Does it ever seem like all hell is breaking loose around you? Whether it be in your marriage, relationships with others, on the job, or just everything coming at you all at once; it can cause you to wonder, “What in the world is going on?!”
I remember last summer having to throw some raw chicken out because it had expired before I could use it. What I didn’t realize was that the combination of the heat and the rotting meat in the damp, dark garbage pail outside was an invitation for flies to come and lay their eggs. Gross! When I went out on garbage day to pull the pails to the street, I almost passed out from the overpowering smell. Even worse, I could barely touch the pail, which was now covered in maggots. It was the perfect atmosphere for the flies to reproduce. Sorry for the gross example, but the just like those flies, the enemy looks for the perfect atmosphere to reproduce as well.
This reminds me of James 3:16 which says, “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” The enemy looks for a certain kind of atmosphere to come and wreak havoc in our lives. But, just as he is attracted to a certain kind of atmosphere, so is God. We can choose to cultivate a Heavenly atmosphere in our lives and see our every situation transformed by it. Often we want our situation to change, but God has placed right within us what we need to change it. This is why Jesus said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you (Luke 17:21).” Where Heaven is, God’s power and authority is. And when we release it, we’ll see it affect every area of our lives. But, let’s clarify this…What does this mean practically for us and how does it help us when all hell seems to be breaking loose?
Let me share an example from my marriage. When Rob and I were first married let’s just say we had a lot of things to work out, or rather, allow God to work in us. We were two independent, strong personalities and to say we banged heads often was an understatement! Much of the first few years of our marriage, I was hurt and angry with him just as he was with me. I wanted him to change and so that was my focus, until I finally listened to the Holy Spirit who was telling me to stop focusing on him and focus on myself. Instead of reacting when all hell would break loose in our marriage, I would stop, take a deep breath and not react. Then, I would choose to respond in love, be a peacemaker and not hold onto offense. While I still hurt and wanted to respond in other ways, I chose not to and I prayed a lot. Yes, I prayed for my husband, but I prayed for myself too. “Lord if there be anything in ME, that needs to be healed or changed, help me. “In time, I not only saw radical changes in my marriage, but within my own personal life. I became a stronger, healthier person, able to experience more and more of what God had for me in life.
No, this isn’t a marriage article, because the example applies to any situation. When all hell breaks loose we can either cultivate the atmosphere for it to thrive or create the atmosphere that Heaven thrives in.
2 Corinthians 2:15 says, “Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.” Our responses either attract heaven or hell. So, when all hell breaks loose, instead of lashing out in anger, becoming offended, being selfish, prideful, or any of these things that cause our situation to only get worse; we can choose to be a peacemaker, let love rule, and be humble. This is how we allow Heaven to be released through us. It’s a fact that we’ll face challenging times in life, but we can be confident that we’ll overcome them all. So next time all hell breaks loose, give ‘em Heaven instead!