When is the time to change?

Many people are immersed in pessimism, complexes and discouragement and, with that, they only reap failures. To win, however, it is necessary to change this spirit

Human beings have an incredible ability to adapt, including this ability is considered one of the essential requirements to achieve success in any area of life. But this quality may not be effective in certain contexts, especially when one is experiencing difficulty or a constant situation of suffering.

Unfortunately, it is common for the body, and especially the mind, to get used to situations that we experience and it repeated. Thus, something that was previously considered absurd, when repeated many times and for a long time, comes to be seen as natural in the view of those who live that experience.

The dictionary defines the verb “to adapt” as “to fit or adjust one thing to another” or “to became complacent or adjust to the vision”. How many people are currently in this condition? They were paralysed in the face of a situation and accepted it as the only possibility for their lives and gave up fighting for change and seeking a solution. As it is popularly said, they are “pushing problems with their belly” and waiting to see how far they can go.

God sees the brave

Contrary to what many might imagine, this spirit of complacence is not exclusive to contemporary behaviour. The Bible describes a period when the people of Israel got used to being attacked by enemies and keeping their arms crossed in the face of it. In the book of Judges 6.1, the Word of God says that “the children of Israel did what was evil before the eyes of the Lord” and that, therefore, they were in the hands of the Midianites for seven years.

The fact of turning their back on God led them to live difficult days. Enemies cornered them in caves and from time to time stole everything they owned. But, in the midst of this situation of continuous humiliation, one man caught God’s attention: Gideon.

The Bible points him as a person who was part of the poorest family in the tribe of Manasseh and still the least in his father’s house and therefore someone less likely to save Israel. However, he had one quality that made all the difference: the spirit of courage. Even in the midst of poverty and persecution, while everyone was in hiding, Gideon fought for the sustenance of his home threshing wheat in the winepress. This attitude, which at first glance seems simple, takes on another perspective when one realizes that the ideal place to thresh wheat was the threshing floor and not the winepress, which was used to press grapes. Thus, it is possible to understand that Gideão did not make excuses and, in order not to stay inside the cave, he improvised with what he had, that is, in fact, he went to fight.

This spirit of perseverance and determination attracted of God’s attention, as we read in Judges 6:12: “Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘The Lord is with you, mighty man of valor’.” At that moment, Gideon weighed everything he knew about the Creator and realised that what the angel said did not match the situation he was experiencing. Then, he manifested his differentiated spirit and confronted the angel, as it is written in Judges 6.13: “(…) Oh, my Lord, if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? And what of all his wonders which our fathers told us, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt? But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of the Midianites.”

This reaction demonstrated that Gideon was aware of the power of God and that that suffering was contrary to the Divine promises. Thus, the nonconformity of his words led the angel to say to him: “Go in this your strength, and you will deliver Israel…” (Judges 6.14). In the book Gideon and the 300, Bishop Edir Macedo highlights this intrepid spirit of the one who became a hero: “Gideon’s strength was not on the outside, but in the depths of his being. Knowing of the existence of the God of Abraham, he was determined to reject the situation imposed by his enemies”.

Supernatural faith led Gideon to obey every instruction of the Most High, including going against his own people, tearing down the altar where they worshiped Baal (pagan god) and offering the main possession of his family in sacrifice to God: the second ox of seven years. Without thinking twice or about all the sacrifice that went into keeping that animal alive during the difficult times, Gideon obeyed and, with that, the Spirit of God had the conditions to take possession of him, as it is written in Judges 6.34: “the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon…” .

“Gideon had already been with God twice: the first time, when he threshed the wheat in the wine press, and the second, on the night when God asked him for the second ox. But only after he obeyed the Voice of God did he receive the anointing of the Holy Spirit”, comments Bishop Macedo, who adds: “his obedience provoked God’s reaction in his favor. Until then, he had only received promises, but after the materialisation of his faith, the Lord responded positively to him”.

What is your spirit?

The human being is composed of body, soul and spirit. While the body is what we see and the soul is related to feelings, the spirit is the mind, that is, where the thoughts are. And thus, he is decisive for the action of God’s power in someone’s life. This means that if the person is complacent, if he considers that he does not need to change or if he still harbours negative beliefs about himself, God’s power is limited to act in his life.

“People’s biggest problem is the inferiority or prejudice thoughts they have about themselves. With demonic words and thoughts, they have built steel barriers around themselves, and the more they confess these kinds of thoughts, the harder it is for these barriers to break down, as they have developed negative thoughts and ideas against themselves. For this reason, they come to foolish conclusions, thinking that God is good and great only for others. And this way of thinking prevents the action of the Holy Spirit within them”, emphasises Bishop Macedo. On the other hand, when God finds a spirit strong, combative, audacious and willing to go beyond what is common, He manifests His power.

From Prison to the Altar

Roberto Custódio dos Santos, 34 years old (pictured below), spent his youth in crime. “At the age of 18, I was arrested for theft. At that time, I, who did not speak with my sister due to family problems, began to receive visits from her in prison. She and my brother-in-law had started going to the Universal Church and they said there was still a chance for me to change”, he recalls.

While behind bars those words echoed in Roberto’s mind, his sister, outside, made a vow of faith in the in the Campaign of Faith for his freedom. Roberto remembers that moment: “before the hearing, I prayed and asked God that if I could serve my sentence in an open regime, it would change my life. God heard my prayer and I left the same day”.

Roberto, then, went to Universal and testified the blessing he had received, but he did not remain with God. “I went back to my life of parties and clubs and, despite wanting a change, thoughts arose that there was no way for me anymore, that I was born to suffer, to live in crime and that nobody would give me a chance.”

Amid internal conflicts, Roberto met his wife, Jani Costa, 41 years old. “Within a few months of the relationship, she got pregnant and we moved in together. But we lived through marriage hell. I started to see inside my house what my parents went through, like fights and aggression. It was this situation that made me return to the Church, ”he says.

Inside Roberto and Jani there was the desire to change their lives, but both could not obey God. “I spent four years in the Church without seeing any change in my life. I was still an explosive person and my wife was very nervous. Today I see that there was a lack of delivery, obedience and the Holy Spirit, ” he reveals.

The change finally came after a true awakening. A revolt was born within them because they knew the promises of God and had not yet enjoyed them. So the couple went in search of a new spirit. “We did a test at Altar, but for that, we had to leave our comfort zone. There were many conflicts and we thought that the sacrifice we would make, would be missed later. But we obey reason, ”he says.

Roberto says that, for there to be an exchange of spirit, it was necessary to give up friendships and behaviours that were harmful to the faith. “There was a transformation from the inside out, in thinking. So, on this journey, I received the Holy Spirit and, with Him, peace, even in the midst of wars.” Thus, all areas of his life were transformed: “we are happily married, have our own business and assets. We live in a good location in our city and we can give the best to our children”.

He emphasises the importance of persistence and fighting bad thoughts: “conflicts come, but we overcome each one of them through the Word of God and our dependence on the Creator”, he concludes.

Revolt: the engine of faith

“When I arrived at Universal, I had nowhere to live. I lived in a shed where I had nothing and slept on the floor.” This was the condition in which Alexandra Cardoso, 45 years old, and her husband, Ruslan Modesto de Oliveira, 41 years old, lived before being introduced to the Faith. “During the worst moment we were living, I was waiting for him to get home from work so we could go to my mother-in-law’s house to eat and I would have my only meal of the day there”, she recalls.

In addition to the miserable situation, the couple had a complacent spirit and did not know what to do to change their lives. “We did odd jobs here and there, but there was never any money left over and it wasn’t even enough to maintain our house”, points out Alexandra. It was in this circumstance that they received an invitation to attend a meeting at Universal and she recalls what happened next: “Four months later, the Campaign of Faith started and I saw the purpose as an opportunity for change. Our thirst was so great that I sacrificed on the Altar things from our home that I decided to sell”, she reports.

The result of this surrender was Ruslan’s promotion at work and a direction that Alexandra received. “It was for me to look for a job, go back to school and pursue my goals”, she says. At the same time, she continued with her life at the Altar, as she says: “at the second Campaign of Faith, I applied for the professional area and got a job”.

From sacrifice to sacrifice, their lives changed. However, after attending church for three years, the couple prioritised the blessing and put the Blesser aside. “We were just ‘warming up chairs’ at the Church and the result was our withdrawal. This took us to the bottom of the well, as we separated and I was left in debt and without a place to live ”, she clarifies. After two years, much suffering and disgust with the situation, they decided to return to God. “We joined forces, renewed the Covenant with God and everything was falling into place. We got marriage again and then opened a company”, explains Alexandra.

However, without God’s guidance, new problems arose. So, the couple decided to fight to obtain a new spirit, which would only happen with the baptism with the Holy Spirit. “Without the Holy Spirit, we would go forward, but we couldn’t stay strong when there was a problem. With Him, we go through greater struggles than in the past, but we have peace within us and the certainty that everything will pass”, guarantees Alexandra.

Since then, they have already made several achievements in the professional, financial and family areas, but they remain at the Altar determined to continue advancing with God’s direction. “We understand that revolting against problems is the key to keeping the faith moving and the Altar is the only way out”, says Alexandra.

The choice is individual

These people changed their spirit when they left the stagnation zone to seek the fulfilment of the Divine promises. They gave up their guesswork and only got the answer they wanted when they obeyed the Voice of God.

It is worth mentioning that the current condition, the past and mistakes are not considered by God when He sees within the person a real intention to honor Him through their life.

If you don’t already have that spirit to bring about a change to win, the time has come to get it from God, through the baptism with the Holy Spirit. This also applies to those who were brave one day and now have their lives on hold.

Take advantage of the Campaign of Faith of Exchange of spirit to receive a new spirit from God and win. Find out more at the Universal church. Which spirit do you intend to receive through this purpose?