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Re-Wallpapering Your Mind

Lesson 22
Isaiah 26:3 

 

Two weeks ago we saw that to sustain a steadfast mind is not always as easy as putting in a new tape – thinking differently. Sometimes to win the battle over our thoughts, we must wage war with truth. It is a battle to have victory over the lies we have believed. With a steadfast mind, holding onto the truth, we can have a mind captivated by truth – the truth of God’s Word and kingdom. Two weeks ago we identified the battle according to II Corinthians 10:3-5.

 

3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.

4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

5 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.

 

The battle is to destroy the strongholds we have established in our minds to protect us or to bring us comfort or to relieve stress. These strongholds are based on lies. Whatever is controlling our thinking can become a stronghold. In reference to these captivating thoughts which control our minds, Martin Luther said: “Birds may fly over my head, but I can prevent them from making a nest in my hair.” These thoughts, which nest in our head, end up imprisoning us, instead of setting us free. They are what Satan uses to lead us into certain behaviors. The strongholds are fortified by our reasoning and excuses and are exalted in our thinking. It’s what we focus on and think about “all the time.” Strongholds include things like un-forgiveness, bitterness, confusion, pride, anger, disbelief, distrust, insecurity, fear, suspicion, or self-indulgence.

 

Today, let’s learn how to overcome these strongholds.

 

We’ll concentrate on taking those thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ in order to demolish the strongholds that keep us in captivity. These principles are based on a teaching of Beth Moore’s in her study “Breaking Free.” Remember as we change our thinking, aligning it with the truth, with the mind of Christ, our emotions come along and subsequently our behavior changes.

 

We’re going to use the stronghold of un-forgiveness as an example today. Each of us have either been hurt by someone or will be in the future. Let’s see how we go from forgiveness to freedom.

 

Step 1: Recognize the Captor

Notice the picture includes the cross. It is significant to know that these strongholds are what a believer battles against. The imprisoned believer is held captive by controlling thoughts. Something has grown between the believer and Christ. As we look at this through the stronghold of un-forgiveness, we cannot deny that believers are held captive to un-forgiveness and its pain and its destructive patterns of thinking. If not held captive yet, those thoughts of un-forgiveness can begin to make a nest in your mind. How do we deal with them? The first step is not to deny them, but to acknowledge that they can or are becoming what you are focusing on. Un-forgiveness toward someone can make the other person so big in your life. The person is what you focus on, along with all the fleshly, unloving thoughts about them. You begin to bow to these thoughts. They hold you captive.

 

Step 2: Stand in Agreement with God

In the second step, you see the believer is standing. She is not yet free from the captivity, but she is no longer bowing to that which is holding her captive. The key to this step is I John 1:9: “If you we confess your sin, he (God) is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Confession means to agree with God about a specific matter. What does God say about un-forgiveness? Jesus, in the Lord’s Prayer, says your forgiveness is not an option, but is dependent on the degree you forgive others. To walk with a forgiving heart is essential to our life and freedom as a Christian. Beth Moore says, “Anything that cheats you of what God has for you could be considered sin.” Christ leads you to freedom through honesty and confession of sin. Are you willing? Or have you experienced this kind of freedom?

 

Step 3: Tear Down the Lies

When we confess our sin, we begin to have our eyes open to the lies we have believed and receive the strength we need to tear them down. In this step we need to tear down the lies that are wallpapering our minds and imprisoning us. Notice an important turning point - the prison door swings open. Satan is ultimately the author of these lies. He can’t inhabit you, but he can encourage these thoughts, ideas, or excuses. Satan lacks the power to keep us imprisoned. What are some of the lies we can believe as we hold high the stronghold of un-forgiveness?

        I can never forgiver her for…

        The hurt is too bad…

        I can’t forgive until she understands what she’ done to me…

        I need to be recompensed (paid back) for all the pain and injustice I have experienced, before forgiving her

        I am entitled to my hurt and anger and destructive behavior. (This attitude can be reinforce by others)

        I hate them – can’t stand to be with them…

 

The demolition of strongholds comes when we expose and tear down the lies that feed our strongholds.

 

Step 4: Put Up the Truth

 We can’t leave the walls of our mind bare. We must re-wallpaper them with the truth. The truth will set you free!

Notice in this illustration that the captive has escaped the prison and the cross is between the freed prisoner and their thoughts. Applying the truth to the matter is what brings the cross between the former captive and her thoughts.

 

The Word of God is like truth serum. The more you use it, the clearer your mind. Truth will transform your mind, renew your mind, and allow you to have the mind of Christ. How do you re-wallpaper your mind?

        Search the scriptures that speak the truth about the specific stronghold – use the concordance, seek others’ help.

        Write these on note cards – something you can take with you. Memorize them.

        Take them with you – the battle will be strong to keep you captive. Remember Jesus is your deliverer!

        Fill your mind with that which feeds the Spirit – Romans 8:6; “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” Attending bible Study, listening to Christian music, seeking Godly friendships and fellowship are some of the ways to feed your spirit and win the battle for freedom! The more we feed the Spirit of God within us and yield to His control, the more His presence will fill us with life and peace.

 

What is the truth you can use about forgiveness?

        Colossians 3:13, Ephesians 4:32:  “…forgive as Christ forgave you.”

        “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”

        “Entrust yourself to Him who judges justly.”  I Peter 2:23

        “…never return evil for evil…”   I Peter 3:9-11

        We receive forgiveness in the same way we give forgiveness to others. Matthew 6:12,14-15

        God is at work in you to will and to work according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13

 

Our thoughts are filled with truth.

 

Step 5: Our Thoughts Bow to the Truth

The captive has become the captor as she continually practices “taking every thought captive.” She has gone from un-forgiveness, to forgiveness, to freedom by believing, speaking, and applying the truth continually. There is no prison door!

 

Re-wallpapering your mind is hard wok, but the Lord not only gives you the weapons, but the enabling power to do it. His desire is for you to experience the freedom he intended you to have in relationship with Jesus Christ. Give God your full cooperation and time to renew your mind. You will be victorious and Satan will be defeated!

 

What thoughts have nested in your hair?

What are the truths you need to re-wallpaper your mind with?