THE CRUCIAL IMPORTANCE OF GUARDING OUR THOUGHTS

Jesus Did It!

By: Norm Rasmussen


Our thoughts are the world in which each of us live. God wants our world inside our mind to be filled with love, joy, peace, hope and faith in Him.

God wants us to understand the crucial importance of guarding our thought life, for if we don’t guard it, there is SOMEONE who is hell-bent on trying to manipulate us into thinking the way he wants us thinking. That person is Satan – God’s greatest enemy and our greatest enemy.

Most new Christians underestimate Satan and the demons that do his bidding. Demonic forces have been allowed by God to mightily influence our thinking whether we like it or not. The New Testament Bible tells us in so many ways the importance of guarding our thought life against demonic influences, and also tells us HOW to guard our thought life.

2 Corinthians 10:5 makes it very clear that God is trying to tell us the importance of guarding our thought life: … Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

Bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ is an ongoing maturing process. None of us master it all the time completely, but that certainly doesn’t mean we should just ignore the crucial importance of working at it every moment we are awake. Satan works non-stop to influence our thinking, so why shouldn’t we work non-stop to not let his tactics against us prosper?

There are three sources that provide our thoughts: 1) God; 2) Satan  3) Ourselves. God wants us to learn how to discern WHO is doing our thinking for us.

Understanding some of the most common ways Satan has at his disposal to manipulate our thoughts can greatly help us stop his attacks against our mind. Let’s list them:

1) Our failure to realize how important it is to know WHO God says we are in Christ. The following writing should be studied by every Christian who doesn’t KNOW the importance of realizing WHO God says they are in Christ: http://www.precious-testimonies.com/Exhortations/k-o/WhoIAm.htm

2) Our failure to realize that the Word of God is more powerful than anything Satan can throw at a Christian. God wants us immersed in His Word to understand Him and His ways, and to let His Word wisely applied counter the thoughts of Satan. God tells us in His Word:

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 KJV)

The help of God through the power of His Word helps us more clearly discern whether our thoughts are of God - of ourselves - or of Satan. Asking God to help us clearly examine our motives (intents)
before we follow through with our intentions is all a part of learning to walk in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit daily.

Many Christians have yet learned - or have grown dazed from discouragement - that the Word of God is God's WAR MANUAL for Christians. If Christians aren't doing anything to threaten Satan's plans on this planet, chances are good that these would be considered "Prisoner Of War Christians." 

3) Our failure to realize that our emotions and evil circumstances are the catalyst Satan is always trying to use against us to establish his thoughts in our mind.

Jesus warns us that when Satan lies, it is to be expected because it is completely consistent with his character; in other words, lying comes quite naturally to Satan. And not only is he a liar, he is also a murderer. Christians should understand this fact – the devil wants to bring death to you. He wants to murder your purity, he wants to kill your happiness, he wants to destroy your spiritual life, and he wants nothing more than your death. If you are a Christian, your death takes your influence out of this world. If you are not a Christian, your death delivers you into his evil hands. He will tell any lie, and make up any accusation, in order to kill you. (See: John 10:10)

Deception always wraps itself in the best “sheep’s wool” it can find. Otherwise it would have no chance of deceiving the sheep! Why do you think the Bible warns of “SEDUCING” spirits in the Last Days – and ‘LYING’ signs and wonders? If the deception was not so ‘seductive’ then nobody would fall for it. The sophistication of demonic deception is only going to grow more prolific:

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, (1 Timothy 4:1).

Jesus told us clearly that it was to be perhaps the most important component of Christianity Christians were to be vigilant in as the return of Jesus Christ draws nearer: "Take heed that no one deceives you." (Matthew 24:4). Jesus is speaking this to His disciples. He was speaking it to CHRISTIANS. You and I!

Satan has been allowed by God - until God brings it to a halt one day, which He WILL - to implement DOUBT and UNBELIEF about the true things of God on a scale that is nothing short of mind-boggling, if you ask me. Here are the more common lies Satan strives 24/7 to get children up to adults to begin believing because:

Satan has more ways to get us to believe his lies than the number of craters on the moon. The following list is just a few ways, naming some of his more common ways of trying to manipulate our thinking:

1) Through outright false bible teachers. Through semi-reputable bible teachers teaching false bible doctrine(s). Through Christians operating in demonic deception without realizing it. (Christians giving other struggling Christians false prophetic "words" is just one of several different ways this evil manifests. False manifestations of the Holy Spirit to try to convince participants that it's the real thing with the end result in trying to help shipwreck their relationship with Christ to various degrees).

2) Through the media and increasingly, the lies told to us by certain influential people in the government. 

3) Through friends and associates we trust, giving us advice.

4) Through those who teach our children and the resources they use to teach them with (remember - we adults were once children).

5) Through lack of understanding in how to study the Word of God wisely for ourselves.

6) Unfortunately, through medical workers and counselors we pay to try to help us get better. (I'm a believer that Christians need to be a lot more diligent than ever before in seeking GOD FIRST and acquiring His peace, or lack of it, before taking the advice of doctors these days as though it shouldn't be questioned.)

7) Through dreams and visions.

8) Through directly planting thoughts into our mind without discerning who or where it came from.     

One or more demons will NEVER try to manipulate you to begin praising Jesus Christ when you are angry, will they?
One or more demons will NEVER try to manipulate you to pray kind words for the person or situation that has angered you, will they?
One or more demons will NEVER try to manipulate you to be thankful to God for what you have instead of what you don’t have in your anger, will they?
One or more demons will NEVER try to manipulate you to have more faith in God and faith in His word when you are angry, will they?

Short term anger issues can trigger destructive rage in us like nothing else can. Longer term unresolved anger issues has been the root cause for what Satan has used to send more people to prison than any other reason. Unresolved buried anger issues triggers bitterness, resentful, gossip, slandering, rebellion against authority, revenge, intense temptations to commit suicide, opens doors for depression, can literally bring on all different forms of mental illness ... demonic oppression of all kinds. Dealing with anger quickly is the wisest thing a Christian can learn!

1) Our SEX DRIVE can be more useful to Satan than anger. Our desire for sexual pleasure often is linked with emotional pleasure (more so with females than males). God tries to warn us over and over in various ways in His Word that a person who does not continue to ask and trust God to help them keep their sex drive contained and their relationships with others harnessed by Holy Spirit controlled righteousness are headed for pain that God would like them to be freed from.

2) Our LONELINESS for intimate emotional gratification usually dovetails with our sex drive. Christians who fail to realize that Satan will use our loneliness to lead us into very unhealthy relationships with others can contribute to shipwrecking our relationship with God like little else can.

3) Our need for ACCEPTANCE and worse yet – UNCONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCE – is something every person longs for, and Satan will manipulate a person to do things that are beyond the comprehension of many who seek to be accepted.

Seriously – I’m completely convinced that God would LOVE to answer many of the prayers we pray to Him, but He doesn’t over this very issue: Our lust to control.

Pride may have been the spark that fueled Satan’s rebellion against God in the heavens, but Satan’s lust to NOT be controlled by God added powerful extra fuel to that growing flame.

Many people will risk a Judgment Day and hell simply because their lust to not be controlled is the very license and freedom it grants Satan to keep them spiritually deceived until they die.

God has created each of us to walk in GOD’S Holy Spirit guided power to assist in our walking in obedience to God’s desires – walking righteousness is saying it another way. Satan does everything he can to try to keep us from walking in the power that God will allow to flow through us for HIS righteous causes.

Each of us will be controlled by something. God wants us to be SELF-CONTROLLED by walking daily in harmony with the Holy Spirit. Satan wants us forgetting the wisdom of walking in daily harmony with the Holy Spirit, and Satan is relentless in trying to convince us into thinking we can do perfectly well running our lives WITHOUT anyone’s help … which ESPECIALLY includes the Holy Spirit.

God never forces us to be Holy Spirit assisted in our thought lives. We must always invite His help: Daily, hourly, minute by minute. Our sinful nature rebels against relying on the help of the Holy Spirit to help us do our thinking, which is why “walking in the Spirit” takes a TON of daily discipline and wisdom to stay engaged in, doesn’t it?

In sum total: Jesus told us that the "cares of this life" can give Satan a foothold in our life to one degree or another, and the wise Christian will seek God frequently to ask Him to reveal to them if the cares of this life have pried up a tiny crack in THEIR life, and then what to do about it to close that crack before Satan slips through it.  

The battleground is indeed in our mind – specifically our thought life. Satan will seduce our thought life if we let him. Left unaware and unguarded: He'll rape and plunder your mind and feed your bloody remains to the starving wolves. You don’t need to ask him to … he’ll voluntarily do it whether you ask him to or not! Satan desires to make you and I his slave. His slave to unrighteousness. His evil experiment -- his evil conquest – one more person to put in his little black book of conquests (victims) to give him sadistic pleasure. As joy and peace love company … so does evil.

Be wise dear reader. Don’t allow Satan to yank you around like a helpless puppet in this life by manipulating your thought life (which then motivates you to ACT and REACT). God has given you every weapon you need in His Word to keep Satan at bay. Just never underestimate Satan’s relentless desire to find a way to enter into your house in trying to keep him at bay. Satan never tires. But more importantly, neither does God.

Walking in the Spirit is our greatest weapon against our self-willed carnal nature (flesh) and the attacks of Satan against us. Walking in the Spirit helps us realize when our own flesh is tempting us and when Satan is tempting us, and THEN how to refuse to give in to our fleshly temptations and/or Satan’s temptation(s).

Walking in the Spirit helps us be more vigilant in discerning Satan’s attacks against us in every way, and then asking and trusting the Holy Spirit to give us our best course of action in blocking Satan’s advance.

Walking in the Spirit may seem so difficult at times when we are in one or more fiery trials we find ourselves having to deal with … but digging in with the Holy Spirit to help us deal with our trials is what God desires every Christian seek to excel in.

Go forth, mighty man or woman of God. Seek to EXCELL in your walk with the Holy Spirit when Satan is raking you through the coals. Learn what God wants you to learn from your trials. There is usually something very, very important God wants us to learn from our trials that we can’t learn otherwise. God doesn’t want us wasting our fiery trials. Satan does - - God DOESN’T.

If Jesus learned obedience through the fiery trials He suffered, which (Hebrews 5:8) says He did (Yes - suffering qualified Him to be the PERFECT high priest for mankind to atone for our sins - and through that qualifying process I’m guessing He learned greater wisdom and perhaps determination in how to resist temptations to sin, because He was going to need the ability to resist going to the cross unlike anything any of us could ever possibly imagine if we were in His shoes in the Garden of Gethsemane, sweating drops of blood because Satan’s temptation to say “No!” to the cross was so intense) … that is our clue that God wants you and I learning important things from our fiery trials as well. Sometimes it’s greater obedience we are to learn. Sometimes it’s wisdom. Sometimes it’s simply the understanding that this world is Satan’s domain to try to make our life a living hell until we get to heaven. Let’s not make it any easier for him, what do you say? Don’t let him manipulate your thoughts. Let them be guarded and guided by the very One who gave you a mind to think: His name is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He lives inside of you. The Bible says He does. We must always keep our faith activated and protected in realizing that we are really without excuse in letting Satan (from without) having more control over our thoughts than God desires to who not only resides in heaven … yet fully resides inside those who have turned their lives over to Jesus Christ:

For the dedicated Christian: Greater is the Holy Spirit who is inside you, than he (Satan’s power) who is in the world. (Paraphrased - See: 1 John 4:4)


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JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!    JESUS DID IT!

 

JESUS DID IT!  - or -  JESUS DID IT!

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THE CRUCIAL IMPORTANCE OF GUARDING OUR THOUGHTS