Want to know why some people are amazingly accurate at predicting calamity in their lives? The cry of Job, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me” (Job 3:25, NIV), is their sounding alarm. Perhaps they’ve been given the gift of prophecy to foretell the future. Or perhaps they happen to be one of the most unlucky people you know. More likely, they are victims of their own demise, encountering one of the four barriers to next-level living – the “sure-enough principle.”
The “sure-enough principle” goes something like this: “expect a bad day, and, sure enough, you’ll have a bad day.” And if it doesn’t happen to you, you’ll subconsciously cause things or look for things to confirm your fears.
It follows the principle of human behavior that we don’t get what we want; we get what we expect.
In fact, part of our brain physiology ensures this process. When we set strong expectations, our mind receives information that matches our beliefs. It will actually filter out information that otherwise contradicts it. So if you go into that interview expecting you won’t get the job, you’ll subconsciously mess it up without even trying that hard. If you expect others to leave you, you’ll subconsciously sabotage your relationships by driving people away.
It’s our expectations more than our dreams and desires that are the true test of the reality we create around us. That’s because the mind is the gateway between the things of love and life (the Kingdom of God) and the things of fear and death (kingdom of this world). It’s the direction in which your mind swings that determines which reality filters through.
That’s why God is so emphatic about how you think. Though you live and breathe in the natural realm, you are not to live from the world’s perspective. You are to demolish arguments, rational thinking, and fear-based decisions that war against the truth principles of God. It’s a daily battle of taking every thought captive to make certain it’s aligned with the mind of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). It takes renewed thinking to be able to test and approve life from a Heavenly perspective (Romans 12:2).
What you envision, you empower. What you magnify, you manifest. And the reality you manifest you then multiply into this world. It’s a Kingdom principle designed to have us bring the abundant, life-giving reality of God on earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:9-10).
People who suffer from their self-fulfilling prophecies focus most on what they don’t want to happen. It’s a form of negative goal setting. Rather than dwell on the possibilities that inspire them, they dive into the mire of what inflicts them. Rather than infuse hope into their future, they infect doom onto their destiny. Why does this matter? Because another principle of human behavior is we move toward the most dominate picture we hold in our thoughts. We move toward what we think about.
When we give our time and attention to what we fear and dread most, our mental enemies become our mortal enemies that rob us of the true freedom and victorious life Christ Jesus made available to all who would receive. It is for freedom that Christ set us free (Galatians 5:1), and that’s a promise, sure-enough, you can count on.