The Testing Point
The enemy comes to us in more ways than we recognize. One of his chief strategies to defeat God’s people is to attack the mind through our thought life. Our minds contain tens of thousands of thoughts in a single day, giving him ample opportunities to find a means of control through building strongholds. Women seems to be particularly susceptible to this type of attack because of the nature of our mental structure, often rendering us emotional messes.
The barrage of stress-filled thoughts that can come our way can end up being debilitating both emotionally and mentally, and in the most toxic way – spiritually. If left unchecked, these thoughts often lead to unbelievable levels of mental and emotional stress intended to overpower us. To understand how his attacks work, we must first understand the structure of the mind. The brains relies on established patterns of thought to respond to the perceived stress in our lives. A continuous cycle of such stressful thoughts can create negative thought patterns, which enable easy access of control through the negative, ungodly thoughts the enemy sends our way. To prove this point, think of a time in your life when you were going about your day and the most unholy, evil, pernicious thoughts slowly rose up in your mind without provocation. You blushed at he very nature of such thoughts and wondered where they came from. It’s origin is satanic and if not dealt with swiftly, can multiply and grow into a stronghold in the mind.
Repeated time spent thinking on these types of thought establishes negative patterns of thinking in the brain over time. A few examples of such thinking come to mind: “they don’t like you; you’re not good enough to do something like that ;who do you think you are to do that; you’ll never be any good to anyone; your life is a mess, how can you ever help someone else; you’re stupid- you can’t do that”, and on and on.
As children, many of us have watched gleefully as skilled puppeteers manipulating stings controlled puppets to our delight. Now imagine strings of darkness manipulating you, like a puppet through your thought life-jerking you around through your thoughts, emotions, and reactions- like a toy (Please stop and get a visual on this)! When you realize and fully acknowledge the fact that this happens in your life, only then can you can you begin to combat your enemy.
The Bible often uses militaristic imagery to illustrate parallels for our understanding and application of God’s word. As in all military campaigns, soldiers fighting in the heat of battle must be aware of the tactics of the enemy to defeat him. This is the testing point. Here we either sink or swim. We are soldiers in the Army of God. (2 Timothy 2:3-4 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.)
Praise God that He does not leave us powerless to the devices of our enemy! 2 Corinthians 10: 5-6 gives us explicit directions on how to deal with our enemy. In Old Testament times, major cities were walled to protect from invading hordes. These fortified walls were considered strongholds. I find it quite interesting that The Bible uses the same word in the King James translation of this verse. Like these thick, seemingly impenetrable walls kept out enemies- the enemy wants us to hold on to all the junk he interjects into our minds meant to defeat us and keep us from ever developing into who God created us to be. His goal here is to build up strongholds (walls/barriers to God’s truth) to defeat us in our minds, thus having control over us like puppets on strings! Christ died for us to live meaningful, victorious lives. He has brought the Christian out of the control (strings) of sin. Why would He ever want us to return to the hopelessness we just left!
Be courageous to use the Word of God as a skillful soldier to defeat your enemy (Eph. 6:I7 ” And taking . . . the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God”). I have a choice each day when those awful thoughts rise up inside my mind; I can let them hang out and dwell on them and begin to agree with them (why would we ever agree with satan- remember where he ends up!), or I can cast down or get rid of them by refusing to listen to or agree with them by using God’s Word to tear down the bricks of the wall satan is trying to build. Consider Philippians 4:6, 8-9 – Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. Wow- God tells how to bring down strong holds and what to think on!
In John 10 Jesus says that His sheep know His voice, and to the voice of a stranger they will not listen. So let us be mindful to what voice we listen. Let us be determined in our hearts, minds, and souls not to be satan’s puppets. Break free from the chains that bind through the all-powerful name of Jesus! May God bless you in your endeavors to live the life you were meant to live in Christ Jesus!