Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Mind, Our Control Tower. ~ Rabqa

Have you ever been to an international airport? The crowds
jostle, suitcase are piled high, long queues snake away from the check-in counters. Maybe you have stood on a viewing deck & watched the activity outside on the tarmac; planes being fueled, food being loaded, bib trailers ferrying luggage to & off & landing, one after the other another all day & most of the night.

It has been estimated that at any given moment up to 13,000 planes are in the air around the world! & all of them have to land & take off safely & not only that but on time.

This all works so efficiently by the control centre which I may add is the most important part of an international airport. It is where the air traffic controllers work. They track hundreds of plane flights, giving them take off & landing instructions, & they also coordinate their movements on the ground. The control center synchronizes planes coming in going out. If it didn’t do its job, there would be chaos.

Your mind is the air traffic control centre of your life, & you are the air traffic controller. You have to control what comes in to your life & what goes out. Whatever you allow into your mind gets down into your heart & shapes your life.

God wants you to take control of what comes in & what goes out of your life. Nobody else can do it for you. Only you can decide what you are going to think on (what goes in) & what you are going to speak & do (what goes out).

Pro 23:7 NKJ) For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, But his heart is not with you

This verse teaches us that we become what we think, & I certainly learned this truth over the years. “Where the mind goes the man follows”. One of the first principals believers must learn if we intend to walk in real victory is that our mind must be renewed according to the Word of God. We must learn to think like God.

Sadly, we believe many things that simply are not true. For example, some people believe they have no worth & value because people have said they do not or have treated them in a way that made them feel worthless & devalued.

However the Bible makes it clear that we are so valuable to God that He sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die & suffer in our place in order that we may redeemed from our sins & have an intimate relationship with God.

As we learn to think as God thinks, we exchange depression & hopelessness for joyful expectation. We believe God has a wonderful future planed for us, no matter what our past has been like. We believe God wants to bless us.

When we have negative thoughts, we end up with negative results. But positive thoughts open the door for God to work in our lives. If we think we are unable to do certain things, we will be rendered unable even though God’s Word says that we can do anything God asks us to do because of His
ability in us (Phil 4:13)

Our thoughts are that powerful.

We must all change our way of thinking before our lives will change Rom 12:2 says we are not to conform to the world & its ways, but we are to completely renew our minds by the Word of God, so we can prove for ourselves the good & perfect will of God.

In other words God has good plans for us, but we will not experience them if we cling to our old way of thinking.

We must cast down wrong thinking & replace it with thinking that God approves of. The mind is a battlefield on which our war with satan is won or lost. Satan is a liar & a deceiver. His lies become our reality only when we believe them. Stop allowing your mind to be a garbage dump for satan’s trash & instead, make it available for God’s ideas. Then you will enjoy a life worth living & have the testimony of being good fruit for God’s glory.

The mind is the gateway to the heart. What goes into your heart gets into your mind & what is in your heart determines the kind of person you are.

God looks at the heart & we see this in 1Samuel 16:7 NL But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Know that God looks at the heart. Not the outward appearance. Do not judge based upon what you see. Wisdom is in large measure understanding the principals by which God governs the moral universe. To gain wisdom means to learn to God’s thoughts after Him, esteeming the things He esteems & despising the things He despises. Learning wisdom is gaining the perspective that results from adopting God’s values & rejecting the values of the world.

We learn from Jesus that our hearts are like trees & our outward behaviour is like fruit. The quality of the tree determines the quality of the fruit. Matt 7:17-18 NLT) A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit

If the tree in your heart is good, then the fruit in your life will be good. On the other hand if the tree of your heart is evil, the fruit of your life will be rotten. What determines the condition of your is what you put into your mind~what you allow to land at your airport. The things you take in & speak about & meditate on are what shape your heart.

It can be said that your heart is like a T.V screen. What shows on the screen depends on the signal coming in. What are you turning on in your life? What are you giving attention to? What are you think about? What are you speaking about?

If it is what God says to tune into~what is good & pure & true & life-giving then that’s what will show on your screen. But if you are tuning in to negative signals like fear, resentment, anxiety & sin, then that’s what will show on your screen.

Pro 4:23 NLT) Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.

Guard your heart means to value & protect your mind, emotions & will with all vigilance,. Practically, that means that we need to examine our attitudes & our thoughts on a regular basis & make adjustments as needed.

Many people are deceived into believing that they cannot help what they think, but we can choose our thoughts. We need to think about what we have been thinking about. When we do that, It doesn’t take very long to discover the root cause of a bad attitude.

Satan will always try & fill our minds with wrong thinking, but we do not have to receive anything he tries to give us. Let me put it this way: I would not take a spoonful of poison just because someone gave it to me, & neither would you. If we are smart enough not to swallow poison, we should also be smart enough not to allow satan to poison our minds, attitudes & ultimately our lives.

Guard your heart aggressively. Let your thoughts be good thoughts. Think about things that are honourable & true (Phil 4:8) & watch your heart & attitude change.

The more you speak about something the more you will embrace it. & the more you embrace it the more it will affect your emotions & reactions. The state of your mind will affect the condition of your body. What you allow into your heart through your mind, good or bad, will overtake your life.

Many things want to gain entry to our minds. Some come from outside us~what influence us such as what we listen to, what we watch on T.V & what we access on the internet. While others come from ourselves come from the choices we make & the words we speak, which profoundly shape what we think & believe.

Words are particularly important. The Bible says (Pro 18:21.(NLT) The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.

A person’s life largely reflects the fruit of the tongue. To speak life is to speak God’s perspective on any issue of life; to speak death is to declare life’s negatives, to declare defeat or complain constantly.

We cannot overestimate the importance of our words, because they truly can make a difference between life & death. Determine today to use the power of your words to speak life everywhere you go!

This verse I have known for years & am very familiar with it, But I am blessed every time I read it. I do not think we can read to often, know it too well or apply it to much. As you can tell by reading this verse, it teaches us that death & life are in the power of tongue, & those who indulge in it eat its fruit, either life or death.

Basically, the writer is saying every time you open your mouth, you a ministering life or death, & whatever you dish out is what you are going to eat.

We have all heard the phrase” you are going to eat your words” & proverbs 18:21 confirms this truth. The words we speak are going to influence our lives. In fact right now you may be eating your words & that may why you are not happy with your life. Your mouth maybe getting you into trouble with yourself.

This verse teaches us that words are containers for power; they either carry a life-giving force or a destructive force.

If you are desperately looking for an answer to what is happening in your life. Do you believe that it is even remotely possible that your answer could be found in changing the way you talk? Go ahead & try it I know the truth of Proverbs 18:21 & have experienced it many times in my own life. I believe if you will begin to speak positive, encouraging words of life & blessing, you will see blessing in your life!

The Bible tells us in Romans 21:2 NLT)

Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Let God's Word & His Holy Spirit radically transform your way of thinking. Renew your mind to know & do the will of God. giving your body a living sacrifice. This verse informs us that God has a plan for us. His will towards us is good, acceptable & perfect, before we will ever experience the good things that God has planned, we need to renew our minds & get new attitudes& ideas by studying God's Word. Because His Word is truth (John 17:17).

Ezekiel 36:26 tells us that our soul, which is our mind, will & emotions, is not yet new. God has to start a new process to bring it into line with our new spirits. It is a process & we must cooperate with His Spirit who will work to reshape us but we have to do our part. Eph 6:12 NLT) For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

This verse gives us insight into the spiritual war that all believers are in. Our enemies are not natural, but spiritual. We can never win our battles if we fight against the wrong source in a wrong way. We tend to think that people or circumstances are our problem, but the source of many of our troubles is satan & his demons. We cannot fight him with carnal (natural) weapons, but only with supernatural ones that God gives us for the destruction of satan's strongholds. We are in a spiritual war. God is Spirit (John 4:24), there are other spirits as well both
good & evil. Angels are good spirits who are God's servants. BUT there are also "rulers of the darkness of this age... spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places" that are intent on waging war on the human race. Spiritual forces are at work behind every war in the world today. All human beings have a common enemy & it is not each other.

If you look at any nation where war is raging, on the surface you will see people fighting. But behind every conflict there are dark spirits that is what Paul calls "principalities & powers. The real war in the world is not natural warfare (terrible as that is) it is spiritual warfare. These dark forces work through men & women, including those in high places of authority. when people in high places make unrighteous decisions, nations start to slide. We see not only conflicts but collapsing moral standards & rise of social evils such as abortion & pornography.

This spiritual warfare isn't only raging in nations & societies, however, it rages around every human being, especially those who follow Jesus. Christians often discover they are in war when they first come into God's kingdom. It is like all hell breaks loose against them. This happened to me, I often found myself without money for food (I was on a pension because I did not want my children to come home with no one there). But those initial troubles are just the start. Over time we learn that there is an on going battle inside us, a tug of war between good & evil. Most people would rather not say about the spiritual side of their struggles, it's not fashionable, it seems a bit fanatical. In fact many Christians do not even acknowledge we have an enemy. But if we think about it, there's no spiritual war, we've already lost.

The fact is we do have an enemy. He has & his cohorts want nothing more then to ruin our lives in any way they can. He is intent on rendering us defeat & ineffective in our relationship with God. 1Peter 5:8 NLT) Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.

A hungry lion is one of the most fearsome sights in nature. It prowls around, angry & agitated, with only one thing on it's mind~finding food. The Bible compares satan to a hungry lion. Maintaining a balance in all things is so important we do not want to open the door to satan, who roams a round like a roaring lion. Ferocious & desperate, he continually stalking after prey with the goal of seizing it & devouring it.

The Amplified Bible translates 1Peter 5:8 graphically: Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.

I want to share some thoughts with you that will help you stay balanced in one particular area of your life~your self esteem. Of course, there are many other aspects of life that need to be kept in balance as well, but I want to focus first on self image because it is such a foundational issue.

Satan is "roaring in fierce hunger", & his chosen prey is us. The devil wants your mind, your body & your very life. When Jesus described Himself as the good shepherd who was safe & a welcoming door for the sheep, He also spoke about the thief who breaks into the sheepfold: The thief does not come expect to steal & to kill & to destroy (John 10:10 a). That is a good description of satan. He only comes to steal, to kill & to destroy. Satan's goal is to create havoc in our life as children of God, he cannot touch our identity in Christ because nothing can separate us from God's love (Rom 8:38-39). But he can stop us walking in that identity. He fights to blind us from our inheritance in Jesus. He fights so that we won't live in victory over sin. He fights so that we won't prosper or walk in health. He fights to make us useless as ambassadors of God. Basically, he wants to take us out.

 In contrast, Jesus says He has come that they may have life, & that they may have more abundantly (John 10:10b). God wants us to have a rich & satisfying life~a joyous life. A faith-filled life. The word abundant means above the ordinary~a life of excellence. The enemy sets himself against all this. He comes to steal your divine possession, your joy & your faith. He will try to steal your assurance, your peace, your emotional well-being, your health, your marriage, your family, your business, & your finances.

In order to develop a balanced, healthy God~centred self image, incorporate these thoughts into the way you think about yourself.
1 I know God created me & He loves me.
2 I have faults & weaknesses, & I want to change. I believe God is working in me, in my life. He is changing me bit by bit, day by day. while He is working on me I can still enjoy my life & my self.
3 Everyone one has faults, so I am not a failure just because I am not perfect.
4 I am going to work with God to overcome my weaknesses, but I realise that I will always have something to deal with; therefore, I will not become discouraged when God convicts me of areas of my life that need improvement,.
5 I want to make people happy & have them like me, but my sense of worth is not dependent upon what others think of me. Jesus has already affirmed my value by His willingness to die for me.
6 I will not be controlled by what other people think, say or do, Even if they totally reject me. I will survive. God has promised never to reject or condemn me as long as I keep believing (John 6:29).
7 No matter how often I fail, I will not give up because God is with me to strengthen & sustain me. He has promised never to leave or forsake me Heb 13:5).
 8 I like myself. I do not like everything I do, & I want to change~but I refuse to reject
9 I am right with God through Jesus Christ.
10 God has a good plan for my life. I am going to fulfill my destiny & be all I can be for His glory. I have God given gifts & talents, & I intend to use them to help others.
11 I am nothing, & yet I am everything! in myself I am nothing, & yet in Jesus I am everything I need to be.
12 I can do all things God calls me to do, through his Son Jesus Christ Phil 4:13).

As I mentioned there are other areas where we should strive for balance. We should maintain balance of work & rest, eat a balanced diet, never spend more then we earn & enjoy people but also have solitude. Although we want to please people & have approval we must put God & His will first in our lives at all times. If we do not maintain balance in our lives, satan will take advantage of the door we have opened. Check your life & if you areas out of balance, ask God to help you make whatever adjustments are necessary.

Acknowledgements Dr. Margaret Court.

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