Summary: Spiritual warfare centers on winning the battle in our minds first
Last week I spoke on the battle for your mind, how the devil is out to get control. Today I want to speak on how you can be ready for this battle when it occurs.
The greatest enemy we have is right here--the mind, it depends on what you do with it. The mind can be the greatest weapon we have for God, or it can be the greatest weapon used against Him. You have to filter your thoughts.
How many of you have ever gotten a wrong thought while you were praying? How many of you have ever gotten a wrong thought while you were worshipping? How many have asked yourself when this happens, "What am I doing thinking that thought?"
Satan knows how to drop thoughts, to bring them to us, to get us thinking them. The key is THE THOUGHT IS NOT THE SIN, it is what you do with it. If you keep it, if you hold it there, if you allow it to move in your imagination.
How many of you know you have great imaginations? How many of you can think in 3-D living color? How many have ever had dreams in living color? Have you ever had a dream where you woke up sweating, going uh-uh? Have you ever had a dream where you feel like you were falling, and you woke up right before you hit, your heart was just pounding? How can this happen, sweat and a pounding heart when you are not even awake? Because the mind has such power that when you see it in the mind, you believe it. That is how much power the mind has, if you see it you believe it.
Close your eyes...I want you to listen. I am cooking a beautiful quarter-pound porterhouse steak on a charcoal grill. Now breath in. Do you smell it? Now I want you to watch me in your mind as I take the knife and cut it open. Its tender and the juices are running on that steak. I want you to take your fork and put it on that piece that I just cut and lift it to your mouth right now. Oh, yeah. Now how many of you could literally taste or have your mouth want to have that steak right now? That is the power of the mind.
Can you imagine if you began to think according to God’s Word, could you imagine what would happen. But imagine another thing, if you allow your mind to run wild, if you allow your mind to become gripped by wrong thinking.
Here are some things you need to begin to put in your mind. You must reject wrong thinking. Where can you pick up wrong thinking? You think before you do. Have you ever had your mother tell you "Think before you do that?" or "Do you have a mind?"
Here is the key, we think, we think, before we let it get into our imagination. One place we pick it up is on television. Something comes on the television and you say, "Man, I shouldn’t be watching this. Turn it up." When that picture gets into your mind, how many of you know it’s hard to get out. Have you ever had that happen.
You can pick up wrong thoughts in music. Some people have told me they listen to the music, but not the words, but you pick the words up. They play the songs over and over and you learn the words. In church, when we sing chorus, it doesn’t take long to remember the words because we hear them over and over. Do you see how this works.
If we were to meditate on one Scripture before we go to bed at night, can you imagine what that will do to our thought life, it is like soap, it is a cleansing to our mind because the mind never goes to sleep. We need to give it something to think about.
There are three things you need to begin to fill your mind with.
1 Peter 5:8 states, "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." We need to be of sober spirit, we need to be self controlled. You have to discipline your mind so that when situations come you are ready. In the military, why do they make them do things over and over, going under barb wire, flying training runs. It is so when the actual war really happens, they will be ready.
How many of you have played basketball? I am watching the Bulls on their quest for another record. Do you know the Bulls never practice? They just show up for the game because they are so good The coach says, well lets just play ball, you don’t have to come to practice, you can just do want you want. How many of you would believe that? No, Coach Jackson has them on the practice court, Michael Jordan throwing free throw after free throw, Dennis Rodman passing the ball, passing the ball, Scotty Pippin shooting shot after shot from the perimeter. Day in, day out. Why? So when it comes to the real game, they will be ready to execute perfection. You need to be of sober spirit, you need to be of self control, and it says, you need to be alert so when a thought comes, you say, "Hey, why am I thinking this thought?"