Sid: My guest by way of telephone is Pastor Charles Cowan; he’s Pastor of the 2000 member Faith Is The Victory Church in Nashville, Tennessee. And he’s just written a new book the title is one that you need to read it’s called “How to Deal with the Cares of Life.” The Bible has much to say about this, and on yesterday’s broadcast we were talking about a catch word that’s used in the medical profession a lot it’s called stressed. Although it’s a catch word because the doctors don’t know what the real cause of diseases might be. It a real situation, it’s our response to external stimulus, but there is something that has overcome that. It’s the word of God and it’s the one thing to intellectually know the word of God; but it’s another thing to have the word of God in your heart where it becomes more real than the external stimulus. Then this stress can’t get hold of you, like unfortunately it has with many Christians as much with Christians as non-Christians, it should not be, it will not be. Charles at the beginning of your book you talk about a great move of God’s Spirit and what the devil is trying to do is to get us out of position so we won’t be ready to fulfill our destiny. And in the beginning of your book you talk about an experience that you had and I think that when we become real and we talk about those in the pulpit talk about “You know I go through the same challenges and the same problems that you do. Let me tell you what happened to me when I was flying on an airplane.” Tell us that story.
Charles: Okay, well you know and that is true; what we preach from the pulpit we have to walk it just like anyone else does. I was on a plane out of Nashville and we had to take an early one morning and we were on our way to Dallas, Ft. Worth. And we had gotten up to our flying altitude and we’re flying along rather smoothly when all of a sudden the pilot, the captain, put the plane into a very sharp descent. And just for a few seconds I’m sure it seemed like a long time but just for a few seconds there wasn’t anything said in the plane the plane was in this almost felt that it was in a nose dive. And then he came on the intercom and told the flight attendants to take their seat; buckle their seatbelts and then there were a few more seconds. Well, in this few seconds this emotion; I began to feel this emotion of fear. And you know fear there are 2 or 3 different kinds of fear; fear #1 you know is the fear of God which is reverence for God. Then there is a cautious type of fear where if your person’s crossing the street should look both ways and make sure of their safety. And then there is this fear that is called a spirit; Paul wiring to Timothy said “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and a sound mind.” So from without I began these emotions I began to feel these emotions and thoughts began to flood my mind. And my thought were “This plane is going to crash; this plane is going down; you’re going to die.” There I am in the midst of that and Satan is using this circumstance and this situation to flood my mind and to drive me away from what God has said about my safety and about my protection. Because the word of God says “He’s given His angels charge over us to keep us in all of our ways to keep us up in their hands less we dash our foot against a stone.” He’s also told us that “No weapon formed that is formed against us shall prosper.” And so there in my mind all of these thoughts were coming.
Sid: But just as the plane suddenly plunged downward you know all of these things but in that moment was fear a very tangible emotion that was happening to you?
Charles: Sid, it felt really, it felt as though that I could actually taste it. I mean it was very, very real it was a most powerful emotion and it came so unannounced. When that plane started down and it just… what it does it tries it best to frighten an individual out of their senses. I used to hear when I was growing up you know and someone would pull… you know hide behind the door or whatever in the dark and then jump out. You know and I’ve heard people say “That just scared me out of my mind.” See that’s what Satan seeks to do with these things that we face many times and he seeks to scare us out of our spiritual mind and get us to thinking in a carnal type mind and buy into whatever that has brought on this emotion of fear. So he was trying to get me to buy into the thought “The plane is going to crash; you’re going to die, you’ll never see your family again,” and all of those kind of thoughts that come. So what he was trying to do he was trying to displace me in my thought life and buy into what was happening at the moment. And so thank God the word of God was in me and so I just began to say “No weapon formed against me shall prosper, God has given His angels charge over me; God is my protector; God will take care of me.” And then the thought rushes in there “Well, how do you think He’s going to take care of you now this plane is going to crash?” So in my mind I was fighting this battle in my mind. Which every believer, every person listening to this broadcast has to face these, maybe not this same situation but has to face these thoughts that come and bring war and bring warfare. You know Paul said “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they’re mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
Sid: Is this what James was referred to saying “That a double-minded man is unstable in all of his ways?
Charles: This is exactly what he was referring to; he is double-minded man; Satan wants to…he wants to get you to think about what’s on the other side of the coin as it were. You’re here thinking what God says. He wants to get you thinking about what’s happening in your life at this moment in time. And so what if he gets you thinking about that and then you try to go back and thinking the word; what the word of God says then you’re thinking about the present moment and situation. And get you to vacillate between the two you become double-minded, or in other words you have encountered a distracted mind. You know the scripture teaches us that “He will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him.” And it doesn’t matter really in God’s view it doesn’t matter what’s going on around me, all that matters to God is what He said. So I have to be sure that Satan doesn’t distract me to the point that I just move the word of God over to the side and think only these thoughts Satan is bringing to me. I’ve got to give God my words, I’ve got to give Him my thoughts so that His power that’s in His word can bring to me the deliverance that I need; the help that I need at that moment in time. And so that’s what I found myself doing.
Sid: Okay, so you took this sudden plunge, fear hits you it’s tangible; what did you do?
Charles: I just began to take a hold of my senses, my mind, and I just began to say what the word of God has to say about my safety and about my protection and about what God has stated in His word that He will do for me. I’ve set my love upon Him and you know it says “There things shall not come nigh me; it shall not be able to overcome me.” And so I just began to speak the word of God because you see if my thinking gets over here in the wrong area; my words are going to be in the wrong area. So I put my mind back on the word of God; so it was a fight to do that. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do in my life. But I made myself I made my mind get back over here on what God says. And no matter what was going on around me; no matter what Satan had planned for my life that day I knew that God’s plan for my life was to do His will…
Sid: But things kept getting worse, I mean the plane started shaking; you went into a freezing storm, the pilot came on with problems there was ever worse things going on that he didn’t tell you about. I mean did you find yourself going up and down like a yo-yo as far as what was going on with this fear?
Charles: When this comes against you when things of this nature or problems come against you what you have to make the decision to do is that you’re going to stabilize yourself in your thought life. Yeah, there was opportunity for me to be up and down like a yo-yo. It was an opportunity for me to say “It doesn’t look like God is going to come through.” It was an opportunity to feel like God was a million miles away; maybe He had hung a sign on the door out to lunch or something. But I forced myself to stabilize my thoughts that God would protect me; God is my protector; God is the one who keeps me safe and I will dwell upon those thoughts. I just kept making my mind think that because I knew that I couldn’t fight a thought with a thought. I had to fight those thoughts with words. So I found out that when I say something and I hear myself saying it my mind had to stop and to listen to what I was saying.
Sid: But so in affect you had to make a freewill decision which set of thoughts you would go on.
Charles: That’s it and if you don’t do that; if an individual doesn’t do that when cares of life come against them if they don’t do that they’ll do exactly what you said. They’ll be like a yo-yo. Today…
Sid: Charles we’re out of time we’ll pick up here on tomorrow’s broadcast. Mishpochah how would you like to stay connected with God no matter what external stimuli comes your way. No matter what problems come your way; this book teaches you how to do it.