Have you ever done a Google search and before you know it you are being targeted with multiple ads about your search on social media or other websites you visit? You know, those annoying pop-up or banner ads on the side displaying the same thing over and over.
How about this one, have you ever researched a particular headline or news story and found that no matter what media source you turn to you get hammered with more of that same type of news? Almost as if it were cramming the topic down your throat.
This behavior is a result of software algorithms which basically analyze your interests, responses, clicks and desires to determine content it believes is most relevant to you and then it targets you with more of it. Essentially, the measure of attention you give something is being measured back to you and multiplied. The idea behind this for advertising is that it could potentially lure you in to thinking you need their product or to buy more of it. In the case of news, it hits you with more of the same subject to potentially control, direct, or sway your opinion towards a certain view or topic, especially during election time. The tactic behind the application is, if the same thing is applied, said or seen enough, it has a greater chance to influence your purchase or the ability to change your opinion, view on what you believe. A small example would be, if a child is exposed to being called stupid, dumb, or worthless enough, that child may grow up believing it, or worse, they may start living it. I believe that there are algorithms like this in the spirit realm as well. Our enemy, Satan, is not God. He cannot read your mind but he has spent a good deal of time observing humanity, our triggers, responses and "if this, then what" reactions. He is always looking for a more opportune time to trip us up and destroy us.
Mark 4:24 Says, “Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you and even more.
You can look at that verse with this term in mind, garbage in, is garbage out while producing even more garbage. Or, you reap what you sow with a harvest of more.
A good man I know often says, you will move in the direction of your focus or interest. The things we listen to (hear), study, read, or focus on will be directed back at us and attract more of the same spiritual influences. For instance, if we are in the habit of watching scary movies, we will find ourselves inviting fear into our lives and all the torment that comes with it. When fear takes up residence in our minds, we often use our imagination to envision the worst in our situations and future. Fear will paralyze you from taking risks that will benefit you. This fear, worry and anxiety will not only take its toll on our minds and spirit but our physical bodies as well. Our imagination is a powerful thing, and it is often fed by the measure of where our focus is applied. So, the question is what are you allowing yourself to listen to? What are you allowing yourself to watch? Feed on the right things and allow that which is good to multiple or be measured back in your life with more.
Similar algorithms hold true with friendships and by those we hang around. You know the sayings, “you are who you hang with”, “you are the company you keep” and “if you lie down with dogs, you get up with flees”.
1 Corinthians 15:33 - “Do not be misled, bad company corrupts good character”
Certain people and behaviors attract more of the same. Do you like your friends’ attitudes or views? Do they grumble, complain all the time? Are bad things constantly happening to them? Is there much drama in their life? Examine your friends because if you are around them enough, you will become them and attract more of their type. Surround yourself with those that display good character and become friends with them. If you want to be kingly you must hang with Kings, soon you’ll be leading people. If you want to become wealthy, hang out with wealthy people, soon you will develop wealth of your own. If you want to love instead of hate, hang around loving people, you will become loving and attract more of the same. Hang with those you want to become.
Interesting fact in my life; In my thirties I had experienced a great deal of deception and broken trust from people close to me, to the point where I lost faith in people being good. I lived a portion of my life believing I hated people (seriously) because of the damage done to me and I didn’t want to be around anyone. I didn’t think I could love anyone aside from my wife Rachelle anymore. Living a life separated from people doesn’t leave room for you to be a good influence on them nor vice versa. As time went on Rachelle and I made the decision to go back to church and over a period of time (years) and very reluctantly, I found myself serving very close to the senior Pastor of my church, who does love people very much. We became close as time went on and he became my spiritual father and guess what happened? During that time, I developed the capacity to love others again. The love he gave so profusely to his congregation seeped out onto me simply by hanging around him. I found that the measure of love I gave, was given back to me and more. If you don’t love others, you won’t get loved back and if you hate others, you will be hated back in the same measure and more.
Another spiritual algorithm would be our thoughts, what we think of ourselves. We attract that which we think of. When we entertain certain thoughts, we invite more of the same. Our thoughts, whether positive or negative, can determine our outcome. In many cases, our thought patterns influence the decisions that we make. Negative bias leads us to think more on the bad things that happen, making them seem much more important than they really are. Whichever thought we think on most in our mind, will become the path of least resistance and most traveled in future thinking. What we cultivate and plant in our mind about ourselves will produce a harvest of the same. The harvest meaning more. When you plant a seed, that seed doesn’t just produce one of the same thing, it typically produces a harvest of many.
What we think of ourselves plays a factor in how we respond to others. If we have low self-worth, it can sabotage many things in our life like relationships, opportunities, and the type of feelings and people we attract to ourselves. Hence, the reason we are instructed to love others as we love ourselves. If we love who we are, we have the ability to love others properly and we get loved in return appropriately.
When you change your thoughts, there is a renewal of your mind that takes place. You transform your mind to think on good things therefore you attract that which you show interest in, more good things. Therefore, we must meditate on what God says about us and let that transform us.
Romans 12:2 – “Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes”
I believe that we need to cut ourselves some slack when it comes to our thoughts. When one hears from God they hear most often with their “spiritual ears” not necessarily His audible voice. There are other voices trying to be heard in the spiritual realm and often those voices are shouting the loudest trying to prevent or distract you from hearing God’s still small (calm) voice. I think it is important to consider the following statement: “sometimes your thoughts are not your own.” You have a world of influences trying to speak garbage (lies) into your mind. Like your not good enough or you don't have what it takes to do that. Whenever I think of that statement, I see the cartoon image of an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. The angel is speaking softly and gently about the good things that you are and whose you are, while the devil is screaming lies at you. Which one are you hearing? The one you are focused on!
As we grow in relationship with God, we get to know more about Him and not just know of Him, we then can differentiate His voice from the rest. We have been given the ability to take our thoughts captive and cast out the ones that are not from him.
2 Corinthians 10:5 - We can demolish every deceptive fantasy that opposes God and break through every arrogant attitude that is raised up in defiance of the true knowledge of God. We capture, like prisoners of war, every thought and insist that it bow in obedience to the Anointed One
Train yourself to hear His voice and believe what He says over your situation and or circumstance. How can we confirm what He (God) says? That is done by His reading word. If you think of yourself as good, you will attract more of that into your life.
It’s not new for me to share that I don’t always like the way other people drive on the road. If they would only drive the way I wanted them to, life on the road would be good, or so I think. There was a time in my life when I would get very agitated with other drivers, and I would share those stories publicly as an example of what not to do in the Men’s ministry I led. One evening after sharing a not so good story about myself and how I wish I wouldn’t respond that way; I had a friend tell me, “Randall, you’re a good man.” He asked me to say it to myself and whenever I was on the road and found myself in that type of situation to say it again to myself, “I am a good man”. I did that for quite some time, and you know what, I believe it helped changed me. People don’t bother me as much anymore. I’ve cultivated a different response. I just need to work the field a little more, LOL. Learn to love yourself for who God made you to be. Repeat the things He says about you and think on those things.
Philippians 4:8 - And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise
How do I change the spiritual algorithms around me?
Change what you take in, what you read, watch, and listen to
Examine the friends you hang with and make necessary changes
Find out what God says about you, then meditate (imagine) and envision those. Love yourself the way he loves you
Guard your heart (mind) by cultivating positive thoughts and not negative bias
Take every thought captive and cast out (throw away) the ones that aren’t from Him
Then watch the change that takes place in your life as see how much good is measured back to you and more.
Proverbs 4:23 - Guard your heart (mind) above all else, for it determines the course of your life.