CRANIUM WARS simply a choice
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 and for the good. • Let’s review for a moment.
Cranium Wars! • cra·ni·um – / [krey-nee-uh m] –noun • the skull of a vertebrate • the part of the skull that encloses the brain • As the title denotes, this is a war, and every war has a battlefield. • The location of this war is in the human mind. • Thus, the title: Cranium Wars.
Proverbs 23:7b – For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. (NKJV) • You become what you think. • Our thoughts are powerful. • They are the precursor for all we do. • Our words and actions all begin with thoughts. • Thoughts lead to attitudes which lead to words which eventually lead to actions. • Have you ever stopped and thought about what you are thinking? • It is time that we think about our thinking.
Last week we learned 6 things: • This is a war. • The enemy is Satan. • The location of the battlefield is the mind. • The devil attempts to set up strongholds in our mind. (Stronghold can be defined as an area where we are held in bondage because of a bad way of thinking.) • The devil works through carefully laid out strategies and deception. • He is very patient.
Today’s title is Simply a Choice. Deuteronomy 1:2-3b – 2 Normally it takes only eleven days to travel from Mount Sinai to Kadesh-barnea, going by way of Mount Seir. 3 But forty years after the Israelites left Egypt . . . (NLT) • According to this verse, it only takes 11 days to make the journey in the wilderness. • How long did it take the Israelites? • 40 years! • Think about it: it took 40 years to make an 11 day journey.
Deuteronomy 1:6-7a – When we were at Mount Sinai, the Lord our God said to us, 'You have stayed at this mountain long enough. 7 It is time to break camp and move on. • Have you spent 40 years taking an 11 day journey? • How long have you been saved? • How many years have you dealt with your problems or sicknesses or bondages?
It’s time to stop circling this mountain and doing the same and go north toward the Promised Land. • For many of us, what we have been doing is not working. • Why then do we keep circling this mountain? • Let’s break camp and move on toward freedom and deliverance and the fulfillment of God’s destiny for our lives.
If we are going to get victory in our lives, the first step is renewing our minds with the Word of God. • Our thoughts lead to our confessions and ultimately to actions. • If you have always thought: • Nothing good happens to me, then that is probably what is going to happen. • Or, I have had this pain for years, I will never get relief. • Or, my marriage has always been bad, so it will probably never change.
Matthew 8:13 – Then to the centurion Jesus said, Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed. And the servant boy was restored to health at that very moment. (AMP) • The Faith Principle works both ways. • If you believe that nothing good will ever happen to you, it will probably be done for you according to your belief. • On the contrary, if you believe that you are a child of God and that all things work together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28), then you will probably get what you believe.
What are some of the negative thoughts that we have about ourselves? • I’m just snake-bit. I can’t do anything right. • I am just an accident looking for a place to happen. • I am a worrier. My mother was too, you know . . . • I am so clumsy. I’m just a klutz. • I have always been a little slow between the ears. • Nothing good ever happens to me. • If there is a flu bug or a cold floating around out there, I will get it. • And the list goes on and on . . .
If everything you believe about yourself is negative, then negative things will follow. • Negative thoughts are not humble thoughts either. • The devil will try this trick as well. • He will remind you that you should not think more highly of yourself than you ought. • He will also quote that you are only a sinner saved by grace, but he will put special emphasis on sinner. • Yes, you are a sinner, but he fails to tell you that God has now seated you in heavenly places. • He operates through deception.
This is the type of stink’inthink’in that we need to change about ourselves. • Here’s the point: This is a choice. • You can either choose to believe what God says about you. • Or, you can choose to continue with what you and others have said about you. • The choice is yours!
Deuteronomy 30:19 – I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live. (NKJV) • Choose life! • To me, the choice is simple—Life over death. • It all begins in your thought life. • That is where you need to make the choice to win the battle.
Our natural minds have had so much experience operating without any effort. • It is easy to think negative, bad thoughts. • Our natural, sinful minds gravitate toward the lowest common denominator. • It takes effort on our part to think right thoughts. • We must choose right thoughts and continue to choose right thoughts every day. • When you rise in the morning, say, Today, I choose to think right thoughts. And, I will cast down all thoughts that are not of God.
This is a transforming process. • It will not happen overnight. • It is step-by-step and little-by-little. • Most have a legitimate reason for having negative thoughts. • But, you are now a new creation in Christ Jesus. • Old things are passed away and all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (NKJV)
If you are a new creationin Christ, why allow the old ways of the old person affect you now? • You are a new creation—something that has never existed before. • Walk in that new person in Christ, but it must begin in the mind. • Remember that right thinking is not just simply thinking positive thoughts. • But, rather it is what the Word says that we are. • What does it say about us?
You are the head and not the tail. • You are the top and not the bottom. • You were created for good works. • You were fearfully and wonderfully made. • You are seated in heavenly places. • You are: • Victorious --Happy • Healed --Forgiven • Free --Overcomer • Blessed • Prosperous
And, that is just a short list! • Those are the thoughts that we need to begin filling our mind with. • Caution: This isn’t positive confession where you just think positive thoughts and get everything you want. • We must speak and think in agreement with God’s will and plan for our lives. • If you don’t know what God’s plan for your life is, confess Romans 8:28 – All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.
Don’t forget that this is a battle for the mind—Cranium Wars. • The devil will fight you every step of the way. • He knows his control over you is over if you learn to choose right thoughts. • He will try to stop you through discouragement and condemnation.
Psalm 42:5 – Why am I discouraged?Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again—my Savior and 6 my God! • What is discouragement? • The absence of hope. • When our hope is gone, discouragement and dismay set in. • Without hope, we give up the fight. • That is why the devil will attack you with discouraging thoughts.
What is the antidote for this? • Look at the verse again: Psalm 42:5 – Why am I discouraged?Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again—my Savior and 6 my God! • You must do what David did at Ziklag. • What did David do? • Wallow in self-pity? • No, he encouraged himself in the Lord! • He knew that God was not his problem but his solution.
How do you do that? • Begin to praise Him. • Stand on the promises of God’s Word about your situation. • Remember: that is what I did last week and have been doing ever since. • The spirit of discouragement has tried to creep back. • I have to battle it with the weapons of our warfare—the Word, Praise and Prayer.
If you think about it, one of the greatest gifts we have as a believer in Jesus Christ is hope. • No matter what happens to us, we always have hope in Christ. • Hopethat through Jesus, all things will work together for our good!
Some are afraid to hope because they have been disappointed or hurt so many times in the past. • It is a defense mechanism that protects them against disappointment. • They think: If I don’t hope, then I won’t get hurt or disappointed. • They refuse to believe that anything good could ever happen to them. • It will probably happen as they have believed. Proverbs 13:12 – Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Another place the devil attacks is our joy. • Nehemiah 8:10b – For the joy of the Lord is your strength! • Think about it: if he can rob you of your joy, then he can get your strength. • And, if you have no strength, then you will have no will to fight. • You just give up and let him run all over you. • The devil attacks in 2 areas: • Hope Discouragement Give up • JoyNo Strength No fight
This is a war! • Cranium Wars! • We must continually encourage ourselves in the Lord. • God repeatedly says throughout Scripture not to become discouraged because it will rob us of our victory. • What did God say to Joshua as he was about to enter the Promised Land and fight the great battles ahead of him?
Joshua 1:9 – This is My command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. • Joshua, as you face the wars ahead of you, do not walk in fear or discouragement. • They will rob you of your victory. • How did God tell him to combat fear and discouragement? • Look at the verse right before this:
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. • In essence, God was revealing to Joshua that he had a spiritual sword in the Word of God. • The Word would enable him to combat the fear and discouragement that the enemy will try to throw at him. • The same is true for us.
Conclusion • Be Positive – Positive thoughts are thoughts of faith and hope! • Positive thoughts based on the Word of God lead to a positive life. • The contrary is true as well. • Negative thoughts are thoughts of fear, doubt and discouragement. • They lead to a negative life.
Admit it! • If you are a negative person, the hardest part is to admit it and say, I want to change. • This is the only pathway to freedom. • This is always the first step out of bondage. • People come and want to see their loved ones free from drugs, alcohol and other addictions. • But, it is really difficult to deal with that person until they are willing to admit that they have a problem and want to change.
Ask for Help – Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you every time you begin to think negative thoughts. • That is part of His job. • He was sent into the world to convict us of our sin. Philippians 1:6 – And I am certain that God, Who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. (NLT) • You are a new creation in Christ, and He has begun a good work in you. • He will not finish until He calls you home.
Don’t Give Up – If you fail, and you will. • Get back up, dust yourself off and keep moving toward the goal. • Use Your Weapons – Don’t forget to fight your battle with the weapons of your warfare—The Word, Praise and Worship and Prayer. • If you think about it: it all boils down to a choice. • It’s Simply a Choice. • To me the choice is easy—choose life over death. • How about you?
CRANIUM WARS simply a choice