Proverbs 23:7 tells us, "for as he thinks in his heart so is he." The word thinks here indicates whatever we believe about ourselves, we are. The truth is, what we think on is what we believe and, in time, what we become.
Our thought lives are the pioneers that lead to what will play out in our lives personally, emotionally, spiritually, and will even influence how we step into God's plan for our lives. However, circumstances have the opportunity to greatly affect what we believe about ourselves. Not to mention, we have an enemy who will take advantage of negative circumstances to speak lies, which become strongholds.
A stronghold of the mind is a lie that Satan establishes in our thinking. It is a statement that we count as true but that is false. Jesus said we have an evil, deceptive, lying enemy: "There is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies" (John 8:44).
One of Satan's tactics is mental warfare. Over time, he causes a battle to rage in our mind that keeps us feeling accused and intimidated. It is no mistake that he is called the "accuser of the brethren" (see Rev. 12:10). He uses false guilt and tormenting thoughts to remind us of our past failures, or he speaks lies against us trying to cripple our Christian walk. He will invade our thought life, causing us to embrace wrong thinking, bad attitudes and emotional scars.
John 8:32 teaches us, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." God desires that we walk in victory. It is not just truth that sets us free but knowing the truth that sets us free. When we know the truth and understand we can live delivered from unhealthy emotions and victorious over wrong thinking, we are empowered to partner with the Lord and claim victory.
We can become independent from the lies of darkness. We can learn to control our thoughts, to think on good things, on the goodness of God, and His Word. We can praise and exalt the Lord, disarm the enemy and find life-changing freedom. The following are a few action steps to take.
Receiving the Father's Love. Many surrender a victorious life because they are unable to relate to the Father's heart of love. God created each of us because He has a Father's heart. He wants sons and daughters to relate to. He loves every one of us with a never ending love greater than we can even fathom.
Identifying sin, repenting and changing. To defeat strongholds, we have to lay down the old self, strip off sinful nature, disarm sinful desires and embrace the new nature of Christlikeness.
Filled with His Spirit. We welcome the Holy Spirit into our prayer lives and invite Him to be a part of our daily lives. He is made available to guide and fill us with His overcoming love and presence. His welcomed activity brings power, peace, love, truth, holy thoughts and freedom.
Living a life of forgiveness. The price Jesus paid on the cross to bring us forgiveness is part of our kingdom identity. Once Jesus is alive in us and breathes His Spirit into us, the same ability He had to be able to forgive is living in us and made available to us. If we choose to step into that beautiful gift of forgiveness, God will give us the grace to forgive.
Stay in the Word. Hebrews 4:12 states that the word of God is full of power. The Word of God reaches down into all of our parts and functions and issues verdicts on what is uncovered within us. It penetrates to the innermost secrets and motives of our hearts. It has the power to revolutionize our thinking and transform our lives.
Worship God! Spending time worshipping the Lord is paramount and causes us to rise above our circumstances and enter into God's glorious light and presence. Rushing into His presence and begging for peace of mind will never produce results. It is in the intimate place of worship that we are able to quiet our souls and receive from the Lord. This gives us the strength to press forward in peace and assurance of freedom.
Don't entertain the lies. When the enemy attempts to invade our thoughts and speaks his lies, we must choose not to listen and entertain them. Choose to refuse him entrance!
Rebecca Greenwood is cofounder and president of Christian Harvest International. She is an internationally known speaker, who has appeared on TBN and Daystar, and has contributed to articles on prayer for Charisma, Pray!, and SpiritLed Woman. Rebecca is a core faculty member of the Wagner Leadership Institute under C. Peter and Doris Wagner. She lives with her husband and daughters in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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