Posts Tagged ‘mind’

Pastor Ron Lewis: Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa.


2 Corinthians 10:3-5 This week Pastor Ron continues his series, “Spiritual Warfare,” by taking us to second Corinthians.

Do you realize that the devil puts strongholds in our minds in order to keep us from living a life that is truly victorious?  They trip us up and tear us down.

Notes:

e.  His Schemes                                                                    romans12_2

1) What are the devil’s goals and objectives…?

2) Where does he wage this war…?

(2 Cor 10-3-5)

a) What is a literal fortress…?

b) What are these metaphorical fortresses…?

c) Where are these fortresses…?

d) How do we destroy these fortresses…?

e) What is the end result when they’re gone…?

Please click on the link below to listen to this very helpful sermon.

Destroy Strongholds!

Read Full Post »

Pastor Ron Lewis: Faith Bible Church, Warren, Pa.


Ephesians 6:11b  Pastor Ron Lewis continues his series, “Spiritual Warfare,” this week by talking about some of the devil’s schemes.  As Christians we are in a war with an enemy who would like to trip us up every chance he can.  We need to know where the battlefield is so that we can be victorious.

Notes:                                                                                                    1peter5_8

e.  His Schemes

1)  What are the devil’s goals and objectives…?

2)  Where does he wage this war…?

3)  What is his battle plan…?

Please click on the link below to listen to this very helpful sermon.

Battlefield of Your Mind

Read Full Post »

 

Romans 6;17

Spiritual Depression: #2 “Mind, Heart and Will,” a sermon by Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones.

 


 

After listening to the above sermon it is sad to think that many who call themselves Christians do feel miserable and not joyful.  The truth is God never promised us a rose garden.  We don’t become a Christian to get a life with no problems.  He offered us salvation from our sins and eternal life by sending His Son Jesus Christ to die in our place on the cross for our sins.  God has given us promises though and they are very precious. He promised to never leave us or forsake us.  He also told us that in this world we will have troubles, but that He has overcome the world.

John 16:33 KJV These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

When we are down we are not much use to God.  We cannot be the witness we should be.  We cannot encourage others and lift them up.  We cannot use the gifts of the Spirit that God has given us in any meaningful way.  So, who do you think gets the victory?  Satan, of course.  He wants us to be out of commission so that God’s work is hindered.  That is his plan.  Let’s not fall for it.

Dr. Jones talks about a balance of the mind, heart, and will. They make up the whole person and must be kept in balance.  When they are not is when we become depressed.  He says that spiritual depression is the failure to realize the greatness of the gospel.  That is an amazing statement.  Just stop and meditate on that for a while.  We should not be depressed when we focus on what Christ has done and is doing for us.  What a Savior!

The mind, the heart, and the will must be involved in salvation, or it isn’t a true conversion.  The mind must hear the truth of the gospel message; that in turn moves the heart to desire it; which gives us the will to practice and live it.  Then, we can grow in Christ and be conformed to His image.

This was an interesting sermon and really showed me how important it is that the gospel is presented in the correct way.  I think there are many Christians who are not balanced.  Some have only accepted an intellectual view of the gospel.  Others, have only had an emotional experience, and still others have decided to “try Jesus.”  It would seem that these people are not really Christians at all, but have been deceived in believing a false gospel.  What do you think?

2 Corinthians 13:5 NASB Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?

After I listened to this sermon my mind went back to when I was first saved.  I thought it through to see if my mind, heart, and will were involved.  I believe they were.  I remember 41 years ago when I was born-again and how I truly turned over the reigns of my whole life to Jesus Christ.  I wanted Him to run it from then on as I had made a miserable mess of it.

I hope this sermon has blessed you as it has me.

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Pic029

God takes care of the birds and will take care of us too.  Matt: 6:26

We live in tough times.  We hear it every day on the news.  Our future looks bleak, at least that is what they’d like us to think. 

As Christians how should we respond?  Should we be fearful and full of anxiety? 

“Fear is a more dangerous enemy than those your fear.”  Thomas Watson – Puritan author and pastor.

Isn’t that an interesting quote?  Do you realize many people in the Bible struggled with fear and doubt?  Fear is nothing new!

Just to name a few:

Adam and Eve; they disobeyed God and became fearful and hid from Him.

Abraham; he had a fear of danger, so he lied two times about Sarah being his wife in order to escape danger. 

Sarah had the fear of doubt.  She didn’t believe God that she would have a child so she got Abraham to take her handmaid to provide the child.  Ishmael was the result, and these two tribes still fight today.

Moses had the fear of not being good enough.  God called Him, but he made excuses and tried to get out of it. 

Peter had the fear of man.  Because of that he denied that he knew Jesus three times.

Sometimes our fear can cause sin.  Such was the case of Abraham.  He feared danger so he lied which was a sin.

Sometimes our sin can cause fear.  Such was the case of Adam and Eve.  They sinned first when they disobeyed God and that sin resulted in fear.

In our day it is still the same.  There are sins that can result in fear, such as adultery, lying, thief,  breaking the law, anxiety and worry.

Then there are fears that can cause sin such as fear of public speaking, which is a fear of people, (you back out of doing something God wanted you to do,) fear of what people might think can cause you to lie or cover up something.  

Have you ever wondered how the people from the time of creation until now, when we have psychology and special medications, coped with their fears and anxieties?  I have. 

Fear itself is nothing new we’ve seen that.  What is new is the way we approach it today.

Psychology came along and hijacked God.  The early fathers of psychology were not Christians and they had a secular, humanistic world view.  They believed that all of man’s fears and anxiety came from how a person was raised, their environment, circumstances, and negative thinking.  They came up with a new kind of “medicine,” called psychology. 

When you had emotional problems you would be sent to a psychiatrist, who is a physician but a specialist in “mental illness.”  He would diagnose you by using the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM) and come up with an “disorder” listed in there by number.  This was a great idea because then the psychiatrists could charge your insurance company for the sessions they would set up for you.  It truly benefited their wallets.  Also, the drug companies played an important role as they came up with drugs specifically for these “mental illnesses and disorders.”  These are called psychotropic drugs.

In 1966 there were 44 of these kinds of drugs, today there are 174.  We spend 27 billion a year on these drugs.  Did all of that fix the problems of fear, anxiety, and stress that people have? 

I think not!  Instead we became a nation of medicated people, going to psychologists regularly and not making any real progress. 

Do you realize  the answer lies in the Word of God?  Yes, God made us and he knows all about us.  Luke was a physician, so God does believe in doctors.  When we are ill in our body we need to go to a physician.  If we have a physical illness then it needs to be treated with medications.  That is true.

But, when we have a problem in our heart, minds, soul, (our spiritual side) then we need to go to the Great Physician and get our help from Him.  It seems the psychiatrist have come between the pastor and the hurting Christian.  Today even pastors send their emotionally upset members to the psychologist for worldly therapy.  Why, because they believe the lie that they themselves are not competent to help the people. 

So, when we have problems with stress, anxiety, fear, and worry, we should run to the Bible and look for our help there. 

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2Ti 1:7 KJV

One important note:  If you are presently taking medication for anxiety and panic attacks, please, do not stop them without first consulting with your physician who prescribed them and ask him or her how to get off them.  It could be dangerous to try to quit them cold turkey.

Elyse Fitzpatrick, in her book, “Overcoming, Fear, Worry, and Anxiety,” has said the following:

“God loves to call the fearful heart to himself…Why does God delight in helping us to become trusting children, filled with peace and confidence, children who lean on His strength?  Because when He changes hearts like ours into hearts like His, He receives praise and glory.  When we discover that we’re able to walk peacefully through conditions that formerly terrified us, our hearts will overflow with gratitude and thanksgiving–and that brings joy to God.  Only He can change hearts that are frequently overwhelmed by fear into hearts that are overshadowed by His power and bravery, and it’s His delight to do so.”

Do you need a heart change?  If so, God is ready to help you.  He wants to work in your life.

Do you fear God working in your life?  Do you fear the possibility of getting better?  Or, do you look forward to that day wholeheartedly?  In other words, are you ready for change now?

My prayer for you is that you will turn to God for your healing.  That you will trust that He is able to make you the person He created you to be.  He loves you and has a purpose for your existence. 

Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.    Psa 62:8 NASB

What a wonderful Heavenly Father we have.  He knows us through and through and can work with us to make us whole.  You can be an overcomer!

Read Full Post »

 

PIC006

Up to this point we have seen that Paul, in our example of someone who had the fear of crossing bridges, did not know what was happening to him and his problems kept getting worse.

We looked at two things he had to understand in order to be an overcomer of these fears.

1.  His fear was real.

2.  His fear was wrong and sinful.

Now we are going to look at some other points:

3. His fear was not of bridges; it was a fear that had become associated with bridges.

It is very important to understand this. He needed to recognize that the bridges did not cause his fear.  There is no reason to be afraid of bridges.  Kim, the person in our example that is afraid of cars, needs to recognize that the cars themselves are not her problem.  The car does not cause the fear.

My first panic attack occurred at work.  It was the most horrible experience I had ever had up to that point in my life.  I was terrified and thought for sure I would die. I was convinced it was my heart. But I didn’t die.  I went to the doctor and he said I’d most likely been overdoing it and to take a couple of days off and rest.  He also gave me some tranquilizers if I remember correctly.  I followed his instructions.  But, at the end of those days off I had to go back and face the same place where I had that traumatic experience.  As I think back that was a VERY stressful period in my life and it is no wonder my body said, “enough.”  Physically, I was out of shape.  I didn’t eat right or exercise.  I drank and smoked, and partied all I could.  I was emotionally upset a lot with relationships and work stress.  And, I was spiritually bankrupt, as I didn’t know Christ as Lord and Savior.  It is no wonder I had that first frightful panic attack.

A little time passed and I had another attack at work.  I didn’t know what I was having were panic attacks, I simply called them “spells.” I don’t think the doctors even knew what they were back then. I was completely in the dark. I went into a downward spiral.  I truly became afraid of my office.  I didn’t want to go and as I got more tired and stressed out I began to miss days, I showed up late, and tried to find peace in more drink.  It didn’t work.  Soon, I had a panic attack in the grocery store.  Another place to fear.

Next, it happened in the bank as I waited in line.  Lines became an issue with me. My point is my world became smaller and smaller.  I quit my job.  I fell out of society and stayed at home all I could.  I got other people to do the necessary things for me and I hid out in my “safe place.”  I had Agoraphobia. It didn’t have a life anymore, I only existed! I felt hopeless.  

I get many emails from people just like I was.  They feel hopeless and helpless.  They don’t know where to turn. Perhaps you can identify with me too. The good news is that I did become an overcomer and I believe you all can if you just realize what is going on and learn how to deal with it. 

4. Paul’s real fear was of the experiences.  (The cause of fear)

The bridges were not the cause of Paul’s fear.  The car is not the cause of Kim’s fear.  And, all those places: the store, my office, the bank, the post office, and so many more were not the cause of my fear.  Once I found that out, it did help me.  I was experiencing fear of fear.  I was afraid of those awful feelings I had experienced in those places.  It took me a long time to see that, but when I did it was a real eye-opener.

Fear of fear is dreading to go somewhere or do something because some time before when we went to that particular type of place or did that particular thing we had a bad experience and were terrified with the emotions and symptoms that flooded us. That was fear and we wanted to escape.  Now we fear having that same fear again so we avoid those situations.  That is fear of fear.  We are not afraid of the place really, but of the feelings of fear we got there.   

So, bridges, cars, the workplace, grocery stores, banks, the post office, or doctor’s office, don’t produce these experiences. I hope you can see this.  It is so important. We know logically that cars and bridges don’t produce panic attacks.  We know that. We’ve all been over many bridges and we’ve all been in many cars.  They are not the culprits. 

Romans 8:15 (NIV) “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

We don’t have to live as a slave to fear.  We can change. 

5. The key to becoming an overcomer.

It is our own thoughts that produce panic attacks.  We have had panic attacks, we produce them ourselves by the bad thought habits we have picked up, and that means that we can stop producing them by a change in our thought habits.  Isn’t that wonderful?  There is hope after all.

Psalm 34:4 (KJV) “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears”

God wants to deliver us from all our fears.  Isn’t that wonderful?  That is His will for us.

6. There is not some mysterious thing going on.

It is really very simple.  Our thoughts effect how we feel.  We think ahead about going to the store, riding in a car, or crossing a bridge and because we associate our former bad feelings with these things we blame them and think it will happen again.  But, in reality we are anticipating anxiety.  We are looking for it. We set ourselves up for it.

We develop or produce it by worry.  Our minds center on what we think might happen.  We get vivid mental pictures of what might happen when we cross the bridge, drive the car, and shop in a store.  These pictures take on the “what if,” scenarios. We worry about “what if,” I get shaky, “what if” I pass out, “what if” my heart beats too fast, and everything else we can imagine.  When we do this our bodies react as though these things were happening right then and releases adrenaline, which in turn brings about the symptoms we are so afraid of. Sometimes we say, “it just came over me, out of the blue.”  But, it didn’t just come over us out of the blue because we allowed our thoughts to get control and take advantage of us.  The answer is to work on the way we think. 

II Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 

It is possible for us to be in control of our thoughts.  If it weren’t God would not have said so. 

Dear God, I lift up those who are reading this now.  Lord help them to see that there is a way out of the bondage of fear.  Help them realize that you are the answer.  Lord, please set them free.  Your Word says you came to set the captive free, and I pray that for any here who are slaves to fear.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Thy will be done.  Amen.

Next time we will dig a bit further into this subject.  Stay tuned! 

Check out my blog at www.hatchcreek.wordpress.com

Read Full Post »

Morning Sunrise  

A New Day

When we become Christians we can aquire a renewed mind.  Just as dawn bursts   forth with a new day, we can have a mind that is at peace with the world.

Philippians 4:6 (NASB) Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

God doesn’t want us to be anxious about anything.  Our minds are precious to Him and he wants us be at peace.  He tells us not to worry but to pray. We can ask God for anything that is in His will.  He also, say that we must be thankful in our prayers.  We have much to be thankful for.  When we pray and give thanks and then petition God we will want what He thinks is best.  Then, we can leave the problem at His feet and rest in peace.

When we do He goes on to say: 

Philippians 4:7 (The Amplified Bible) “And God’s peace (be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace) which transcends all understanding, shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

Wow!  I think we’d better meditate on that for awhile, don’t you?  These verses are loaded with help and hope for us who are anxious and worry warts.

Wouldn’t you like to have that peace deep down in your soul?  We can be assured that we are saved through Christ and know that He is in control of all things.  We can learn to be content in whatever situation we are in.  This kind of peace can’t even be comprehended in our own finite minds.  This kind of peace will actually guard our thoughts when we are in Jesus Christ.

If we can attain to these scriptures, and we can by the power of the Holy Spirit, we will be living in peace with God and with ourselves.  Anxiety and fear will not have a grip on us anymore!

Then he goes on in verse 8 of Philippians  to tell us what we should think about instead of worrying and fretting.  I will quote this too from the Amplified version of the Bible, as it is so good.

“For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things—fix your minds on them.” 

When it says, “fix” you mind on them means to get a tight grip on them.  Hang on to them, don’t let them go.  They are actually a good prescription for our mental health. 

Do your thoughts line up with the above?  We have to examine our thoughts and practice to think God’s way in order to renew our minds. It always amazes me to contemplate the fact that God loves us so much that he even cares about what we think.  Isn’t that amazing?  I mean do we really care about what others think?  Or, if we did, do we have any way to know what someone else thinks?  I’d like to know what my husband thinks sometimes, but then again it is probably better that I don’t.

God tells us to “renew our minds.” 

Romans 12:2 (NASB) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

You see if you work on what you think about you will renew your mind.  And if you keep reading and studying the Word, you will renew your mind.  We all need a mind makeover.  We don’t need to worry and be anxious.  That is not a part of what God wants for us.

Philippians 4:9 (NASB) The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Paul says to practice what you have learned, received and heard and seen in Him.  He had taught them and was an example and role model for them.  And he says to model your way of living in it and then the God of peace—which is of untroubled, undisturbed well-being–will be with you. 

I think the key word in the above verse is “practice.”  You see it doesn’t happen automatically.  We must practice just as an athlete practices and trains for an event.  Practice what you think about and how you think and it will become a habit.  You will be truly blessed by God with peace that passes understanding.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: