Joyce Meyer - Battle Strategies To Renew Your Mind
You know, it's one thing to have something by faith. It's another thing to have it in your experience. It's one thing to have it legally, as I call it. There are many blessings that are ours legally because Christ has died, His blood has been shed, He has sealed a new covenant in His blood, and as a born-again believer, we are joint heirs with Him and we have an inheritance. It's ours legally. It's ours, but it's the possessing of it that sometimes becomes an issue for people.
The Israelites came out of bondage in Egypt. They were slaves in Egypt. It's equivalent to being a slave to sin. God sent them a deliverer, Moses. He has sent us a deliverer, Jesus Christ, and we have come out of slavery to sin. They came out of slavery to pharaoh, and they headed for a place called the Promised Land. We come out of the bondage to sin and we hear all about the promises of God, and we start learning how to appropriate them in our life.
Well, the Israelites had to go through a place that the Bible calls the wilderness. It was an 11-day journey as the crow flies, straight across that wilderness. However, it took them long, miserable, painful years before some of them ever finally entered. Most of them did not, by the way. Of the several million people that came out, about a million and a half, I think, with children, very few entered the Promised Land.
Joshua, Caleb, and some of the children that were not at the age of accountability when God finally got fed up with 'em enough to say, "You're not gonna enter the Promised Land."
Now, we look at their story and we shake our heads and think, "How dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. If it was only an 11-day journey, how could it have taken you 40 years to get there?" But we need to wake up and smell the roses tonight and realize that many of us have wandered around the same mountains over and over and over too long. And my word to you tonight is it's time to go through and move on quickly toward the Promised Land.
So they thought their enemies were the problem. It was the ishmaelites and the Hivites and Jebusites and the Canaanites, and we all have our own brand of -ites. It may be the bad husband-ites, the grouchy neighbor-ites, the sickness-ites, the poverty-ites, the bad past-ites, but we've all got our own -ites, and we think that they are our problem.
The devil-ites, "It's the devil. If he would leave me alone," if this, if that, if something else. But as I began this study many, many, many years ago and searched this out more deeply, I realized that very clearly from Scripture we can learn that it was not their enemies that was their problem, because, you see, God was on their side, and, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" There's nothing in this world that can defeat us if God is for us. And God was on their side.
He told them, "If you will do what I'm telling you to, you can make a quick trip across this desert and enjoy My promises." But they did not do that. It wasn't their enemies. It wasn't the Canaanites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, all the enemies. It wasn't the giants in the land. It was their wrong mindsets and the wrong attitude. They did not know how to think the way God wanted them to think.
You absolutely can think your way out of bondage and think your way into freedom if you learn to think the way that God wants you to think. It is impossible to have victory and think bondage. It's impossible to be happy and think sadness and depression. It is impossible to be free from sin while you think that you are in bondage to sin.
There's a great example of this found in Romans chapter 6. In Romans chapter 6, verse 2, Paul said, "How can you live in sin when you're dead to sin?" The Bible tells us that when Christ died, we died in Him, that He took sin to the cross and that we are dead to sin and alive to righteousness.
You know what that means? There's a part of you, the born-again part of you, does not want anything to do with sin. It's dead to sin. That's why now, when you sin, it bothers you. Before you were born again, didn't bother you. You didn't care. You loved it. You enjoyed it, but once you get born again, now you have a new set of problems, because you cannot comfortably sin anymore. It makes you miserable.
So there's a part of you that doesn't want to sin. However, you're still carrying around the flesh, an unrenewed mind, wild, out of control emotions, and a stubborn will that has to be worked on by God and the Holy Spirit.
That actually is our wilderness. Our soul, until it's renewed by the Word of God, is our wilderness. We have to learn how to let God, who is in our spirit, invade our soul.
He doesn't want to just live in this little place in the spirit. He wants to get out into your mind, into your emotions, into your will, into your finances, into your relationships, into your entertainment, and He wants to finally be seen through you as a bright, shining light, so the world can say, "That person's got something that I want." Come on, somebody give God praise.
So Romans 6:2 says we're dead to sin, but then Romans 6:11 says, "Even so now consider yourself dead from sin and alive to righteousness." I love that because the word "Consider" is a process of your mind, so you might as well say that in Romans 6:2 it says you're dead to sin, but then Romans 6:11 it says, "So now think that you're dead to sin."
Believe that you're dead to sin. So we'll say, "I'm dead to sin," and sing songs about being free in Christ, but then we're afraid of sin. We say we're addicted, we're this, we're that. "I can't get over this. This is too hard. I can't overcome that," so we stay trapped in that wilderness area.
We have to begin to think like God thinks and say what God says, and that's gonna help us fast-track through the wilderness and begin to live in the promises of God.
You can control your thinking with God's help, a lot of help from the Holy Spirit, a lot of leaning on the Holy Spirit, you can control your thinking, but not until you learn to actually take an inventory of your thoughts, and I call it thinking about what you're thinking about.
"Where the mind goes, the man follows." If you don't like your life, go home, have a meeting with yourself, and think about what you have been thinking about. Instead of blaming it on everything else, have a meeting with yourself and just ask yourself if it's time for you to get rid of your stinking thinking, amen.