Sunday, February 24, 2019

Battle of the Mind - Am I losing my Mind?

Hello everyone,

Many of us, at one time or other have been so overwhelmed by our circumstances that we just can’t see the wood for the trees anymore.  It’s as though the pressure of what we’re facing just doesn’t let up, as we’re constantly bombarded by opposing thoughts leaving us feeling confused and out of control, to the extent that we wonder if we’re loosing our minds.  

Well, that’s exactly what the devil wants you to feel, in fact he is constantly and relentlessly working to get you to that point of distress and discouragement.  Why?Because when our minds and emotions are in turmoil and distress, our faith is inoperative and even our physical bodies begin to work against us.  A faithless, fretful child of God is no threat to the devil, in fact, in that state, we are easy prey to his wiles and deception.

I understand that there is much controversy today, even in the church, concerning the devil.  Some teachings circulating even suggest that neither he, nor hell exists.  But the Bible makes it perfectly clear that there is a very real and cunning adversary, called the devil, who is bent on taking us down.  Both Jesus and Paul spent much time urging us to constantly be vigilant and on the look out for his undermining schemes.  They called him the enemy of our souls, and for good reason.  

It’s true the Bible teaches us that through the finished work of the cross, Jesus dealt with the devil’s destructive power to harm us, and if we are living in Christ, we have no reason to ever fear him (the devil).  However, we do have to be wide awake and aware of his nature and agenda concerning us, in order to not give him a legal foothold or access into our lives.  If we do, we can be sure he will be relentless in his pursuit to make our lives a misery and ultimately destroy us.

Be Aware of His Nature

Let’s take a look at what Jesus told us about the character of our enemy, the devil.  In the first part of John 10:10, Jesus describes his nature.  He says he is a thief who comes to steal.  He doesn’t say he is like a thief, he says he is one.  Don’t take it personally, this is his nature and he simply can’t care less about who he steals from, he just does, as long as we allow him to.  

Jesus goes on to describe the devil as someone who kills.  Now, interestingly enough, this word kill, in John 10:10, doesn’t just mean kill in the terms we would think. When I looked up what Greek scholar Rick Renner had to say on the subject, I was amazed to learn that the Greek translation for this attribute of the devil - means something quite different to what we may think.

It actually a religious term that means to sacrifice. In other words, it speaks of surrendering or giving up something that not only belongs to you, but is also valuable to you. This is something the devil is pretty skilled at persuading people to do, since the time in the Garden of Eden.  

You see, if he can’t get it right to outright steal from you, he will twist or manipulate words to make it sound as though your ‘giving up’ what rightfully belongs to you, is a righteous act, or God’s idea.  Which compels you give it up quite willingly.  Let me give you an example.  

We know that Jesus Christ went to the cross and endured so much suffering so that we could receive healing from every disease.  Matthew 10:1 says, “And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal ALL kinds of sickness and ALL kinds of disease.”  He said that He is the Lord, our God, our healer and that by His stripes, we are healed. 1 Peter 2: 24 says, “ He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree[as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.”

But the devil has managed to convince some Christians that sickness can sometimes be God’s way of teaching us a lesson, or that He is glorified in our suffering.  If we truly know the word of God and His nature, as the scriptures reveal it to us, there should be no doubt in our minds concerning this issue.  In fact, once we have a revelation of how good God is and the power of the finished work of the cross, we would find such comments or opinions laughable.  Yet the devil has still managed to cleverly convince many of God’s children to sacrifice, and willingly give up their fight of faith concerning their healing, convincing them that the sickness they have is God’s will for them.

Once the devil has stolen from you, or cunningly convinced you to willingly give up what is rightfully yours to him, he moves right in to destroy your life.  The Greek word used for this means to ruin, unravel or devastate.  This is his agenda for every child of God, and if we are not careful to recognise his lies and deceit, we will be caught off guard and fall for his treachery. 

Don’t Give Your Adversary Legal Access 

Do you remember I’ve mentioned that if we give the devil legal access, he will get inside our personal affairs to torment and destroy us?  So, how do we give him legal access to do that?

In 1 Peter 5:8, we are told that he is our adversary.  Now the definition of an adversary is a lawyer who argues in a court of law, or a prosecuting attorney who argues vehemently against the accused.  He is an accuser who attempts to bring a guilty charge against a person on the basis of information from past actions or deeds, or some legal violation.

The devil is known as the accuser of the brethren.  He always takes past actions where we violated a spiritual law and uses it against us, using it to access our personal affairs and cause us trouble.  He is relentless in searching for a loop hole in our lives, and like a prosecuting attorney, he will try to use any evidence to prosecute us and take us down.

Common Sense Examples of Practical Violations

I’m going to refer to something I learnt from Rick Renner’s teaching on this subject.  He mentioned some common sense examples of practical violations in our lives where we give the enemy legal right to harm us.  One is credit card abuse.  When we don’t keep control of our spending, we can easily get into financial problems relating to debt.  

That isn’t the devil’s fault, it’s ours, but our negligence and irresponsibility opens the door for the enemy to aggravate and accentuate the problem. We open the door and he takes advantage of the situation and leads it to something that spirals out of control.  

The same is true for us being careless with our eating habits.  Here the end result could be obesity or diabetes, again, we opened the door by our negligence, and he didn’t waste the opportunity to reek havoc.  

What about our marriage relationship?  If we choose to not spend regular, quality time with our spouse, it’s very easy to create distance between us. Once again, our negligence opens the door for every temptation that would lure us apart from each other.  

Heres one we can all relate to - neglecting to obey God’s financial principles. Not bringing our tithe, or neglecting to be generous, or not giving with a cheerful, faith filled attitude will certainly stop the hand of God moving in the area of our finances.  We can blame the devil all we want, but we were the ones who invited him to bring lack into our lives by our own disobedience or ignorance.

Here’s one last one I’ll share with you. It concerns our children. When we aren’t consistent in raising our children by the principles in God’s Word, we invite rebellion right into our homes.  Children who have no respect for authority usually come from homes where parents were inconsistent in their discipline, or didn’t discipline in love.

I’ve given you more than enough to think about when it comes to ways we give the enemy access into our lives. The good news is, next week, I want to show you how in spite of the devil’s intentions, we have everything we need to flourish and thrive in life!  We are going to speak about how we can build a wall of defence against his attacks and continuously keep him out of our personal affairs!  Until then, keep your eyes open and don’t give him any legal reason to mess with your life!

All my love,


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Battle of the Mind - Renew Your Mind

Hello everyone,

In our “Battle of the Mind” series, we have spoken about the importance of paying attention to what we are thinking, because our thoughts are a vital part of forming who we are every day.  We also saw how thoughts we agree with and meditate on, become constructed thoughts called strongholds. These strongholds determine what we believe to be true, and influence our emotions and choices in life.  

That’s why it’s so very necessary to recognise the source of our thoughts.  Thoughts that are contrary to the truth of God’s Word should be given no place in our lives, while those that align with the Word are keepers!  

Today I want to speak about the process of renewing our minds to the truth of God’s Word and how it can fortify our minds, protecting us from the devil’s attempts to destroy us. This leads to a lifestyle where we are influenced, dominated and controlled by the Holy Spirit, instead of by the devil. 

Remember, the devil uses thoughts to influence our emotions and manipulate our free will, but a mind renewed to the Word of God doesn’t give him a chance to get a foothold in our lives.  Once again - this is a lifestyle choice that results in lasting life and peace in every area of our lives, and it has everything to do with who has control of our minds!

Let’s take another look at 2 Corinthians 10:4,5, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” NKJ
We have already established that the strongholds Paul is referring to here, are established thoughts or mindsets we’ve chosen to accept and agree upon. Before we take a look at the negative strongholds he was referring to, let’s focus on the strongholds that are good and healthy for us.  Both are constructed in the very same way.
Interestingly, the Greek word for stronghold in 2 Corinthians 10:4,5, means fortress or castle.  We can see why Paul chose this word to describe thoughts that have become established in our minds.  
In ancient times, fortresses were often built on top of high hills with exceptionally thick and high walls, making it impossible for invaders to penetrate.  They were designed to keep outsiders out!  
Now, when we agree with a particular scripture or principle found in God’s Word, and meditate on it, it becomes a constructed thought. The more we meditate on this thought, the more  convinced we become of it being the ultimate truth.  This is called a biblical stronghold within our minds that the devil cannot penetrate.  
In other words, we are so convinced of this truth, that any thought that comes into our minds that opposes it, we immediately disregard and refuse to give it the time of day.  Why?  Because we know it’s nonsense and doesn’t warrant an ounce of our attention.   That fiery dart the enemy just hurled our way was extinguished before it even hit its mark against our safely, fortified minds.
Let me give you a personal example of this.  When I first gave my life to the Lord, there were times I would really battle with condemnation.  I didn’t understand that there was a difference between the conviction of the Holy Spirit and condemnation of the devil. If I did something wrong, I would immediately feel remorse and repent, but it would take so long to shrug off that heavy feeling of guilt and shame.  
It seemed to take forever to get past that feeling of self-loathing so that I could boldly and confidently speak to the Lord again.  Then, the day I heard and understood Romans 8:1, which says, “THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.”  my relationship with Jesus took a revolutionary change!  
Suddenly the truth hit me like a giant, cannon ball of joy exploding inside my heart and mind!  I understood that God’s forgiveness carries no regret or heaviness.  Once we’ve repented, He doesn’t hold that sin against us.  I could see that whenever I made a sinful choice, because I had His nature, I would immediately be convicted in my spirit about it, recognising it as wrong. 
Then, going straight to the Lord with that shame and laying it at His feet, completely freed my mind from having to carry the weight of that guilt.  The moment I released it to the Lord, I was free from it!  
Any heaviness of heart or condemnation over it was not from God, it was the devil trying to make me feel unworthy.  This truth became an established stronghold in my mind that after one or two more failed attempts on the devil’s part, to try put that condemnation on me, he just gave up trying.   
This biblical stronghold will constantly protect me from the devil’s lie of condemnation, and he won’t get access into my life where it’s concerned.
Now the word of God is full of truth, just like the one I’ve shared, that is able to protect our minds and keep us free from the devil’s lies and tactics to destroy us.
I mentioned how in ancient times those fortresses were built to keep intruders out.  Did you know that later on, many fortresses became modified to hold prisoners within their walls.  They had dungeons that were designed to keep their captives in!  When we believe the devils lies – due to an ignorance of God’s word, we create negative strongholds or constructed thoughts that hold us captive and in bondage.
If we just took the time to renew our minds to God’s Word, we would be able to pull down every negative stronghold that we allowed into our minds from the past.  We can detoxify those poisonous lies of the devil and cause them to have no effect, the moment we replace them with the truth of God’s Word.
Next week we’ll take a look at what the Word says the enemies strategy is against us, preventing us from being caught off guard, ever again! 
Much love,

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Battle of the Mind - The Battleground

Hello everyone,

Did you know that there is a constant battle going on over your life?  Scripture  tells us that our enemy the devil has a plan and strategy to steal, kill and destroy our lives (John 10:10).  God has declared a plan for our lives too, it’s a brilliant future, full of peace, joy and abundant goodness.  Scripture tells us that before the foundation of the world, God set that plan in motion, and nothing from the past, present or future can change it.  Through Jesus, this promise of a good, full, victorious life is secure.  A life of freedom and prosperity and power over the enemy, where we can live on purpose and experience the full extent of God’s blessing.  In this series, we will see how nothing is able to stop us from experiencing all God has prepared for us, not when we make a  personal decision to align our thoughts, words and actions to His way of doing things.

To begin with, in this letter we’re going to take a look at the battle ground of our minds, and God's strategic plan for us to gain victory over our thought lives.  This is extremely important because the way we train our minds to think will determine the very people we become.  

The Battle of the Mind Wages On!

As I’ve mentioned before, medical science has proven that all our thoughts originate from one of two sources, they are either negative, fear based thoughts or positive, faith based thoughts.   When a thought enters our minds, and we agree with that thought and believe it, it becomes what scientists call a constructed thought or a stronghold.  This thought now has the power to influence our very belief system and becomes a part of who we are.  Do you remember what Proverbs 23:7 says, “"As a man thinkers in his heart, so is he."  

Now, these constructed thoughts or strongholds that are formed in our minds have the power to affect everything about us.  They become what scientists call established memories, and the more attention we give to them, the more they determine the way we perceive things.  And our perceptions directly influence our decision making and ultimately our course in life.

What’s really interesting is something I learnt from Dr. Caroline Leaf and Dr. Michelle Strydom’s studies on the human mind and it’s connection to the body.  Every thought or established memory, has an emotion attached to it.  In fact, medical science calls them emotion chemicals.  If the thought or memory is positive, it will have a positive emotion attached to it, and every time we recall that memory, or ponder, or meditate on that thought, the emotion releases a chemical that positively affects our well-being.  Causing us to feel joy, peace, hope and contentment.  These chemical emotions actually have the power to heal our physical bodies, or keep them in health.

Now of course the negative side to this is just as powerful.  Any negative thought that is meditated on and made an established memory or stronghold, has a negative emotion attached to it, that releases toxins into our bodies.  Feelings of fear, stress, rejection, anger and bitterness release destructive chemicals into our bodies.  They attack our sense of well-being and it’s scientifically proven, they are often the source of disease and pain in our physical bodies.

Who’s the Master of Your Mind?

The question is what things are we setting our minds on?  The Bible clearly teaches us to guard our hearts with all diligence because the well spring of life flows from them.  The thoughts we have chosen to believe set the path for our lives.  

God's word is filled with His thoughts and the purposes of His heart.  It tells us how to live and love and stay in victory.  The more we invest in understanding the word, believing it and appropriating it to our lives, the more our minds become programmed or trained to think like God, speak like God and act according to His will.  This process is called renewing our minds to the word of God and it is the only way to defeat the destructive plan the enemy has concerning us, so we can live free and powerfully victorious.

The more time we spend in God's word, meditating on it, agreeing with it and making it part of our belief system, the more we establish biblical strongholds in our minds.  God's word is peace and it’s life.  The book of Proverbs says it brings healing to our bodies, and Hebrews says it makes us perfect and complete in character.  

As soon as a negative thought, or any thought that is contrary to God's word is agreed upon, the same process takes affect.  This time, instead of life, faith peace and healing being the fruit; bondage, bitterness and brokenness enters our lives, through incorrect thoughts and their destructive chemical emotions.

The Control Centre

The mind is the control centre of our lives.  It is the strategic battlefield where the war over our lives is either won or lost, depending on what we choose to keep our minds focused on.  

Romans 6:16 tells us that whoever we give our minds to, becomes our master.  Insinuating that when we allow our thoughts to indulge in and centre around negative things that are contrary to God's word, the carnal, sinful  nature becomes the mastermind of our future, which always leads to death.  However, should we choose to meditate on and fill our thoughts with the spiritual truth of God's word, his Devine will and plan for our lives becomes a sure path of life, peace, healing and victory for our future.

A Supernatural Way of Living

Because God is a Supernatural Being, and His word holds His Supernatural Nature, choosing to renew our minds to it gives us the dominion and authority to stand on His promises and override the natural facts in our lives.  Every natural fact and circumstance is subject to change when brought under the truth and authority of the word of God.

Next week we are going to look closely at the process of renewing our minds to God’s Word, and how keeping it in the centre of our hearts, and as the final authority of our lives, will cause us to form strong, healthy strongholds of truth that will keep the enemy at bay and our bodies healthy and at peace.

As for today, choose who the master mind behind your life will be.  Recognise how your lack of controlling your thought life could cause you to forfeit the life of freedom and victory Jesus secured for you on the cross.  It’s time to wise up and take back the control of your mind, setting it safely in the hands of the One Who loves you and created you for His purpose.

All my love,


Sunday, February 3, 2019

Battle of the Mind Series - What are you thinking?

Hello Everyone,

This week I came across a video of a young man who shared his personal testimony of encountering Jesus. His experience completely changed his life around. After formally being heavily involved in the New Age Movement, he had a personal encounter with the Lord, renounced his past sin, and is now walking in a deep and meaningful relationship with Jesus Christ.  

Now I don’t usually write about these testimonies, especially when they involve people who have come out of a background stooped in the occult where there is such serious darkness and deception.  The reason being that often, even though their conversion is sincere, and their spirit man has been reborn, the damage and deceit sown into their souls has so influenced their thoughts and emotions that they remain in bondage in many areas, preventing them from walking in complete and total victory. The Bible teaches us that while our souls are wounded or have memories that have become toxic strongholds, we will remain susceptible to the enemy of our souls. These very things give him the legal right to keep us in bondage, even in the area of our health.

But after listening to this young man’s testimony, and a few of his other videos, I personally believe that his encounter with Jesus is not only sincere, it has begun a process of freedom in the area of his soul.  Through his relationship with the indwelling Holy Spirit, he has a genuine and intense hunger for the truth of God’s Word, and listening to him, you can tell that he deliberately spends hours saturating his mind and heart in the Word. If he carries on this path, the sanctification process of his soul will be sound as he constantly renews his mind to the truth of God’s Word, replacing those wounds and toxic strongholds with the truth that will set and keep him free.

Why am I writing about this?  Recently I’ve been studying on the ongoing process of renewing our minds to the truth of God’s Word.  I’ve discovered that this is not a mechanical process at all, even though the principles are set in stone, it’s only through our personal, intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit, that the Word is able to become life to us and heal our souls. 

The subject of renewing the mind to the truth of God’s Word is not something new or untaught in the church.  However, I do believe there is so much to be said about the importance of daily walking in a meaningful relationship with the Holy Spirit, where we He is constantly teaching and changing us, through God’s Word.  I’m going to put out a few brief truths that have really hit home in my heart and understanding concerning the process of renewing our minds to heal our souls.  I have found many Christians who believe they are doing what is expected of them, yet can’t understand why they are not walking completely free or healed in certain areas of their lives.  I believe this series will be a great blessing to them in particular.

The first truth is one many of us are familiar with.  We are taught in the Word that every person is made of three distinct parts.  We have a spirit that lives in a body, and we have a soul.  

When we become born again, our spirit is made completely new.  It is saved by the grace of Jesus Christ.  The Holy Spirit actually recreates our spirit and inhabits it.  It is pure and holy, without sin and full of God Himself!  If you don’t trust my word on this, I have listed these scriptures to back it : 2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Corinthians 6:17,19; Ephesians 3:19; Philippians 1:11; Colossians 1:9; John 7:38-39, John 14:16-17,26; John 15:26.

Now, our soul, which is our mind consisting of our thoughts, emotions and free will, is a different matter entirely.  Even though our spirit man is reborn, and free of sin and it’s effects, our soul is still conformed to the sinful, carnal nature of a fallen world.  What’s more, every memory that is formed by information we have received through our five, natural senses, has influenced and shaped our thinking process. The way we perceive ourselves, others, God and the world around us all comes from the memories or thoughts that we have accepted and agreed on through the experiences we have had in life.  

In other words, our personal truth, or what we perceive as truth, is based on the experiences we have encountered in life.  The problem with this is our personal truth is not necessarily truth at all.  The only true, ultimate, unchanging truth is the Word of God.  And unless our perceptions and attitudes are influenced by, rooted in and grounded upon this truth, we will never truly be free to live the abundant life Jesus paid for us to have.  We will always be limited by our own misconceptions and issues that have shaped or clouded our souls.

In fact, the Bible teaches how our souls are the battlefield where our enemy, the devil, is given legal right to torment us when we have found common ground with him.  What do I mean by common ground?  It’s when we have agreed with a thought that originated from his lies.  That could either be through sin, a traumatic experience, or any thoughts that we harbour that are contrary to God’s truth.

Let me explain, scientists have proven that every though originates from one of two sources.  It is either faith based or fear based.  Any thought process that we have accepted as our truth, but is contrary to the truth of God’s Word does not originate from God.  This means it is a lie or misconception.  The devil is the father of all lies, and when we buy into His deception, whether we understand it’s from him or not, we give him legal access to cause trouble or torment in that particular area of our lives.

That’s why the Bible urges us to pay careful attention to what we are thinking because our minds really are a battlefield.  2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says, “For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),”. Those strongholds are incorrect thoughts that have been agreed with, meditated on and formed permanent belief systems in the recesses of our minds.  

In order for us to truly live free in this life, we must be extremely vigilant to pay attention to what we are thinking.  Recognise whether our thoughts line up with the Word of God or are directly contrary to its truth.  Then we reject the wrong thoughts and replace them with the truth of God’s Word.  How on earth are we supposed to recognise the nature of our thoughts?  We can only know this by spending quality time in the Word.  By the help of the Holy Spirit, the truth of the word comes alive to us, giving us wisdom, understanding, peace, life, discernment and healing. 

Mark 4:24 says, “And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.”  That word virtue in the original Greek translation means excellence of soul.  That means the amount of attention we pay to the Word of God, agreeing with it, meditating on it and allowing it to influence our belief system, will result in our souls being prosperous, healthy and free. 

This week, choose to invest quality time in the Word of God, asking and trusting the Holy Spirit to make it alive to you.  As you do this, you’ll become far more attentive to the thoughts and mindsets you’ve adopted, and begin to replace the wrong ones with the truth!  It’s time to pay attention to what you are thinking about.

Next week we’ll take a closer look at the battlefield of our minds, and how we can choose who will be the master of our souls.

All my love,