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Who Is Hindering Us From Obeying The Truth? 5

Who Is Hindering Us From Obeying The Truth?  Part 5
9-Ways To Win The War
Thinking Properly

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)

We are looking at a devotional series titled, Who Is Hindering Us From Obeying The Truth?  In the first two parts of this series, we looked at how we can be hindered when Satan tempts us into believing our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is not enough to be saved. And we looked at how we can be hindered when the enemy deceives us through distractions and diversions.  It's those times when the enemy can get us to take our eyes off of God, and put them on something else--things distracting us, taking our time, and causing strongholds in our Christian walk.

We are now looking at 9-ways to win this war against Satan's temptations, distractions, and strongholds in our lives. The first four things were:

1.    We need to make Jesus our Lord (Lk. 6:46; Rom. 6:5-14).
2.    We need to Repent (Turn around) (Acts 2:38)
3.    We need to "stand fast" in the Power of God! (Zech. 4:6; Eph. 6:10; James 4:7)
4.    We need to Get Dressed For Battle--Put on our Spiritual armor. (Eph 6:12-18)

Let's take a look at the 5th thing we must do to win this war on temptations, distractions, and strongholds:

5.    We need to "Think Properly!" (2 Cor 10:5)

Simply put, our thought life is going to determine every one of our actions.  When we think on something long enough, it will affect our actions to some extent.  Think of how certain people may have offended you in the past.  When you think about their actions, and offenses, chances are you will be inclined to feel something--the deeper the hurt and offense, the deeper the emotion when thought upon.  If thought upon long enough, chances are your emotions spiked, your anger may have aroused, and you might have even commented on this person to someone else by sharing how you were hurt, or speaking negatively against them.  

Satan cannot read our minds, but he can shoot out fiery arrows (Eph 6:16) in the form of evil thoughts into our mind.  When these thoughts hit our mind, we need to recognize them for what they really are--temptation.  We must take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ!  We need to get rid of any thought going through our brain that does not line up with God's Word.

So, if we are to use the same analogy of thinking about someone who has offended us in our past, we must now process our thoughts accordingly when the enemy tries to bring up the past offense in an attempt to stoke the coals of resentment, bitterness, anger or revenge.  We need to remember we have forgiven them of this offense.  If we have not, we need to stop right there and forgive them.  Once someone has been forgiven, it is over.  It is as if they have not sinned against you at all.  

Q:    So why would we be thinking about something that has not happened?

A:    The answer is we shouldn't.  We forgive, we forget!  This is what it means to be imitators of God. (See Eph 5:1, and Heb. 8:12)

Here me in this, we CANNOT do what God has asked us to do consistently in our own strength--we need to seek Him, and the strength and power of the Holy Spirit (See Eph 5:18).  God will give us the ability to do everything He has asked.  He has given us mighty weapons to fight against any of the enemy's schemes--weapons such as His Word, prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit.  We need to pick those weapons up, learn how to use them, and then use them.  When we use our thoughts properly, we will harness the strength of these mighty weapons, and we will withstand the temptations, distractions, and remove any strongholds in our life.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NKJV)

Hey Christian, I want to encourage you today to pay attention to what you are thinking upon.  

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about our thought life according to the Scriptures contained within this devotional?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you taking your thoughts captive, or are you allowing them to dictate your actions?

APPLICATION: Only think upon those thoughts you know to be good.  If you find yourself thinking upon things contrary to what God has asked you to think upon, then get rid of those thoughts right away.  Replace those thoughts with something good.

Father, Thank You for giving me the ability to know what is good and bad.  Help me to sift through the thoughts going through my head, and to get rid of anything I shouldn't be thinking upon.  Help me to be disciplined in this area.  In Jesus precious name, amen...

Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000