Removing the Mental Lies!
May 11, 2022
Removing the Mental Lies!
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (KJV)
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds😉 5 casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Tonight I am going to talk about things that we must consistently “pull down” and destroy in order to live victoriously. We are going to see that we must pass everything through a filter that is created using the Word of God and that we have been tasked with personal responsibility to wage war against the enemy.
There are four things Paul points out here.
1 – Pulling Down Strongholds
2 – Casting Down Imaginations
3 – Casting Down Every High Thing
4 – Bringing Every Thought into Captivity
1- Pulling Down Strongholds
A stronghold is a fortress or a fortified place. It is a strong defense meant to keep something out. And it can also serve to keep something in. What a stronghold is set up to do in this instance is to keep the Word of God from bringing breakthroughs in a believer’s life. It is meant to paralyze people by bringing fear, by exaggerating situations and feeding us debilitating lies.
One example that I have personally learnt from in the Bible is David, the ruddy shepherd boy chosen by God to be king. David’s thought life and his humility before God and man is a tremendous example of how our lives should be molded.
In 1 Sam 17:1-51 NKJV
The enemy was at war and screaming at the Israelites words of destruction. Goliath was intimidating, his size, his taunting and the army behind him caused the Israelites to cower in fear. Verses 8-10 we see Goliath telling them he will defy their armies and King Saul and the Israelites were greatly afraid. They were debilitated by the lies of the enemy. Did not God deliver these people time and time again from enemies that were visible? Yet here we see they had a mental stronghold. What they were seeing and hearing built a wall of fear around them that caused them to see themselves defeated by their enemy.
So here comes this shepherd boy. David is bold and recognizes something that everyone else has forgotten. David calls Goliath the “uncircumcised Philistine.” He’s not making fun of Goliath, he is simply making a proclamation of faith by recognizing that he, himself, has a covenant with God, and that Israel has a covenant with God (I Sam 17:26).
As he steps forward to wage war and break the reproach of fear from his fellow Israelites, he is assaulted by his very own flesh and blood. Eliab, his older brother, gives him a dose of his reality.
I Samuel 17:28 Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.
Like, “who do you think you are?” How many times have you tried to step out in faith and with bravery only to be attacked with words like this?
But David turned from Eliab (verse 30). He headed in the direction of the king. He headed towards getting ready and prepared for battle.
2 Cor 10:4 teaches us that we have weapons for warfare. These weapons are mighty – dunamis power, might, strength – through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Pulling down here in the Greek paints the picture that we have the ability, through God, to completely dismantle, demolish, completely destroy – utter destruction of these things called strongholds. These weapons are not natural weapons, they are supernatural. These weapons are wielded by the spiritual man, by the power of the Holy Spirit in us.
Ephesians 6:10-13 NKJV
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Notice we have the “whole armor.” God didn’t give us partial armor. With this comes a strategy for us to wage a well-planned attack on the kingdom of darkness.
Let’s look at what David did in 1 Sam 17:38-47, NKJV
King Saul placed his armor on David. Verse 39 tells us that David had not proved or tested out this armor. David tells Saul he couldn’t use his armor. Then David proceeds to pick up all he had: his staff, his sling and five stones. These items of his were not weapons; they are not what we would call weapons. They had shields, armors, head gear, foot gear, and swords on this battlefield. David had open-toe sandals. Goliath laughed at him and asked him if he was coming after a dog with his stick (his shepherd staff). David went with what he had, and we know the end of the story. He gave no place for this stronghold to nest in his head. He turned from the words and went to prepare himself for the battle. He debilitated and devastated this potential stronghold! David destroyed the potential stronghold from forming in his mind by his brother’s jeers; he avoided the stronghold of not being prepared by the world’s standards; the weapons of a soldier. He avoided the stronghold of facing a giant that taunted him by moving towards the giant with faith in God.
2- Casting Down Imaginations
Imagination – Greek word Logismos Strong’s 3053 – logic, reasonings, a reckoning or computation. It is reasoning that is hostile towards the faith. We tend to rationalize these thoughts by making a debate in our mind. We also will rationalize/justify behaviors rather than choose truth.These are well defended lies.
King Saul in the Bible is an example of someone who did not cast down his imagination, and it destroyed him. 1 Sam 18:6-9 shows that Saul gave way to a thought that came from the flesh. He heard the women of the town singing David’s praises and became jealous. He rationalized their singing in his mind and told himself David would take his kingdom.
Dr. Caroline Leaf said that 95% of all illnesses are mind-related. Saul became a mad man. He drew a distressing spirit.
James 3: 16-18 NKJV
16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
Saul became fleshly and gave way to lots of drama. He tried to kill David time and time again; he went off on his very own son and daughter. He had the mindset that many of us have given way to. Like when we were in middle school/high school, you can’t be friends with those who I don’t like. Slander became a part of his character. His heart became hardened and proud. He could not receive truth; there was no humility in Saul. His son Jonthan reminded him that David was good to him, but he couldn’t hear the truth that was being spoken. His thoughts were deeply embedded in his thinking and it became his reality. He hunted down and tried to kill someone who was deeply loyal to him because of these lies he believed.
We must deal with lies that create imaginations in our mind that are sinful. King Saul refused to deal with his imaginations, and it cost him everything, even his children.
3- Casting Down Every High Thing
A high thing in this context is something that is like an elevated structure, a barrier, a bulwark, a fortress. A high thing comes to our mind because we have been attacked or are getting ready to face something that will more than likely cause great pain if we do what is right. Here the scripture is teaching us that if it comes against the knowledge of God, we must cast it down.
Jesus faced the worst fate in the natural world, worse than anyone had or would ever face. In that He headed to the cross for all of us.
Mark 8:31-33 NKJV
And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Jesus is telling his disciples that he has to go to the cross to be killed. And we see the devoted disciple telling Him this must not be so. Jesus seems to be indignant that Peter would say what he was saying. This response is not what we would have expected from Jesus.
Jesus cast the words of Peter down immediately. He gave no room for Peter’s words to enter His mind.
Was Peter wrong? Peter’s thinking was based on earthly things. He just saw Jesus feed the multitudes; he saw Jesus heal the sick, give sight to the blind. Jesus even paid his taxes. Peter had no wants with Jesus present. His earthly needs were being met.
We see Jesus hit it spot on in verse 33. He said to Peter “you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Life in Jesus is never convenient, and it is definitely not easy. Jesus came to do God’s will, and He asks the same of us if we are to live free and have His abiding presence. There will be many things that will seek to become “high” in our lives, things that seek to pull us out of God’s ways. We must learn how to shut them down!
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things
4- Bringing Every Thought into Captivity
Our thoughts, if unchecked, will lead us to a life of hell on earth, and may lead us to a place of separation from God!. They will lead us to offense, jealousy, to living in the past, living in insecurity, depression, oppression. We will become a prisoner in our own minds.
We must learn to create a filter for our thoughts, meaning that with every thought that comes, we must learn to ask ourselves, “Does it measure up to what I am supposed to fix my mind on?”
Philippians 4:8 NKJV
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
When we consider what the apostle Paul was saying in 2 Cor 10:5 “taking every thought captive,” we see the picture of a soldier. So we can look at it like this: we are to forcefully take any thought that is not true, that is ignoble, that is unjust, that is impure, that is unlovely, that is a terrible slanderous gossiping report, that is not filled with virtue, thoughts that assassinate the character of others in our minds – we take our supernatural weapon of the Word of God, and we force that thought to shut up.
We can take our thoughts willingly or by pressure, to the anointing that Jesus brings to our lives. In doing so, we will have God’s peace. In doing so we will begin to speak under the anointing of God. Believers who speak like Jesus would speak into every situation.
We can take every argument of retaliation towards the words and treatment of others that we have in our minds and filter them by the Word of God. We are taking the high road and bringing our lives into obedience to Jesus when we do this.
John 14:15 NKJV
If you love Me, keep My commandments.
The biggest battle that many of us face in life is in our thoughts, our minds. There’s so much that God desires to do in and through us. We must fight the good fight of faith and keep pressing forward with eternity in mind. We must know that we have within us an arsenal of immense unlimited power – the dunamis – explosive power of Almighty God on the inside of us. Just like David, we just take what we have and say:
1 Sam 17:46
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
- Identify the lies that you hear in your mind. For every lie, find a truth in the Bible that God speaks to you.
- Identify when there are moments you are more prone to mental attacks. As you learn to recognize these, find something to do that breaks the cycle. It may be that fearful thoughts come when you are alone, so find a way to be around people who will encourage you in the Word. If you have too much idle time, find a way to do things that are productive, etc.
- Identify toxic relationships that may pull you back into what God has set you free from. Replace these relationships with people who will pull you up in life.
- Identify the Eliabs in your life. Ask the Lord to place friends/mentors who will help you develop your potential in Christ.