The question is often asked of Detroit residents whether they would ever move to the suburbs or out of state. People want to know why someone would choose to stay in a city that has such a high crime rate or is portrayed as being so distressed in the media. You cannot argue with the truth and the truth is that just as a culture is created, it can be changed.
Changing a culture begins with changing the atmosphere. Determine the type of atmosphere that you want to create. Let it begin in your home, then allow it to spread to your neighbor’s homes and throughout the neighborhood. Just as we can spread Christmas cheer with our decorations and enthusiasm, the same is true about hope and love.
Once the atmosphere has been set, allow it to continue. Don’t stop doing whatever you did to get it there. An atmosphere sustained becomes a climate. In a climate, you can predict what is going to happen, as well as what will not happen. Just as standard vehicles need fuel to operate, thoughts, words and deeds need the right climate to thrive. Whatever you cause to thrive will live; whatever you don’t will die and wither away.
The right climate gives way to strongholds. We are most familiar with negative strongholds; however, strongholds can be good or evil. An example of a good stronghold is starts with creating the type of atmosphere that makes your home a sanctuary. This type of sanctuary is not for holding worship services, but its a place of rest and refuge from what the world throws at you every day. It is a place to come and rejuvenate before you go back out to tackle life and the tasks at hand.
The types of strongholds you allow will determine the culture. In Detroit, our culture has been determined by the things that people have accepted over time. It is now “normal” to hear about gun violence and other horrendous crimes on the news. We have become so desensitized that we allow it to go in our ears and out again without pausing to pray for the family, to come against the spirit behind it, or even to ask God how His will can be done through us in some other way.
It’s time to ask ourselves if we will allow the current culture to continue or if we are ready for a change. How will you change the atmosphere, climate, strongholds and culture that affect you? Will it be new beginnings in 2012 or more of the same?