The Gap: Captive Thoughts
When we lean on God and pray, He promises to bring peace and protect our hearts and minds [See The Gap (Part 2)]. That’s God’s part to play, but what is ours? We are encouraged to relentlessly assert our authority over our own thoughts. While He is the guardian (defense) of our hearts and minds we must be on the offense. That is how we take back what the enemy has stolen and gain ground in life. Our thoughts matter greatly for that is where the true battlefield is. The enemy attacks our thoughts because that is where the environment of our heart is first cultivated. The enemy realizes if he can gain access to twist or pervert our thoughts he can gain access to our hearts (which determine the course of our lives, Proverbs 4:23). The enemy has already been defeated by Jesus Christ, but it is in our minds we wage war to enforce this victory and walk out the destiny God has built us for. To illustrate this further think of it like this. The devil is like the opponent in a given sport. We are the undefeated winning team with the best defense that ever has existed. Come on we have God and His angels as our defensive team. That is pretty sweet! Knowing that his team is far inferior instead of sticking to the rules of the game the devil and his team starts to cheat. Seeing the only weakness in our team being a crack in the offensive team the devil and his crew takes to taunting. The entire opposing team focuses on speaking loudly and frequently enough to try and convince the offense of their defeat, their insufficiency, their flaws, etc… This breeds a division between the offense and defense of our team as fear begins to rise in the offense. The defense (the Lord) is certain of the victory and the offense (You and I) are now convinced of defeat. But here is the thing… the game has already ended and we have already won! The only thing left to attack is our belief in this victory. See what I mean? When you look at it this way the devil’s tactics while crafty, are based in lies.
When you believe in a lie, it then becomes your truth. We must constantly tend to our thoughts to weed out the lies and stay unified with our guardian (the Lord). This unity and closeness with God is fostered when we learn God’s strategy of how to tend to our thoughts.
In Philippians 4: 8-9 lays out the standard and filter we must run all of our thoughts through. This is how we keep our focus on the main thing holding fast to victory: Jesus and His word.
It reads: “ 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. 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
God gave us the authority and responsibility to be enforcers of our minds. If it does not line up with this standard it must be trashed. Mediation literally means to roll around in your mind. That does not mean that when we read the word of God it runs through your mind like a debit card does an ATM. Rather we make sure it lingers. Like a stone in the ocean is not easily removed but is rolled over and over until it becomes smooth, so our minds and patterns of thought smooth over in the depth of the ocean of God’s truth. When we keep our thoughts fixed on the true, noble, just, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy there is not much room for the enemy in our minds. The sticky, rough and divisive thoughts of the enemy roll off our minds like water off a ducks back. Only if we stop meditating on these things then room is made in our minds and we are at risk of receiving the lies and ultimately questioning our victory.
Right now this is something God has so lovingly keeps reminding me of. As I press on toward fulfillment of God’s promises of breakthrough in business and finding my husband the process of time has weakened my focus on Jesus. My heart grows heavy with longing instead of faith. But I’m reminded again and again through the word of God and His people to lay hold of the good with boldness and courage. As I think on the fact that the limitless God lives within me my hope rises! I see how when I’m in the gap I must train my mind to be anchored on the word of God. The word of God is not just the Bible, but a person: Jesus. A man who is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
Today if you’re standing in the gap, like I am, between promise and fulfillment of promise I want to remind you (and me) to stand firm in our victory. Any lie contrary to this truth MUST quickly be held captive. It requires a commitment and diligence to cultivate but God did not tell us to do this without empowering us to do so. You have more than enough to fight the obstacles and lies to be victorious. God has promised it. Now we go and walk it out in audacious faith! Your destiny and the lives around you are counting on it.