Friday, June 8, 2018

The Ripple Effect part two

  In 2 Corinthians 10:4  Paul the Apostle mentions that the weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world and that they are mighty in God to pull down strongholds.

What is a stronghold?

It is something that has a "strong hold" upon you.

There is nothing in your life that God cannot conquer if we seek Him and we trust Him. 

In verse five Paul mentions taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. God would not ask us to do that if it were not possible. It's through struggles that I learned to fight the, "fight of faith."

We don't let those thoughts remain there, we take them captive.

When those thoughts come we say, "Father right now I take that thought captive, I don't receive it into my heart," and then we stop thinking about it. We can start thinking about things above, in God's kingdom where righteousness dwells. (Take some time to look up Colossians 3:2 and 2nd Peter 3:13)

We can't watch or listen to garbage and let it affect our lives or our outlook. These things will take root in our heart and manifest in our lives if we don't stop letting these things in and instead start renewing our minds with the word of God.

Now listen....I'm not going to be the judge of what anyone watches or the music they listen to but If you are watching or listening to garbage it's going to find root in your heart and be expressed in your life.

In 1st John it tells us that Jesus came into the world to break the power of the devil. (See 1 John 3:8)

There is nothing in your life that God can't conquer and overcome if you will just trust Him. You can talk about wanting to be free from things in your life but if you are not willing to deal with the thoughts of your mind and to cry out to God for change, you will never be free of the actions that come out of your life.

Just like God changed me in the area of fighting, it took a lot longer to be delivered from other things, like lust. As I have mentioned in the past, some things take longer to overcome because we have to learn to use the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit. I had to learn by falling down and getting up and crying out to the Lord and even enduring through suffering.

 As we learn to deal with the thoughts of our lives there is one thing I believe that is very important to mention.

 Just because a thought comes into your mind, that doesn't mean that you have sinned. I have found that it is when that thought comes and you allow it to stay and meditate upon it.

Consider the scheme of holding a grudge against someone. What is referred to in the church as, "Unforgiveness."

 Let's say you are at the supermarket and you see someone you know and you smile and wave at them but they walk right past you without even stopping to say hello or acknowledge you.

Right then a thought comes into your mind, "I can't believe they just ignored me." That's how the enemies schemes start, with a single thought. Suddenly you find yourself having a conversation in your mind about how they treated you and how unkind they were. You're staying up at night thinking about how that person has always been rude and how they must think they are better than you.

Then you decide you are going to confront them about it tomorrow when you see them. You think about what you'll say to them and then what they will probably say back.

The Bible says we are not ignorant regarding the enemies schemes and this is exactly how it starts, with a thought allowed to fester in your mind.

Before you know it you are carrying on conversations in your mind with people who aren't even there. The source of the problem is that you are not taking those thoughts captive.

Again, how do we take thoughts captive...?
You are back at the supermarket and you see that person you know and you smile and wave at them but they walk right past you without acknowledging you. The thought comes into your head....what were they trying to say by that? Why were they so rude?

You must immediately take that thought and pray in your mind, "Father, I'm a little uncomfortable that he ignored me, but Father right now i'm going to choose to forgive. He may have not seen me or maybe he is having a bad day or received some sort of bad news. I forgive him and choose to believe the best about him in Jesus name I pray. Please help him through what he is going through today."

That's how you take thoughts captive instead of letting them take over your thought life.

Or guys, let's say you are watching television and a commercial comes on with a supermodel wearing almost no clothing and that thought comes into your mind. The thought is not a sin, it's when you continue to meditate upon that thought and it leads you to a place of lustful desire, that you do not want to have place in your heart.

Here's another thought....maybe you've been told all of your life, "You can't do anything right," or "you're not important." Sometimes that may be from the enemy or it's just something wrong in your thought life.

You have to stop receiving those thoughts from the enemy and instead think upon what the word of God says about you. Things like......

 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 2 Corinthians 5:17 New American Standard Bible (NASB)


 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8 NASB
how about...
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. 

Ephesians 2:10 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Write this one down and renew your mind with it; 
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well. 

Psalm 139:14 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

We ARE new creations and we must believe what this word says about us not what our thoughts are telling us.
Entertaining sinful wrong thinking may start as a small thing but the ripple effects can change the course of many years of your life.
I remember when I was a young man I had a friend whose dad, who was a believer and he had an affair.

The adultery in his life began long ago. There was a choice he had made years before to live in a secret place in his thought life. 
One day, he was faced with an opportunity for adultery and he made a choice to act upon it, because in his thoughts he believed he wouldn't be caught. 
All of a sudden the price for sin had to paid in his life and he is still trying to recover from the devastation and broken relationships over 30 years later. 
If not dealt with, sinful thoughts always lead to foolishness.
God says before the foolishness comes, he promises to give us the grace and to help us fight the battle. The Psalmist David said, "It is God who taught me to bend a bow of bronze." 
He will teach us how to fight the fight of faith but we must engage in the battle!
As we look to Christ and seek Him in every situation we can engage in this battle and not be overcome by it.

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, mglory, and the One who lifts my headPsalm 3:3 NASB 
"Never Give up!"  (Winston Churchill)

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