Do you ever find yourself thinking thoughts you know aren’t true, but you feel like they’re true, or you feel like you can’t help yourself? You can make better use of those feelings. Chronic worrier? Terrible self-esteem? Secretly judgemental? Trapped in sexual sin? You don’t have to live that way. Jesus only said what he heard the Father say (John 12:49). Jesus only did what he saw the Father do (John 5:19). You and I be like Jesus. We need to know: How do you take captive every thought? How do you tear down the strongholds? How do you demolish arguments? Learn how and why you can in this message by Trevor Lund
Kingdom Way is our Church in Edmonton Alberta Canada. We love God, Love People and Make Disciples. http://KingdomWay.ca #kingdomway
Do you ever find yourself thinking thoughts you know aren’t true, but you feel like they’re true, or you feel like you can’t help yourself?
You can make better use of those feelings.
Chronic worrier? Terrible self-esteem? Secretly judgemental? Trapped in sexual sin?
You don’t have to live that way.
Jesus only said what he heard the Father say (John 12:49). Jesus only did what he saw the Father do (John 5:19).
You and I be like Jesus.
Don’t think you can?
Introduce the “I can’t challenge”
Move a letter
Remove a letter
Add a word and
Move a letter …. “can’t I…”
Move the “I” from the front to the back. Take the focus off of you. Maybe moving a letter is all you need but it’s hard to add a question mark and not lose the rhythm of the challenge. “Move a letter, add a question mark and wait.” There’s no rhythm to help you remember. Life is easier with rhythms.
Remove a letter…
You know what letter we’ll remove. Take the apostrophe with it. Here’s an image to remind you of the theology behind it.
Again, there’s no question mark and the focus is still too much on me answering any question that may be implied. So that’s why I suggest you add an interrogative.
Add a word “How can I…”
Now understand, this is not a question you have to answer yourself. You’re a child of the most High God. You were created to walk with God in the garden in the cool of the day. That’s why at this point I encourage you to wait.
Pause to listen to the Father.
You might get an answer that’s smarter than you are. You may get peace that passes understanding. You might get a question back “Did I tell you to do that?” You might get release “you don’t have to do that”.
Jesus only said what he heard the Father say (John 12:49). He only did what He saw his Father do (John 5:19). He left us an example we should follow in his steps.
Why is this important?
Because we’re talking about thoughts we need to capture, strongholds we need to tear down and arguments and pretensions we need to destroy.
Let’s understand what each are.
Paul describes it this way…
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 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. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV)
What’s a thought?
A thought is a thing you think about with your conscious mind. Thoughts can come from God – these are good thoughts. They can come from the enemy – these thoughts come to steal, kill and destroy. These are bad thoughts. Thoughts can come from others – some of these are good, some of these can be very bad. And finally thoughts can come from ourselves – again, some of these are good and some of these are really bad.
We want to think good thoughts. We need to avoid bad thoughts. The more the word of God dwells in us richly, the easier it is to tell these apart. It’s the thoughts we have from others and thoughts we have ourselves that we need discernment for and concerning.
What’s a stronghold?
Stronghold protects the enemy so they can go from there and attack. The enemy is safe in the stronghold. These strongholds are solid. They are seemingly secure until they are demolished.
Strongholds aren’t thoughts – they are ways of thinking.
Let me show you one example from the live of the disciples…
During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.”
His disciples answered, “But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?”
“How many loaves do you have?” Jesus asked.
“Seven,” they replied.
He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people, and they did so. They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. About four thousand were present. After he had sent them away, he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha.
The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side.
The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”
They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”
Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
“Twelve,” they replied.
“And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”
They answered, “Seven.”
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
What’s happening here?
The disciples saw the miracles of God and they didn’t let it change their thinking.
Jesus was basically asking them
“Why is your reasoning at war with my world?”
“Why didn’t you change the way think because you saw my nature?”
Too many of us think miracles are simply temporary interventions in our situation. In fact miracles are the revelation of the nature of a God who makes a covenant with His children.
It’s a stronghold that says “I can encounter God and not change.”
What’s an argument and pretension?
An argument and pretension is a high thing. It’s something someone holds sacred and they want to impose it on you. We’ve all had people who want to change our thinking so we think like them. In the best sense of the word, they are our teachers. In the common sense of the word, they look more like enemies.
So to recap –
A thought is something you consciously think about.
A Stronghold is a way of thinking
An argument is a thought others want to impose on you.
How do you take captive every thought?
How do you tear down the strongholds?
How do you demolish arguments?
The good news is you can.
You can take captive every thought.
You don’t have to find yourself thinking thoughts you know aren’t true, but you feel like they’re true.
You can silence the pressure others place on you.
It starts with understanding your heart. Your heart is the seat of your decision, the seat of your emotion and the seat of your will.
It’s your decision to take captive every thought.
It’s your emotions that show you the stronghold.
It’s your actions that shut down arguments.
Take Captive Every Thought – THINK
… we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NIV)
Do you know you can think God thoughts? We have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16 ) (yes that’s us together). Still, here’s how you can take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.
- The Word
Be in the Word. Read the Word. Let the Word read you. What does it say? How can I summarize each passage into two or three sentences? What does it mean? What does each passage teach me? What is the spiritual truths or principles in these verses? How can I apply this? What is the Lord specifically leading me to do in response to this passage?
- Hear yourself
Step outside your thoughts. Think about what you think about – record it. Write it down.
See what the Bible says about it. Write down the truth of what God says about the thoughts you think about. Here’s a tool we have for you – https://kingdomway.ca/identity/
Ask God what he thinks about your thoughts. Write down what His response is. Ask Him what you should do to get the truth into your thinking. Write down that response. Habakkuk 2:1-2 – Tune to flow. Be at rest. See Jesus. Record response.
Get the truth inside you. Reinforce that truth in your mind. Find a memorable action to reinforce that truth seven times a day, 21 days in a row, in three sessions of 21 days.
– Memorize scripture like “God shall meet all my needs…” and replace the worry with this each time you find your mind doing a “what if” financial worry.
– Cultivate a strong awareness of saying to yourself, each time you worry, something like: “I don’t need to worry; that’s causing inflammation in my brain and making me worse.”
– Smile each time you feel yourself worry and imagine yourself looking into God’s eyes as He carries you.
It’s scientifically proven this will reform your brain cells. This works on the physical level.
But we just aren’t physical beings and my challenge today is to talk to people who find themselves thinking thoughts they know aren’t true, but they feel like they’re true, or they feel like they can’t help themselves?
Demolish strongholds – PAUSE
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 2 Corinthians 4:4
Remember a stronghold is not a thought – it’s a way of thinking. We find out what we really believe through our emotions.
When we know the truth – “My God will supply all my needs according to his riches in glory” but we feel worried because there’s more month left at the end of cheque. We can’t intellectually convince that feeling away. We remain a chronic worrier unless we follow the emotion.
When we know the truth – “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” and yet our stomach turns when we look in the mirror, we can’t convince ourselves of God’s value of us. We live with terrible self-esteem unless the memories that are tied to emotions get healed.
When we know the truth – “ Who are you to judge another’s servant “ We can be corrected by the word of God, but it rarely stops our hidden thoughts. We remain secretly judgemental unless we use the emotions as a tool to get freedom.
When we know the truth “Resist the devil and he will flee” We can set up all sorts of safeguards and accountability but when we feel rejected and we turn back to porn unless we hear what God says about our rejection.
It’s not enough to simply change our decision. It’s not enough to simply change our actions. We need to change our emotions. All three need to come into alignment. Our mind can affect our emotions – we can do something seven times a day for three sets of twenty one days and grow new mental pathways. Our actions can affect our emotions. There’s a study that used chopsticks to hold people’s face in a smiling position and people who had that done reported feeling more happiness than the group that wouldn’t allow themselves to smile.
But while emotions can be affected by the other two parts of our heart, they don’t have a lasting effect unless the strongholds the emotions point to are torn down.
These are strongholds. They are ways of thinking that need to be changed. It can only be done through our emotions.
Your emotions show what you truly believe.
Your decision show what you want to believe. Your actions show what you want others to think you believe. Your emotions show you what actually believe.
So what are you believing when you have emotions hit you out of the blue?
What happens when you have a disproportional response to an event?
You need to pay attention to those disproportional responses. It at those times you use this tool.
How does that make me feel right now?
What comes to mind as I focus on what I’m feeling? What memory comes to mind?
How does the memory make me feel? Why do I feel that way? Why does believing _____ make me feel ______?
Does another memory come to mind with that emotion? If NOT, this is the stronghold Holy Spirit wants to work on.
Not that it’s true, but it feel true that _________
Do I sense any resistance or hesitancy at the thought of doing the opposite behaviour? What do I believe would happen if I did what I’m resisting? What’s the reason for my behaviour?
Lord, what do you want me to know about this memory?
Allow Holy Spirit to tell you the truth about the memory. Ask Him if he wants you to release the person you’re angry with.
Do I still feel that _______ is true?
This tool can bring your heart into greater alignment. Your feelings can line up with your decision. You can have well-healed wounds.
You don’t have to feel something that’s different than what you say you believe.
Demolish Argument and Every Pretension – FAITH
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God 2 Corinthians 4:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension with our actions. It’s not just our actions – it’s how we do them and why we do them and if it lines up with our decisions and our feelings. Because when all three align, we’re doing what we’re doing with our whole heart.
By the way, we’re told to love God (Mark 12:30), seek God (Jeremiah 29:13), trust God (Proverbs 3:5), forgive others (Matthew 18:21-35) and work (Colossians 3:23-24) with our all our heart.
How are we do everything?
F – Freedom – Galatians 5:13-25
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
A – As unto the Lord – Colossians 3:15-17
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
I – In Love – 1 Corinthians 16:14
Do everything in love.
T – Thankfulness- 1 Thessalonians 5:18
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
H – Hope – Romans 12:11-12
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
When you do what you do this way, you show the world the truth.
The greatest miracle the world can see is the evidence of a renewed mind.
“God healed my back ache!” “Oh”
“God healed my cancer!” “Did he?”
“God raised me from the dead!” “Really?”
But they saw the freedom, and the thankfulness, and the love and the hope that you had through the process…and they knew you before you had any of that. And what they see in you shuts down any argument and pretension.
Those thoughts that say, “compromise”, “tone down”, “be quiet”, “don’t speak that name”.
A renewed mind is that miracle they see that allows them to see your good works and give glory to your Father in Heaven.
Our heart is the seat of our intellect.
It’s your decision to take captive every thought.
Our heart is the seat of our emotions.
It’s your emotions that show you the stronghold.
Our heart is the seat of our actions.
It’s your actions that shut down arguments.
You can have God thoughts.
You don’t have to know something is true but feel it’s not true.
You have been called to Freedom. You can truly be feel free.
You have the tools to do it. You have Holy Spirit to do the work. You have people who love you and will walk with you and help you align your heart.
Will you decide to align your heart today? Don’t leave here with out a conversation.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell in your heart as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.