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Spirituality: The power of your disposition and decision

The power of your disposition and decision

Ayo Ayodele Ph.D

As a teenager, I had the privilege of growing up in a strictly Christian environment- my late father was a chief lay reader, and had a very early exposure to spiritual counsel. One of such is the belief that God rules in the affairs of man. It is a teaching that accentuates the supremacy of God and drives home a sense of destiny implying that everything about man is divinely programmed. Experiences in my adult life have further reinforced this belief. I have watched people make beautiful plans that ended in unexpected outcomes. I have also seen many getting to positions and place in life which they never imagined. And not a few have surpassed family and societal expectations breaking barriers through God’s divine providence. Can life and living, therefore, be summed up as a mere succession of chance happenings? To pursue a chance argument would be to make both God and man onlookers in matters that affect the latter. Yet to argue without blinking a “man proposes God disposes” proposal would amount to making man completely irresponsible.

Adam, the first man, had everything made for him in the Garden of Eden. He however also had responsibilities. His first responsibility was to name all things, exercising in the process his discretion in line with his disposition and eventual decision.  In his first assignment, Adam was outstandingly successful, as all the names he gave got God’s approval. The unmistakable implication here is that Adam had and operated in the mindset of God: he saw, thought and spoke exactly what God was seeing, thinking and speaking.  For all who will walk with God, having the mind of Christ is a necessary condition for earthly distinction and victory. Unless one has the mind of Christ, it will be difficult to have a relationship with God for two cannot walk together except they are agreed. Every human relationship on the horizontal plane has the tendency to degenerate into selfish pursuits if not ruled by the mind of Christ.

In contrast to Adam, the ten spies who returned with a negative report from their visit to the promise land of Canaan failed in their assignment because they did not have the mind of God. Whilst Caleb, one of the twelve spies, was convinced they could posses the land, the ten were overtaken by fear which ultimately was their undoing.  In addition to the pomegranates, the milk and the honey, they saw the giants, the sons of Anak and came to the unfortunate conclusion that; “we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their own sight.”  They saw, thought and spoke differently from God, in clear violation of God’s instruction to not ‘look at the things which are seen’. Their fearful disposition was traceable to what they saw physically and perhaps what they knew of the Anaks- their antecedents as giants. Carrying the wound and pain of the past into present circumstances or seeing things only from the standpoint of the wrong information we have been fed can only produce in us a wrong disposition. Any decision therefore taken on the basis of such a wrong disposition could spell disaster.

In life, your disposition which is the tendency to behave in certain ways under given circumstances accounts for your decision that is the set of choices you make under such circumstances. The question is what makes you think, speak and behave the way you do? What informs your opinion about others, issues and places?  For Adam who acted as an extension of God, it was his relationship with God.  For the ten spies whose actions were rooted in their human nature, it was what they saw and what they knew of the Anaks. One marked difference between Adam and the spies was that Adam had no previous experience to rely upon. Though experience may be your teacher, whatever it teaches cannot be truer than what God says. God’s report has the capability to put to rest all that you know and see- when you choose to believe it. Indeed, God’s admonition is that we attend to his words and keep them in our heart because they are life unto those that find them. When we do what the word of God says, our ways will become prosperous and we shall have good success. The word of God gives birth to faith in our hearts and prompts us to see what God is seeing and saying what God is saying. This is what brings to us what God has for us.

Faith is the spiritual disposition that activates positive faith-filled decisions. It places man in the same supernatural atmosphere where God operates and gives the ability to influence natural circumstances. Through prayers of faith, faith declarations and confession of God’s words, we can change the natural order of things and cause them to align with God’s will. A faith-filled life is the single most powerful antidote to a timid and fearful life. It liberates from the oppression of negative mental images imposed on our minds by our unfavourable circumstances and locates us in the empowering atmosphere of supernatural revelation given by the Holy Spirit. Walking in this realm develops in you the courage, perseverance and diligence needed to overcome every obstacle that comes your way. For instance, when confronted with Goliath, David, who by all natural standards was no match for Goliath, refused to see the giant as a ‘natural’ enemy. He invoked God’s presence and handed the battle to God by addressing Goliath as an ‘uncircumcised Philistine.’ David’s disposition was that of faith, hence the decision to fight Goliath with just a sling and five stones rather than the heavy armour offered by Saul. He saw, thought and spoke the mind of God, not according to his own human mind. The result God stepped into the battle and gave victory to the Israelites.

Whether as individuals, groups, institutions or a nation, our disposition and our decisions will ultimately be responsible for the outcomes we have. Our challenges may be daunting. The obstacles may be overwhelming. Neither their bigness nor their enormity can overwhelm God who has given assurances of fighting the battles on our behalf.  When we have a faith disposition rooted in the word of God, we will make choices that align with God’s will and promises. And that is the only guarantee that we will overcome life’s battles and challenges. What overcomes the world and gives us victory is nothing other than faith

Bible Texts: Numbers 13: 23-33, 1 Cor 2:16, Numbers 13:23-33, 2 Cor 4:18, Proverbs 4: 20-22, Jos.1:8, I John 5:4

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