You are watching your favorite YouTube travel vlogger (check out @abangjalanjalan for a great laugh as he takes you around the world) showcasing his most recent adventure in Mexico with your earphones on as you know he is well beyond credible (and humorous too) with regards to traveling. Beside you are your friends chatting about some scary stories they have heard regarding people traveling alone to that country. As both of your ears are trying to listen to the video as the vlogger shares the unique culture he encountered, the friendliest people he met, the amazing food he tasted, oh you name it, you can’t help but tune in and tune out to the chattering voice of your friends as they freak out every now and then as they listen to each other’s creepy stories about Mexico. You are then left with two options. A, you turn up the volume on your earphone altogether and listen to what your trustworthy vlogger has to say. Or B, you tune down a little bit on your earphone and listen to what those who have not been to Mexico have to say. So, which one is it – is it A or B?
I think and I know this happens to us quite often in our day to day lives. Maybe it doesn’t have anything to do with traveling, but I am pretty sure you’ve been in such place before. You are trying to go on life trying to push through anything that is thrown at you, but at one point or another, your problem suddenly becomes too big and the resistance becomes too strong and your willpower weakens and you simply stop trying. You are inadequate, it says. You don’t deserve it, it asserts. Who are you to think you can, it plants doubts. This is because of what you have done, it accuses. No one cares about what you are going through, it robs the joy out of you. Lies after lies after lies after lies. Lies trying to bring you down. Lies trying to steal away the hope and peace in you. Lies trying to question your true identity. Lies trying to steer you away from who you can become. They are all lies after lies after lies after lies.
“What you choose to magnify will dominate your life. Make a decision of what you will magnify – your problem or your Lord,” Carl Lentz said it in one of the session in Hillsong Conference 2017 I get to attend two weeks ago. And of course, he had to quote one of the psalms in which King David had just gone through a time of danger. “Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together!” (Psalms 34:3) It’s true. What we magnify is what will seem big in our perspective. When we are faced with a problem, it is so easy for us to drift away from Him and His promises for us as they just simply seem too impossible to believe at that moment. But would we answer the call to magnify. I believe that when we magnify the Lord, He will change what we see.
Oh, how happy would I be to tell you it is so easy for us to do so. But no. It is so darn difficult. It takes a huge leap of faith and some serious effort to tune in the right voice and turn up its volume. I’ve been there – admit it or not.
At times when it seems like things or people are taken away from me, I’d hear the voice questioning, why does a good God take good things away from you? Only after a tad bit of volume control did I know that nothing is ever lost, only gained – the love, the peace, the comfort, everything. Yes, I tuned in to the promise that for those who love God all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).
At times when it seems like things are just too hard for me to handle, I’d hear the voice saying, you won’t be able to fight through this – you are weak. Only after a tad bit of volume control did I know that I don’t have to go through life alone. Yes, I tuned in to the truth that though I am weak, in Him I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).
At times when it seems like all the uncertainties and the unknown are too overwhelming, I’d hear the voice casting doubt on me, you are all alone in this – no one really cares about you anyway. Only after a tad bit of volume control did I know that as long as I got Him, that is more than what I need. Yes, I tuned in to the assurance that God will never leave me, nor forsake me (Deuteronomy 31:6).
At times when it seems like all I do were useless, I’d hear the voice exclaiming, you can’t even do such simple thing – you are not worth it. Only after a tad bit of volume control did I know that it was never about what I do, but all about what has been done. Yes, I tuned in to the fact that I am immensely loved and cared for that it cost Someone His very own life (John 3:16).
Today’s world makes it especially hard for us to filter off the lies from the truth. We are constantly bombarded with messages of every kind – about ourselves and the world surrounding us. And not just messages we hear from the television, social media, word of mouth and many other media, our impressions, feelings and reflections, too, have very likely been contaminated by lies. What lies are you tuning in today? What truth do you need to hear? Magnify. Magnify the truth and the lies will soon have less effect on your life. Magnify the Lord and your circumstances will seem much, much smaller. Will it go away? No. But it will be dominated by a bigger and stronger God who got your back every step of the way. In whichever situation we are currently in, be it a stormy season or a nice walk in the park, we have the choice to make. Let’s choose to magnify Him and what He has to say in our lives. Let’s choose to tune into the right frequency of His love and promise. Let’s choose to turn up the volume of Truth and switch off the voices of lies altogether!
P.S. Here are some snapshots of the Conference. I will be writing a couple more posts on the things I’ve learned from the Conference and my experiences in Sydney/Melbourne. So, stay tuned! (Follow the blog to receive instant notifications on my latest post!)