Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Free Your Mind

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  (Colossians 3:1-2)

From the word of God, we know that we are to love God with all of our heart, our soul, mind and strength.

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. (Luke 10:27) 

And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,  Deuteronomy 11:13

God would have it that we are in perfect peace:

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:7)

Staying focus on God; on His sovereignty; on things above will keep your mind in perfect peace.  When we understand that Satan is in direct opposition to God, then we understand the reason why the mind is  a battlefield and is under constant attack by the enemy. Satan knows that if he can get our mind off of God; if he can distract us long enough, we will not be able to sustain our connection to God. As Apostle Paul says in several of his epistles, 'brethren, I would not have you ignorant'. Knowing is half the battle. So we understand that Satan attacks on all fronts and he attempts to challenge the word of God. Throughout the new testament, we are admonished and encouraged to guard our minds and to keep our thoughts on God. When the enemy recognizes that we have a made up mind or that we are sincere in our efforts to serve God, he moves in with all sorts of contrary thoughts, suggestions, influences and ideas to distract us from our primary focus.

Though it would be impossible to list them all, the following list summarizes the main strategies of attack Satan uses in the battle for the mind:

®     Questioning the authority of God:

The first temptation of man started in the mind with this strategy: Questioning the authority of God, Satan said to Eve, "Yea, hath God said...?" Did God really say that you would surely die if you ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil ? Questioning God and His Word leads to doubt, unbelief, and skepticism.

®     Deception and seduction:

Deception is also part of the enemy's strategy. When Satan confronted Eve, he was disguised as a beautiful serpent. Satan uses lies, cults, and "religious spirits" to deceive millions in our world today. Some of the deceptions Satan advances include the following appeals:

     ¨     "You can become a god."
     ¨      "You can know the future."
     ¨     "You future, including eternity, is predestined. There is nothing you can do about it."
     ¨     "Everyone is a child of God." 
     ¨      "There are more ways to Heaven than by Jesus."
     ¨       "God is too good to send anyone to Hell."
     ¨       "All God expects you to do is live a good life and do the best you can."
     ¨      "The Bible should not be taken literally." 
     ¨      "The Bible contains many errors."

Seducing spirits of Satan attack the mind to distort the truth of God's Word:

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. (I Timothy 4:1)

Satan used this attack on Jesus in Luke 4:9-12. He tried to get Jesus to throw himself off a high point of the temple since God had promised to...

...give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee, And in their hands they shall bear thee up... (Luke 4:10-11)

®     The flesh:

Satan uses the flesh to war against the mind:

But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (Romans 7:23)

Satan uses your own mouth, your eyes, ears, and even your senses of touch and smell to foster wicked thoughts in your mind.

®     Blinding minds of unbelievers:

Satan works in the minds of unbelievers to blind them to the truth of the Gospel:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.  (II Corinthians 4:4)

®     Depression:

To be depressed is to be downcast, sad, discouraged, or in low spirit. It includes feelings of despair, despondency, and dejection. Depression can lead to suicidal thoughts or actual suicide because of the hopeless feelings which produces uncontrollable mental grief, sorrow, heartache, and crying.

Sometimes Satan uses circumstances of life to lead to depression. For examples, a great loss or fear of loss, suppressed anger, a low self concept, unfulfilled expectations, and a negative attitude can all be used to cause depression. We are warned about "fainting in the day of adversity" (troubled or distressed circumstances).

If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.
(Proverbs 24:10)

Sometimes depression is caused by the negative attitudes of those around us through which Satan works. During the Israelite's time in the wilderness, God's people admitted, "our brethren have discouraged our hearts." 

Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there. Deuteronomy 1:28

And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.
 Numbers 21:4 

King David often reflected discouragement in his Psalms (see Psalms 69 for an example). Apostle Paul also had times of deep depression:

For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life... (II Corinthians 1:8)

If you do not conquer depression it can also lead to oppression by Satanic spirits. This is a deeper form of depression where Satan gains more restrictive power over the mind.

®     Discouragement:

Discouragement means to be "without courage." Satan wants to discourage you because if you are "without courage," you are ineffective in warfare.

®     Wrong attitudes and emotions:

Satan causes wrong attitudes towards others. He inserts fiery darts of envy, jealousy, suspicion, un-forgiveness, distrust, anger, hatred, intolerance, prejudice, competition, impatience, judging, criticism, covetousness, and selfishness.

He also tries to cause wrong attitudes of greed, discontent, pride, vanity, ego, importance, arrogance, intellectualism, and self-righteousness. Wrong attitudes lead to wrong emotions and both stem from your thoughts.

These attitudes and emotions render you ineffective in spiritual warfare. For example, 
 the word indicates that 

"God resisteth the proud..."   James 4:6

When you are filled with pride, you are actually arrayed in battle against God.

®     Rebellion:

Satan also inserts rebellious thoughts into your mind. Rebellion is willful disobedience against God's authority. Rebellion includes self-will, stubbornness, and disobedience. Remember that rebellion was the original sin of Satan. His five statements of "I will" demonstrated his rebellion (Isaiah 14:12-14). The "I will" spirit is a way to recognize the operation of Satan through rebellion.

®     Confusion:

Satan also causes indecision, confusion, and frustration in your mind. When you are confused, indecisive, and frustrated, you obviously cannot be a good Christian soldier.

®     Accusation and condemnation:

Satan is called 

"the accuser of the brethren" (Revelation 12:10). 

He sends fiery darts of accusation into your mind, makes you feel inferior, and condemns you. He will give you guilty feelings of shame, unworthiness, and embarrassment.

One good way to tell the difference between the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the condemnation of Satan is to remember that Satan always generalizes. For example, he speaks into your mind with statements like these: 

   ¨     "You are no good," 
    ¨     "You can never live a Christian life," 
    ¨     "God couldn't love you because you are too great of a sinner."

When the Holy Spirit is convicting you, it is specific. For example, He brings to your attention that you have a problem with anger or dishonesty, etc.

®     Sexual Impurity:

Satan will insert thoughts of sexual impurity, lust, and mental sexual fantasies. Jesus said:

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:28)

Though these things exist, we do not have to despair
, God has equipped us to overcome this battle:

             ♥      The helmet of salvation 

But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.  (I Thessalonian 5:8) 

To protect your mind from attack:

            ♥      Pray continuously

Pray without ceasing (I Thessalonian 5:17)

                ♥     Thinking on positive things

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. (Philippians 4:8)

                 ♥      Bring every contrary thought under subjection   

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.  (2 Corinthians 5:10) 

Finally, know that He that is within you is greater than every negative force against you.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.
(1 John 4:4)

(Biblical Studies)


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