Land developers are required to build retention ponds to receive the water runoff from the impervious surfaces they create in a new development of homes. Huge earth-moving machines come on site and dig out the soil from several acres. Landscapers then plant reeds at the edge of the area that will receive and store the water runoff. As the rain water begins to fill the depression in the ground a new environment is created. Eventually, the reeds that were planted take over the retention pond.
I recently stopped by a retention pond in Newtown that had been built several years ago. The change in the landscape caught my attention. I was interested in the new life that took up residence at the pond. I could not see any water because the reeds were so thick, but the animals that lived there showed me that it is at the base of the plants. Red wing black birds flew around the area and toads had taken up residence by the pond. God began to use this picture to make a point: When you change the topography you change the environment making it conducive for new life.
How do we change the topography of our lives so that they bring down the environment of heaven? I believe it is through the things that we agree with. Our mouths are like the earth moving machines that transform the topography and, subsequently, the environment around us. Bill Johnson makes an interesting statement in the June 15 entry of his devotional, Hosting the Presence Every Day. He says that the devil "is desperately searching for open doors of agreement where he can plant and cultivate his lies."
We have been given power and authority to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth. Jesus called His disciples together, and "He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and He sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick." (Luke 9:1-2) Jesus modeled the way for us to defeat the enemy when He was in the wilderness. Satan tried to get Jesus to sin by presenting a twisted truth. However, Jesus knew the Word. (He is the Word!) Three times He said to Satan, "It is written," and then He declared the pure truth. The result of His declarations demonstrate how the Word of God transforms the environment. "Then the devil left Him and angels came and attended Him." (Matthew 4:11) Heaven came to earth!
The Lord has put into place a process for us to follow. It starts with evaluating what is happening around us and the thoughts that enter our heads. It requires determination, patience, discernment and follow through. It is described in 2 Corinthians 10:5. "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." It is also described in James 1:19. "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." After determining the godly course of action we should release the words that agree with God's Kingdom. Through this process we open the way for heaven to come to earth. We are planting Kingdom seeds and cultivating truth that grows a heavenly environment around us.
Just like the earth movers change the topography so that the ground can collect the rain water, we need to use our mouths to change the topography of our lives so that we can collect the rains of heaven to grow God's Kingdom on earth.
Joan E. Mathias