By Josh Hunt
Negativity is often rampant in our culture. Midst the positive thinking of leaders and organisations, of happy TV shows and good weather is often a deep rooted fear and pessimism. Most people don’t even realise that they are harbouring such negativity. People seem to live their life foreboding; terrified of the worst. In so many ways we are bombarded by negativity, and the humanistic positive thinking of leaders and comedies isn’t enough to change the way we think. What we need is bible hope! By bible hope I don’t mean faith in the bible, but rather the biblical definition of hope; confidence in grace, resting in God’s love (see Romans 5).
The church ought to be so filled with hope that springs forth from union that she promises constant positivity! However, this, at least on a global level, is not so. Many come to church only to hear more bad news than the world is spouting. In fact, in many church’s people hear the supposed bad news behind the bad news, i.e. (Read in angry preacher voice) “The economy is so bad because we are nearing the great tribulation!” It’s about time we throw out our terrible eschatological exegesis, get rid of our pessimistic expectation, and trust in the all-sufficient power of the gospel – the glory of effortless union with Christ!
Many believers don’t switch from mental/emotional negativity because they still believe they are connected to spiritual negativity! So many people don’t go on the journey of renewing their minds because they don’t know that they have anything worthwhile to renew their minds for. They don’t know what they have been delivered from and what they have been brought to. Once people understand that they have been ransomed from spiritual negativity they are then empowered to renew their mind from mental or emotional negativity! In order to grasp our freedom we must understand the power of Jesus’ finished work!
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” – Galatians 3:13
Jesus came to establish union with himself. That’s what the whole thing is about. Union. Jesus came to save us from our state of spiritual deadness, and to resurrect us to new life. Daddy saw the curse that spiritual death caused; poverty, sickness, depression, negativity etc., and came to save us. When Jesus came he kept him divinity, but he also stepped into fallen Adam, including the curse. Now, it’s important to know that Jesus didn’t just go along and act like Adam, no he fought every step of the way, never once sinning, manifesting the blessing instead of the curse, driving out evil. But, it is only death that would destroy ‘Adam’ forever. So, Jesus died. He died and killed everything that first Adam was, along with Spiritual deadness and the curse. Jesus on the tree declares publically that he became a curse for us! He became a curse and killed it. Jesus then resurrected a new type of human, a man created in spiritual light and life, created and established in the blessing.
The great news for us is that when we came into Christ we were included in his death, resurrection and accession. The glorious gospel declares that you and I are now free from first Adam too. We have died to sin, to spiritual deadness, to the curse (see Romans 6). The cross is sufficient!
Once we know that we have been freed from spiritual negativity; that every ounce of curse and evil died there with Jesus on that tree, we can start to renew our minds and see mental/emotional negativity turn to childlike trust and insurmountable joy! This is what Ephesians 4 encourages us to do…
“Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught , with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” – Ephesians 4:21-24
It is clear that Pauline revelation hinges on our participation in the finished work of Christ; that we have died to sin once and for all. Here, Paul contradicts not his gospel, but talks about our mental positioning in accordance. Paul does not say put off the old self as if it still spiritually exists, no Paul is very clearly referring to ‘the attitude (or spirit) of your minds’. In other words, Paul is encouraging believers to take of those thought patters that no longer fit, and put of beliefs that are true to the eternal reality of your death and resurrection in Jesus. When people know they are free from spiritual negativity they can put off mental and emotional negativity. They can, as Paul says in Colossians 3, set their minds of things above.
Mental negativity falls off us when we enjoy union with Christ. Jesus, in his earthly ministry, knew that negativity was no match to the supply of the Kingdom of God. Jesus knew that because he was connected to spiritual positivity he could ignore mental/emotional negativity. Jesus knew that his natural habitat was the supernatural! He knew that there was a supply and reality that could meet his every need! That’s why in Mark 5, when Jesus was about to go and raise Jairus’ daughter from her sickness, he ignores the negative voices of those in his close proximity. Mark 5 records that while Jesus was still speaking, men came from the house of Jairus reporting of the child’s death. Jesus ignored them, and the pressure of demand. Jesus ignored them because he was aware of his Fathers grand Kingdom of supply, where even death is subject to change.
Perhaps you feel surrounded by demand? Do like Jesus and ignore the negative voices. The Amplified Bible says Jesus overheard, but ignored. Do the same, you may hear the negative voices of demand, but ignore them. Instead focus on the glorious Kingdom of Daddy God, a Kingdom which never has a shortage or lack of supply. Never. Don’t be afraid, only believe! Believe that you are free from the curse; believe that your negativity died with Christ. Putt off the old foundations of your mind, and set your mind on things above.