God, I pray protection over my thoughts and over my focuses so that my mind doesn’t become persuaded to agree with my crisis or enemy. Dr. G
“If you are going to win any battle, you have to do one thing. “You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do… the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.” General George S. Patton
Satan’s most frequent and consistent attack is directed against your mind. He sends his hosts out with an arsenal of weapons such as:
- Lust and other Enticements
These attacks start as early as childhood. Abused children will experience the lie that the abuse was their fault, they deserved it or they are not worth anything to anyone.
As many children are physically developing, questions from the enemy often appear in their thoughts regarding their sexual identity. Over and over these thoughts emerge causing confusion, shame, and fear.
Once a child begins to receive any lie as truth, more lies will appear to reinforce the first lie. After a while, the child will begin to focus on their own shortcomings and perceive the rejection of others. Sometimes people are directed by the enemy into children’s’ lives to prey on them and add more reinforcement to the lies.
When parents do not reflect the character of God to their children, their children can and will project the shortcomings. I heard this quote one day and I believe it applies here. “If parents aren’t willing to die for Jesus, our children will not be willing to live for Him.” Many will push wrong and religious ideologies on their child’s perception of God.
For instance, if one or more parents are cold, lacking in emotion, rigid and constantly preoccupied with other things, the child will see God as lacking compassion, unloving and not there for them. Many have been raised with false expectations and realities of whom and what God is all about.
The enemy encourages these false mindsets. Then the person becomes vulnerable to any word of affirmation, any word of acceptance. They begin to seek out anyone who can make them feel important and needed. Here’s the damage; it will not matter if those words come from good or bad sources, as long as they are being said. Not every person encouraging you is an encourager.
We have to reach back into the past and allow the truth of God’s word to clean up those areas in our minds that are distorted and causing our present to be distorted and connected to our past when God is trying to connect us to our future.
UNPACK YOUR BAGS BEFORE YOU ENGAGE
Many bring a lot of baggage from their childhood into adulthood. Some grow up in homes where there has been considerable control, manipulation and emotional or physical abuse. Women are often “led” to find a man of similar qualities to continue the destructive, negative reinforcements in their lives. Be very conscientious to the way the enemy wants to destroy you. We cannot underestimate the enemy’s influence in any of these situations.
In many cases, the enemy already has claims upon parents and even grandparents. Now the enemy focuses on the children because he knows that the consequences of family sins can make the children vulnerable to similar attacks.
Reveal your mental wound and let the Holy Spirit start unpacking your old baggage. Empty the suitcase; God has another one ready for you. This one is full of joy and peace. Open your mind and let out these false and vain imaginations.
My wife and I pastor and do counsel people together. We minister to many who have believed the enemy’s lies about themselves for years. These lies are strengthened in the strongholds of low self-esteem, self-hatred, poor mental image, and a bad self-portrait.
How can these people expect to live a life of faith when their minds have become a corridor of confusion and empty feelings of false imagery? It is very difficult for them, as believers, to live by faith. The enemy continues to beat them with lies and accusations, causing doubt and hopelessness.
We see many adults who are full of anger, bitterness, and un-forgiveness all as a result of a weakened mind.
Some time in their life, often in childhood, they have been hurt deeply by someone. The enemy will constantly give them “flashback memories” of that situation. The memories are so painful that they constantly stir up anger, bitterness, and resentment. These emotions can be so so strong that it is very difficult for that person to forgive, even though they know they need to.
We could continue indefinitely with these scenarios, but it is my hope you have gotten the point concerning the enemy’s activity directed toward your thoughts.
What is a person to do when their mind has been under assault for such a long time?
My answer to that is not simple or easy, but we have to start somewhere.
1. It is extremely important to correct the wrong perceptions of God. Any balanced study of the character of God will be extremely beneficial. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for you to correct your perception of God and have it to line up with the Scriptures. God is not a man!
2. It is equally important to discover what God has to say about you. You need to know your true identity according to the Word of God. The enemy has been distorting and lying about you so that you have a false perception of yourself. We have a simple study available on our website which you can use to discover what the Word of God says about you. You must know who you are in relation to the God that is in you!
You can never discover the purpose you’ve been born to do if you lack the truth about who you are. If you can’t see the real you, then the enemy will assign others to keep identifying you. You are not a mistake. You are not who people say you are; you are who God says you are!
3. You must take captive your every thought and make it obedient to Christ. The apostle Paul tells us to do this in 2 Corinthians 10:5. The first two steps, “Knowing God” and “The Believer’s Identity in Christ,” are the beginning of that process. It is imperative that you fill your mind with TRUTH to counteract the lies you have believed. You also have to confess specifically that you have believed the lies of the enemy and ask God to forgive you and cleanse you.
Part of taking your thoughts captive is to start disciplining yourself concerning the things you watch in the movies, TV and the Internet, as well as the things you read in books and magazines. You need to clean up what you are allowing to influence your mind and emotions. The apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.”
It won’t be easy at first, but with God’s help and a desire to please Him, you can overcome and claim victory.
4. God has given each of us direct access to Himself through prayer. He said that we could come boldly into His presence and present our requests to Him. Most people do not take advantage of this great privilege. Many see it only as an obligation rather than a way to experience fellowship with the Lord.
Why is Prayer, Praise, and Worship so under attack in our services?
One of the things I have noticed is that the church has turned into speed services. We enter and leave within an hour. Think about this… there is not much else in life that is so rushed through as church services. Even movies are getting longer.
The church is getting shorter and shorter. We meet less and less. It’s become Seeker sensitive instead of God sensitive! I was sitting with a friend of mine from Germany who was a minister behind the Iron Curtin. He had to build an underground church. His passion for the church was contagious. The proof you have the Holy Spirit in you is proven by your hunger and desire to be with the church. It doesn’t matter whether that church meets on Sunday, Wednesday or any other day. After our talk I wondered, how many who say they have the Holy Spirit have such a hunger and passion for God’s house?
Parents want their children to come to them with their concerns. How much more does our God want us to come to Him? Jesus spent much time with his Father when He was on this earth.
Without a consistent prayer life and fellowship with the Lord, you will not experience the victory that you desire. God has given us the Holy Spirit to teach us how to pray. God has given us promises to claim. He has given us tremendous provisions to utilize in our daily lives.
In closing, I want to remind you of another statement by the Apostle Paul.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
It is my prayer that God will bless you with the determination to conquer the enemy’s deceptions. It is the Lord’s will for you to be free.
TAKE POSSESSION OF YOUR OWN MIND
I had a pastor friend who went through some really hard times. In short, he lost his ministry… shut down his church… lost his house and moved to another city to get away from all the people he knew. This event in his life drove him to a place where he had lost all his friends.
He survived that season and is back in the ministry now and years later is building a church, doing quite well. What was the deciding factor? He didn’t allow his mistakes and losses to rob his mind from still believing he could succeed. When you keep your mind intact you keep your future intact. You must take control of your thoughts in times of battle, warfare, and crisis. Where your mind is, is where you are. My mind is the power to my actions. If you don’t control your mind, your mind will control you. Your life is not the life you’re living; it’s actually the life you’re thinking.
Change your thinking, and you can change your living.