Joshua said to them, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Be strong and courageous.”
Joshua 10:25
If we hear a message often enough we begin to believe it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s positive or negative, true or false. Then we in turn pass it on to others.
That’s what happened with Joshua. First, God spoke encouragement to him—“Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Pretty soon, the people of Israel started saying it to him when the monumental task of leading the nation pressed heavily on him. Finally, Joshua owned these empowering words and spoke them back to the people.
These examples challenge me. We must actively refuse to let damaging messages stick that come our way (taking thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ). We’re surrounded by them. They’re in the media, at school, at work, and even in our homes. Sadly, they’re in our churches too (since the Church is composed of humans).
Just think how we could change the world if we paused before speaking the first thing that came to mind, and asked, Is this a message of life or death; blessing or cursing? What a huge difference that would make.
 

used by permission from Sela Photography

In that split second, we can choose instead to pass on true and encouraging statements. Like God’s words to Joshua. It’s only meaningful though if we own it first; if we believe it and let it be our guide and strength. We can’t say, “A penny saved is a penny earned” then refuse to set aside funds for the future. Nor can we say, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged” to others, while suffering from anxiety induced headaches and ulcers.
What message does God repeat to you? You hear it in sermons, Bible reading, and when you pray. How are others echoing that message when you listen to the radio, worship at church, and spend time with family? Are you ready to own it and pass it on to others with confidence?
Today on your prayer walk, spend time listening. That’s hard isn’t it? I struggle with this too. Ask God what you need to own. Then ask Him who else needs to hear these words. Then determine to pass on what is true, good, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. And all that other good stuff from God.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Romans 12:21
*If you’d like to learn more about Halloween and some possible alternatives for Christians, my book Taking Back October is a terrific resource! Available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Taking-Back-October-Believers-Pursuit/dp/1502516292/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1505868831&sr=8-1&keywords=taking+back+October
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