Embrace Your Environment
An imperfect environment can be the perfect environment for our spiritual growth. As we go through our journey of spiritual training, our emphasis should be on the assignment not the environment. Our assignment is to grow spiritually and prepare for the next step that God wants us to take. The current situation we're in will allow us to do so. This is why embracing our environment is significant. Instead of complaining about your job, embrace the fact that you have one and realize that God is using this job to prepare you for a better one. You can't expect to be a Chief Executive Officer if you haven't mastered the responsibilities of an employee. Instead of complaining about being single, embrace your time as a single man or woman to develop the habits of a good companion. Bad habits can ruin a good relationship, just like the wrong mindset can damage the right blessing. In between where we are now and where we desire to be is the assignment of spiritual training. This needs to be our primary focus. Its appropriate to think about the blessing on the other side, but the journey of spiritual training is what will get us there.
One goal of spiritual training is to become a stronger person internally, and external distractions can make this difficult. A distraction can be defined as something that prevents someone from giving full attention to something. I realized that a distraction can only become a distraction if we give our attention to it. A few weeks ago, I watched one of my favorite NBA players, Kevin Durant play his first game in Oklahoma City since leaving to join the Golden State Warriors. There were various external distractions prior to and during the game, the media along with fans expressing their displeasure towards their former star player. Although he was anxious approaching the game, his primary focus was winning the basketball game not the players or fans who disagreed with his decision to leave. We have to adopt this same attitude and mindset when entering a hostile environment. If most of your attention is placed on your environment, you can easily become overwhelmed. This occurs because our focus shifts toward our circumstances instead of God. If we're focused on God and what he's capable of getting us through, the amount of overwhelm you're feeling will decrease or go away. The main reason we should embrace our environment is stated in John 1: 4-4. The NIV (New International Version) translation of this verse states "You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” This is great news because the one that we need to get us through the circumstances we're facing is already within us. If we fix our lens, we'll realize that we have everything we need to handle our daily circumstances. We'll also realize that the one who's in us is greater than anything we face on a daily basis. This is the why the purpose of spiritual training is developing the God within us because who we are internally will determine how we deal with things externally. There's no circumstance or environment greater than the God that's within us, but only if the God in us is properly developed. If not, our external circumstances will overwhelm us.
If your strength and faith is constantly tested, you're in the right environment. You become stronger when your
strength is tested. Your spiritual muscles can't grow without consistent exercise. So if you're experiencing difficult circumstances and find yourself in a hostile environment, embrace it! Remember what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!