Take Your Thoughts Captive!

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

“Do not fear what lies ahead of you, Child. For I have already gone before you and conquered the future. I led captive death, hell and the grave. They have no hold over you. I conquered them so you have no reason to fear. There is no weapon that is formed against a child of God that can prosper. Rise up and speak to that fear that comes against you. It is a spirit sent to harass you from the evil one. Put your trust in Me and speak to the mountain. Tell it to move, and leave, and it will do what you say. You have authority over the evil one for I have given you My authority. Do not allow him to steal any ground in your life. Declare the victory for I have already defeated your enemy. I conquered him when I went to hell on your behalf. I took back the keys to the kingdom and have given them to My church. You now have victory over every attack of the enemy. Rise up in My strength and power and go forth as the mighty army of God. Use your authority in prayer to stand against the evil one. Do not allow fear to rule and reign in your heart and mind. Take authority over the thoughts of fear, doubt and unbelief that he arrays against you. Stand firm in who you are in Christ Jesus and cast down any thought or imagination that plants fear in your heart. Do not entertain thoughts of evil. Think only on those things that are pure and lovely and of a good report. Keep your thought life pure and free from the corruption of the world. Do not allow the distractions of world events to take place in your mind. Keep your focus on Me for I am greater than any event or people group that would try to overtake you. Look unto Me for I am the greater One who lives within you. My name is higher than sickness and disease or war and strife. I am the Great I AM; able to conquer all things on behalf of My people. I have already defeated the enemy of your souls that tries to stir up trouble in your life. Now rise up as the mighty army of God and go forth in My power and strength for I have declared you to be victorious and able to conquer all things through Him who loves you!”

Father, I thank You for providing for our every need. You have given us the victory over the evil one. May we rise up as You have declared and go forth in Your power and strength to conquer the fears that come against us. I pray for those this morning who are experiencing mental anguish over things that lie ahead of them. I pray for them to be set free from the bondage of fear. I ask You, Lord, to release them from the grasp that the evil one is trying to use to hold them captive. Father, I ask You to show them how to stand against him; how to speak to the mountain that he has placed before them and how to conquer the storm that rages in their lives. Father, help them to speak only what Your word says for power lies in the the declarations that we make. Thank You for the victory, Father! May You be glorified as we enforce the work that You did on our behalf on the cross of Calvary. Jesus, you did not die in vain! We receive the victory already secured for us! In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Ephesians 4:8-10 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, And gave gifts to men.” (Now this, “He ascended”–what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)

Colossians 2:15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Isaiah 54:14 In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you.

Isaiah 54:17 No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the LORD.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Mark 11:22-24 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. “For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”

John 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

Matthew 16:19 “And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

1 John 4:4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than He who is in the world.

Philippians 2:9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

Romans 8:37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Friends, it is time for us to take a stand against the evil one, who comes to steal our peace, our joy and to destroy our lives. As I was praying this morning I felt a strong presence of the Lord to give a word from Him to dispel the lies of the enemy that he is planting in the hearts and minds of God’s people. This has been on my heart for some time now and it seems that God just keeps bringing it back to my remembrance. The Word says in that in the end times that men’s hearts will fail them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth. (Luke 21:16) It is important that we keep our focus on Jesus and stand on His word. When He speaks you can judge what has been said by the word of God. That’s how we know His voice; we hear what is being said to us and then we see if it lines up with the Word. That’s why I have included the verses at the end of the message from the Lord as I wanted you to see that God, the Holy Spirit, always speaks in alignment with His word. Take the weapon of the Word of God and use it to slash the enemy’s lies and refute his arguments that come against your peace of mind. Cast down those thoughts and bring them into obedience to the Word of God!

 

 

Tossed By The Wind

James 1:5-8 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Have you ever needed wisdom to know how to handle a situation and then asked God for it, but then went about your own way trying to deal with the problem in your own understanding? I think we’ve all been guilty of doing that. We pray and then immediately go out and try to solve the problem through our own way of thinking and acting. Sometimes, we don’t even give God time to answer the prayer. It’s almost as if we have already made up our minds to do it a certain way, but we need to do our “duty” in praying for wisdom so even though we know what we’re going to do we “cover” ourselves by praying. James says here that when we ask for wisdom we can know that God will give it! It’s an assurance that He wants to give us the wisdom that we need to solve our problem. But there’s a condition to receiving that wisdom…..we must ask in faith, without doubting! Hmmm…..that changes things, doesn’t it?

Ask – Greek word aiteo – Strong’s #154 – means to request, petition. The word usually describes a suppliant making request of someone in a higher position, such as an individual asking something from God, a subject from a king, a child from a parent, or a beggar from a person of substance. The word denotes insistent asking without qualms, not “commanding” God, but solidly presenting a requisition whose items He longs to distribute.

I like the last line of that definition “the word denotes insistent asking without qualms….”. We ask God because He wants us to come to Him for wisdom. We don’t have to worry that we will not be received; He is waiting for us to ask; “….not “commanding” God, but solidly presenting a requisition whose items He longs to distribute.” This statement reminds me of my years in the mortgage lending business. I often distributed funds from construction loans where it was needed to pay for work that had been done. The funds were waiting to be distributed. It’s like having a checking account. In the banking industry a checking account is known as a “demand deposit account”. When you write a check you are making a demand on the deposit in that account. When I paid funds out of a construction loan I made demands on the funds that were available in that loan. God’s wisdom is available to us for the asking. We make “demands”, not as in demanding that God do it, but as in making a request on the deposit that we have in Christ Jesus. He is waiting for us to make a demand on His wisdom so He can fulfill the request!

We often don’t give Him time to send the “funds”. But if we don’t ask in faith we really don’t believe that He will answer so we rush out and do it “our way”. We subconsciously doubt that He will give us what we have requested of Him.

Doubting – Greek word diakrino – Strong’s #1252 Has two definitions: 1) To judge thoroughly; to decide between two or more choices; to make a distinction; to separate two components, elements, or factors; to render a decision; to evaluate carefully. 2) the word also connotes a conflict with oneself, in the sense of hesitating, having misgivings, doubting, being divided in decision making, or wavering between hope and fear.

In this verse of scripture, using the illustration of the one doubting being like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind, I would say that the 2nd definition is the one in which James is referring. Ocean waves, when tossed by the wind, move in different directions, one going this way and another a different way. The one who doubts is driven by their emotions; sometimes having hope that God will do what He has promised and other times being fearful that He will not come through for him. This causes a division in the mind, a mental conflict and a hesitation in believing God for what they have requested of Him. Faith and fear cannot co-exist. You either have one or the other.

James goes on to say that the person who doubts cannot receive anything from the Lord, because he is a double-minded man and is unstable in all his ways.

Wow, that’s quite a statement! What does it mean to be double-minded? A double-minded man is a person who is drawn in two different directions. One minute he’s believing God and the next minute he’s wondering if God’s word is really true, did he really hear God correctly and will God really do what He has promised. James says this person is not only unstable in his prayer life, but his instability portrays a lack of consistency in all areas of his life. He is unstable in all his ways; emotions rule and reign in his life, when God’s word should be the deciding factor in which direction he takes.

So, how can we become “stable” in all our ways so we can be people of faith, not doubt? I am reminded of the story in John 20 where Jesus addresses Thomas’ inability to believe. We get the name “doubting Thomas” from this story.

John 20:24-25 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

Notice that Thomas said he had to see to believe; not just that it was needed for him to believe, but that he would not believe until he saw and felt the scars in Jesus’ hands and side. “I will not believe”, he said. He was using his choice to believe or not believe to be ruled by what he saw; the sense realm.

But Thomas had an encounter with the Lord Jesus and this is what the Lord said to him:

John 20:26-29 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus said it took Thomas’ seeing in order for him to believe. There can be two camps in the realm of believers: those who have to see to believe, which I refer to as “unbelieving believers” and those who, by faith believe what God has said without having to see it first. Thomas was an example of an unbelieving believer. His realm of belief only went so far. He knew the Lord, was one of His disciples so he had been around Him, had seen the miracles that Jesus had performed and yet when it came time for Jesus to be out of his sight, he couldn’t draw on what he knew to be true to enable him to believe without seeing it happen in the natural.

We can be like Thomas and have to see to believe or we can be as Jesus said “more blessed” because we believe without seeing. The foundation for our belief comes from what God has said in His word. The truth and the yardstick of our measurements should be what we read in God’s word, what He speaks to us through His Spirit and what we know of His character and nature. When we base our belief on Him and His word we will become “stable”, fixed and unwavering.

It was said of Abraham that he believed even when it appeared to be untrue because of what he saw in his body and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.

Romans 4:18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”

He believed, even when it didn’t look like it would be possible, because he put his trust in what God had said, what He had spoken to him.

Romans 4:19-21 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being full convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

Abraham’s success came through his faith in God’s ability to perform what He had promised. He knew that God would do what He said, even when the natural ability to bring it into existence where he and Sarah where concerned was not there. The reality of the promise did not rest on his or Sarah’s age or his ability to perform sexually, but it rested on God’s ability to perform. Faith believes God, not what is seen, felt or thought through the senses of man. Stability in our faith walk comes through hearing the Word of God, believing it and acting on it.

Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Do you need wisdom from God to know how to live life successfully? Ask Him and then believe and act on what He says! Allow your faith to be grounded in what He says in His word, not what you see around you. Faith grows just like a muscle, through use. If you can’t believe God to provide for your monthly bills, how can you believe for a new house, new car, or a multimillion dollar ministry? If you can’t believe for the healing of a headache, how can you believe for supernatural healing of a terminal illness? You begin small and as you exercise your faith and hear more of the word of God, your faith grows and you are then more stable and have the ability to believe for bigger challenges. There are no limitations to a person’s faith ability! God will take you to wherever you exercise the faith in believing. He will be to you everything that you can believe Him to be.

Just as Jesus said to the synagogue ruler whose daughter died before Jesus got to his house to lay His hands on her for healing:

Luke 8:50 But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.”

Jesus challenged the ruler to look away from the negative report that he had just received and look unto Him in faith believing that what He said He would do and his daughter would be made well, which included being raised from the dead! Jesus said she was just “sleeping”, not dead! Faith moves beyond the natural into the supernatural!

What do you need to believe about your life today? Is is for healing, financial provision, wisdom to know how to move in a certain situation? Whatever it is, God has it for you! Will you believe Him today?

Father, I thank You for the wisdom You have for us for the asking. I thank You for being a God who longs to give to His children what they have need of. Thank You for not withholding any good thing from us as Your children. Thank You for being faithful to Your word so that we can place our trust in what You say and know that You will perform what You have promised. Father, I pray that our faith will be strengthened as we read and study Your word and listen to Your voice. I pray that we will find our stability for faith in You, through hearing and practicing Your word in our lives for the little things so we can believe for the bigger things that You have promised. Thank You for not giving up on us but for being patient in helping us to grow and be rooted and established in You so we can walk by faith and not by sight! May we be blessed in believing without having to see first. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering my prayer. I believe I receive when I pray in Jesus’ name! Amen.

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