature. Please don’t be a thermometer. It just measures what is out there. If the heat is 35 degrees, it just tells you it’s 35 degrees. We never walk by sight, but by faith. This only makes sense to a true born-again believer.
It is not enough to mark verses in your Bible. Is the same Bible marking your life?
“For if any be a hearer of the word and not doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror, for he observes himself, goes away and immediately forgets what kind of a man he was” (James 1: 23 -24).
That is a description of a man who is not practicing the Word. This is why some of us are failing to produce fruit in spite of the many decades we have been going to church.
You can also keep yourself motivated in the midst of economic turbulence by being guided by the voice of God. The education and development of our human spirit comes by instantly obeying the voice of the Spirit. Proverbs 20:27 says: “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord.” Furthermore, Romans 8:14 says: “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”
God leads us by our spirit, not our head. God informs our spirit and our spirit informs our head. If you are going to be successful in life, you have to be guided by the voice of God.
Furthermore, you also need God’s wisdom as another ingredient in a turbulent environment.
“This book of law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success (Joshua 1:8).”
The thing most lacking among all the faith and charismatic people — and the church people in general — is wisdom and yet the Bible says: “If anyone lacks wisdom, ask.”
Wisdom is necessary in all areas of life, be it business, family or politics. If wisdom abounds, you will operate your business wisely and also these other areas of your life. Without wisdom you are a ship without a rudder.
Christ is the answer to every problem you may have in this world. Continue to look up to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. “Thou shall keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee” (Isaiah 26:3).
This scripture clearly links our peace to keeping our minds stayed on and trusting in God.
While corporate prayer is great, prayer chains are a sign of unbelief, they are a way of “trying to convince this deaf and blind God to see our problems. So let’s keep Him awake every hour”. We forget that He neither sleeps nor slumbers. We don’t pray for Him to move as if God is stuck. It is you and I who need to get rid of our unbelief.
God loves this country more than you and I and we don’t have to convince Him through a prayer chain.
Please note I am not saying that we should not pray for our country. I believe in prayer. The Bible encourages us to pray (Luke 18:1). However, we should approach His throne room boldly without unbelief knowing that He is a good Father who knows how to give good gifts to His children.
It is well, brethren, and this too shall come to pass. Mourning may endure for the night but joy will come in the morning.
Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @dougmamvura