Cheney United Methodist Church
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World
DON’T PUSH THE SEND BUTTON!
NIV Luke 11:21-22 "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils.
In Frank Frangipane’s book: “The Three Battlegrounds”, he explains that there are three arenas for spiritual warfare, the mind, the church and the heavenly places. I want to share some of his insight into the battle for the mind.
Before we were saved, you and I were the “safe possessions” of the devil; like a fully armed “strongman” guarding the homestead of our souls. On the day of our salvation, a glorious “someone stronger,” attacked and overpowered the evil one, and stripped away his armor. Our born-again experience may be widely varied on the natural level, but in the spirit-realm, a very similar war was waged and won for each of us. The Holy Spirit working with the angels of God destroyed the enemy’s first line of defense, his “armor.” What exactly was this armor that protected the devil and kept us from salvation? The armor on which demons rely consists of our own thoughts, attitudes, and opinions, which are in agreement with evil.
What Jesus described as “armor,” the apostle Paul referred to as “strongholds” (2 Cor. 10:1-4). It is important to recognize, that by strongholds we are not talking about random thoughts or occasional sins. Rather, the strong-holds that affect us most are those which are so hidden in our thinking patterns that we do not recognize them nor identify them as evil.
Matthew 12:43-45 "When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, `I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the
final condition of that man is worse than the first.
Jesus revealed that unclean spirits are seeking “rest.” The sense of rest they seek originates from being in harmony with their environment. In other words, when our thought-life is in agreement with unbelief, fear or habitual sin, the enemy has rest. Over time, our thought patterns, attitudes and opinions have built a house or a stronghold that may need to be torn down one brick at a time.
I see an immediate correlation with what Frank Frangipane is saying to an addiction. A person caught in an addiction is constantly fighting not to be controlled by that addition. But something happens and it triggers a whole series of thoughts that overwhelms that individual to carry out that addictive behavior.
Paul tells us we have to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. We can demolish and tear down strongholds because our weapons are spiritual and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
What can we do? One, humble yourself and be willing to confess your sin and repent as the Lord reveals things to you. Two, put on the whole armor of God, ask the Holy Spirit to help you guard your mind. Three, pray that the Holy Spirit will help you recognize a stronghold in your life and have the courage to surrender and crucify the old nature. Four pray that a house of righteousness will swell up within you.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, I submit to You. I declare, according to the Word of God, that because of Your power to subject all things unto Yourself, the weapons of my warfare are mighty to the pulling down of strongholds (2 Cor. 10:3-4). I repent for using the lie, “I will never be like Jesus,” as an excuse to sin and compromise my convictions. In Jesus’ name, I renounce my flawed, sinful old nature and, by the grace of God and the power of Your Spirit, I pull down the stronghold of unbelief that exists in my mind. Because of the perfect sacrifice of Jesus Christ, I am a new creation. And I believe that I will go from glory to glory, being continually transformed into Christ’s image as I walk with God.
Grace & Peace!