How the Devil Sets Up Strongholds in our Minds
There are times in all our lives when we listen to what we think are our own thoughts and emotions, and since that is the way we've been accustomed to living, and that is what we have always depennded on ot get us through this life, it doesn't feel like there is anything wrong with that. Most the time, there isn't--that is, in our every day normal activities. But, there comes a time when we are trying our best to live for the Lord, and when we know without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord has called us, then ourthoughts and our emotions get all jumbles up and we can't seem to thing straight about anything. We can't figure out anything for ourselves and we don't have the desire to do anything. The Bible tells us that the devil is the author of confusion. He is also a liar, and he is very convincing. He will come at you in so many ways and so many areas that his is the only voice that you can hear, and he begins to set up strongholds in your mind. Next thing you know you are totally convinced that you are worthless, no one wants to be around you, God can't use you because you are a nothing, a nobody, and just who do you think you are anyway? Remember when you . . . .? Don't you think that they all know that you used to. . .. . ?You won't ever be anything, least of all for God!!!! He can't use you. These are all lies from the pits of hell and the devil will have you believing them if you allow him to. He has set himself up higher than you, and have you feeling just about as low as you can get. Then, before you know it, he has you oppressed, and you have such low-esteem you are totally convinced he is right, and with very little effort, he will cause you to be depressed. And to make it more effective, he will say "look at your record--look at your history." Why should you look at the past? Once you have been saved and your sins are covered by the blood of Jesus, God cannot see them and they are tossed into the sea of forgetfulness--Satan is the accuser of the brethren--he uses your thought processes in the mind to get at you and pull you down. We preach and teach about Spiritual Warfare, and some people simply hate it when we do. The "get so sick and tired of hearing abou all those spirits." Well, let me tell you something, every time you identify with your so-called shortcomings, and you enter into oppression, or depression, or regression, or suppression, you are entering into a battle called Spiritual Warfare because that is exactly where all those feelings are coming from---the spiritual realm!!! In Ephesians 6:12, it says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalaities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, agains spiritual wickedness in high places!!!! Folks, the spiritual realm affects us, each of us, living today in the flesh!!! Whatever happens in the flesh happens in the spiritual realm first. There IS a force that is at work against each and every one of us. You cannot see the air--you cannot see the wind--but you feel the effects, and see the damage that the wind does in a storm. That is the way the spiritual realm works--you cannot see the spirits that are at work around us, but we can see the damage and destruction that is done in our lives because of them. Most people choose not "to go there" because it is easier to explain things away in the natural and it doesn't take near as much effort on our part to accept it and deal with it. What we don't realize is that the enemy is at work at all times, working against us, and using whatever he can to interrupt us, tear us up, wreak havoc in our lives, in our marriages, in our families, in our finances--in any way that he can. Jesus said in John 10:10 that the "thief cometh NOT but to steal, kill, and destroy" and that is just what he does. Satan comes in--the Bible says that he even appears an an "angel of light" and he is so convincing. He is cunning, and subtle, and sometimes, we cannot even recognize what is going on because we choose either to not pay any attention, or we have on "spiritual blinders". Believe me, more times than not, people have on their "spiritual blinders". They are a lot of times deceived, and they think that everything is going pretty good, but in all actuality, the devil is just leaving them alone because basically, he has them where he wants them. However, when he (the devil) sees there is a great potential with a person, he will go after that person in a big way, and place stumbling blocks, and mountains in front of that person to try to prevent that person from doing a great work for God. Sometimes, people get it backwards--they think that when a person is having a hard time, is because that person is sinning and God is punishing them. Not so!!! If a person is living a righteous life and walking close to the Lord, the devil will fight harder to interrupt that person's walk with God. We need to remember that when we walk with God and in the Spirit, it is really hard for the devil to interrupt us, as we are much stronger. The Bible tells us that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. It is time that we take our rightful place in our walk with God, and tell the devil to get out!! Tell him to get out of your face, to get out of the way, because you are coming through and nothing he has can stop you! Jesus said that if we have the faith of a mustard seed, we can say to our mountains "be thou removed, and it will move" He goes further in the same Scripture and says that nothing shall be impossible to us. If you have a Ministry, God says that you will have a harvest--don't be listening to all those other voices that come at you. Lift up your Sword--put on the full armor of God, and God will bring you the victory. Also, remember that the storm that you are going through is always proportionate to the victory that you are about to receive!! If you are going through something that seems too big to conquer, just remember that something great is about to happen, and the devil is trying to stop it. Just remember that there is a promotion on the way. (Spiritually speaking) God never said that is is going to be easy, He never said that everything would be smooth, He never said that there wouldn't be times that you wouldn't want to quit, but He said that "I will make a way where there seems to be no way". He HAS to do it--His Word says He will. It is where your faith level is that determines the outcome!! Be faithful in your walk, and be strong in the Lord. Be consistent!! God says that He needs consistency in all that we do. We need to be consistent with our prayer life, we need to be consistent in our studying the Word, we need to be consistent with our tithing, we need to be consistent in our attendance in church, and we need to be consistent in our loyalty to our church and church family. Hold fast to your faith, never wavering, and don't be persuaded by some one's belief because it just sounds good. Look up the Word--study it out--decide for yourself!!! Read Proverbs 16:25--It says, "There is a way that seemeth right to man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.' Now, there is someone tonight that is needing to hear that God is wanting consistency in your life. I have had a terrible time trying to get this message posted, as the devil has tried every way in which to stop it, so that tells me that some of you need to hear this. If you are lacking in any area of your Christian walk, it is time that you get it taken care of, and to BEGIN AGAIN and get consistent in all that you do for Him. Not only should we talk the talk, but we all have to walk it, and that is on a a 24/7 basis. Some of you say that you can't seem to be able to study anymore because you don't have time---Really???You find time to do the things that you really WANT to do. There are days that I have to let other things go because I know that God is needing my time, and He said in Matt. 6:33, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these other things will be added unto you. If you find your self in a place where you can't see through the haze, or you can't find the light for the darkness, or there is total confusion, or chaos in your mind or your life, it is time to say "enough". Satan, you have had far too much of omy time and my life--I am going on for God!!!! You have to remember NOT to identify with your circumstances, not to identify with all the things that the devil would have you to believe about yourself. It is absolutely unbelievable how the devil can torment our minds, and how easily he does it, but what is worse is how much trouble it is sometimes to be released from that torment. If we focus on or ideintify with the bad things that the devil tells us and cuases us to believe, it brings more and more and more thing in and sets up housekeeping, and it takes a strong deliverance session to get rid of all of them. It is time to get on our knees and say "God use me--I want all that you have for me, and it is my desire to be all that I can be for you. I can't do this on my own, but I know that with you all things are possible" Tell the devil to move over, get out, and stay out because you are coming through and nothing is going to stop you. Be determined within yourself and get a resolve in you that "greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." Your victory is on the way. Don't let the devil steal it from you!