"The War of the Mind"Pastor Darrell JohnsonSacramento Church of God
Posted by Church of God of Carmichael on Sunday, September 6, 2020
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The War of the Mind. We have in our generation today, in our particular society, so much information that comes to people by radio, television, internet, many forms of media…that we have to process in some kind of way. And we have to process it, on a daily basis, and sometimes hourly, for the enemy uses it to try to get into our minds, to affect us in some way or another. And if we get nothing else out of the message today, we need to know that we have control …over the narrative of our mind. In order for us to have the victory we need, we have to control the narrative of our mind. All of us have conversations with ourselves….”somebody did something to us that maybe we didn’t appreciate, etc, and we start rolling the thought processes of our mind what we are going to do, or say.” We have the scenario going in our mind, that if they say this…then I’m going to do this,” and etc. So we have to understand, that the devil knows and understands clearly that we “speak to ourselves,” And we have to understand as well, that the devil must not get into our mind and affect us in various ways. We have to actively fight against that. Today, we have enough information through the internet daily, then maybe our ancestors had in a whole month or even a year or more to process! One of the things as a pastor I have found, is people have a mental passivity to what the information presents, to tell us how to think on many things, politically, talking points, and spiritually, etc. Often we might not even go to the scriptures to dig into them, to validate this onslaught of information like we should. We have the expectation that the preacher is going to get up there, and “spit out” what I’m supposed to do and I’m going to follow it and process it and decide in my mind whether I think that’s the best thing to do…and then I’ll decide in my mind whether I’m going to do it. But our minds are passive. What you need to do, is take the scriptures brought in the context that I’ve used them, then you personally vet it! That’s your job, your responsibility, that whoever is preaching to you, that first of all, has the Spirit of God, and that they’re preaching the truth. Because there’s a lot of people using the Word of God, ….the devil uses the Word of God, …that is not the truth. We have to understand that!
TEXT: 2 CORINTHIANS 10:3-5
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, (For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:) So Paul is presenting to us that there is a warfare that is going on. Then he tells us something about the war, what the weapons do, but he doesn’t tell us everything about it, so we have to deduct and dig into that, to verify what he’s talking about. First he tells us “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal” ..so there’s not some fleshly thing that we can do, but this is something to do with our spirituality. The weapons are not carnal…but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; And as a pastor, what I have learned, is there are a lot of things we have dealt with from our youth, a lot of issues that are represented in our adult life, that actually stem back to when were a child. “We were abused,” or “we didn’t have the right kind of father,” or “my mother and father were not an example”…something happened where we had a traumatic experience, and what we said was, “I’m going to put this wall around me, and no one will ever hurt me like that again.’ So we say those things, maybe not out loud, and might not even realize we think like that. But that’s the point here, pulling down of strong holds. So this is a stronghold, I’m going to close myself off to everybody, not going to let anybody get close to me, and as a result of that, this is my stronghold. Did you know that God is able to address that? It’s part of a weaponry that the devil is fighting us against? And then it says, “Casting down imaginations ” “and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.” The scripture talks about in another place, “mind not high things.” condescend to man of low estate,” ‘be not high minded.” Then it talks about knowledge, ..all the things he is saying here is part of our mental capacity, our mental process. Then it says “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; That’s what I want to concentrate on here a little bit today. Every thought to the obedience of Christ. It didn’t say the bad thoughts you bring down to the obedience of Christ, and the good ones you just let go the way you want them to go. That means everything I think, has to be vetted and presented whether or not it’s something God wants me to think about. Whether it’s “good” or whether it’s bad. Because what happens is the enemy presents a “good” thought, on the surface, but will actually be something that will lead us another direction. So it says, ” bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; That is our responsibility! Something we need to also consider; there’s a mental aspect that happens in our life that we often don’t think about. There’s something that happens to us mentally, before it ever happens to us spiritually. We have an experience that we process. The fact that we sit here, and “God has chosen the “foolishness of preaching to save some,” What happens there? A man, or woman that is before me, begins to expound on the scripture, and I’m then processing that mentally, before it ever reaches my heart spiritually, “it has to make sense.” There’s a place in the scripture that says, “Come let us reason together.” Because some people don’t think that the scripture makes a whole lot of sense. God wants us to present our “argument on the table,” and then He presents to us what He has to say as well. So another words, its not that the Lord cares that you disagree with Him, but He wants to have a dialogue with you. Because you might think “I’m not too keen on how you do church,” so the Lord says, come here and let me talk with you. He wants us to lay our case out…and then He will lay out His case. What God wants us to understand, is that Christianity is something that makes sense! On a whole another plane. There’s a wisdom of the world…and there’s a wisdom of God ! When we understand the wisdom of God, it all makes sense…it all falls into place! Our lives are better then for trusting in The Lord.
Understanding: The scripture says “Study to show thyself approved, unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed rightly dividing the word of truth.” It’s our responsibility, to study and apply it to ourselves. This is not just for preachers,….it’s for everyone! Too many think it’s only the responsibility of the preachers to know everything, all the doctrines, etc. And that is true, but it is also yours….you are going to stand before God alone, on the judgement day. We all are. You need to be able to discern in the spirit, whether or not the person that is ministering unto you, is actually a true man of God, or if he is not, but a false prophet. You should know that, rightly divide the word of truth personally. Study to show thyself approved. How do you study? As in when in school, you study by comprehending….there’s a mental comprehension of it, before there is ever an application to it. Mentally comprehended, before it is ever spiritually applied. So we have to have that level of understanding before applying it. Another thing, there is temptation, none of us escape having it. Even little children face temptations in their childlike issues. Taking a cookie, lying about something, etc….those temptations also come to their little minds. Things are presented to all of us, to our minds, and then we all of a sudden make a decision, when we comprehend that, whether or not this a thing that I should do, …and then you make the decision whether or not you will do that or not. So temptations come as just a simple thought. So this why this is important to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; The first temptation, was Adam and Eve,….where God said …in the day that ye shall eat (of the tree of good and evil) ye shall surely die. No ifs, and, or buts. But the enemy came and deceptively said, “ye shall not surely die.” That thought process, that little seed that the enemy planted in Eve’s mind…she thought about it, and she processed it. This should help us understand there is a mental process to our life. We think about it, and it affects our minds in a physical way. The devil has been around a long time, so he knows all your thoughts, feelings, weaknesses, your strengths, and is able to mimic whatever will help you to listen to him. The devil understands you, and that sometimes the thoughts that come to us, are not our own. The enemy presents to us, thoughts that we would not have thought of on our own. So we’ve got to be very careful about that. We have to understand, that we must control the narrative that is going on in our mind! And we must bring our thoughts into subjection to Christ, so we can say “Lord, what about this thing, ..what would you have me to do? Or what you wouldn’t have me to do? And God speaks to our minds! Before it ever gets to our heart! So we need to understand those temptations that come to us on a daily basis, ..first affect us in our minds. And if we control those thought processes, we will be able to stand against those things the enemy brings to us, on a day to day basis. So there is our understanding, and temptations Another thing is our emotions. We all have them. Happy, sad. Someone can say something in a certain way, look at us in a certain way, and it can change your emotions, for good or for bad. What about this pandemic? One of the effects has been fear. Not necessarily afraid of everything, God is taking care of us….but fear can cause us to be careful. We all need to be careful. We would not be really honest if we didn’t say we have all been a little fearful at times. No one wants to get covid. But there is something that can override the fear the enemy presents to my mind, by the grace of God. But I also can allow these thoughts to come into my mind, instead of bringing them into captivity, and before you know it, I’m afraid to go outside my home, or do even little things. We need to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
The War of The Mind…..