gracetidings:with dr doug mamvura
Do you ever feel like you and God have drifted apart and that the love and joy you once experienced with Him has faded? If you do, you’re not alone. Most Christians feel like the experiences they have with God diminish over time and that they need another touch. I know a song which says give me another touch and some of us sing and dance to that song. But that is not what the Bible teaches.
The Bible says God will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). If that is true, and it is, who moved? As born-again believers, we are all capable of living in the fullness of God every day of our lives. God is continually pouring out His love, joy, peace, revelation knowledge, and every other blessing. But we can get to a point where we’re not receiving and “feel” like He has drifted away.
Romans 1:21 says: “When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”
This scripture contains four separate elements, or keys, that can lead us into and keep us operating in the fullness of God. Expressed positively, they are — glorify God, be thankful, recognise the power of imagination, and have a good heart. We have the power to control each of these in our lives.
In many places throughout the Bible, the word magnify is the same word translated glorify. Therefore, magnify and glorify can be used interchangeably. And magnify means “to make bigger.”
Did you know that you can make God bigger? Technically speaking, God is who He is, regardless of what you think, but in terms of your perception, He can be big or small. You have the power to make Him one or the other in your life. I am reminded of the song “Be Magnified”.
What do you value? What’s big to you? You can magnify the Lord and make Him and His Word bigger than any problem. Do it by glorifying, praising, and thanking Him. Find someone in the Word who overcame a situation similar to yours. Meditate on the Word, and make it more real to you than the problem. You need to get to a place where God’s Word is true and where He is greater than any situation.
“All things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23). There is nothing out there that is bigger and more powerful than He who is in you (1 John 4:4).
Paul listed unthankfulness as one of the signs of the end times and put it in the same verse as covetousness, pride, blasphemy, and unholiness (2 Tim. 3:1-2).
Not many would argue that we live in a society full of unthankful people. Some of us don’t appreciate God’s grace even in the midst of challenges and hardships.
The second key to staying full of God is a thankful heart. Glorifying, magnifying, and thanking Him are all interrelated, but to glorify God, you must be thankful. As you are thanking Him, you’re reminding yourself of what He has said and done, which magnifies Him.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2).
Being thankful involves both humility and memory. Humility is the understanding that you didn’t accomplish these things on your own. Then, humbly remembering the good things He has done for you always brings thankfulness. So, it’s important to look back and rehearse your victories and remember whose power brought them to pass.
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations” (Psalm 100:4-5).
Every time you are tempted to gripe and complain about a problem, don’t. Instead, enter into God’s presence and spend ten minutes thanking Him for His goodness. If you will, you’ll find that the natural desire to complain will cease, and the problem will shrink as you begin to see it in the proper perspective.
Imagination is much more important than most people realise. The Hebrew word that was translated “imagination” in the Old Testament literally means “conception.” Imagination is how new ideas are conceived. Without it, people become spiritually and creatively sterile.
The Word of God comes alive when you can picture what it’s talking about. Let the Word of God control your imagination as you think about scriptures, and you will see things in Scripture that you can’t see with your physical eyes. You see it on the inside in your imagination.
When the Bible says you’re healed, you’ve got to meditate on that truth until you see yourself healed. Most people allow their imaginations to become vain, and they agree with the image the doctors have painted rather than with the Word of God. They’re told what is going to happen, and they imagine it as truth.
When we fail to be thankful and glorify God, our imaginations automatically become vain. That doesn’t mean they aren’t working; it just means they begin to work against us. Those of us with vain imaginations are pessimists, imagining failure instead of success. We need to use our imaginations to agree with God’s Word and see ourselves the way God sees us: happy, healthy, and prosperous.
The Scripture makes it very clear that the attitude of your heart is far more important than your actions.
Jesus said it this way in Matthew 23:25-26: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.”
The Lord is more concerned about your heart than He is your actions.
Matthew 12:35, Mark 7:21-23, and Proverbs 23:7 make it even clearer:
“A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things” (Matthew 12:35).
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:21-23).
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
Our hearts control what we say, and they also control what we do. All of the above are products of our hearts. The opposite of those can be true also. Love, joy, peace, patience, and the rest of the fruit of the Spirit are also products of what our hearts believe. The reason the heart responds in a negative way is because we allow it to be dominated by external, or physical, things instead of by the Word of God.
Our understanding is then darkened, and we become insensitive to God. We actually cause our hearts to become hardened. The word harden, according to the dictionary, means cold, insensitive, unfeeling, and unyielding. When our hearts become hardened or insensitive to God, they automatically become sensitive, dominated by, and controlled by our physical senses.
So, what do most people do when they realise their actions are being controlled by their hearts and are causing problems for themselves and others? They resort to behaviour modification. They try to change their actions without changing their hearts, and that never works long-term. If people want their behaviour to change, they must change their hearts. They must make sure that the Word of God is the dominant influence.
If you will put these four keys into practice in your life, you will never be the same. It will change the way you think about everyone and everything around you. It will give you a God perspective.
l Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @dougmamvura