Summary: You are shaped by these forces. They determine your outlook, actions, and habits. Are you framed correctly?
Framed Pt. 1 – Mind Games
There are many influences that have bearing on who you are. Your environment. Your education. The region in which you were raised. However, I believe that when it comes to defining you and determining the type of individual you will be there are a couple of factors that have more power and more impact than your environment, family, education or anything else. Over the next 2 weeks I am going to deal with the first of those factors which is your mind or your thoughts. I can point you to many examples that prove this. For instance if this wasn’t true then no one would ever escape the projects. No one would ever rise above family issues. No one would ever excel beyond their educational level. Our mind is powerful! In fact, I would say that it is the climate of your mind more than the climate you are surrounded by that is important. That is why we must practice climate control in our head. I believe Scripture backs this up. Let’s see what God says about how we think.
Proverbs 4:23 Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.
Proverbs 23:7 - as a man thinketh in his heart so is he. Unless we learn to control our mind, manage our mind, and sanctify our minds we will find ourselves framed!
So, what I want to do this morning is take you into an account and see if we can learn some things about how the enemy frames us by playing mind games with us.
Text: 1 Kings 19:1-5, 9-10 1-2 Ahab reported to Jezebel everything that Elijah had done, including the massacre of the prophets. Jezebel immediately sent a messenger to Elijah with her threat: “The gods will get you for this and I’ll get even with you! By this time tomorrow you’ll be as dead as any one of those prophets.”
3-5 When Elijah saw how things were, he ran for dear life to Beersheba, far in the south of Judah. He left his young servant there and then went on into the desert another day’s journey. He came to a lone broom bush and collapsed in its shade, wanting in the worst way to be done with it all—to just die: “Enough of this, GOD! Take my life—I’m ready to join my ancestors in the grave!” Exhausted, he fell asleep under the lone broom bush.
9Then the word of God came to him: “So Elijah, what are you doing here?” 10 “I’ve been working my heart out for the God-of-the-Angel-Armies,” said Elijah. “The people of Israel have abandoned your covenant, destroyed the places of worship, and murdered your prophets. I’m the only one left, and now they’re trying to kill me.”
1. Your perception determines your reality! He saw how things were? How were they? Let’s take a look at how they were . . . reality . . . Elijah has been hidden and fed for 3 years and the king and queen couldn’t touch him. He has just squared off against the prophets of Baal. He calls down fire from heaven and it consumes the water and the sacrifice. He rises up and kills 400 false prophets! He ushers in a national revival and return to God. After this great victory, very public demonstration of God’s power and favor on his life, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, he gathers up his cloak and outruns King Ahab’s fastest chariot back to the city because he has just prayed an end to the 3 year drought.
The reality is that things weren’t how he saw them. However, his perception determined his reality to the point that he literally asks God to kill him! That is why it is important that you have the correct perception and that you see clearly. That is why it is crucial to have folks in your life who can help you see from a different perspective. You need someone who can see clearly when your viewpoint is clouded by fear, exhaustion, or sickness. You need someone who can step in and say you aren't seeing correctly. You have to have someone who get you to wait, stop, step back and settle down. Because if you don’t have clear perception you will make life altering and life-changing decisions based on on perceptions!
This account also teaches us about our perceptions after victory and when we are tired. You have to be on guard when you have won a great victory and when we are tired. The enemy will attack when you are tired and when you are tired you are vulnerable to wrong perceptions. When you are tired you will begin to think things are dead when they are still alive. You will give up too soon. If you are tired you will fail to perceive your victories! This is why I believe the NT says don’t grow weary in well doing! If we don’t give up we will reap a harvest. I am concerned that some of you are tired from good things. The Lord knew that if we grow tired our perception will be off and we will quit too soon. We will give up on our marriage too soon. We will give up on our kids too soon. We will give up on our dream too soon. You have to guard your mind when you are tired.