Summary: Finding and Keep the Mind of Christ you can also listen at www.preaching.co.nr
We have seen in past studies the importance of the mind, how it affects every aspect of our lives even when it comes to accepting or rejecting Jesus. Also there are many pressures seeking to possess our minds, Satan makes the mind his chief point of attack upon our lives that he may blind and bind us to the things of God.
Satan killed our minds making them his ’strongholds’ that could only be destroyed by the Word and Spirit of God as faith was put into action.
The Holy Spirit made our minds alive to God by renewing and transforming them and then also by ’taking every thought captive to make them obedient to Christ’
Satan is not going to give us up without a fight, he seeks continually to ’outwit’ and ’trap’ us. [2Cor 2:10-11, 1Tim 3:7] Even when we feel we are ’standing firm’ or when we feel ’spiritual’ and ’secure’ Satan is seeking to bring us down. [Gal 6:1, 1Cor 10:12, 2Pet 3:17] We must be careful not to undermine the ability of Satan to cause us to fall, we must be on our ’guard’, ’aware’ and ’watching’ out for the enemy of our renewed minds. [1Cor 16:13, Matt 26:41]
Satan seeks to discourage us that we will doubt the power of God to work in our lives, (both doubt and discouragement take place in our minds) that he may lead us into the darkness of sin. Satan’s main weapon in taking back our mind is TEMPTATION.
The temptation debate of "do or don’t", "shall I or shall I not" takes place in the mind, Satan knows that sin is sanctioned in our mind, see Paul’s debate in Romans 7:14-20.
"Temptation is the tempter looking through the key hole to where you live; sin is when you draw back the bolt making it possible for him to enter" ’J. W. Chpaman’
Sin should only be an interruption in our Christian lives not a regular occurrence. If we find our selves on the ’round about’ of ’sin-confess-sin-confess, then we have given Satan a foothold or a stronghold in our lives.
We must therefore be able to identify temptation before it becomes sin in our lives, this poem illustrates the result of failing to deal with temptation;
A naughty little weed one day
Poked up its tiny head
"Tomorrow I will pull you up
Old Mr weed" I said
But I put of the doing till
When next I past that way
The hateful thing had spread abroad
And laughed at my dismay.
A naughty little thought one day
Popped right into my mind
O No! I cried I’ll put you out
Tomorrow, you will find!
But once again I put it off
Till like the little weed
The ugly thing sprang up apace
And grew into a deed.
We cannot identify temptation on the basis of it being right or wrong or because it feels good or bad. Satan will convince you as he did with Eve in the Garden that it is right because it feels good.
We recognise temptation according to the conviction of the Holy Spirit and the Moral and Spiritual commandment of God’s Word.
Consider how Jesus was feeling and what Satan was offering, if Jesus had followed His feeling Satan’s offer was worth while. [Lk 4:1-4]
"Satan like a fisher man baits his hook according to the appetite of the fish" T. Adams
We know that temptation is not a sin but the more we stay around the temptation the more we shall want to give in.
"If you don’t want the Devil to tempt you with forbidden fruit, you had better keep out of his orchard" ’D Barnett’
Compare the stories of David and Joseph when confronted with temptation. [ Gen 39, 2Sam 11]
"Temptation drives the world into two classes; those who fail and go down under them and those who meet them successfully and gain strength of character through overcoming them. To one class they are stumbling-blocks; to the other they are stepping stones. To the one they hindrances; to the other they are helps. It is not how hard the temptations are but how we respond that make them different" H. O. Fanning
Temptation will never go away, Satan will always be looking for a weakness, we must then be able to attack temptation if we are to mind our minds against sin.
Paul encourages us ’to set our minds on higher things’ to ’think on whatever is praise worthy and to be of ’one mind.’ [Col 3:2 Phil 4:8]
"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight O Lord" Ps 19:14. If God were to display your thoughts on the Overhead projector one Sunday morning for all to see, would your show you face in Church again?