Is the opposite of negativity to be positive? Can being positive defeat negativity? What if your ability to be positive completely dissipates? What if your ability completely runs out? What’s the backup plan? Imagine this: you are walking in a dense remote jungle full of dangerous living creatures and you happen to stumble upon a pit. You nearly fall in it but a lucky branch keeps you from falling in. Then you look down into the vast pit and see your good friend lying at the bottom. She is exhausted and completely depleted of energy from trying to fight her way out of this terrible pit. Adrenaline and compassion hits your heart at the same time and you desire to get your friend out of this pit. You take a big breath and yell down to her, “Try to climb up!” Feeling satisfied with your service you move on as normal and finish your day. That would be ridiculous! This is what I see when we tell people stuck in the pit of negativity to just be more positive. There must be something more! I do believe that speaking positive words and focusing on positive thoughts can be beneficial, but this is not the solution to defeating negativity. We must get to the source of the negativity if we want to defeat it completely. Positivity just scratches at the surface and leaves us depending on ourselves to climb out of the pit.
About two years ago my wife and I decided we were going to foster and hopefully adopt a child from LA County. We came to this decision after a very difficult pregnancy, losing our baby and my wife almost dying during delivery. As our hearts recovered from that traumatic event the desire returned for another child to be part of our family. My wife and I felt lead to pursue a foster-to-adopt program. We did all our foster parent training and interviews and began to foster a beautiful baby girl. The journey of adding another child to our family had begun. Let me tell you, the foster-to-adopt program is not easy on the heart and it wasn’t long until I was quite aware of my negativity. The stress and pressure of new responsibilities of now having three kids used up a large amount of our emotional energy. Dealing with the social workers, the broken state and county system, and the family of our foster child brought forth the negativity that was harboring within. About a year into fostering our little girl our foster child agency called us asking if we would be willing to foster a little boy as well. We had to make a decision within a few hours and our hearts just cried out yes. A sweet little boy was added to our family. We now had twice as many kids and two of them were two years old with a variety of issues. All this brought me beyond my own ability and capacity, and I needed a new level of defeating negativity. Trust me when I say if it were up to my positive thoughts I would lose everyday to negativity. Once I recognized this negativity that now was showing itself I knew it was time for an upgrade. A sure way of knowing if you have hidden negativity is to put yourself in a situation that you are not in control. It is easy to defeat negativity when everything’s going perfect. What about when you are in over your head? At your most difficult moments and seasons you will see how much negativity lives inside. Thinking positive isn’t very good in times and situations like these. When stress is high and rest is low how do we get through? There is good news in all of this. There is a power greater than negativity and He is here to show you a new way. With Him all hell can break loose and you won’t be shaken, stressed or fatigued. There is a place in Him that exists that when a wave of negativity and stress hits your life a tsunami of the opposite force will move against the very thing that seeks to wreak havoc in your mind, heart and relationships.
Your mind, heart and spirit were designed to be a vessel. 2 Corinthians 4:7 “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” You were created to be filled up and contain things. God has so much good gifts to pour into you. How amazing it is that God created us to be vessels of His goodness. Each of us has empty spaces in our heart for all the good things you need and desire. Why do you desire love? You have an empty spot inside that can only be satisfied with love. Not just any ol’ love but the good unconditional love of our heavenly Father. Why do you desire friendships? There is a void inside specifically designed to be filled with the good friendship of Jesus. Each desire you have came from a void inside that was designed for a specific purpose. As each void is filled with a good God we begin to know how to give and receive love, how to cultivate lasting relationships, how to relate to each and every person on God’s good green earth. The enemy of our soul would love nothing more than to get in the way of us being filled with the goodness of God. He loves to create trouble, frustration and bring negativity into our relationships. Misunderstandings make him happy and revenge is his council every time. His goal is to take this vessel, created to hold goodness, and make it a vessel of turmoil. If he can just get us to allow the negativity to fill the voids of the heart he knows it will sabotage the person’s desires, perspectives and relationships. Once it has taken root he uses it to blindfold us so that we no longer see the good things happening. We begin to see every irritating thing about the people around us. Every interaction in our relationships seems to take twice as much energy as it did before. We look around to count the blessings and we can’t see anything good. The source of negativity can always be traced back to demonic influence. Hell is a place of separation and that is exactly what negativity will do. Separate us from the very things we need to live abundant lives in Jesus. How do we get filled with the influence of heaven and defeat this negative force?
You have authority to determine what is allowed into your vessel. The truth is any negativity we have we allowed it to come in. Don’t worry, at any time you can tell it to leave and it has to go. The even greater good news is that if negativity is from hell Jesus has already defeated it. It doesn’t stand a chance against Him. It tried its best and fell flat on its face. Right now tell that negativity to go in the name of Jesus. Tell it to go back to where it came from and that it is never allowed to come back in this vessel again! Matthew 18:18 “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Now it is time to loose some goodness of heaven in your life. Let’s invite the goodness of God to take its rightful place in our hearts. How do you do that? It all starts with thanksgiving and gratitude to God. Make a list of everything you are thankful for and let your heart really get to a grateful place. The list should include everything from the amazing people that God has placed in your life to the possessions you have. As thanksgiving fills your heart begin to worship Him. Declare how good He really is, declare how kind He is, declare how strong He is, and declare the testimony of Jesus. This is how we put on the mind of Christ, by thinking like He does. Christ is always boasting about the goodness of the Father. Lets pick up that habit too. Now ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind again. To see how He sees you and the circumstances in your life. Ask the Father what He is up to in your life. What good thing is the good Father doing in your life right now? Ask Him and He will reveal to you the good plans. These are prayers that He will answer and not delay. Negativity can’t survive when we see the plans God has in store for us. We can get to a place that we are so full of God’s goodness that there is no room for negativity. As we are doing these exercises, the swell and momentum of that “tsunami of the opposite force” I talked about earlier is building. It is getting ready to take out any negativity that would want to take root in this precious vessel of yours. I hope by now you are starting to feel filled up more with the goodness of God. I pray that negativity would be broken off your life for good!
One of my favorite parts about defeating negativity is helping others. This is key to our own journey in the negativity battle. Every time I get filled up again by God I love to go on with my day searching for those stuck in the bottom of the pit. My simple approach is to compliment, encourage and bless. Release the goodness poured in and it will continue to flow. This is how we upgrade the plumbing of goodness in our lives. To beat negativity at its source we must learn to stand on something greater than negativity itself. Just see what happens when you stand on His word about who you are. When you lean into His heart to get filled up and declare His goodness no matter the circumstance negativity has no chance in hell. What a wonderful vessel of goodness you are, now let it spill over to those around.
Author: Pastor Tim Felker