A lot of financial, physical, and relational pressure is coming against people right now, but that is nothing new. What concerns me is that I’m seeing people give up and quit on God.
The purpose of all these attacks, all this pressure, is to erode our resistance to the enemy. When we allow the erosion of our resistance to his attacks, we will become self-centered and weary. Then we’ll stop working and fighting. The devil would love us to settle for second best, back up on the Word, and quit fighting the fight of faith because at that point we’re no longer a threat to him. That is the enemy’s goal—to stop us from obeying God and reaching out to others.
The Bible tells us not to be ignorant of the enemy’s devices. The mind is the arena in which the enemy works. If our minds are not renewed by God’s Word, we won’t be alert to his devices and will constantly be “whipped.”
The devil speaks lies. He doesn’t speak outrageous things because you would instantly recognize them as lies. He speaks subtleties you won’t recognize as lies unless you’re renewing your mind with God’s Word.
Once we are born again, our spirit has no problem believing the Bible and obeying God. It is created new and perfect. Now, the body is always going to be the body. It operates by the five senses. If I put my hand on a hot stove and my body registers “hot”, the flesh is doing its job perfectly. Until we go to heaven or Jesus returns, the body will continue doing its job. So the problem isn’t with the newly recreated spirit or with the body. The problem is with the soul — the mind, will, and emotions.
The soul doesn’t immediately change when we’re born again. Getting the mind, will and emotions renewed is a process. If you don’t renew your mind with God’s Word, you’ll be the same thirty years from now as you are today.
As long as we live, the world will try to squeeze us into its mold, and the devil will attack. Lies will try to take root. That is why we must continually renew the mind.
There is a difference between something that is true and that which is “truth.” Yes, it is true that you have a pain in your knee, but the “truth” is that by the stripes of Jesus you are healed. What removes the pain from your knee is the release of your faith. What hinders your faith from operating? The thoughts in your head!
Words paint pictures. The words we choose to meditate will paint images inside us. If we meditate (worry) what the world or the devil says, we will produce images of lack, defeat, sickness, and despair. If we meditate on God’s Word, renewing the mind, we will produce images of health, victory, prosperity, peace, joy, and satisfaction.. The more we meditate the Word, the sharper or clearer the “truth” becomes and in turn produces a sharper or clearer image of who we are in Christ Jesus.
One man will say, “I can’t do that,” and he’s right. He doesn’t see himself doing it. He doesn’t see that God has enabled him to do it; therefore, he can’t do it. He’s right.
Another man will say, “I see that. I can do that,” and he’s right. He sees himself successfully doing it. He sees that God has enabled him to do it; therefore, he can do it. He’s right.
Both men are right. What is the difference between the two? Perception. One sees limitations and therefore limits God. The other sees no limits because He’s looking at the Infinite, Unlimited, All Sufficient One.
Our perceptions influence everything about us, including our relationships and our future.
We are in a spiritual war. How do we fight this battle? Not with flesh and blood, not in our own strength and abilities. We fight with the blood of Jesus, the name of Jesus, and the Word of God. We are to cast down imaginations and take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5-6 NIV).
A wrong thought not dealt with becomes a vain imagination. A vain imagination not dealt with becomes a negative stronghold. Once a thought becomes a stronghold, it is controlling you and pulling you where it wants to go.
If we deal immediately with a wrong thought, we’ll never have to deal with a wrong imagination or a negative stronghold. It is much easier to deal with a thought than it is with an imagination. It is much easier to deal with an imagination than it is with a stronghold. Praise God, we can overcome with God’s Word no matter what, but it is so much easier to deal with the thought. Isn’t it easier to uproot a tree when it’s only four inches tall compared to when it is four feet or forty feet tall?
We put up with too many things in life. We think, “Oh, this is just a little problem,” or “This thought is no big deal.” We put up with the little lie because we don’t realize that it is an attack of the enemy.
We need to quit putting up with “little” stuff. What does God’s Word say about this “little lie, this little thought?” Take that thought captive immediately and make it obey Christ. Renew the mind with God’s Word. Replace the lie with the truth.
James 1:25 (NIV) says, “But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it — he will be blessed in what he does.” Notice, James said that God’s Word is perfect, and it is freedom. As we meditate His Word and renew our minds, His Word will produce a perfect image and freedom in us.
When we’re renewing our minds, we are viewing ourselves and our situations the way God does. God never sees defeat, lack or failure. He only sees victory and abundance.
As I view myself in the mirror of God’s Word, I see myself the way He sees me. I see myself healed, prosperous, and victorious. I see myself laying hands on the sick who are healed. I see myself leading people to the Lord. I see myself preaching with signs and wonders following. I see myself blessed going out and blessed coming in. But I won’t see myself in any of these ways unless I have renewed my mind with the Word. Because I meditate the Word, I see myself doing what the Word says I can do.
This year by the Spirit of God, I gave an assignment to several congregations. I have told them to mediate the Word and see themselves praying for people to get born again, filled with the Holy Ghost, and healed. I told them, “If doing these things isn’t real on the inside of you, you’ll never do them. Your mind must be renewed to the fact that you can do these things because God said you can.”