I'm always thinking, and often I'm not even aware of what exactly I'm thinking about. And often, I think of myself in a negative emotional state. I'm thinking of debt, bad decisions, an employee not doing something I told them to, and the thoughts go on and on.
I’ll be the first to admit that it takes me a while to snap out of whatever negative emotion I’m experiencing. However, in studying about being present and in tune with my Spirit, if I backtrack and discover what the original thought was, I can always find that the thoughts are not from God.
The idea of operating from the Spirit is to manage somehow to live in the present and not worry about our businesses’ past or future.
However, pain, loss, and regret are still very real feelings that happen in present moments along our entrepreneurial journey. Is suffering some kind of message from our Spirit? And, how do we deal with emotional suffering?
Enter the Devil.
The Devil is known as ‘The Father of Lies.’ (John 8:44) He is incapable of speaking the truth, and his mission is to distort the truth about our day-to-day duties and responsibilities in business and convince us that his distortion is true.
Pain is nothing more than the enemy inside our heads shining a bright light on external things that we (supposedly) cannot change. We experience pain when we are unsatisfied with how things are yet are convinced that we are not powerful enough to change. The enemy thus manifests himself, on an emotional level, as a NEGATIVE feeling.
I have come to realize along my entrepreneurial journey that when I find myself in the state of being overcome by negative emotion, it’s almost always because I’m thinking of and believing the Devil’s lies.
The Bible says
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Why would the Apostle Peter start with "be sober-minded" when referring to the adversary, the Devil? It's because that's where the Devil does his devouring.
Because you think so much about the past and the future of your business and overall entrepreneurial career but can live only in the present, you "feed" into the devil's lie that you have no means to change things that you’re unhappy about. The inner resistance about how things are is what you experience as pain - the devil devouring your relationship with your present-moment inner Spirit.
The devil needs you to feel pain so that it can survive in the NOW. It needs to keep you in the depression of your past or anxiety of your future and keep feeding you lies that things will never change so that he can rob you of dwelling with your present-moment Spirit.
Since the enemy lives off of your painful experiences, he grows and strengthens whenever you experience pain. Therefore he will try to make your entrepreneurial journey miserable and sad.
To make matters worse, this cycle can continue for a very long time until, finally, the enemy replaces the Spirit and becomes an essential part of you: you’ll have fully identified with the father of lies. And because your pain and suffering will by then be such an important part of your life, you’ll be afraid to let it go because doing so would then put your very identity at risk.
It's some messed-up stuff we're dealing with when it comes to the devil. It's no joke. He does NOT want us operating in the Spirit and doing the business God created us to do.
For example, when a product launch doesn't go well, and you feel yourself getting frustrated, angry, and depressed, the enemy has taken control. The lies cloud your ability to think and act rationally and simply lead to more pain.
Even when it seems that pain comes from the external world and we start blaming others for our suffering, it is, in fact, self-created by giving way for the enemy to dwell in our minds: he's prowling around within our minds.
The good news is that because we can't lose the Holy Spirit, we can do something about it. John 6:63 says, "It is the Spirit who gives life. Galatians 5:16 says, "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh."
The only solution is being completely present with your Spirit right here, right now. Notice how when we put on a worship song, God whisks us away into his arms and, for a moment, we have no suffering or pain?
That's the power of operating our business moment to moment with the Spirit.