Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Battlefield of the Mind - Week 5/Part 2 of Chapter 3

This week we actually made it through the last couple pages of Chapter 3 and Chapter 4.  I will first discuss the last part of Chapter 3.  Chapter 4 will be discussed later this week.  So, please check back.

Let's start by looking at Deuteronomy 1:6-8:

The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, You have dwelt long enough on this mountain. Turn and take up your journey and go to the hill country of the Amorites, and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country, in the lowland, in the South, and on the coast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. Behold, I have set the land before you; go in and take possession of the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their descendants after them.

If you recall the journey to Canaan for the Israelites was only suppose to take 11 days.  What was suppose to be 11 days took the Israelites 40 years.   The Lord told the Israelites, they had dwelt long enough on this mountain, it was time to move and take possession of their promise! 

Based upon the scripture, Joyce ask these two powerful questions: Have you dwelt long enough on the same mountain?  Have you spent 40 years trying to make an eleven-day trip? 

She goes on to say that she woke up and realized that she was going nowhere.  That she was a Christian without victory! She had many wrong mindsets and mental strongholds that had been built up over the years. 

Personally, I can see myself in this scripture and in Joyce's testimony.  Sometimes life's obstacles can keep us in the wilderness and dwelling on the same mountain.  For some it is debt and for others it can be a relationship or sickness.  It doesn't matter the issue, what matters is that you recognize it!  Once you recognize it, you can go into battle!  It is time to come down from the mountain and enter into the Promiseland!  It is time to let go of poisonous mindsets and strongholds that are meant to keep us from God's promises.  Keeping a wilderness mentality can keep us in bondage.  Scripture tells us that God came to set us free! God is willing to break every curse, chain, and stronghold off of our life!  But, we have to be a willing vessel!

Are you willing?  Are you like the Children of Israel still dwelling on that same mountain?  What will it take for you to really stand and believe God for his promises? 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Spirit Spot: Battlefield of the Mind-Week 4

The Spirit Spot: Battlefield of the Mind-Week 4

Battlefield of the Mind-Week 4

Sunday School Review, Battlefield of the Mind -Chapter 3-Part 1

This Sunday we read and discussed Chapter 3, pages 25-26.  The discussion was so deep we only made it through a couple pages.  The first scripture up for discussion was Galatians 6:9: And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.

The title of this Chapter says it all, Don’t Give up!  In life we are faced with many challenges, situations, and temptations.  In class, we discussed how we have to stay focused on God.  We can’t allow our situation to become larger than God.  I heard a Pastor once say, “Stop focusing on how big the problem is, but focus on how BIG our God is!”  God is so much bigger than our situations.  We have to maintain our courage and try not to grow faint.  As Joyce Meyers states, “No matter how bad the condition of your mind, don’t give up! Don’t have that old “give-up” spirit. God is looking for people who will go all the way through with Him.” 

Isaiah 43:2 states: When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you.  This brings to mind the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the three Hebrew boys that had incredible faith in God!  They did not give into fear.  Imagine being threaten with a burning death and still not budging in your belief.  Their story shows how God can protect us from death.  How God is with us in the fire!

Our fleshly mind will often demand us to go in the wrong direction with the attempt to persuade us to doubt God.   We have to combat those thoughts with the Word of God!  We had to have Radical Faith! Radical Faith comes with reading and believing the whole Word of God.  Isaiah 43:2 simply states that God will be with us; we will not be harmed or overtaken in our tough times.   Joyce says, “It’s easy to quit; it takes faith to go through.”  You have to be willing to go through the Fire. Then, TRUST that you will not be burned!

In the same way, there is always a dark tunnel, but there is also light at the end of it! 
Are you ready to face tomorrow? Do you have that Radical Faith like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego?   If not, what changes are you willing to make?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Battlefield of the Mind -Sunday School Week 3

Matthew 12:33- Either make the tree sound (healthy and good), and its fruit sound (healthy and good), or make the tree rotten (diseased and bad); for the tree is known and recognized and judged by its fruit. 

Our Sunday school class really enjoyed this particular discussion.  This scripture allowed us to see the importance of our actions, attitude, and thoughts as it pertains to our life and how we are perceived.  A tree is known by its fruit, what kind of fruit are you producing?   Good fruit or bad fruit? 

As a child of God, we should display the Fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, kindness, self-control, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, peace, and faithfulness.  All these fruit are visible spiritual attributes that our Christian life should display.  If we can practice the Fruits of the Spirit we will be representing God in a wonderful way. 

Joyce Meyers pointed out that our thoughts bear fruit.  If we think good thoughts, the fruit of our life will be good.  Think bad thoughts, and the fruit in our life will be bad.  It’s like the old saying, “Where your thoughts go your actions will soon follow.”  So we have to be careful about what we allow to occupy our mind; because we want to produce good fruit and the right actions. 

If you want to have the victory over your situation, keep thinking positive victorious thoughts.  Our thoughts will produce a certain fruit whether it is good or bad. 

This particular verse serves as a reminder that we have a right to judge each other’s fruit and if you are producing bad fruit expect to hear about it.  Take and receive the truth.  The truth will set us free.  When we receive correction it may hurt, but it also places us in position to get right with God.  It gives us the opportunity to change and to make God proud.  Our goal as Christians is to be a light unto the world by imitating Christ, so we can bring unbelievers to Christ.  Why would an unbeliever want to come to Christ?  My answer is the fruit that we bear.