Robert and Maureen McQuillan write:
‘Flipping the switch’ – like a lot of other phrases – can either be rightly understood or, sadly, wrongly construed sexually.
Then there’s the link with longboarding – courageously using wider and longer skateboards. Check James Kelly’s escapade: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bC2DnG4yqA
Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology – asks, ‘What is the least we need to achieve the most?’ Eric Brende ditched car, electric stove, refrigerator, running water, and everything else motorised to spend 18 months living in a remote community so primitive in its technology that even the Amish consider antiquated. Why? To see whether our mobiles, widescreen TVs, and SUVs have made life easier– or whether life would be preferable without them.
In his bestselling book QBQ! The Question Behind the Question, John G Miller reveals how personal accountability helps to create opportunity, overcome obstacles, and achieve goals by eliminating blame, complaining, and procrastination. The result? Stronger organisations, more dynamic teams, and healthier relationships.
The list goes on but we’re using ‘Flipping the Switch’ in the sense of ‘Having a sudden and drastic change of heart.’ The image below represents one area that calls for a major change of thinking – from fear to courage.
Life is life! Things go wrong! Sometimes life throws such out-of-the-blue nasty curves, causing even the stoutest, faith-believing Christian to be really jolted. We can even find ourselves querying our faith – stalling in our ministry calling and wondering about a lot of things. Negative questions arise such as ‘What happened? What did I do wrong? Why this, God? Why me when I’m loyally following you?’
Fear hitting us in the pit of our stomach is a truly soul-destroying experience that can throw us off centre. It’s one of Satan’s tricks – but whether he instigated it or it came about as a result of something going terribly wrong in life, it grips us. Many times when praying for people at the altar, the Holy Spirit reveals that fear is the root of many problems, even certain sicknesses.
It’s a word that is found repeatedly in scripture, around 400 verses, from Genesis to Revelation. And it’s great that we can also find so many scriptures encouraging us not to be afraid!
Probably the one recalled most is in the case of Joshua, challenged to a momentous task of being Israel’s new leader on the death of Moses. God’s encouraging advice to him of ‘Fear not, neither be dismayed’ (Joshua 8:1) is also a timely word for many Christians today.
Jesus himself encouraged us in John 14:1, ’Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God;
believe also in me’ (NIV).
• ‘Heart’ – that’s kardia – referring to thoughts and feelings
• ‘Troubled’ is tarassa … agitated.
Sound familiar? The Message Bible cheerfully puts it this way: ‘Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me.’
There are troubled times in life – even church life – when things go wrong and we feel torn inside, so alone and that no one understands. Fear creeps in and overwhelms!
Here’s an encouraging word from Jesus for every follower: ‘I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left – feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught’ (John 14:27).
Trusting God with all our heart at such times means flipping the switch! Experiencing a scary, troubling time? Be bold – trust the Lord, be determined to win through: Flip the switch!
Overcoming and achieving
Whatever challenges we have in life, we need to be possibility thinkers! Dr Robert Schuller was known for his description of Jesus – ‘The greatest possibility thinker ever.’
As Christians – followers of Jesus – we must be like him and follow his examples. Jesus never let anything throw him – he trusted his heavenly Father completely, even in his darkest hours in Gethsemane and as he died on the cross.
Gethsemane: ‘Again he prayed, “My Father, if there is no other way than this, drinking this cup to the dregs, I’m ready. Do it your way”’ (Matt. 26:42 Mge).
Calvary: ‘Jesus shouted, “Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!” And with those words he breathed his last’ (Luke 23:46 NLT).
Trust, entrust, believe…such words come from pisteuo – to have faith in and commit to with respect. There’s a great thought…respect God in that he is almighty (all powerful) and can make things happen.
One time Jesus made exercising faith sound so simple: His disciples were wondering why they couldn’t cause something miraculous to happen. In scripture mountains are often regarded as problems, something that needs dealing with. Jesus told them straight: ‘Because you’re not yet taking God seriously. The simple truth is that if you had a mere kernel of faith, a poppy seed, say, you would tell this mountain, “Move!” and it would move. There is nothing you wouldn’t be able to tackle’ (Matt. 17:20 Mge).
A mustard seed! That’s pretty small, not demanding a lot – but the reality remains…we just have to decide that we will, no matter what, no matter how big the problem, take God seriously, respect him and his word – and believe that he has the answers and ability to bring us through.
Coming through problems, challenges and such by trusting God, and our great rescuer, Jesus, indicates we overcome by defeating.
Revelation 12:11(Mge) boldly claims that Christians will overcome the great enemy himself – ‘They defeated him through the blood of the Lamb and the bold word of their witness. They weren’t in love with themselves; they were willing to die for Christ.’
To defeat is nikao … to prevail, overcome, subdue, conquer, get the victory. The Good News Bible translates this as ‘victory’ and NIV says ‘triumph.’ Whichever word is used it’s clearly good news to hurting hearts!
As redeemed children of God, we can claim this victory over many obstacles. But we must act! If we don’t, we will never be conquerors.
May we take note of the all-important positive trio of keys …
1. Trusting positively
2. Testifying positively
3. Thinking positively.
When trouble hits us, we must always remember to flip the switch and …
• Claim afresh the blood of Jesus and its power, shed at Calvary for us.
• Capture very opportunity to declare we’re believing for victory through Jesus.
• Concentrate not on our current problems but on Jesus and all he offers us.
Romans 8:11 assures us that we can be victors, overcomers, in all distressing times – ‘No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.’ The Message puts it clearly: ‘None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us.’
Note: It is our decision… we have to be active. We must decide to have a change of heart, correct our attitude and outlook on things, clear our mind of destructive thoughts and feelings. The Holy Spirit within will help us of course but we have our role to play. The good news is that it works – even if some time goes by!
May we, in repeatedly being overcomers, put a new spin on ‘Flipping the Switch’!