What's on your mind? Where the battle is fought
It is shocking how many believers are pulled down simply because of the thoughts they allow to fester in their minds. There is a great deal of spiritual victory that many believers can access simply through changing the way they think, and controlling the thoughts that flow through their minds! Read on and I'll show you how it works.
This teachings is actually a sequel or addition to The Power of Your Thoughts. The purpose of this teaching is to get you to stop and think about what you are thinking about.
What are you paying attention to?
Whatever your paying attention to will become magnified in your eyes and in your life. Whatever you give heed to, will become more important to you. Let's take two people, Steve thinks about his sins, past and how badly he's messed up in life. Bob on the other hand, keeps thinking about how he's a new creation, his past has been washed away by what Christ did for him on the cross and he's a new person in Christ Jesus. Steve, because his attention is constantly on the problem, it becomes larger in his eyes than the solution to his problem, and that is the Blood of Jesus. Bob on the other hand, doesn't even see his past, because he's always thinking about the Blood of Jesus, and how he's so clean, it's as if he's never sinned! Can you tell me which person is going to go around feeling guilt-ridden, defeated and condemned? Can you tell me which one is going to feel clean, on fire for God, and grinning from ear the ear... overflowing with the love and victory of God? I hope this opens your eyes to see why so many Christians are living 'defeated' lives and walk around guilt-ridden and are lacking the joy of the Lord in their lives. And without the joy of the Lord, where is their strength supposed to come from? After all, as Nehemiah 8:10 tells us, "For the joy of the LORD is your strength."
That's why the enemy tries to get your mind and thoughts derailed and off of the truth that is in God's Word. He tries to get you to worry about things that in reality, you have no reason to be worried about! Praise God!
Is it a sin problem? That's been dealt with in 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." In plain English, it doesn't matter what you've done, if you are willing to take it before the Lord, you can be forgiven of it!
Is it a financial problem? Is not God your provider? Can't He supply all your needs according to HIS riches? Is His riches less than yours? Is not God the one who giveth the power to gain wealth? Deuteronomy 8:18, "But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he swore unto thy fathers, as it is this day."
Do you need a healing? Has that not been paid for on the cross? Has not His stripes been given as ransome for your healing (Isaiah 53:5)? Did not Jesus demonstrate this by healing EVERYBODY who came to Him (Matthew 8:16-17)?
Perhaps one of the biggest differences between a victorious believer and a depressed or defeated believer, is the very thoughts that go through their mind day after day. Yes, demon spirits can and do play a big role in depression, fear, etc., but many times all they have to do is get our thoughts derailed and because of our ignorance of the truth, we begin to become fearful and depressed.
Fear and depression can also be caused by evil spirits, as Saul was tormented by evil spirits who caused fear and depression to sweep over him. 1 Samuel 16:14, "Now the Spirit of the LORD had left Saul, and the LORD sent a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear." (NLT)
Does God want us to be depressed? No! He wants us to be full of joy! (John 15:11)
Does God want us to be fearful? No! He wants us rest in His love, which expels all fear! (1 John 4:18) We have not been given a spirit of fear again to bondage, but of power and love and a sound mind! (2 Timothy 1:7)
Does God want us worrying about things? No! His Word tells us not to worry about anything! (Philippians 4:6)
The vital link between thoughts and feelings
I believe Philippians 4:6-8 paints the picture quite well, "Be careful for nothing (Don't worry about anything); but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (refusing to worry about anything opens the door to God's peace in our lives). Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (set our minds on good and positive things that uplift and build us up)."
Isaiah 26:3 also makes a vital connection between what we fix our minds on, and how we feel, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."
Is God worried about it?
Do you honestly believe that your heavenly Father is worried about the things you and I worry about? If He isn't worried about it, why should we worry about it? Are we not His own children? As a matter of fact, His Word says that He cares for us! 1 Peter 5:7, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."
What we should be thinking about
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Colossians 3:2, "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." To set your affection on something in the Greek means to exercise the mind.
Instead of exercising our minds on negative things and worrying over things we ought not be worrying about, let's begin to do as God's Word says and begin exercising our minds on positive things that build us up. Instead of looking at the problems in our lives (sin, poverty, sickness, etc.), let's begin looking at the solutions (forgiveness, blessings, healings, etc.), which are in Christ Jesus!
The $64,000 question
Let me ask you this... if you could take inventory of the thoughts you've been thinking over the past week, what kind of thoughts were they? Were they mostly negative or focused on problems and cares of this world? Have they mostly been thoughts that tear you down and get/keep your eyes on the problem? Or were they positive thoughts that have been building you up? How much time have you been spending over the past week thinking about the goodness of God and how God is your healer, deliverer, provider, etc.? Or were they mostly thoughts concerning the cares of this world... aka, problem focused thoughts?
I encourage you to stop looking at the problems in your life, and begin looking at the solutions that God has provided for you as His child! Get your mind off the problem, and onto the solution! If it's a healing you need, then begin to research the scriptures to learn what God's Word has to say about healing. If it's finances you need, then begin to research the Word and see what it has to say about your finances and God's provision for you. Deliverance? Same thing! Get your mind off the problem and onto the solution, and seek God's Word on the matter. For Jesus said that whosoever shall seek shall find (Matthew 7:7). Notice that Jesus didn't say "Sit there and think about the problem, and the solution will come on it's own." No... Jesus said SEEK, and THEN you will find!