DISCERNING SPIRITS AND FIGHTING BATTLES
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” (1 John 4:1)
Discerning between spirits is a fruit of the Spirit as revealed in 1 Corinthians 12:10. Discern means to distinguish something or someone by sight or with other senses. In Latin its definition is to separate apart. Jesus wants to become the filter to our thoughts so that they can be separated. He came to separate the false from the true, He wants to define reality by revealing all counterfeit and lies and replacing them with His precious truths.
LIVING WITH HIGHER TRUTHS IN MIND
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
There are truths and higher truths that exist. One truth is that the enemy comes against us to wage war upon our lives but the higher truth is that Jesus fights for us and has already won the battle on our behalf. We fight from a place of victory, not towards one. I encourage you to hold tight to Jesus in these times and know that He has already overcome everything you face. He wants us to give Him the battle and trust Him with it. I believe our greatest weapon of warfare is to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and worship Him. This could be the best way to define how we fight our battles.
Another scheme of the enemy is to attack our minds and thoughts. It is important to distinguish where our thoughts are coming from. The average human has 70,000 thoughts per day which will be made up of a mixture from God, our flesh and the enemy. I remember one day I decided to do an experiment to see where my mind was at. I recorded all my thoughts throughout the day to see exactly what was going through my head. I could see the composition of these thoughts was not correct so I became intentional to focus on things which are worthy to think about. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things”. (Philippians 4:8)
Our thoughts define our realities, the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to walk with the mind of Christ and influence our thoughts. God wants for us to see the reality and truth of the situations we are in, in order for us to be effective in them.
PATTERNS OF THOUGHTS
By accepting a thought in our minds we are agreeing with it and allowing it to shape us. Who we are in agreement with is who we submit to. Of the 70,000 thoughts that come in, it’s not the individual thoughts that are so powerful but more the thought patterns and scenarios that unfold from these.
Neural pathways form our thoughts. Picture your brain as a piece of soft cheese. Now picture your thoughts as if they were like warm ball bearings. When a thought lands on the cheese it rolls along and leaves an indent forming a path. Over time when we think similar or the same thoughts several times a thought pattern is formed and these patterns become hardwired into our minds. In science it has been proven that when you think, you build thoughts, these thoughts in turn become physical substances in your brain. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he”. (Proverbs 23:7)
THE RENEWED MIND
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect”. (Romans 12:2)
As we set our mind on the things above, we have the opportunity to operate from the heavenlies towards earth, from the superior realm to the inferior realm. We are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6), it is through this reality we can usher the atmosphere of heaven into the earth with thoughts and deeds.
I recently read a quote from Graham Cooke which said, “When we know more about ourselves than the devil knows about us, it allows us to answer him with an authority”. Ultimately as a believer our identity is found in Jesus, when we live conscious of this, we effectively smoke out the moments in which the enemy comes to steal our identity. This happens because we hold more knowledge than he does, thus giving us an authority.
In closing my prayer is that existing pathways which have been formed outside of the word and presence of God are replaced with new pathways formed by Christ Himself. I pray that God’s voice drowns out every other voice and His peace that surpasses all understanding rest and dwell within our minds.
Christopher Pinches | Kingdom Encounter
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