The Believer's Authority Part 13
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It's either life or death, one or the other. What are you listening to? What are you saying?
But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Every word you speak and every word you hear are either producing life or death. Everything you listen to on radio, television, or movies is ministering either life or death. If you disagree with these truths from G.o.d's Word, you're deceived.
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
1 CORINTHIANS 15:33.
I'm not suggesting that you move into a monastery and take a vow of silence. I'm encouraging you to recognize life and death, and to exercise more self-control in what you're choosing. Every television and radio I've ever seen had an On/Off k.n.o.b and multiple stations to choose from. You don't have to sit in front of the set and just pa.s.sively take whatever is offered to you. Choose wisely.
I have to deal with this the same as anybody else. There have been times when I've had nothing specific to do. I've wanted to kick back and relax a bit, so I've turned on the television. I've flipped through the channels and nothing was on-what's new?-but I ended up watching something just for the sake of watching it, not realizing that it was pouring junk in me.
You need to recognize that Satan is fighting you with negative words. You can't change the fact that every word you hear is either releasing death or life, but you can change whether you listen to it or not. You don't have to swallow it and believe it. You can get to where you're constantly listening to words that minister life, but the choice is up to you.
RENEW YOUR MIND.
Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of G.o.d, and of Jesus our Lord.
2 PETER 1:2.
It's through the knowledge of G.o.d that grace and peace are multiplied unto us. Satan knows this, which is why he battles us in our mind.
Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Metamorphoo is the Greek word rendered "transformed." It's where we get the English word "metamorphosis." If you want to change from being something creepy, crawly, and earthbound into something beautiful that can fly, then you need to renew your mind.
Many people are trying to take a shortcut. They keep their mind in the gutter, listening to all the things of the world. They allow the sewage of this world to flow through them, but they want the results that G.o.d produces. They think, If I just pray and ask, I can receive. There's more to it than just praying and believing. You must also cooperate with G.o.d's spiritual laws. G.o.d operates through us when we get our heart and mind stayed upon Him. However, Satan hinders G.o.d through our thoughts.
To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
If you want to experience life and peace, then you need to become spiritually minded. Jesus said: The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Being spiritually minded is being Word-minded. It's thinking on what G.o.d has to say about your situation instead of what the world has to say. If you are Word-minded, you'll have life and peace. Grace and peace will be multiplied to you as you continually think on the knowledge of G.o.d. You can't think negatively-adopting the mindset of the world-and then experience the life, grace, and peace of G.o.d. It doesn't work that way.
I get nearly all of my news off the little three-minute news bites on the radio. I hardly watch any television. I figure if something is really that important, it'll make the radio news bites. I've come to the place where I can pretty much handle three minutes of anything negative that the world has to say. But even in those three little minutes, so much of what they say is based on fear, doubt, and unbelief. If you swallow all of that, you'll be in turmoil. But if you listen to and go by the Word of G.o.d, you'll have life, grace, and peace.
Through G.o.d's Word, I know I'm protected.
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.
Notice that you aren't automatically protected. This verse says that you have to condemn the words that come against you. If you just pa.s.sively sit there and let these unG.o.dly things be spoken, then they will impact you. (1 Cor. 15:33.) But when you hear something contrary to G.o.d's Word, if you will condemn it-recognize it as being wrong and counter it with the truth of the Word-then it becomes powerless.
My wife will tell you that there are many times when I talk back to the television and radio. We'll be listening to the news, and they'll say, "It's flu season." I'll declare, "There is no season where the Word of G.o.d doesn't work. By His stripes, I have been healed. I'm not getting the flu!" This is what it means to condemn the words that come against us. Even if many people around me are affected, I'll be safe and sound.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
In addition to protection, G.o.d's Word promises prosperity, healing, and deliverance. If you will keep your mind fixed on G.o.d, these promises will work for you. Remind yourself of how G.o.d protected, prospered, healed, and delivered other people in the Word. Keep those thoughts in the forefront of your thinking, and you'll have peace. But if you allow your mind to go the way the world is thinking-fear, doubt, and unbelief- you'll have all those things instead. It really is this simple.
THE ANTIDOTE TO ANY PROBLEM.
Grace and peace come through the way you think. Think properly, and you'll have grace, joy, life, and peace. These don't come by prayer, but through the knowledge of G.o.d.
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and G.o.dliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.
2 PETER 1:3.
All things that pertain to life and G.o.dliness come through the knowledge of G.o.d. It's not "some things" or "a few things," but "all things." This means that if you are sick in your body, you have a knowledge problem. If you're poor, you have a knowledge problem. If you're depressed, you have a knowledge problem. The antidote to any problem is the knowledge of G.o.d.
Most people don't believe that. They think that if you have an emotional problem, you go take a pill for it. "This problem has nothing to do with me and my choices. I don't have any responsibility whatsoever. It's just the way my hormones are- my chemistry. It's what so-and-so did to me." All of these excuses are wrong in light of G.o.d's Word. You need to accept responsibility, go to the Bible, and start thinking according to the Word. (Isa. 26:3.) The key is how you think.
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through l.u.s.t.
2 PETER 1:4.
Through the knowledge of G.o.d, we are given exceedingly great and precious promises. The Word of G.o.d is the knowledge of G.o.d. It's G.o.d's thoughts. These promises are the knowledge of G.o.d. We become partakers of G.o.d's divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through l.u.s.t by the knowledge of G.o.d-not through begging for it in prayer or pleading for G.o.d to move. You must get your thinking straightened out. (Prov. 23:7.) WHAT IS YOUR MIND FULL OF?.
You can't be tempted with something you don't think.
Truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
This scripture is talking about Abraham and Sarah. They used to live in Ur of the Chaldees, which was in the area of Babylon. G.o.d told them to leave there and come over into the land we now call Israel. (Gen. 12:1.) He told them that someday they would inherit that land. Abraham actually entered into the Promised Land when he was about seventy-five years old. He lived to be 175 (Gen. 25:7), and never did inherit that promise in his lifetime. He bought a parcel of that land just to be able to bury his wife (Gen. 23:15-19), but it was generations later when the Israelites actually came in and possessed the land.
How did Abraham remain faithful to G.o.d's promise-His word to him-for all those years? Hebrews 11:15 says that if they had been mindful-thinking-of the country they came out of they might have had opportunity to have returned. For them, an opportunity to go back to Ur of the Chaldees would have been a temptation to sin. It would have been rebellion against G.o.d for them to have returned to their homeland. Their opportunity to sin-temptation- was linked to what they thought.
If you think on things that provide you with temptation, then an opportunity to sin will come. But if you refuse to think on things that gender temptation, you won't be tempted. That's good news! Another way of saying this is: You can't be tempted with what you don't think.
Our culture has convinced us that we need to be "informed" about all of the junk, rottenness, and perversion going on out in the world. G.o.d's Word teaches us otherwise.
I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. ROMANS 16:19 We are to be simple-ignorant-of evil. The Lord doesn't want us to be well versed in these things. The original temptation Adam and Eve fell for was the desire to know more-to know good and evil. G.o.d had already given them all the knowledge they needed. Everything He told them was good. G.o.d doesn't want us to know evil.
Yet, today we feel like we need to know all kinds of evil-what everyone else is doing. By doing so, you open yourself up to temptation. You can't be tempted by what you don't think. We need to win the battle for our mind. We need to quit exposing ourselves to all of the junk that Satan is offering through this world, and get to where all we do is think on G.o.d's Word. If the Word of G.o.d is all we meditate on, then G.o.d's Word is all we'll be tempted with. That's the way it works.
NAIVE IN NEW YORK.
I'm a living example of this truth in action. I was raised in a Christian home and just believed what I was told. I don't remember hearing much about adultery, fornication, or s.e.xual immorality except that they were wrong, so I never really thought about it.
When I was eighteen years old, my mother took me to a Billy Graham youth event in Bern, Switzerland. Since we were traveling as part of a group, I stayed with a bunch of guys while Mom was with the other women. Our first stop was New York City. I was plucked out of my controlled environment and planted downtown in a very unG.o.dly city. I was exposed to things I had never seen or heard of before. I didn't even know they existed. Because I was naive, I wasn't tempted.
I remember walking around 42nd and Broadway, where there was a tremendous amount of prost.i.tution. There must have been about a hundred women lined up along a wall there that night. I didn't have a clue. It never even dawned on me. I never even wondered why they were there. I just thought, What a great opportunity to witness! So I took some tracts out and went down the row pa.s.sing them out and witnessing to each of these prost.i.tutes. I didn't know what they were or why they were standing there, so I wasn't tempted. There I was out on the streets of downtown New York City at two in the morning witnessing to people. I'd never seen that many folks in my life. As a little country boy from Texas, I was pretty shocked.
While out there, a pimp tried to sell me one of his girls. He came up to me and started speaking in street language. I didn't know what he was talking about. n.o.body I knew talked that way. This guy tried to sell me for ten minutes, but I didn't understand what he was trying to communicate. Finally, he just looked at me, turned around, threw up his hands, and walked off shaking his head. He was probably wondering, What rock did this hick crawl out from under?
Back at the hotel, I told my roommates some of the things this guy had said. They had to explain to me that he was a pimp trying to sell me a prost.i.tute. I was so naive, I didn't even know what he was talking about. I hadn't thought that way before. I wasn't aware of the terminology. Therefore, I wasn't tempted.
YOU CAN WIN.
Are you someone who has to fight temptation tooth and nail? Are you holding on with white knuckles, yet you can't understand why it's so hard to live for G.o.d? If so, most likely the reason is that you allow so much junk to be planted in you. You're trying to rebuke l.u.s.t, s.e.xual addiction, and p.o.r.nography by doing "spiritual warfare" against these demons, yet you're sitting there listening to and watching this garbage every day on television, which encourages sin.
Much of today's television programs will expose you to more s.e.x-related subject matter in an hour's time than your great-grandparents saw their entire lifetime. Even if you find a decent show, usually the commercials will kill you. The average magazine and newspaper isn't much better. They show all degrees of nudity and s.e.xual content. The media bombards us with it on all sides.
The sad thing is that most Christians allow this stuff into their home. They expose their children to it (through television and other medium), and then wonder why they're having problems. They're doing "spiritual warfare" and "intercession" so that their kids will grow up to be G.o.dly people, but then they just allow Satan to deposit his perversion and unbelief in them. The devil loves it when parents use the television as a babysitter so they don't have to pay any attention to their kids.
We've allowed things into our lives and then wondered, Why am I so tempted? Why is the Christian life so hard to live? It's hard because Satan comes at us through the way we think. He can do nothing to you without your consent and cooperation. We need to start being selective about what we let into our eyes, ears, and hearts.
Your life will go in the direction of your dominant thoughts. Don't let the junk of this world fill your mind. Set your heart to seek the Lord and meditate on His Word. The battle truly is in your mind. You can win this fight, but you must fight to win!
Now that you realize the spiritual dynamics behind what's happening in the physical realm, you recognize that we're truly in a spiritual battle! You understand the spiritual significance of your choices, words, and actions. And you recognize that the battlefield is in your mind. Whom you yield to-G.o.d or Satan- is whom you empower to work in and through your life. (Rom. 6:16.) Therefore, submit to G.o.d, resist the devil-and he will flee from you! (James 4:7.) I pray this new found awareness will motivate you to meditate daily on the truths of G.o.d's Word. Let them penetrate your heart and renew your mind. Then you'll find yourself thinking G.o.d's thoughts, speaking His Word, and acting in faith. You'll discover more of G.o.d's laws and how to cooperate with them. And as you take responsibility to exercise your G.o.d-given authority, you'll enjoy more and more of the abundant life Jesus died and resurrected to provide.
Receive Jesus As Your Savior Choosing to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is the most important decision you'll ever make!
G.o.d's Word promises, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that G.o.d hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved" (Rom. 10:9-10,13). By His grace, G.o.d has already done everything to provide salvation. Your part is simply to believe and receive.
PRAY OUT LOUD.
Jesus, I confess that You are my Lord and Savior. I believe in my heart that G.o.d raised You from the dead. By faith in Your Word, I receive salvation now. Thank You for saving me!
The very moment you commit your life to Jesus Christ, the truth of His Word instantly comes to pa.s.s in your spirit. Now that you're born again, there's a brand-new you!
Receive The Holy Spirit As His child, your loving heavenly Father wants to give you the supernatural power you need to live this new life.
For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened... If ye...know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
All you have to do is ask, believe, and receive!
PRAY OUT LOUD.
Father, I recognize my need for Your power to live this new life. Please fill me with Your Holy Spirit. By faith, I receive it right now! Thank You for baptizing me. Holy Spirit, You are welcome in my life.
Congratulations! Now you're filled with G.o.d's supernatural power. Some syllables from a language you don't recognize will rise up from your heart to your mouth. (See 1 Cor. 14:14.) As you speak them out loud by faith, you're releasing G.o.d's power from within and building yourself up in the Spirit. (See v. 4.) You can do this whenever and wherever you like.
It doesn't really matter whether you felt anything or not when you prayed to receive the Lord and His Spirit. If you believed in your heart that you received, then G.o.d's Word promises you did. "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them" (Mark 11:24). G.o.d always honors His Word; believe it!
Please contact me and let me know that you've prayed to receive Jesus as your Savior or to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I would like to rejoice with you and help you understand more fully what has taken place in your life. I'll send you a free gift that will help you understand and grow in your new relations.h.i.+p with the Lord. Welcome to your new life!
The Believer's Authority Part 13
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