We have been created in the image of God and given dominion over other lower creatures. God created man as male and female, and blessed them, saying: “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.” (Genesis 1:28). Unfortunately, many of us have lost the revelation of who we are and what we were created to be through exposure to some philosophies and ideologies, which have generated doubt and unbelief towards God’s original purpose of creating us.
People have derailed so far away from God that they now live like ordinary animals. People do not love God and therefore do not love themselves and consequently do not love others. Anyone who does not love himself or herself cannot love another person. In Matthew 22: 37-40 Jesus says, “Thou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Ignorance of who we are is the root cause of xenophobia. People despise foreigners or others coming from different cultures, backgrounds and customs, and plot evil for them. In Nigeria, there are cases of herdsmen killing innocent fellow citizens in order to acquire their land for grazing. The Boko Haram crisis is equally ravaging the country, especially the northern regions, for reasons difficult for some us to understand. These people are committed to the mission of Satan – to steal, kill and destroy. These evils continue because the perpetrators do not love God, and do not love themselves and therefore do not love other people.
This fundamental ignorance of the purpose of God for creating man causes problems, confusion and anarchy in our society today. When you allow distance between you and God, you cannot access His thoughts and will. Your beliefs will not be in alignment with His purpose. Consequently, you tend to believe and prioritise what people, situations and your environment tell you above His words. You gradually allow the opinion of your boss, pastor, counsellor, and friends to control your life, and you may end up living below or outside God’s purpose.
It is only when you believe what God says about you that you can rise to your full potential and become all you can be. What people have said about you is not necessarily what God has planned for you. People may see you as unworthy but God places a high value on you, as someone created in His image, blessed and given dominion over other created things. He says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you…thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Thinking outside God’s thoughts limits us. Our own thoughts create circumstances that make us operate at a level that is far lower than God planned for us. We think of recession, poor finances, lack of job, insecurity, crimes, unhappy marriage, divorce, natural disasters, depleting economic resources, diseases, failures, untimely deaths and all negative trends. In fact, these are what make news all over the world and people’s minds are preoccupied with such thoughts.
In 1998 I suffered from lumbar radiculopathy, which grounded me for about four weeks, with low back and leg pains. I had to sleep on the bare floor and later on hard (orthopaedic) mattress. The doctor made a frightening statement that I would be a regular visitor to the hospital and there would surgery, if it got worse. That negative report caused me depression for some time.
However, one day, a pastor-friend visited me prayed for me. I showed him the X-rays to elicit his sympathy. He glanced at it and said he didn’t believe in the X-rays or the doctor’s opinion. He commanded me to reject them. With faith, I rejected the X-rays and the doctor’s report. In fact, I cut the X-rays into pieces with my scissors. Surprisingly, the so-called radiculopathy disappeared within a few days. God miraculously restored my lumber bones and nerves and I have never visited the hospital again. I appropriated God’s promises for my health.
God says in Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV), “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.” As long as we meditate on the negative thoughts of the world around us, we cannot get into God’s programmes. That is why we must continually renew our minds so as to understand the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.