Creflo Dollar - The Battle Of The Mind, Part 3
If you have your Bibles, I'm gonna do a little quick review, but if you have your Bibles, go with me to the book of Ephesians chapter 6, verses 10 through 12, Ephesians chapter 6, verses 10 through 12. And we're doing a series here. We're talking about winning in spiritual warfare, and we subtitled it, "The Battle of the Mind". Because when Satan decides to attack a person, the first place of attack is your mind. Your mind is the arena of faith. Your mind is where you're gonna win it or lose it. And whatever happens in your mind translates into your life. When you win the battle in your mind, that victory translates in your life. But if you allow yourself to be deceived in your mind, then the fruit from that defeat shows up in your life as well.
I tell you it's the most important thing. How you think and what you are thinking about is vitally, vitally important in your life. And so we're gonna spend time focusing in on the battle of the mind and see what has to happen there. But let's look at this verse of scripture as we get started here. Ephesians chapter 6 and 10, he says, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might". Verse 11, "Put on the whole armor of God". Well, notice he says, "Be strong in the Lord, the power of His might," how? "Put on the whole armor of God".
Now, what is the armor of God? It's the Word of God. Put on God's Word, put on God's Word. And notice something now. We're talking about clothing your mind with the Word of God. You're not literally, physically putting armor on your physical body. So, the place where the armor is needed is in your mind. So, it's actually talking about, you know, putting the armor of God on your mind and in your mind. Put on the armor of God, the Bible says, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. That word, wiles, the strategies of the devil, the devil showing up, and he's trying to... in fact, I believe they have meetings to try to develop a strategy against you.
Satan, listen, he's developing or has developed a strategy against you, and that strategy is all mental. It's how can I attack their mind? How can I attack the way they think? How can I attack their mind? How can I attack the way they think? 'Cause if I win it in the mind, I win it in their life. That's the strategy, the strategy. How do I attack the mind and get victory in the mind? So, he says Satan has strategies. He says you put on the Word of God. "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil". Now, sometime today I'm going to show you that it's not just putting on any Word of God, that precision is necessary, that we've got to put on, you know, a specific Word of God, specific armor, in order to be able to resist the strategy that the devil has for our mind.
Look at verse 12. "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood". So, our conflict, we're not contending with human beings, "flesh and blood, but against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness, spiritual wickedness in heavenly places". These are four classes of demonic forces. So he says, you know, when you deal with somebody, a human being, that has allowed their lives to be governed by one of these demonic spirits, he says your fight is not with flesh and blood. It's with the spirit behind that flesh and blood activity. A lot of people don't believe in demons, and a lot of people don't believe in Satan, and that's exactly what Satan wants. He wants you to not believe in him. He wants you to not believe in demons, so that they can feel free to continue to deceive you and not have to take the blame for it. There are some people that blame God for some of the bad stuff that happened in life, because they are so in the dark about Satan and those demonic classes.
And so you've got to understand that we're not fighting flesh and blood. We are fighting demonic forces, unseen wicked spiritual forces that try to work to oppress you and stop you from determining your future, and they are working in the world today, both with saved people and unsaved people. And if you don't have the armor of God on to enlighten you of what's really behind the issues of your life, you could spend the rest of your life being dominated by these wicked spiritual forces, never knowing what to blame, never understanding the strategy, therefore, giving them the liberty to just do whatever they want to do in your life, until you're dead and in hell trying to figure out how in the world did this happen? Look at verse 13, Ephesians 6:13, "Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day".
So, take the armor of God so you can withstand. In other words, he says, "If you don't have this specific Word of God, then you're not going to be able to withstand, and you will lose the battle in the mind". And then notice what he says. He said, "This is gonna be an issue of standing". When everything's coming against you that's appealing, that has a lot of pleasure, that can promise self-pleasure, you're gonna have to stand in your evil day. Now, your evil day may not be my evil day and vice-versa. But when your evil day come, what will be said of you? Will you be the one that was willing to stand and continue to stand and not be moved?
That's a perfect description of spiritual warfare. Spiritual warfare is simply you standing in the victory that Jesus has already obtained. Spiritual warfare is not you fighting to get the victory. Spiritual warfare is understanding that Jesus has already gotten the victory, and our job is to stand on the victory that he has. That's the spiritual warfare, and Satan's job is gonna be trying to get you to move off of the victory that you're standing on. And so a lot of people don't understand that they're trying to beat the devil up. They're trying to say a thousand hallelujahs, and they don't realize Jesus has already whipped him, stripped him, embarrassed him, and taken away everything that he can use against you, and the Bible says, "And nothing will by in any means hurt you". And you're still fighting like you could fight the devil.
The devil has been whipped. Our part of the spiritual warfare is maintaining the victory that Jesus died for us to have. Please get that. Our part of the spiritual warfare, Jesus died so we can be healed. Now our job is to maintain that healing. Regardless of the pain, regardless of the diagnosis, I am healed. And then the pain comes. No, I'm still healed. And then the devil comes with more stuff in your mind. No, I'm still healed. Then he tries to bring fear. "You're gonna die". No, I'm still healed. That's spiritual warfare, and it's every promise of God. It's all the finished works of Jesus Christ, that Jesus has already finished. And spiritual warfare is you maintaining the finished work. You don't go and start acting like it's not finished. And that's what a lot of Christians do. We continue to act like it's not finished. We continue to act like our righteousness is not finished. We act like our redemption is not finished. We act like healing's not available and finished.
No, no, no, no, no. Spiritual warfare, people who know how to fight the warfare, they recognize, first of all, the finished works. I am redeemed. I have been reconciled. Jesus has paid the ransom, so I can go free from the consequences of sin. And they recognize that, and they stand on that, no matter what goes on. And I tell you one thing, Satan can use the philosophies that come out of some people's pulpits. And you've gotta know the Word, you've gotta understand the Word, and you've gotta learn how to rightly divide the Word so that you won't fall for the tricks, trickery of the devil. It's not only strategy, but trickery of the devil, trying to get you to step off, give up, cave in, and quit, and not stand on the victory that has already been given to you. In other words, when you discover in the New Testament that God's already finished this, that's your victory. Stand on it. Jesus took the victory, and on the cross he said, "It is finished". And Christian people still trying to finish what Jesus said is finished. You can't do that and understand that you're going to be fighting a victorious warfare.
So, let's spend time this morning and let's talk about the battle of the mind. The battle of the mind. So, the first place that your enemy will attack, this is the first place. When he comes against you, the first place he will attack is your mind. First base, first base, he's coming for your mind. He's not gonna come and push you down the stairs or none of that. He's coming for your mind. There's a strategy to try to get you to give up, cave in, quit, faint in your mind. He wants to attack your thinking. He wants your thinking to not line up with the Word. He wants you to question and doubt what you think from the Word of God. He wants to try his best for you to just eventually say that Word is not true. He wants to put fear on you, that what God promised in his Word will not come to pass. That is his strategy. He wants to attack your thinker. He wants to attack your feelings, your emotions. He wants to deal with you in your emotions; because sometimes people think that what they're going through emotionally can be counted as something that's real and authentic.
And you've got to understand your emotions have not been given to you to govern your life, but sometimes people allow emotions to govern their lives. The enemy will attack you in your thinking. He will attack you in your emotions, and he will attack you in your choices, your thinker, your feeler, and your choices. He will do his best to try to get you to choose according to how you feel. He will try his best to get you to feel according to how you think, and he will do his best to get you to spend time with influences that will influence your thinking, your feeling, and your choices.
And so, you know, you've got to understand how important it is, also, to hang around the right people. You've got to understand how to choose the right church. You've gotta understand, you know, where you're gonna get your right feeding from. You shouldn't be feeding from everybody's table. You've gotta find a table that understands how to rightly divide the word of truth, that understands that we're in this time of grace. Because as a man thinketh, then so is he. In fact, let's go and look at that scripture, Proverbs chapter 23 and 7. Your mind is the arena or the battleground for your life's output. So, whatever has been put out, whatever your life looks like now, ultimately derived from the way you think, ultimately derived from your mind, ultimately derived from that battle in your mind. Think of that. Isn't that something?
Your life output, just where you are right now today in life is a result of how you've been thinking, how you've been choosing, how you've been feeling, because you've allowed the words of the world to clothe you with its armor, and you ignore the Word of God that should've clothed you with that armor. And so there are people all over the world that are against the Word of God. "Oh, it's the white man's book. Oh, it contradicts itself". Everything it can to keep you out of the Word, because it is the only armor that will be successful against the attacks of your enemy. There is a devil loose, and he comes to kill, steal, and to destroy. You will lose or win in life based on how you handle and how you fight in the battle of your mind. I think I've said that enough.
Now let's look at this, Proverbs 23:7, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat, drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee". Now, I've always proposed that sometimes the translators put the comma in the wrong place. You know, the Bible talks about, you know, when the enemy comes in like a flood, God will lift a standard up against him. Well, it says this, "When the enemy comes in like a flood," comma. No, the comma's in the wrong place. The enemy is never gonna be flood, the enemy is never gonna be water. All throughout the Bible, that represents God. It represents the Spirit of God. Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water. So, it is, "When the enemy comes in," comma, "like a flood the Spirit of God will lift a standard up against him".
You see the difference that it makes when you have the comma in the right place? "When the enemy comes in," comma, "like a flood God will lift a standard up against him". But we didn't recognize that. And when you don't know the nature of God, you will give God's nature to the enemy, and thinking you're reading it right. So, for years, I thought when the enemy comes in, I thought the enemy was the flood. I thought the enemy was the water. That's not according to the context of the whole Bible. "When the enemy comes in," comma, "like a flood God lifts a standard up to him". God is that flood. God's gonna flood out the things of the devil in your life. Well, it's something similar right here. He says, "For as he thinketh in his heart". No, it should be, "For as he thinketh," comma, "in his heart so is he". See, you are in your heart how you think in your mind. "For as he thinketh," comma, "in his heart so is he". "As he thinketh," comma, "in his heart so is he".
So, your way of thinking, your way of thinking is gonna determine who and what you are in your heart, how you think. What are you thinking in your heart? You see, right here, when it talks about, "As he thinketh," then in his heart so is he. So, your thinking's determining what's being placed in your heart, which is ultimately what's gonna be placed in your life. So, you know what I believe he's saying here in Proverbs 23 and 7? Here's what I believe he's saying. You've got to start thinking about what you're thinking about. Whoo! You've gotta start thinking about what you're thinking about. Listen to me. People don't pause to think about what they're thinking about, because they don't think it's important. But it is so vital to your life, it is vital to the fruit of your life, that you're going to have to pause and say, "Now, what am I thinking about"?
Think about what you're thinking about. And if you're not thinking in line with the Word, if you'll start thinking about what you're thinking about, you'll know why your life is in a mess. You'll know why things aren't going right. And I'm saying think about what you're thinking about. Come on, let's go through the scripture here. Mark chapter 4 and verse 24. Think about what you're thinking about. Now please understand your thinking is going to always be based on what you're exposing yourself to. And most of it is going to be based on what are you exposing your ears to? What are you hearing? What are your ears exposed to hearing? People don't think about that. They think, "Well, there's nothing wrong with hearing crazy stuff".
I'm telling you, listen to me. This is the great deception here, man. Oh, there's nothing wrong with hearing stuff. There's nothing wrong with hearing stupid music that plants stupid stuff in your thinking. If you will trace the history and the evolution of music, the evolution of music also matches the evolution of society. Like, I just look at it, and people don't pay no attention to it because they don't, you know, the deception is what pleases me, or I want to do this, or this is what I like. That's the deception of the devil. Oh, he claps his hands like, you know, oh, they don't get it, they don't know how important it is, oh, they have reduced it to nothing. We are going to have a field day with these people. And right here in Mark 4:24, just the first part of this, he says, "He said unto them, 'Take heed what you hear.'" Take heed what you hear. I mean, right now, that's enough to me. If it was all right for me to expose my hearing to anything, then why is he saying to me, "Take heed what you hear"? Take heed what you hear.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have got to pay attention to the warnings that are coming out of the scripture. Take heed to what you hear. Are you taking heed to what you hear? Most likely not because, you know, see, you've gotta be careful. The norms and the values of the world, they're not based on God's Word a lot of it. It's a lot of times norms and values are based on a group of people who get together and decide, you know, today, this is okay. And you know, 30 years ago it wasn't okay, but today we've evolved. This is okay. Yeah, you've evolved more in deception. You've evolved more into darkness. Because anything that the world says is okay, but it doesn't line up with the Word, it is not okay. You're just evolving into a more advanced stage of deception. You are evolved in a thicker stage of deception.
And the Bible prophesies that there's coming a time where society will call what's right wrong and what's wrong right, where society will call what's false true and what's true false. We are there. And yet people have fallen prey to that. Christians have fallen prey to that. And all of a sudden, the Word is not the final authority. And all of a sudden, people are trained, "Don't look at the Word; don't listen to the Word; it's not true. I tried that before". You tried it wrong, 'cause you heard it wrong, 'cause it was taught wrong. But the Word is not gonna change. The Word has not gonna change. And just because you call something right when it's wrong, it just means that, you know, Satan is winning over you, because that's how you think. That's your mind, and you have convinced yourself that you are right. That is your philosophy. That's the lens that you're looking at life through, and it's a wrong lens. He says, "Take heed how you hear". Take heed how you hear.
So, look what the enemy's doing. He's filled your ears with all kinds of tomfoolery, all kinds of darkness, all kinds of deception. And because you are not true to the Word, and because you've not submitted yourself to the Holy Spirit to help you with the Word of God, I tell you what. You're so busy searching for liberty that the liberty that you think you have found is really bondage. Because real freedom is not the freedom to do what's wrong. Real freedom is the freedom to do what's right. And I tell you, you know, there has to be tough people in the body of Christ today. Because you've got almost nobody who will agree with this kind of teaching here, because they are settled into a deception that goes against the Word of God. But the Bible says every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.
Thirty-five years ago, when I started this church, I committed that I would teach the Word of God. And wherever I found that I needed to be more precise, if God will show it to me, I will make the change. And I am telling you I am still a student of grace, and I will continue to be a student, so that God can help me to transform and change, and so you don't have to be beat up. And I know what time it is. I know what day it is. And people call themselves woke are not woke at all. They just woke to deception. They're woke to darkness and not woke to what the Word says. All right, notice this, Colossians 2:8 through 9, Colossians 2:8 through 9. All right, now notice what he says here. Let's look at this in the New Living Translation. Colossians 2:8 through 9, follow me carefully on this one.
Now here's the warning here: "Don't let anyone capture you with empty philosophies". Don't let somebody capture you and win you over with empty philosophy, the lens that you look at the world through. He says, "Don't let them catch you with high-sounding nonsense that comes from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ". So, he says, "Be careful that you don't let somebody come and capture you with philosophy and human thinking that's influenced by those demonic spiritual powers, rather than influence that comes from Christ". And I'm telling you, ladies and gentlemen, the number of people who take, you know, what happens is you can take deception and make it sound, you know, put it in a deep-sounding quote, and people will buy it. Don't you know Satan knows how to package deception? He knows how to package deception. And the Bible warns us, don't fall for empty philosophies.