Dr. Steve Greene is now sharing his reflections and practical insights as a ministry leader on Greenelines, a new podcast. Listen at charismapodcastnetwork.com.
These days, everyone knows someone who's hit rock bottom after losing a job, home, life savings, marriage, family, etc. Whether that's you or someone else, Brian Zahnd's book What to Do on the Worst Day of Your Life can be the perfect lifeline for overcoming the toughest of times. And one of the key elements to this is simply a matter of perspective ...
As a new day began to dawn over Ziklag, a new day began to dawn in David's heart. He had spent the night wearing the linen ephod and seeking the Lord. In the middle of the night God had spoken to him and said, "Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all." A day earlier everything seemed hopeless, but now things were changing. David had a word from God, and with that word David had found fresh faith and a new hope. Yesterday all David could see was a bleak future of loss and sorrow, but today he had a new vision-a vision of victory and recovering all. David had reoriented his vision from the dismal ashes of the present to the hopeful potential of the future.
As the men began to gather around David after their own sleepless night, they watched him take off the linen ephod and give it back to Abiathar. They could see that David looked different. He had that faraway look in his eyes; he could see something they could not see. David had the eye of the eagle. I can imagine one of David's chief lieutenants asking, "What is it, David? What do you see?"
I can hear David answering, "I see victory." Then David began to prophesy his vision to those men. "We are going to rise up. We are going to pursue the Amalekites who have destroyed our homes, stolen our possessions, and taken our families. We are going to overtake them, and without a doubt, we are going to recover all! Everything! Every wife, every son, every daughter. We are going to take back all of our livestock, all our silver, and all of our gold. We are going to recover all."1
Spontaneously the men began to shout and cheer. They held their swords high and shouted David's prophetic mantra, "Recover all!" Suddenly the negative energy of despondency and self-pity had been replaced by the positive energy of a new faith expectation. What had happened? A man of vision had prophesied hope back into hopeless men. He had reoriented their vision. Instead of focusing on what had happened and the loss of the present moment, these men now had a vision of recovery that energized them toward productive activity and a victorious future.
To recover all on the worst day of your life you must reorient your vision. The present crisis can cast you into darkness like a total eclipse of the sun. The crisis can move between you and the light of God, casting a dark shadow over your life and paralyzing you from engaging in productive activity. The terrible thing that has happened can appear so big that it seems impossible to focus on anything else. The crisis becomes the only thing you can see. That's when you must reorient your vision; you must find a way to look beyond the crisis and establish a vision of recovering all. That's when God's word is like a light shining in a dark place.
God's word to David was, "Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all." David now knew that it was God's will for him to recover all. He was no longer hesitant. He was no longer beleaguered by doubt. Momentary doubt is the natural consequence of receiving the kind of blow that Ziklag delivers-it's like having the wind knocked out of you. It's having the faith knocked out of you. You must reorient your vision toward the promises of God in such a way that you recover your faith and shake off the doubt. He who doubts is like a wave upon the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. You will not receive anything from God while lingering in the duplicity of doubt. Doubt allowed to linger too long will produce dangerous emotional and spiritual instability.2
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