Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Casting Down Imaginations

Taking Every Thought Captive

I read a book years ago by Joyce Meyer called The Battlefield of the Mind.  Recently, I’ve been coming back to that concept more and more, understanding the importance of the thought life.  One verse in particular has my attention right now:
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh; 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.  2 Cor. 10:3-5 KJV
Looking at circumstances has been my downfall of late; I have been distracted by the upset around me, and I’ve allowed my mind to fall prey to fear rather regularly for quite some time.  I KNOW the biblical principles, but I have had a hard time pulling my mind back into the Word and thus into peace.

This morning the Lord led me to this one:
For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.  6 Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].  Rom. 8:5 AMP
 No good comes from a mind that is set on the flesh, and when we look at those circumstances that look so messy and possibly hopeless, they can drag us straight into the mind of the flesh, which is death.  As Paul stated in 2 Corinthians, it is war, and that war is in the mind.  “The battlefield of the mind” is quite an accurate description of the problem we have getting through this life.  Our weapons are not carnal; we can’t be devising physical plans in our minds to overcome.  It is a spiritual battle that uses spiritual weapons, and the primary weapon is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God (Eph. 6:17).

Isaiah the prophet said:
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. 8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  Isa. 55:7-8 KJV
After the Lord expresses the divide between our thoughts and His thoughts, He then goes on to explain the power of His Word:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isa. 55:11 KJV
 It is the Word that changes things.  And just now, I am seeing how all this flows together into the next verses:
For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. 13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.  Isa. 55:12-13 KJV
Joy and peace.  Forsake your thoughts, use His Word, and joy and peace will flow.  Then look at how the circumstances change- good plants instead of thorny ones.  Victory over thorns!  I think I’ve seen my share of thorns.  It’s time to get the Word in my heart and in my mouth. Like I said, I've known all this for decades.  But when things take a turn and you're staring down the barrel of that gun yourself, it's a whole different story.  Now I'm beginning to learn what it is to really stand.

I asked God this morning, What has happened to me?  And He said in that still, small voice, Life has happened.  Until you go through it yourself, you really don't understand the Word and what it is to face this stuff and trust God through it.  The weapons of our warfare are not carnal- they are spiritual weapons for a spiritual battle.  The mind of the flesh with all its worries, upset and sometimes frantic reasoning is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.  His yoke is easy and his burden is light- controlling the mind and standing on the Word is far easier than trudging through this life trying to work everything out ourselves.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.  Phil 4:6-8 KJV
Armor is free image from Wikimedia Commons.

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