Updated: Jul 19
Last year I learned something.
I learned that Satan and his minions whisper to us—spirit to spirit. That is how temptation happens. I also learned that Satan and his minions are very crafty and sometimes speak to us in the first person. For example, instead of whispering, "You are never going to get better" or "You are going to die," "You are addicted," "You're an idiot!" they whisper, "I am never going to get better," "I am going to die," "I'm an addict," or I'm an idiot!" We are tricked into thinking their whispered thoughts are actually our own.
That was eye-opening for me!
I realized I had been deceived. I believed a lie.
I have known for a long time that I have an enemy. God's Word has told me that my Adversary is like a roaring lion, seeking who he may devour. He is a lier and the father of lies. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He is unseen. I'm not fighting against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, unseen wickedness in high place. I even knew that the battle is taking place in my mind.
My enemy has been around for centuries. He and his army have known my family for generation upon generation. They have studied my grandparents and my parents, and they have been studying me since the day I was born.
I understood that the Adversary is allowed to "tempt" us away from God's principles for right living. I also knew that temptation comes in the form of thoughts. When we are tempted and choose to stray, it's called sin.
I've also known for a very long time that My God is more powerful than enemy that could confront me and that Jesus came to defeat him and to set us free.
And even though I knew all that truth, without realizing it I had still allowed the enemy free reign in my brain! I had become a captive—held hostage in my own mind through the thoughts I had allowed to run rampant through my mind. I fell victim to Fear and Anxiety. And it started affecting my health. I'd been duped!
Through the For My Life Retreat with the Be in Health Ministry in Thomston, GA, I learned some key truths that filled in some gaps in my understanding. And in the process, the Truth of God set me free!
My heart's desire is to see others living in freedom, peace, and joy—no matter what their circumstances may be. The key to that freedom is RIGHT BELIEVING. We can't control which thoughts the enemy whispers to our hearts, but we can control which thoughts we believe. "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." John 8:32
I've learned to question my thoughts.
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5
I've decided to cast down any thought in my mind that does not align with God's Word.
I have a choice.
I can reject thoughts and choose new ones.
IT TAKES A THOUGHT TO REPLACE A THOUGHT!
When my thoughts are in line with God's Word and I believe my heart that I am completely loved and righteous in God's eyes no matter what I do, my heart is at peace no matter what is going on around me. The truth sets me free.
I ask myself, "Who told you that?"
I remembered the story of Adam and Eve. After they had listened to the Serpent, believed a lie and chose to disobey, God called out to them in the garden. Adam said, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid." God said, "Who told you that you were naked?" WHO TOLD YOU THAT?
I understand that thoughts in my mind can come from three places:
From the enemy
I test my thoughts
Did that thought come from God, from myself, or from the enemy? Think about what you are thinking about!
- Did this thought come from God?
If so, there should not be a problem.
- Did this thought come from myself?
- I look at God’s Word to see what He says about my attitude or situation.
- If my thoughts are not in alignment with His Word, I repent and ask forgiveness for allowing my
thoughts to stray from the truth.
- I write down some scripture verses to remind myself what God has to say about it.
- I read the verses often. This is how I am transformed by the renewing of my mind. Romans 12:2
- Did this thought come from the enemy?
Ways to recognize the enemy:
Does it Accuse or Judge? Is it Critical or Unloving? Full of Pride? Self-pity? Bitterness?
Does it cause Guilt, Shame, Rejection, Envy, Fear, or Anxiety? Unforgiveness?
I've learned that often the voice of the enemy is nagging and hurried. The Spirit of the Lord is
persistent but calm and loving, never blaming.
Some keys to the enemy's tactics are thoughts with "what if this - what if that?" (Fear, Anxiety)
"shoulda, coulda, woulda-s" (Accusation)
The Enemy whispers to cause a breakdown in relationship between
You and God
You and Others
You and Yourself
I realized that I was far more gracious speaking to others than to myself! The blaming and
accusation in my own head toward myself was planted by the enemy and I bought into, hook,
line, and sinker!
What you can do to realign your thoughts:
- Look at God's Word to compare the two ways of thinking.
- Change your mind [repent] about allowing yourself to be influenced by the enemy’s thoughts.
- Accept God's forgiveness and refuse to allow condemnation to step in.
- Renounce and cast down the spirit behind your thought in the Name of Jesus.
- Determine to resist the enemy and realign yourself with God’s Truth.
- Bring your thoughts to the OBEDIENCE OF CHRIST. (His obedience at the cross on your
behalf) Think about the fact that because of His obedience you satnd loved and righteous
before God no matter what you have done.
[I used to think I was supposed to make my thoughts obedient TO Christ. That put all the
work on me and I failed. Often. Actually "obedient to Christ" or "obey Christ" was an
unfortunate mis-translation in the NIV and several others. In the Greek, 2 Corinthians 2:5 (and
translated in KJV, ASV, NKJV and others) says to bring my thoughts captive to the
obedience OF Christ. "Obedience OF Christ" is very different than "being obedient TO
Christ." While "TO Christ" focuses on my own work of obedience, "OF Christ" focuses on
HIS perfect work of obedience on the cross that set me free. This means that bringing my
thoughts into captivity to the truth of Christ's obedience at the cross on my behalf becomes a
powerful weapon to pull down strongholds in my life.]
- Write down some scripture verses to remind yourself what God has to say about the thought
you are fighting.
- Read them often to transform your mind. You can check out some of the
verses I used to retrain my brain to overcome Fear.
Learn more about a downward spiral of thinking that leads to fear, anxiety, depression: Thinking About Thinking - Part 1 [Followed by Parts 2 and 3]
For information on additional coaching tools, Thinking About Thinking workshops, or coaching, contact me.