Friday, May 18, 2012
Breaking Free Part III.
Negative Thinking Part III.
As in previous posts; we will continue on with breaking the different yokes of wrong thinking through our fasting from having these various thoughts and by focusing on the Holy Word and not on the lies the Enemy has held us in bondage with.
1. I Just Can't/Don't believe it!
This is the language and vocabulary of hell itself, trying to penetrate your mind.
There are 3 primary things that the devil doesn't want you to believe:
1. That God's Word is true AND works.
2. That you have authority over the devil.
3. That God is good, and the author of ONLY good.
It's vital that we make sure our thinking lines up with the word of God concerning faith and believing. For example, if you believe that EVERYTHING that happens in life was pre-destined by God, then you will lower your defenses against the devil. And Satan would love for you to just accept whatever comes in life, as God's will. This requires no faith, no battle, and leads to no victory.
Let's fast from the thought that says, "I don't believe it."
1. Take charge of your garden! Your heart is your garden. Proverbs 4:20 says, "Watch over your heart with all diligence, for out of it flow the issues of life." Adam was responsible for the Garden of Eden when Satan crept in through his deceptive lies. It was Adam's responsibility to drive that snake out of his garden. Because he was passive and tolerant of Satan's thoughts in his garden, his life was ruined!
2. Do not for a moment submit to the thought that the devil has power over you! Jesus said in Luke 10:19, "Behold I give you authority to tread upon serpents (devils) and scorpions and over ALL the POWER OF THE ENEMY. And nothing shall by any means hurt you." This is power that money can't buy, education can't acquire, human strength can't achieve. This is heavenly power that is irrefutable.
3. Exercise your authority over the devil— the same way Jesus did. He spoke the Word of God. (Matthew 4:4, Luke 4:4) It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
4. Hold on to the Word of God. Satan always comes after the Word. In Genesis, he talked Adam and Eve out of believing what God said. In Matthew, he tried to talk Jesus out of believing what God said. There's nothing new under the sun. In Mark 4:15 he comes immediately to steal the word. Hide the Word in your heart and it will give you victory whenever necessary. (Psalm 119:9-11)
5. Understand spiritual warfare— The devil does everything he can to convince you that the Word isn't true OR that it's too impossible to come to pass. That's why 1 Timothy 6:12 says, "Fight the good fight of faith." The battle we're in is the battle to believe. But nothing is impossible for those who believe. And God is watching over His Word to perform it.
6. Believe in the faithfulness of God. 1 Corinthians 1:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:24— Faithful is He who called you, and He will bring it to pass! Think on His faithfulness. Life will present its share of problems, but God is faithful. He called you. He will bring His calling to pass. Our job is to believe.
7. Expect supernatural peace and joy in your life. Romans 15:13 says joy and peace abound in your life THROUGH believing. As you are believing what God says, peace will fill your heart. Joy will fill your heart.
8. When you doubt, fill your mind and mouth with God's Word. Faith will come. (Romans 10:17) You will begin to believe.
THINK IT & SAY IT:
I take charge of my garden, watching over my heart. I will not be passive or tolerant of Satan's thoughts. I have authority over the devil, and I exercise that authority by speaking the Word of God.
I fight the fight of faith by believing what God says, and I refuse to accept anything less than the promises of God's Word. I believe in the faithfulness of God and trust that He will bring His promises to pass in my life.
I expect supernatural peace and joy in my life by focusing my faith on believing what God said. I take control over doubt by filling my mind and mouth with the Word of God.
2. I must be out of God's will (Part I.)
Today we are fasting from the thought: "I must be out of God's will." And the thoughts that go with it: What if I miss God's will? What if I make the wrong decision?
These are some of the thoughts that punish many people; that produce doubt, uncertainty and fear in us- almost becoming self-fulfilling prophecies leading us to make bad decisions.
Let's fast from the thought that we are out of the will of God or that we will probably miss God's will.
1. Put first things first. God's "will" is His Word. ("Testament" means "will") It's not a mystery. If you left a "will" for your loved ones, it would focus on what you are doing for them, rather than what they need to do for you (Of course, you would be dead!). FOCUS ON WHAT GOD HAS DONE. Read the "will" or the "testament", as if it were listing what NOW belongs to you since Jesus died and rose again. (Hebrews 9:14-20)
2. The "will" of God begins with a "state of being" not a "state of doing." What I mean by this is: since our foundational scripture is "As a man thinks, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7), our focus should be on what God said we ARE, and what God said we HAVE. Then, that will produce what God wants us to DO. When you know you ARE what God says you are, and you HAVE what God says you have, then you will DO the will of God. The right decisions will be the byproduct of the right thinking.
3. As you fill your heart up with the Word of God, He will lead you safely into His will! Psalm 119:9-11 says, "I have hidden your Word in my heart that I might not SIN against Thee." "Sin" = missing the mark. You won't MISS the "will" or the mark when you hide the Word in your heart!
4. The "will" of God is activated in our life through the giving of thanks. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, "In everything give thanks, for this is the WILL OF GOD for you, in Christ Jesus." Notice, He doesn't say "give thanks FOR everything," but rather: "give thanks IN everything." No matter what you are facing right now—the will of God is to give thanks, IN the midst of it. By thanks and praise CONTINUALLY, we are infesting our situation with the presence and possibilities of God's power!
5. The will of God is bigger and broader than most people think. At a large airport, there are several runways that a plane can land on, safely, arriving at its destination. Get rid of the mindset that there's only one runway and you might miss it and crash! There are several runways in the will of God, and therefore many options that are equally acceptable and approved by God.
THINK IT & SAY IT:
I am not going to miss God's will for my life! His Word is His Will, and I accept and embrace His Word as the cornerstone of my life.
I AM what God's Word says I am. And I HAVE what God's Word says I have. I have a covenant with God, and knowing that will lead me into the right decisions for my life. He will keep me in His Will, as I keep His Word in my heart.
I choose a life of thanks and praise which puts me in the middle of God's will, AND brings God's will into the middle of my situation, infesting my surroundings with God's presence and God's power! In Jesus' Name!
3. What if I miss the will of God? (Part II.)
For centuries, good-hearted believers have feared missing the will of God for their lives. People have struggled and strived to know the will of God and hope they could discover this eternal mystery.
Let's dispel this myth. The will of God is NOT a mystery. We've already established that the WORD of GOD is the WILL of God. Let's continue...
1. NOW (right now) abide these three: faith, hope and love— but the greatest of these is love. This really simplifies it for us. I am in the will of God when I am abiding in FAITH, HOPE and LOVE. When I am "believing what God said," I am in faith. This puts me in the will of God. Adam and Eve fell short of God's will WHEN they believed something OTHER than what God said.
2. Next, I am in the will of God when I am abiding in hope. Hope is expectation of good. When I am expecting good from God every day, I am in the will of God. Psalm 118:24 says, "This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!"
3. AND, I am in the will of God when I am abiding in love. Everything comes together in our life when we believe the love that God has for us. The great commandment—love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself—this is the will of God. This all begins with believing the love God has toward us. (1 John 4:16) "We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in Him."
4. He will not leave you hanging! Job 33:14 AMPLIFIED says, "For God does reveal His will; He speaks not only once, but more than once..." See, He isn't going to make it hard and laborious for you to know His will. He will speak more than once, to get the point across to you. That's why there are 66 books in the Bible! That's why we should be hearing the Word over and over in our minds, in our churches, in every way we can! Expect God to reveal His will to you today!
5. Commit your life into His hands. Proverbs 16:3 AMPLIFIED says, "Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed."
6. Be willing to do it, BEFORE you know it. John 17:7 (NASB) says, "If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself."
7. Believe that you can pray God's will into your life. Jesus wouldn't tell us to do something unless He knew it would work! In Matthew 6, Jesus told us to pray this way: "...Thy kingdom come, THY WILL BE DONE, IN EARTH, as it is in heaven..."
THINK IT & SAY IT:
I am in the will of God because I abide in faith, hope and love. I believe what God said; I expect good from God today; and I believe the love God has for me. God will not leave me hanging. He will reveal His will to me over and over.
I commit my works and my ways to Him, and He will cause my thoughts to come into agreement with His will. I expect to be established today and succeed. I pray and receive God's will in my life, today, as it is in heaven! In Jesus' Name!
4. I feel like a fake; I feel like a hypocrite.
For centuries, the devil has been weaving defeat and condemnation into people's minds by getting them to feel like they're not really saved, or they're saved, but they're not the person they pretend to be in public. Stop letting the devil rob you of your joy and peace through this lie.
We all at times have felt like hypocrites. We say we believe, then we sometimes doubt. We say we love God, but feel at times numb. We are supposed to "walk in love," but we feel like hurting someone sometimes. Anybody been there besides me?
Paul the apostle knew this battle, and today we're going to join him in victory.
He said, "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not." (Romans 7:18)
Here is the secret to overcoming the feeling that you are a hypocrite or a fake:
1. Recognize the battle that you're in. Your spirit (inner man) is holy and wants to do what's right. Your flesh, however, doesn't. One translation said, "I have the desire to do what's right, but I cannot carry it out." Jesus also said, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Matthew 26:41) Before we're done, your spirit is going to win this battle!
2. Realize that you're not alone in the battle. EVERYONE deals with this. The fact that you realize you want to obey God, but are honest enough to admit you often fail, is NOT hypocrisy. It's "truth in your innermost being." (Psalm 51:6) The part of you that doesn't want to obey God is not the real you – it's your flesh.
3. Don't worry about what other people think of you. Only the "self-righteous" think they have it all together. They think they are better than you. They think that you're weak and they're strong. But truly honest and humble people realize the battle and understand your struggle. Look to Jesus as your High Priest. That means, He goes to God with His blood, and says, "Father, this one has been cleansed by My blood. This is your child, and they are holy NOW because they are washed." He goes to the Father on our behalf and paves the way for us to be forgiven, accepted and righteous—IN HIM. Also, Hebrews 4:15 says, "We do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things, AS WE ARE, yet without sin."
4. Take off the mask. You don't have to be "Miss Perfect" or "Miss Never-look-flustered" or "Mr. Always has it together." There's something liberating to just be able to be transparent, and not have to pretend you have it all together. That doesn't mean, you go out and sin deliberately. It doesn't mean you throw all caution to the wind. It means, you humbly admit, like Paul the apostle in Romans 7:19, "For the good which I have a mind to do, I do not: but the evil which I have no mind to do, that I end up doing." He's not making a bad confession here. He's making an honest one. THEN...
5. Declare your victory in Christ! Romans 7:22-23 Message Translation says, "I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge."
6. It's ok to need a Savior! Paul asked: Who can deliver me from this condition? Romans 7:25 says, "The answer, thank God, is that JESUS CHIRST CAN AND DOES..."
7. We walk by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says you can serve God, now, even when you feel like a fake. Believe what God says about you, and don't bow down to what your flesh and the devil try to tell you about your weaknesses, contradictions and mistakes.
THINK IT & SAY IT:
I recognize that I am in a battle between my spirit and my flesh. I will no longer give into the lie that I'm a fake or a hypocrite. I have a flesh trying to control me; but my spirit truly wants to obey God. I yield today, to my spirit, by yielding to GOD'S WORD.
Jesus Christ has delivered me from the wickedness of my past and my flesh. I am forgiven. Everything in me that doesn't want to obey God IS NOT THE REAL ME. The real me is made in the image of God, and is more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ my Lord!
5. I just don't have what it takes.
I just don't have what it takes. Have you ever felt like that? You don't have what it takes to be a Christian; you just don't have what it takes to be a good parent; to stop sinning; to overcome the devil, the flesh and temptation. Perhaps you've thought that you didn't have what it takes to be promoted at your job, or to get the job you need, or to be the wife you're supposed to be.
Just as we have seen, you're not the only one who has thought these things. Paul the apostle dealt with the same thoughts you and I face.
In fact, this thought: "I just don't have what it takes," is a quote right out of the Bible (Message translation).
In Romans 7:17-20, Paul says: "I need something more...I realize I don't have what it takes...something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time."
We often fall short and then embrace defeat. REMEMBER, there is no stopping the man or woman who is set free from wrong thinking.
Paul gives us insight into the struggle we all face, and then reveals the secret to being set free. True freedom and true victory come from being free from wrong thinking. Let's overcome this thought that we don't have what it takes:
1. EMBRACE YOUR FREEDOM FROM CONDEMNATION. The first step toward breaking out of this defeated mindset is to realize that even when you've fallen short, or messed up, GOD DOES NOT CONDEMN YOU. The Apostle Paul comes right out of Romans 7, and declares in Romans 8:1 "There is NOW therefore NO condemnation, for those who are in Christ Jesus..." Has something gone wrong deep within you, like Paul? Well, don't be condemned about it. God has just the remedy!
2. Believe in the patience of God toward you. When you realize how patient He is, you'll be more patient with yourself. Remember, it took him a week to make the universe, and yet He's STILL WORKING ON YOU! Philippians 1:6 says, "Faithful is He who began the good work in you, and He will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ!" Time is on your side. He will never give up on you, until His work is done!
3. Start with what you have! David said in Psalm 103, "Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me...who pardons all my sins, heals all my diseases, redeems my life from destruction..." He started listing what he already had in his life. Before you go shopping, look in your cupboard! There's more there than you realize! But notice also:
4. David talked to himself. Too often we listen to ourselves tell ourselves what we don't have, what we've failed at, what we're missing in life. Stop that today and begin to TALK TO YOURSELF.
5. Tell yourself what you DO HAVE. Philemon verse 6 says, "Your faith becomes effective through acknowledging what is already in you, in Christ Jesus." This verse is so liberating. Our faith overcomes our flesh and the devil by acknowledging what we already have.
6. YOU HAVE THE HELPER—THE HOLY SPIRIT LIVING INSIDE YOU. Romans 8:11 says that the SAME SPIRIT that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you. How's that for HAVING WHAT IT TAKES. If you have the person who has what it takes to resurrect the dead, LIVING IN YOU, then you have what it takes to do AND to overcome ANYTHING.
7. You have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16) God's thoughts are not beyond you. You are not separated from God anymore. He lives in you. His thoughts are in you. As you read His Word, you realize how He thinks, and that is the gateway to your new way of thinking.
THINK IT & SAY IT:
PERSERVERE! Even when I've fallen short, sinned and felt like a failure, I AM NOT CONDEMNED. I am in Christ and I am free. God is patient with me, and will finish what He started. I recognize what He has put in me.
When I feel like I don't have what it takes, I realize the greatest power in the universe lives in me! I DO HAVE WHAT IT TAKES. It takes the Holy Spirit, and He lives in me. He is my helper! (John 14:16, John 15:26, John 16:7) It takes the mind of Christ, and I have it! I have everything I need, and amply supplied—My God supplies and I will never lack what it takes again, in Jesus' Name!