“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...”
I love to see people succeed in life, just like the artist treasures his painting and the craftsman his violin, so our Creator cherishes His design! He is concerned about our dreams, goals and our ability to be happy and to enjoy life. But all said and done, none of us can truly enjoy life unless we STAY IN OUR RIGHT MINDS!
Success is being happy. Happiness is basically feeling good about our lives and our plans. Two forces are vital to happiness: our relationships and our achievements. The Gospel also has two forces: the Person of Jesus Christ, and the principles He taught. One is the Son of God, the other is the system of God. One is the life of God; the other is the law of God. One is the King; the other is the Kingdom. One is an experience with God; the other is the expertise of God. One is heart-related the other is mind-related. Salvation is experienced “instantaneously” while God’s wisdom principles are learned “progressively,” and both are essential for success and happiness.
In everything therefore we must make it a priority to protect our thought lives. Some folks like to shout about their “double portion” but have never dealt with their fanatic in the attic! In reality the same Holy Spirit will make us deal with this chief opponent first. There is no uncertainty about it, we must conquer our minds! This is a place where there can be no demilitarized zone, no middle ground. Either it belongs to the enemy or to God. When it comes to the mind there is no grey fudge. It is black or white, all or nothing. Another thing is for certain; where there is no discipline there is no Holy Spirit! He is never chaos. He is always order! Anyone who is successful today (whether secular or Christian) is someone who has mastered their minds with sheer “discipline.” From business men to politicians, sports personnel or record breakers; they set their “minds” on a goal and don’t deviate.
Sadly in retrospect many Christians are incapacitated (out of action!) because they have never learnt how to protect their thought lives. Satan bombards them with fear, hatred, suspicion depression, mistrust and a host of other mental distractions (or should I say “disorders?!”) But why does this “zone” have to be the most vulnerable area of our lives? Because happiness really does begin between our ears! The mind is the drawing room for tomorrow’s successes or failures; what happens there (in our minds) happens in time. As scripture clearly tells us “...as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7) So what you “keep in mind” from day to day is really what is shaping your future – positive or negative! Making “mind-management” a MUST for any believer who seeks to be an over-comer! In fact its not hard to recognise an over-comer from an defeatist; simply someone who is self adjusting vs. someone who lives in perpetual internal chaos and confusion! And their outer world usually shows it too!
Conquering or mastering the mind can be called “renewing” the mind which is why Paul wrote to the Romans saying, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2). Our mind must be renewed. God's salvation includes the mind. The late Dr. Bob Gordon said, “the mind is an actual battlefield in the experience of many people. Lack of mental discipline leads to chaos in the thought life, an inability to discern truth from error and bondage to an imagination that is able to breed negative ideas and dreams.” (Bob Gordon, Understanding the Way, published by Marshall and Scott).
In her bestseller, “The Battlefield of the Mind” Joyce Meyer also states that there is a war going on where our minds are the battlefield, the good news being that God is fighting on our side! In her book Joyce uncovers the tactics of the enemy and gives a clear-cut plan to triumph in the fight for your mind. She teaches how to renew the mind through the Word and stand victoriously in the battlefield of the mind. Our enemy uses a deliberately devised plan of deceit and lies. Attacking our minds with doubting thoughts, fear and paranoia to erode our resistance; investing any amount of time in order to defeat us.
However the Word of God has the power to cleanse our minds regardless and it is all important that we read and meditate on His Word and remaining obedient to it. We must read, meditate and speak the Word continually, taking captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Cor 10:5). “Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8) .
The following scriptures reveal the weaknesses of our ‘Natural mind’.
1) It is hostile to God (Romans 8:5-7) unbelievers are often “hostile” towards the gospel.
2) The things of God are foolish to the natural mind: (1 Corinthians 2:12-14)
3) The natural mind is blinded to God by Satan: (2 Corinthians 4:4)
4) The natural mind is the source of violent and evil desires: (Ephesians 2:3)
5) The natural mind is futile in its thinking and darkened in its understanding: (Ephesians 4:17-18).
Perhaps you can imagine how Joshua might have felt after he had just successfully crossed over the Jordan river through an awesome act of faith; which took him and all the people across only to arrive in Jericho to look up and see “those gigantic walls” that surrounded that great City. As a military man his mind must have gone to work strategizing, “Well if we build some ramps, we’ll come at it like this... we can make a hole and maybe get through...” But instead of “attacking” the walls, God’s instructions were to “march” around it in silence for seven long and probably hot days – surely this sounded so foolish to Joshua’s naturally military mind?!
Joshua was as natural as you or I and it would have been as much of a discipline for him as it is for us, to learn to stop thinking in his natural mind, and be disciplined enough to flow with the mind of God, especially when the instructions seemed so completely “un-natural” and out of sync with his natural instincts! And as a military figure Joshua had to lay his own strategy down in order to accept the Lord’s.
This is not always easy. But then submission rarely is! It’s based on trust, faith and relationship AND dying to self! But as we know on the seventh day when they all marched around in obedience seven times “shouting and praising” the Lord, it was then and only then - out of sheer obedience and discipline - that the walls came tumbling down. Let’s be honest, it takes a disciplined mind just to keep our mouths quiet! “For out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart, his mouth speaks!” (Luke 6:45 AMP)
Finally remember this - faith is not chatty or spontaneous - it is too deliberate! And disciplining our minds has to be a determined - on purpose – and deliberate act of our faith. Only this will get the job done, no matter how long it takes. Then and only then can we truly say that we have conquered our own minds and now have “the mind of Christ” (1Corinthians 2:16).
Note: This teaching is to be continued - The Winner’s Life Part 2 – “Signs of a Renewed Mind!”
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Father thank you for giving me the mind of Christ. Thank you that I can live in order and not chaos. My internal world can remain submitted to you in every thought and purpose of my heart. Thank you that discipline is my friend not my foe and that without it, my life will just head in no certain direction. Thank you that I can choose the mind of Christ today above my own natural instincts. And that I can choose to live the supernatural life, that flows cross ways with the natural. Thank you that as a spiritual person and not a carnal one, I can understand Your ways set out for me. Amen.
CONFESSION OF THE DAY
Today I choose to flow in and with the mind of Christ. I choose a disciplined thought life with the help and empowerment of the Holy Spirit; my helper and my standby. I choose to submit my natural instincts for the instincts of the Spirit of God within me and not to deviate to the left or to the right of what He is saying to me now. I have the NOW Word of God in my life therefore my life has direction and purpose. In fact “all things will work together for my good” because I am called of God and called according to HIS purposes NOT my own (Romans 8:28).
THANK YOU FOR HELPING TO MAKE THIS MINISTRY POSSIBLE!
WE LOVE YOU…!
Motto: ‘God Chooses, then the Spirit Tests, but You Must Respond!’
Copyright 2010 © Alan Pateman Ministries