Sunday, September 27, 2015

Taking Back Our Minds

I have come home from church with such a compulsion to write this that I can hardly stand it! In Sunday School this morning we discussed the deception of the Enemy and how important it is that we take every thought captive to Christ, and then our wonderful preacher touched on how important it is that we know the Truth so that we can recognize a lie. When we’re confronted with a lie--a deception--that is the time to take it captive to Christ. We do that by looking to see what God’s Word has to say about it. And we let God’s Word determine whether we believe what we’re being told or not.

The problem for most of us as Christians is that we don’t know the whole Truth. We may know some of the Truth, favorite parts of the Bible, sections that explain salvation and how to be saved, but we don’t know the whole Truth. And this world is desperate for people who know the whole Truth so that the deception and lies that we’re being fed by the media and this world culture can be shown for what they are—Satan’s weapons to uphold sin against God, to tear down the church, the body of Christ, and to make individual believers ineffective as witnesses to the Truth. I think I can safely say, as our pastor reminded us this morning, that we don’t know enough of the Word.

The reason this hits me so hard is because I know what it’s like to believe lies instead of what God’s Word says. It was believing the lies in my head that kept me in a stronghold of panic, fear, and deep depression—as close to a nervous breakdown as I ever want to get.  I knew parts of God’s Word, but I didn’t know enough to combat the lies. And I was unaware of Paul’s statements in 2 Cor. 10—“We do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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.  That last phrase is the reason I have a sane thought in my head today. Behind every stronghold are lies holding it all together. Strongholds are not fun. And it’s ignorance of God’s Word that keeps us in them.

As our pastor said this morning, Sundays and Wednesday nights are not enough to have a working knowledge of God’s Word, you have to read it for yourself (my paraphrase).  And it’s true. You have to get alone with God yourself, opening up your Bible, and asking God to show you what His Word says. What His will is.  And then standing in that perfect will, that absolute Truth, no matter what.

Our minds must be set to God’s Word so that we don’t allow strongholds to be built in them--lies from the world or from our own thoughts. Not a stronghold of fear, or lust, or anger, or bitterness, or hatred, or food, or pornography—there are many types of strongholds. And if we do discover we are in a stronghold, then we can pray and ask God to help us break out as we apply His Word to demolish the lies we’ve been believing.  

Romans 8 says, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires, but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”

The battlefield is the mind. It’s time we as Christians take back our minds! Take every thought captive to Christ. Our weapons are found in Ephesians 6 and they have divine power to demolish strongholds. Satan is into building strongholds in our lives so that we can’t act or think as God would have us act or think. It’s time we stopped cooperating with him.


J said...

Well said! I struggle inside one of the strongholds you gave as an example here. I'm working to break down those walls, but it is difficult work. Thank you for relating this important message.

Joni said...

Hi, J,
I hope you have a list of Scriptures that you can read and pray that deal specifically with your stronghold. Taking out those Scriptures and reading them daily is your way out. That's the only way to destroy the lies we tell ourselves that keeps us in bondage. For instance, I've taped a 3x5 card to my tv remote that reminds me I'm dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. I copied Ro. 6:11-14 on that card and I see it every time I pick up my remote. It reminds me not to stay up late watching television and that whatever I do watch should be edifying and not destructive to my mind. By not staying up late, I get to bed with enough time to read my Bible, to review the goodness of God to me that day, and to pray. Makes a huge difference in my state of mind and I sleep better. :)