CRANIUM WARS what’s on your mind?
This morning we are continuing our series—the Cranium Wars. • WARNING: this teaching has the potential of completely and radically altering the whole course of your life! • It has the potential of taking you from a life of defeat to one of victory. • If you will simply apply the truths we discuss, it will change you forever. • Let’s review for a moment.
Cranium Wars! • As the title denotes, this is a war. • Every war has a battlefield and an enemy. • The location of this war is in the human mind. • And, the enemy is the devil. • Thus, the title: Cranium Wars. Proverbs 23:7b – For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. (NKJV) • You become what you think. • That is why our thoughts are so important in our quest for victory.
Have you ever been driving and noticed something off to one side of the road? • That is how your thoughts work. • Your thoughts are the direction you are looking and the rest of your life will follow your thoughts. • I want to repeat the question I have asked, but, today, I want to park on it: • Have you ever taken the time to think about what you are thinking about? • In your quiet moments—when you are driving or laying in bed at night or throughout the day.
Today’s Title: What’s on Your Mind? • You walk into a room and see someone you know deep in thought or maybe has a pained look on their face. • You ask, What’s on your mind? • Or, something like, A penny for your thoughts. • That is a good question for each of us to ask ourselves. • What do I think about?
Let’s suppose there was TV monitor hooked up to your brain and everyone could see your thoughts as you walk around. • What would we see? • Would you be embarrassed if the world were able to see your thought life? • If the answer is yes, then there are changes in order. • Imagine what God sees. • Our thoughts are open for Him to see all the time, so, in essence, this is already happening.
Honestly examining your thought life could be the key to your victory. • For years, I just thought about whatever popped in my head. • Never gave much thought to it—I just thought. • It never occurred to me that the devil could be putting thoughts in my head. • Much of what we think about is either lies from the devil or just plain nonsense. • The devil controls many because he controls their thought life, and they allow him.
Some Christians are allowing the devil to dwell in their minds rent free. • It is time that you give him an eviction notice. • He has been allowed to hang around long enough! • What then should I be filling my mind with? • Let’s look and see what God has to say about it.
Psalm 119:15-16 – I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways. 16 I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your Word. (NIV) • The Psalmist meditates on the Word of God. • He fills his mind with the Word of God. • Notice that it says he delights in God’s Word, and he will not neglect it. • In other words, he gives it priority in his life. • Are you doing the same? • Is the Word a priority in your life? • If you want victory, it needs to be.
Psalm 1:1-3 – Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
The wise meditate on the Word of God day and night. • They give it priority in their lives. • Notice the cause and effect relationship here. • They meditate on the Word, and the result is that they prosper in all they do. • In other words, they have victory in their lives. • If you are not experiencing victory, it could be because of what you are filling your mind with.
Ask yourself: • What do I watch on TV? • What movies do I go to? • Would you be embarrassed if Jesus physically sat down next to you to watch the show? • What type of music am I listening to? • What kind of books or magazines do I look at? • What kind of people and conversation do I listen to regularly? (see verse 1) • What are the major influencers in my life? • How much time do I give to the Word of God and how much time do I give to worldly influences?
Think about this: • I am trying to get lust out of my life. • I am working on laying an axe to anger in my life. • I am combating fear on every level. • So, why would I go to a movie, watch a TV show, play a video game, or read a book or magazine that has all of that in it and call it entertainment? • Then, we wonder why we do not have victory in our lives.
Our minds are much like a computer. • You put junk in; you will get junk out. • This is pretty elementary stuff, but why do we not do? Psalm 1:3 –They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. • Location, Location, Location! • Stay hooked into the Source. • That is where the life is!
Joshua 1:8 – Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. • Out of the mouth of 2 or 3 a matter is confirmed. • Now read 3 verses which draw a parallel between meditating on the Word of God and prospering. • How much time do you spend thinking or meditating on the Word of God? • If you are having repeated problems and issues in your life, this could be the reason.
Mark 4:24 – And He said to them, “Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you — and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.” (AMP) • Jesus warns to be careful with your thoughts. • You will get from the Word of God what you put into it. • The amount of thought and study you devote to the Word will determine the amount of virtue and knowledge that comes back to you.
You may be thinking, How do I meditate on the Word of God? • Meditationis a difficult concept for those of us in the West to get a handle on. • It sounds like the Eastern Meditation Religionsand many of us naturally shy away from it. • Remember this: the devil is not a creator. • He is a counterfeiter. • He will take atruth and corrupt it. • That is what he has done to the word meditation.
Why? • He knows if you get a handle on meditating on the Word of God, his influence in your life will greatly diminish. • How do you meditate? • It may surprise you, but you can answer that question by studying sheep. • Sheep ruminate when they eat & digest their food. • I like to use this word ruminate to describe meditating on God’s Word. • Allow me to take the time to explain this to you.
The writers of Scripture spoke to an agricultural society, and the Jews knew what ruminating meant. • Throughout Scripture, we are commanded to meditate on the Word of God. • Definitions: • Meditate: to chew over, reflect deeply on a subject. • Ruminate: (a secondary meaning) to chew over; reflect deeply on a subject. • Ruminate: (primary definition) chew the cuds (3 or 4 stomachs)
Ruminaterefers to the manner in which some animals digest their food. • Goats, cows, deer, camels and sheep all ruminate. Sheep • Toward the back of the mouth you will see large teeth with which sheep chew grass. • These are called molars. • The upper jaw has no front teeth. • But, the lower jaw has 8 front teeth.
To feed, sheep grip the grass between the upper jaw and the teeth of the lower jaw. • It does not chew the grass, but swallows it at once. • The grass goes into the 1st stomach(sheep have 4 stomachs). • When sheep have filled the 1ststomach, they often lie down, but they go on moving their jaws. • They are ruminating. • Sheep can ruminate well when they are quiet and lying down.
The sheep bring up a little grass from the 1st stomach into the mouth. • They chew the grass for awhile with their molars. • When the grass is well chewed, they swallow it again. • But, this time the grass does not go into the 1st stomach, but into the other parts of the stomach.
What does ruminating have to do with meditating on Scripture? • The idea of meditating/ruminating shows that you do not just read a verse one time and move on. • But rather you read through it the first time, but then go back and reflect on it. • Much like a sheep swallows the grass and then brings it back up to chew on it for awhile longer. • He sits there quietly just chewing until he is done.
You can start by asking yourself questions. • What is this verse(s) saying to me? • You park on that verse for a few minutes thinking about how to apply it your life. • You can then begin to praise the Lord for how He has worked in your life in the past and how He is going to work through this particular promise in the future. • Then listen for how He is speaking to you through this verse.
Examine what the verse tells you about your life. • Does it encourage or convict you? • Is there action you need to take based on what you have learned? • Ask the Holy Spirit to bring change in your life. • Just like a sheep takes time to ruminate on his food, it takes time to reflect on the verse. • In that way, you will have a rich feeding on God’s Word, and you will grow to be more like Jesus.
We live such busy lives, and most people rarely take time to meditate or to ruminate on the Word. • This is the key to victory because the battle begins and ends in the mind. • This is something you can do while you are driving down the road. • Instead of musing over your problems, begin to fill your mind with the faithful promises of God’s Word. • This has to become a lifestyle.
You may think you are unhappy because of what other people are or are not doing for you. • Many make the mistake of blaming their spouse, children or others for why they are unhappy or unfulfilled. • The actual culprit is probably your own thought life. • If your circumstances were to change, you will probably not feel any different. • If your thoughts change, you will change and ultimately your circumstances will change too.
This will not be easy, but with God’s help you can win this battle. • You are having to retrain your mind. • It is like starting an exercise routine. • Your body screams and rebels. • It does not like being stretched and worked in ways it has never done before. • Your mind is no different. • It will battle you every step of the way until you break through and obtain victory. • And, when you do, you can’t relax.
Conclusion Philippians 4:8 – And now, dear brothers, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. • Fill your mind with good things. • Think on things that will build you up and not tear you down. • Why always dwell on how bad things are? • You must make the choice to fill your head with good things!
Psalm 143:4-6 – 4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is distressed. • When David is distressed and in a bad place, what does he do? • Does he dwell on his situation? • Look at the next 2 verses: 5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands. 6 I spread out my hands to You; my soul longs for You like a thirsty land. (NKJV)
Instead of dwelling on his problems, he chooses to come against the problems in his life by dwelling on all the good things the Lord has done for him in past. • In other words, he chose to fill his mind with good things—right thinking. • What’s on your mind? • The answer needs to be: I am ruminating on the Promises of God’s Word! • That is your pathway to victory!
Set aside time on a regular basis to take inventory of your thought life. • Then you may be able to determine what the roots of some of your problems are. • You will be on your way to living a life of victory.
CRANIUM WARS what’s on your mind?