Bondage to Unseen Controls

What are the unseen controls that keep us in bondage?  Do you feel hopeless to overcome the things that seem to control your decisions?   For me, I felt hopeless to control my reaction of anger and anxiety.  I also felt hopeless to control my sugar addiction.  As I work with incarcerated girls at the county jail, they tell me of their hopelessness to control their bondage to drugs and alcohol.   There are many unseen controls influencing us, such as our painful memories from offenses and demonic activity influencing our thought life.

We have a choice to submit our thought life to God or to the devil.  My series of posts on Psalm 91 contain helpful information on how to overcome the bondage and unseen control of the demonic activity around us.  I will be honest; this topic can sound scary.  The reason the unseen demonic world is scary is because we lack understanding.  Our lack of understanding causes us to feel helpless and hopeless to control what happens.  My posts on Psalm 91, explain how to overcome the unseen control of demons and not be afraid:  Psalm 91 posts.

There are two extremes people take concerning Satan and demons. One extreme is to ignore the fact that the unseen demonic world (see Ephesians 6:12) can tempt and influence us.  The other extreme is the Christian who has a fearful preoccupation or fascination with Satan and his unseen kingdom of darkness. The writer, C. S. Lewis, also said there are two wrong extremes, which are to deny the existence of evil spirits or to see them everywhere.  To understand the spirit world better, read the following post: Four Realities of the Spirit World

The Bible, which is the Word of God, is the authority on the  unseen demonic world.  Ephesians 6:10-15 tell us how we can stand firm against the schemes of the devil.  Ephesians 2:1 tells us that the devil is the ruler of this world.  It is in our best interest to understand how the demon’s work in our lives. When I share this  reality with the precious ladies in my county jail Bible study, they are fill with hope that they can be free from the bondage they are in.

I am now editing a book describing the schemes the unseen demonic world uses to put thoughts in our minds to cause relational damage with God and with others.  I hope to publish it soon. I am researching publishing options.  If anyone has any advice for me, please share.

The second source of unseen control in our lives is from our past experiences.  I have overcome many unseen controls in my life, especially strongholds, and I share my message of hope in the book on my website.  My book explains a successful method to overcome the bondage of the unseen control from our painful memories.  Painful memories are created when we take offense to someone’s perceived or actual wrong actions toward us.  I explain the effects of painful memories in my book and how to heal them.  I give this book to the precious ladies I meet at the county jail, and I have seen marvelous results. To learn more about how offenses destroy us and our relationships and how to overcome them, read #1 Destroyer of All Relationships and the Solution.  I invite you to read my short book of hope starting here: 1–Healing Begins by Transforming Painful Memories.

 

Psalm 91:11-13 — Guardian Angels and Power Over Evil Spirits

Have you ever wondered if you had guardian angels? Have you ever wondered if you can overcome the evil spirit influences in your life? You will discover the answer to both questions.  To get a base understanding of the unseen Spirit World, read the following post: Four Realities of the Spirit World

The devil used the following scripture to tempt Jesus to sin when he took him to the top of the temple (see Matthew 4:6). So always keep in mind that the devil will use scripture in the unseen battles to tempt us to sin against God as he did with Jesus.

Psalm 91:11-12 states, “For He will command His angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways. 12) On their hands, they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.”

How many accidents or disasters could have happened to us, but we will never know because angels guarded us.  Angels are not to be worshiped as they are created beings by God, whom He sends to minister to those being saved. Only God is to be worshiped. The following Scripture passages report how angels protect and guard us:

Genesis 19:1 & 15 states, ”The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth. 15) As morning dawned, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Up! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be swept away in the punishment of the city.”

Exodus 23:20 states, ”‘Behold, I send an angel before you to guard you on the way and to bring you to the place that I have prepared.’”

2 Chronicles 32:20-21 states, ”Then Hezekiah the king and Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, prayed because of this and cried to heaven. 21) And the LORD sent an angel, who cut off (destroyed) all the mighty warriors and commanders and officers in the camp of the king of Assyria.”

Psalms 34:7 states, ”The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him and delivers them.”

Daniel 6:22 states, ”My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before Him; and, before you, O king, I have done no harm.”

Matthew 18:10 states, “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven, their angels always see the face of my Father, who is in heaven.”

Hebrews 1:13,14 states, “And to which of the angels has He ever said, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet?’ Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?”

Also read Acts 12:7-11 how an angel helped Peter escape from a jail cell in a dungeon.

We are assured that when we take refuge in God and trust Him with our lives, He will command His angels to protect and deliver us. Joyce Myers believes that as David ran toward Goliath and the word was going forth out of his mouth, that the angels were activated to help him. Psalms 103:20 states, “Bless the Lord, O you His angels, you mighty ones who do His commandments, obey the voice of His word.”

Equally as exciting as angels helping us is the power we have over the unseen demonic world.

Psalm 91:13 states, You will tread on the lion and the adder (cobra), the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.”

The lion and serpent are both descriptions of the devil, as depicted in the following verses: 1 Peter 5:8 states, Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9) But resist him firm in your faith,…” Webster’s dictionary defines resist as the means to withstand; oppose; fend off; stand firm against; withstand the action of. 2. To oppose actively. 3. To keep from yielding to, being affected by, or enjoying temptations. Revelations 12:9 states, And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. In Luke 10:19-20, Jesus states, Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions [refer to demons], and over all the power of the enemy [the devil], and nothing shall hurt you. 20) Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.

In Genesis 3, the serpent deceives Eve, and is still causing people to doubt God through lies. Remember, lies are false, unhealthy beliefs meant to ruin our love relationship with God and people. Therefore, watch what thoughts you allow your mind to dwell on. The Bible says in Romans 12:2 that we are to renew our thinking with the Word of God. For instance, if we become angry, fearful, depressed, etc., we are unknowingly believing a lie from the devil that God does not care. God cares because 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Stop dwelling on lies and renew your mind with the truth found in God’s Word, and you will have peace of mind (see Philippians 4:7). You can bring every thought into subjection to the truth.  Read the following posts: ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL and What Controls Your Thoughts? and Identify and Replace False Beliefs

We have authority and power over the demonic world when we put them under our feet. If they are under our feet, then they are not affecting our mind. The demons are in subjection to us and under our feet when we exercise our authority and control over them through Christ Jesus and His name. Authority is the power or right to give commands and enforce obedience. The following verses explain our authority in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 28:18 states, And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” Luke 9:1 tells us that Jesus Called the twelve [disciples] together and gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. Colossians 2:9-10 also states “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity (Godhead) lives in bodily form, 10) and you have been given fullness in Christ (NIV), and in Him, you have been made complete (NAS).” The Apostle Paul says in Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” We learn from these verses that because of Christ’s life in those who believe and are followers, they also have all authority and power over the unseen demonic world.

The following verses illustrate the fact that Satan is under our feet. Romans 16:20 states, The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 1 Corinthians 15:27 states,For ‘God has put all things in subjection under His feet.’…” Hebrews 2:7-8 states, You [God] have made Him [Jesus] for a little while lower than the angels; You have crowned Him with glory and honor, 8) putting everything in subjection under His feet. Now in putting everything in subjection to Him, He left nothing outside His control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to Him. (Also read 1 Peter 3:22.) Finally, Ephesians 1:22 states, And He [God] put all things (in subjection) under His [Jesus] feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church.”

Being in subjection is being under someone’s authority or control. Though we have authority over the devil and demons, we need to humbly submit to God and allow the Holy Spirit to directed us to the truth of God’s Word. Our authority has nothing to do with feelings or head knowledge, but only because of our position in Christ Jesus. Be watchful for pride because it blocks Christ’s authority in our lives. Remember, God threw Lucifer out of heaven because of pride and he became the devil who resolves to oppress and destroy us because we bear the image of God (see Genesis 1:26). The good news is found in we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us (Romans 8:36b).”

It is helpful to read the previous verses Psalm 91:5-6 – DO NOT FEAR THE UNSEEN

Psalm 91:7-10 — PROTECTED FROM EVIL AND HARM

In verses five and six, we learned that we do not have to fear unseen evil if we stay under the protection of the wings of God’s truth and faithfulness (vs. 4). The next two verses are hard to understand if we do not have the vantage point of dwelling by faith in the secret place of God (verses one and two).

Psalm 91:7-8 states, “A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand [myriad] at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8) You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense (reward) of the wicked.

[!] What comes to your mind when you read these two verses?

These two verses are a promise of deliverance and protection from the recompense or repayment of evil. We do not have to fear the calamity God sends on the wicked when we take refuge in Him and trust Him to protect us. Remember, the wicked are those who do evil by harming people instead of loving them. Many who claim to be Christians are wicked because they do not love God by obeying Him and love others as He loves.   See post called: EVIL—What is it and what is the remedy?

I was in many situations where I was being wronged and I had to trust God.  I claimed Isaiah 54:17 which says, no weapon formed against me will prosper!” I also claimed Isaiah 41:10 which states Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed (anxiously look about), for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” I used the power of my words, and I claimed these verses over my situations, and I had perfect peace.

The following passage explains why focusing on God keep us from being afraid. Psalms 112:7-8 states, He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm (steadfast), trusting in the Lord. 8) His heart is steady (secure); he will not be afraid until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.”

The next two verses summarize the first eight verses.  In verse ten, the word “evil” is interpreted as threatening or bringing misfortune and disaster.

Psalm 91:9-10 states, “Because you have made the Lord your dwelling (refuge), the Most High who is my refuge (dwelling place). 10) No evil (harm) will be allowed to befall you, nor will any plague (disaster) come near your tent (dwelling).”

[!] What does it look like to spiritually and mentally dwell with the Lord?

As our earthly dwellings are our physical refuge from wild animals, the cold, heat, rain, and storms, so we spiritually dwell in the shelter of God through our spirits and minds through continual praise and prayer. Continual praise and prayer protect us from the storms of life by taking our focus off the storm and putting it onto God, who is our protector. For example, a Christian family trusted God to protect their home during a terrible hurricane. When the hurricane past, their house was the only one standing, sustaining very little damage.

There were many times I had to trust God for protection. One of those times was during a great wind storm. I became fearful because many huge trees surround my house. I had peace when I prayed verses nine and ten over my property, that no trees would come down and no harm would come to my home. After the storm, my neighbors all had more than one tree come down, but no trees on my property came down. What was more amazing was that four trees fell all in a line, just on the other side of my property line. God answers prayer, so we do not have to be afraid. Note, Psalms 91:10 also includes protection for everyone in your dwelling.

 

 

Psalm 91:5-6 – DO NOT FEAR THE UNSEEN

When we find refuge under the wings of God’s truth and faithfulness, we do not have to fear the unseen. To fear is to feel anxious or agitated by the presence or nearness of real or imagined danger, evil, pain, etc.

Psalms 91:5-6 states, You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day; 6) nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.”

Albert Barnes wrote in his commentary that the Septuagint (one of the first Bible translations) and the Latin Vulgate interpret verse six as “Nor of mischance and the demon of noonday.” Mischance means an unfortunate accident or bad luck. I believe the earlier translations are closer to the original text because I see this Psalm describing how we are protected from the demonic spirits that attack our minds. Also, I interpret the terror of the night as bad dreams and discomforts Satan puts on us while we sleep. The next two testimonies illustrate this.

Mark Brubeck believes that many afflictions are from demonic attacks. In his book, The Adversary, he wrote the following account. His daughter was 11 years old when she became afflicted by fears, physical nausea, and colitis symptoms at bedtime, which became progressively worse as the night went on. Medical professionals could not help her. Mark and his wife suspected demons were to blame. So, they prayed over her commanding the demon(s) causing the fear, nausea, colitis, destruction, and deception to come out of her. The demon(s) left her, and she had no more fear and digestive issues during the night. Brubeck believes Satan will use every opportunity we give him to claim ground against us. Fear opens our mind to allow demons to access our emotions and physical health. So, we should verbally pronounce God’s protection over our minds.

Maxwell Whyte shared the following incident in his book, Demons & Deliverance, of a demonic attack that happened to him and his wife. One night, he felt his life was being choked out of him to the point of near death. He wrote that he cried “the blood” three times, and a demon departed. The next night the same thing happened to his wife, and she called on the blood of Christ. Whyte believes no demon can afflict those who apply by faith the blood of Christ and testify of God’s protection (see Revelations 12:11). Remember, our words have power, especially when we use the name of Jesus and our authority we have in Him.  I explain this in greater detail in the book listed on this website.  2–Removing Blocks to Healing

I interpret the arrow that flies by day as the lies and accusations Satan shoots into our minds (see Ephesians 6:14-17).  He also puts false beliefs into our minds that do not line up with the truth of God’s Word. The pestilence that stalks in darkness is the shameful allurements Satan uses to cause us to want to sin. Remember, all actions begin with a thought, which we can take captive and make it obey Christ Jesus. We don’t see deception coming, but if we continually hide in the shelter of God through prayer, praise, pondering, and believing the truth, then we won’t fear because we will be under His protection.

Fear should alert us that we are not praying and trusting God. Fear is believing and confessing wrong thoughts and false beliefs. 2 Corinthians 5:7 states, “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” Faith is the opposite of fear. Faith finds refuge in the promises and truths of God.  On the other hand, fear focuses on the problem which makes us vulnerable to being wounded in our souls.

For example, David did not deny the existence of the giant (see 1 Samuel 17). He compared the size of the giant to the size of God. By faith David chose to believe the promises of God and defeated the giant.  In the same way, Satan attempts to paralyze us with fear so that we lose our confidence in God. The story of David and Goliath is a classic example of being paralyzed by fear. Goliath used the power of his words to intimidate and inflict terror on the Israeli army, which immobilized them.

The prophet Elijah was paralyzed by fear when Jezebel vowed to kill him after he had slaughtered the Baal prophets on Mt. Carmel (see 1 Kings 18). Ironically, he became fearful after God demonstrated His power on Mt. Carmel. What did he fear? Did he not believe God could deliver him from the hand of Jezebel? Words have power, and they create thoughts in our minds which then control our emotions and actions. We can take those thoughts captive by loosing them and binding in the truths found in the Word of God.

[!] Do you find yourself being immobilized by a fear that prevents you from being able to reason normally?

Fears can be overwhelming. Most fears, especially irrational fears, originating from what we watch on TV or in the movies, or what we read. For example, irrational fear controls the decisions of people who are preparing for the worst disasters that may never happen.

!! Ask God to show you any words spoken or things you have seen that cause you to fear.

!! Use the power of your words to loose the memory of these words or images from your mind.

Read through all the Psalms and note every passage related to protection, deliverance from troubles, and God as our refuge. This exercise will greatly encourage you and strengthen your faith.

Other Related Posts

Four Realities of the Spirit World

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds

ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL

15 Promises We Can Trust God to Keep

Psalm 91:1–How to Dwell in Heaven Now

Psalm 91 is my go-to Psalm when I am in distress, or not able to sleep. I use my imagination and visualize the truths in this Psalm to calm my mind. This Psalm clearly shows the correlation between abiding with God and protection from the unseen demonic schemes, that cause pride, anger, fear, worry, and anxiety. Fear is expecting something terrible to happen. Worry is to feel distressed in your mind by situations outside your control that often cause anger. Excessive worry and fear produce anxiety. I encourage you to memorize this Psalm because it helps you focus on God’s protection and provision. We can also practice speaking this Psalm over our lives through the power and authority of Jesus.  You may also want to read ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds

For example, I was facing a lay-off that turned nasty.  My supervisor was harrasing me to force me to quit and not take the layoff so I don’t get unemployment benefits. She harassed me every day until I reported her to HR, then she retaliated and made my life worse.  I became more and more angry.  I was also anxious because of lies against my reputation.  The truth is, I was prideful and thought I was more than what I was and should have been appreciated.  Read, HOW PRIDE DESTROYS

At the time, I was the only one in my family with full-time work. Plus, my job with the University helped my son with his tuition. So many I had many worries. I felt hopeless, but I focused on Psalms 91 and Isaiah 41:10-14.  I quoted this Psalm often, especially when I could not sleep because of the anxiety. God transformed my character during that time as I submitted to His gentle rebuke of the many sins in my life.

RESTING IN THE HEAVENLY REALMS

Psalm 91:1, “He who dwells in the shelter (secret place) of the Most High will abide (rest) in the shadow of the Almighty.”

       How do we dwell in the shelter of the Most High?

Webster dictionary says that to dwell is being in place of calmness and relaxation as one dwells in their own home. In the same way, we abide in our homes when we remain or stay there. The shelter is heaven, where God the Almighty and Most High dwells. You might think; how can I dwell in heaven when I am alive on earth? We dwell in the shelter of God by faith through continual prayer, praise, and pondering on Scriptural truths. When we pray, praise, and ponder Scripture, then our spirit draws near to God, and He promises to draw near to us (see James 4:8). Remember, when we believe and confess that Jesus is the Son of God who died to pay the penalty for sin, we become children of God (see John 1:12) and we become one spirit with Him (see 1 Corinthians 6:17).

God is the Most High, in Genesis 14:20a it states, “blessed be God Most High….” And, Psalm 57:2 states, “I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me.” Even a demon spoke and said the following in Mark 5:7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, What have you to do with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God?” Even demons know that Jesus is the Son of God. So, to dwell in the shelter of the Most High is to keep our minds on the things of Heaven and the truths of God.

    How do we know if we are in the shelter, or secret place where God dwells?

We know we are dwelling in the secret place of God when we have peace in our minds. Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29 that all who labor and are heavy laden are to come to Him and find rest for their souls. When we are angry and in fear, our souls are heavy, and we labor in our worry as we stress over situations outside our control. Matthew 11:29 explains that we are to be yoked (as two oxen) with Jesus and to learn from Him and we will have rest. I like this imagery because knowing Jesus is helping me makes my problems bearable. Also, the Apostle Paul encouraged the Philippians not to be anxious but to pray about everything with thanksgiving. Then, they will have peace beyond comprehension, which will guard their hearts and minds (see Philippians 4:6 &7). Remember, when Christ Jesus dwells in your heart (see Ephesians 3:17), then your spirit is seated in the heavens with Him (see Ephesians 2:4-7). Imagine being that close to the Almighty God of the Universe that you are under His shadow and protection.

You may want to read Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

Victorious Thinking to Live a Successful Life

The girls in my county jail Bible study struggle to live successful lives.  Most of their problems and troubles result from their wrong thoughts.  The progression of thoughts to results are as follows.  What we think affects our emotions.  Our emotions control our behavior.  And, our behavior directs the events of our lives.

For example, destructive thinking is to think of things that offend you, which causes you to be angry, fearful, or sad. When you are fearful, angry, or sad, you will act out these emotions in aggressive or passive-aggressive ways. Passive-aggressive behavior varies, but can be silence, avoidance, harming yourself by cutting, using drugs, turning to alcohol, etc.   When you act on your negative emotions, then there will be strife in yourself and with others.  Strife destroys relationships in partnerships, jobs, churches, etc., which will often negatively affect your life and the lives of your family.  Review my post on the one thing that destroys relationships.

To be healthy emotionally, think positive and thankful thoughts.  When you think positive thoughts, then you will act or behave with kindness and grace.   Showing gratitude and grace will strengthen your relationships.   Showing grace is saying a kind word or forgiving someone when they may not deserve it.  See my post on A POWERFUL MOOD CHANGERThoughts That Create Peace Within and Without.

The first step to victorious, sucessful living is to be spiritually healed.  Spiritual healing begins by confessing we are sinners in need of a savior.  Then believing Jesus Christ is God the Son, who died and rose again, forgives our sins, and frees us from sins control (See Jn 1:29; 1 Jn 4:15; 1 Pet 1:18-19; Col 1:14; & Gal 5:1). When we confess this with our mouth and believe it with our heart, then God the Holy Spirit and His love, life, and light enter our hearts (See Gal 4:6 & 1 Cor 6:17). If you have not made this confession, then do it now to experience spiritual healing (See Rom 10:9-13 & Eph 2:1-10).  Next, practice the following actions to live a victorious and successful life.

1)  Live through Christ Jesus: See 1 John 4:9-12, 17; 2 Cor 13:4; Gal 2:20.  Live through Christ by doing the following actions.

  • Keep your mind on Him and transform your thinking: See Col 3:1-4; Is 26:3; James 1:21; Rom 12:2; Phil 4:8
  • Seek His help when you struggle with temptations and wrong thinking: See Heb 2:17-18; 4:15-16; 1 Cor 10:13
  • Abide (stay; dwell) with Him, and His words abide in you: See Jn 15:1-8; 1 John 2:24; Jam 1:21-25; 4:6-8; Matt 7:24-26
  • Forgive as He forgave (key to successful relationships): See Matt 6:12-15; 18:21-35; Col 3:13; Mark 11:25
  • Be humble as He is: See Phil. 2:3-11; Matthew 11:29; 1 Peter 5:5
  • Love as He Loved: See John 15:9-14; 1 Cor. 13:4-7; 16:14

2)  Rely on the Holy Spirit as your Helper:  See John 14:26 and John 15:26. To renew us See Titus 3:3-7 & 1 Cor 6:11. To put off your old life and put on a new life: See Eph 4:22-24; Col 3:5-15; 2 Cor 5:17

3)  Die to sin and be free from it’s control, then do what is right by setting your mind on the things of the Spirit:  See 1 Peter 2:24; Rom 6:10-14; 8:4-11; 1 John 1:7; 3:5-8, 14; Col 3:5-17, Eph 4:17-32; 5:8; 1 John 1:9; Hebrews 12:1-2; 1 Pet. 2:11; James 1:21; Gal 5:22-25. Deny your fleshly desires (sin/evil) and avoid the consequences:  See James 1:13-15; Gal 5:16-21; 6:7-8; 1 Cor 6:9-10; Rom 8:7-8, 13-14; Mark 7:20-23; Rev 21:8

4)  Pray continually: See Phil 4:6-7; Rom 12:12; 1 Thes 5:17 –Turn every wrong, sinful thought into a prayer of repentance and renewal immediately.  The longer we think wrong thoughts the further down the wrong path we will go (1 John 1:9; 3:21-24).

5)  Submit to God and stand firm against the enemy of your mind and your faith:  See James 4:7,8; Gal 5:1; Eph 6:10-17; 1 Peter 5:6-10; Heb 11:1, 6; 12:1-3; 1 John 5:4-5

6)  Persevere through trials; trusting God is at work, and put your hope in Him: See John 16:33; 1 Peter 1:6-9; 4:12-14, 19; Matt 6:33-34; 8:28; James 1:2-4, 12; 5:11; Heb 10:36-39; 12:5-7; Rom 5:2-4; 8:18; Lam 3:21-25; Is 30:18; Ps 62:5-8; 147:11; Luke 6:22; 2 Cor 4:17-18; 12:10

7)  Do the Will of God, found in the Word of God:  See James 1:21-25; 1 Peter 4:2; Matt 3:35; Rom 12:2; 1 Thes 4:3; 5:12-18; 1 Pet 2:15; 1 John 2:17; 5:14-15

There is hope for complete healing only in Jesus Christ and living a victorious life through Him.

Thoughts That Create Peace Within and Without

We learned in the last two posts that our thoughts control our destiny, and we can control our thoughts. Please read my previous two posts if you haven’t already. In this post, I want to share more specifically how to control your thoughts. In the post called ALL THOUGHTS ARE WITHIN OUR CONTROL, I explained how I tend to let my thinking go to extremes of anger, and then to worry.  I use the truths in the Bible for my inspiration because it is the authority for how we should think. How we think dictates how well we love.

To break my negative thought cycles, I would consciously choose to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and in everything give thanks for this is God’s will” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).  To rejoice always is to choose to focus your thoughts continually on things that make you glad, happy, or delighted.  Rejoice in Jesus and how you are forgiven and free from the control of sin, etc.  Rejoice in the fact that God is faithful, and nothing is impossible with Him.

Next, pray without ceasing by turning every thought into a prayer. If you think of someone, pray for them. If you are upset about something, ask God to help you forgive or whatever you need God to do.  If you are tempted to give in to your fleshly desires, pray for help to resist.  By praying we are practicing the presense of God in our lives as Brother Lawrence teaches.

In everything give thanks, which does not leave anything out.  Have an attitutude of gratitude.  Imagine, if you rejoice, pray, and be thankful all the time, you would never be depressed, miserable, angry, etc.  When I focus my thoughts on these three things, I feel peaceful, so I don’t act miserably and make others miserable.  Breaking negative thought cycles takes work and discipline, but it is well worth it.

The Apostle Paul also taught the Philippians how to safeguard their minds. In Philippians 4:4-8 he lays out four ways to create a healthy thought life.

  1. Have an attitude of praise and gratitude. “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4 NIV) – To rejoice in the Lord always is to worship the Lord and all He is with thanksgiving. Philippians 3:1 also states, Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. …it is a safeguard for you.” A safeguard is a protective stipulation. Rejoicing protects our minds from destructive thoughts of anger, malice, envy, worry, fear, etc. Things to rejoice and be glad for, and be thankful for, can be found in Who God is — Daily A-C-T-S Prayers, I encourage you to add this page to your favorite list and visit this page daily.
  2. Let prayer occupy your thoughts all the time, especially during times of emotional stress. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Phil. 4:6 NIV). Also, Ephesians 6:18 states, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions (all the time) with all kinds of prayers and requests.” So, how do we pray in the Spirit all the time?  It is our spirit with the Holy Spirit in us that prays through our minds to God. Read Four Realities of the Spirit World to learn about the interactions of the spirit world. You can also pray in the spirit through a spiritual language you receive when you pray for the power of the Holy Spirit to fill you (see Acts 19:6 and 1 Corinthians 14:2&14).  Prayer with thanksgiving is a way to productively channel your emotional energy. If you tend to worry or be angry, then read the following posts to learn how to be free to choose different thoughts and break the cycle: Anger Issues Protected by Pride and Judgmental Strongholds and ANXIETY: Protected by Worry and Fear Strongholds
  3. Choose where you let your thoughts dwell. You have control of your thoughts, so use that control to your benefit and the benefit of others.  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble (honorable), whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Phil. 4:8 NIV emphasis added) – Be proactive about your thought life! Choose to think true and positive thoughts described in this verse. Write down an example for each type of thought that would pertain to your life. For example:
  • True thoughts are based on what you read in the Bible, so focus on scriptural truths about yourself, others, God, and the world around you.  My short book on this website has over 100 true thoughts to think on.
  • Noble or honorable thoughts could be thoughts about what you can do to help others or to show kindness to a crabby person, or show love to someone who is difficult to love, etc.
  • Right thoughts could be thoughts about what is good and what you like about a person or something. For example, I have to walk a ½ mile to my office building from where I park.  When the weather is crappy, it is hard to have right thoughts.  Right thoughts are to think of the good exercise I am getting that I wouldn’t get otherwise, the fresh air I am breathing to detoxify my lungs and body, more time to pray, etc.
  • Pure thoughts could be thinking good about people and not judgmental thoughts. Choose to think pure thoughts about the opposite sex, instead of obscene thoughts. Choose to view movies and TV shows or read material that generate pure thoughts. In Psalms 101:3a, King David said, “I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;” Make this verse your priority to protect your mind from wicked and evil words and images, so your thoughts remain pure.
  • Lovely thoughts could be thinking about someone you love or thinking about how much God loves you that He would send His son to die and atone for our sin. And how His son, Jesus, would willingly do this for ungrateful people who reject Him.
  • Admirable thoughts could be thoughts that marvel at God’s creation, goodness, and mercy. Or, think about things that are done excellently, like a beautiful garden or some other good works.
  1. Your thoughts determine the beliefs and attitudes of your heart. When you practice thinking the thoughts listed above your mind is at peace, and you will be at peace with others and life. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7 NIV) – This verse is conditional and is based on following the previous principles of thinking. So, when you rejoice, pray, be thankful, and think good thoughts, you are inviting God into your thought life and valuing yourself and others.

Thoughts come from all directions.  Thoughts come from our experiences and the words we read and hear. I wrote two posts about the power of our words and how they influence us.

WORDS HAVE POWER—Part I: Overcoming The Destruction of Offensive Words

WORDS HAVE POWER—PART II: Words produce death or life energy