Genesis 1:6-8 (NKJV) And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning–the second day.
It’s important to note that God didn’t create one breath of life until there was something to breathe. In other words, God had to create the proper atmosphere for life. And so do you.
Years ago while a student in college I earned my keep by working at the local McDonalds as the “maintenance man” (which was a fancy title for a kid making minimum wage as the guy who cleaned up the building each night).
One night I got the bright idea to mix Clorox and Ammonia (Don’t try this at home or at Micky-D’s!). I almost killed myself breathing the noxious and poisonous fumes that resulted in mixing those two powerful cleaners. After a few breathes I barely had the strength to crawl to the door and collapsed across the threshold gasping for the fresh outside air. It was truly frightening.
And it is also frightening to observe the toxic atmosphere many people choose to live in.
Trust me, if you hope to change your life you must first create the proper atmosphere for that change.
Your pastor knows this, that’s why he or she concedes so much of the limited time they have with you in each service for an extended time of praise and worship; they understand that their message will most likely fall on a barren heart unable to receive the life-giving Word without the proper atmosphere being set.
This is true in every area of life—nothing is going to change until you change the atmosphere. It may be a matter of forgiving someone, changing your self-talk or a habit, or the way you spend your money or time. It may be a commitment to starting your day with God.
Whatever it is, you are responsible for creating the right atmosphere in your life.
Don’t be a victim! Sure, everyone will not get on board with you. There’s always going to be the nags, naysayers, and negative Neds emitting poisonous fumes into your hopes and dreams.
If you wait on others to change nothing may ever change in your life. Remember, others aren’t responsible for creating the new atmosphere in your life—you are. Stay focused on what you can do, not what they are doing.
- The ONE THING for today: Atmosphere is everything; get that right and you will begin to see your hopes and dreams come to life.
“Even if unfair criticisms are made publicly, it’s rarely wise to counterattack publicly. The result is usually a spraying match with a skunk. It doesn’t produce an atmosphere that makes anyone—friend or foe—want to linger.”
_Harold Myra & Marshall Shelley, The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham , p. 88
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