Today’s Scripture:

Introduction:

Today concludes our series from Joyce Meyer’s 2005 Battlefield of the Mind Devotional book.  This turned out to be a pretty good series as far as I’m concerned.  I don’t know how the rest of you feel, but I learned a bit from it myself.  The whole point of this series leads us all the way today’s message, and as we read from Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth…it is possible to have the mind of Christ.  We know from the Bible that God is no respecter of person, right?  So, if that’s the case then if Paul can have the mind of Christ then we can too.

I really want to be sure that I do this message justice, and since I’m still a bit foggy from my nap after work this morning.  Let’s just take a moment to pray and invite the Holy Spirit to help me write this message, and you to receive it.  Amen?

Opening Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I come before You seeking the help of the Holy Spirit to pen this message.  I thank You, Father God, that Your Word always accomplishes that which it is sent out to do, and that it never returns void.  I thank You, Father God, that Your Word is timeless, and that it is always profitable to those who hear it, receive it, and do it.  I ask You, therefore, Lord to again make my fingers that as a pen of a ready writer that I may write only of the oracles of You, and through the supernatural ability in which You supply me through the Holy Ghost.  I ask, Father God, that You would sink this, and all the messages this series deep into the hearts and minds of the readers.  I am so grateful, Lord God for this opportunity to speak into many lives, hearts, and minister to many.  Some I am sure who I don’t even know are following, but You know them.  You know their names, You know their needs, and You know where they are in their walk with You.  I pray these messages strengthen them in their inner man, and give them encouragement to know that they aren’t alone on the journey to become more and more conformed to the image of Your Son.  I love You Lord, and ask these things in the name of Your Son…Jesus Christ…Amen.

Today’s Message:

Today’s scripture overwhelms many people. If these were not the words of the Bible, they wouldn’t believe it. As it is, most people shake their heads and ask, “How can this be?”

The first thing I feel is the need to repeat what I said in the introduction, and that is that while a verse like this may be overwhelming another verse comes to mind here.  “For there is no respect of persons with God.”  Romans 2:11 (KJV).   Therefore, if Paul can have the mind of Christ that means we can too.  Like we talked about for the last couple of messages it’s a choice.  We can choose to either walk in fear, doubt, and unbelief…or we can walk in faith, love, power, and have a sound mind.  Paul’s words to Timothy come to mind when he writes in 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV):  “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  So, whether you are Paul and Barnabas, Timothy, or if it is just us.  If they can have the mind of Christ then we can too.

Some of the greatest Christian preachers of old like Smith Wigglesworth, A.W Tozer, Charles Spurgeon, and Oswald Chambers proved that you don’t have to be a New Testament writer to have the mind of Christ.  Again, if these men and I’m sure there’s some great women of the faith who had the mind of Christ as well…if they can have it…so too can we.

But, we don’t get it by our own strength, our own abilities, or even our own willpower.  It only comes by a continual washing of our minds with the Word of God.  That means we have to search the scriptures daily, and study to show ourselves approved.  That means that sometimes we seriously need to shut the television off, and open up our Bibles.  That means we have to say no to hanging out with our buddies, and actually getting up and going to church to be fed the Word of God.  We so NEED a return to the old days where people actually took time to study and read their Bibles.  Just so you know I’m not making this up.  Paul writes in Ephesians 5:26 (KJV) “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,”.

Now I realize Paul was talking about husbands, and wives in that passage.  However, the mind is sanctified and cleansed by the washing of the water by the Word of God.  Paul writes:  “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” in Romans 12:2 (KJV).  How do you renew your mind?  By making sure that your constantly putting the Word of God in it.

Paul was not saying we’re perfect or that we’ll never fail. He was telling us, as believers in Jesus, the Son of God, we are given the mind of Christ. That is, we can think spiritual thoughts because Christ is alive within us. We no longer think the way we once did. We begin to think as He did.

The thing is, however that we can’t just be satisfied with receiving the mind of Christ we have to support it, cultivate it, water it, nurture it, and feed it.  Our minds need to have the Word of God spoken and read to it often.  We can think spiritual thoughts, we can have more spiritual thoughts than carnal thoughts, and we can have the mind that Christ has…but that only comes by a consistent and constant renewing of our minds and washing it with the  water of the Word of God.

The mind of Christ comes when we are believers, but it doesn’t stay by osmosis.  This is a consistent theme over the last few days, and I ever re-released a message yesterday:  “ THE TIME HAS COME BY CHRISTLIKE MINISTRIES ARKANSAS” that I urge you to read.  It was all about keeping a hunger for the Word of God.  Especially in the day and age in which we live because there’s so much garbage doctrine out there.  There are dangerous doctrine’s being preached, and no one knows the difference between good, sound doctrine, and false teaching because the don’t have a clue what the Word of God says.  Why?  Because they are in too much of a hurry to read it for themselves.

I have to stay rooted and grounded in the Word of God.  It’s very easy to have other thoughts invade our minds that go unchallenged by the Word of God, and suddenly before you know it there are strongholds in you mind.  The devil gets all up into our minds, and creates a whole bunch of havoc because we are too busy to wash our minds with the Word of God.  Jesus said to search the scriptures daily.  Why?  Let me show you the answer in the word of God.

  • 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” – 2 Corinthians 10: 4 – 5 (KJV)
  • “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)
  • “Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 Amplified
  • “16  Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action),17  So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Amplified

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of all the reasons that the Word of God is so important to the minds of the believer, but need I remind you of what I said a few messages ago about the Word of God being the only offensive weapon we have when it comes to putting on the Armor of God.  Do you know why there are so many defeated Christians walking around today?  Not only do most of them go into the battle without their armor on, but they have no ammo to fight the enemy with.  As a former Marine I can tell you that while the body armor is important to have on the field of battle if you go into war without a weapon you aren’t going to win.

Do you know what the body of Christ does?  They go to church on Sunday if they can make it, and maybe they go on Wednesday nights also.  They might even go to a small group once in a while, but that’s usually the extent of the Bible that they get into them.  That would be the equivalent of a police officer going to his morning roll call meetings, and then going out to his patrol car without his weapons, handcuffs, or bullet proof vest.  Do you know what happens to that police officer in a gun fight?  He dies.  Do you know what happens to most Christians who are involved in a battle of spiritual warfare without their armor on or the sword of the spirit…which is the Word of God?  They die.

It’s written Proverbs that people die because of a lack of what?  Knowledge.  Knowledge of what?  The Word of God.  I can’t seem to emphasis this enough, and I can’t seem to get off of this topic.  I believe that the lack of the studying of the Word of God is what’s cause such horrible doctrines to be preached in pulpits all across the country, and on television these days.

I am convinced that if people really knew, studied and read the Word of God preachers like Joel Osteen wouldn’t be “rising stars” because there would be people standing on the watchtower screaming at the top of their lungs about how he was a false prophet and teacher.  Whenever someone stand up on television and says:  “If you send me this amount of money…I’ll send you this healing prayer clothe that will heal your diseases, and if you act now the Lord will give you a double part of your seed”  If more people knew the Word of God then they would know that stuff is a lie straight from the pit of hell, and like Donnie Swaggart would stand up and say that these jokers are nothing more than prosperity pimps.

This message today is a continuation of the one I re-released yesterday.   “THE TIME HAS COME BY CHRISTLIKE MINISTRIES ARKANSAS”.  We cannot survive these last days without being firmly rooted and grounded in the Word of God.  There are people every day being taken by every wind of doctrine that comes from their television, radio, and even from their own pastors every Sunday morning.  Satan stands up and preaches sermons from pulpits all across the United States because there is such a lack of knowledge of the true, unadulterated, and incorruptible seed of the Word of God.  No one stands up to challenge these ministers of the devil because they don’t know that what they’re preaching is false, lies, and that’s because of a serious lack of studying the Word of God.

I can’t even move on to the next quote yet because there is such an emphasis now on this need in the body of Christ to return to the Word.  To return to the old paths as in the days of Jeremiah.  “Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads and look; and ask for the eternal paths, where the good, old way is; then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”  Jeremiah 6:16 (AMP).  I believe that this is the Holy Spirit sounding the alarm that we body of Christ needs to not just let people tell them us the Word of God says, but that it’s time that we read it for ourselves so that the Holy Spirit can teach us what it says.

When we have the Holy Spirit living and active within us, the mind of Christ is action. The mind of Christ is given to us to direct us in the right way. If we have His mind, we will think positive thoughts. We will think about how blessed we are–how good God has been to us.

This is where Joyce starts sounding like Joel Osteen.  The purpose of having the mind of Christ isn’t just so we’ll think good thoughts, but so that we have something to use when the lies of the devil come to try to torment our minds.  It’s not enough just to have positive thoughts, but about building up our most holy faith.  How do we build up our faith?  Well, again rather than have me answer that question let’s have the Word of God answer it.  “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Romans 10:17 NKJV.

However, Joyce and Joel are right in the sense that once we do have the mind of Christ then we will think better thoughts, but more importantly we will have a thoughts based upon faith.  Faith being the belief that God can and will do what’s promised in His Word in our lives.  But, how in the world are we to know what the promises are unless we read and hear about them from where…the Word of God.

Jesus was positive, in spite of being lied about, lonely, misunderstood, and a multitude of other negative things. He was deserted by His disciples when He needed them most, yet He remained positive–always able to offer an uplifting, encouraging word. Just being in His presence would suggest that all fear, negative thoughts, and discouraging hopelessness would evaporate into thin air.

See this is where I get upset with Joyce.  She ought to know better.  It’s not that Jesus went to some positive thinking seminar.  He had perfect faith.  He knew and believe all the time, all day, every day that God…His Father…and ours…heard Him.  One of my favorite passages in the Word of God is where Jesus is standing before Lazarus’ tomb, and says:  “”Father, I thank you that you have heard me.I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

Do you know why I believe the disciples were so interested in asking Jesus to teach them how to pray?  I imagine it’s because they often heard Him pray just like He did here before Lazarus’ tomb.  There was a boldness, confidence, and power to Jesus’ prayer.  Jesus expected results when He prayed.  Why?  Because He had some positive thinking class or seminar? NO.  Because He had faith.  He believed fully that when He spoke God would respond, and that God would perform that which He was seeking.  This is the mind that Christ had.  This is what He was trying to get across when He said that if we would just have the faith the size of a mustard seed we could SPEAK to whatever situation, mountain, or dead tree that’s in our lives…and it would obey us.

Does that happen by positive thinking?  NO.  It happens because we believe in our hearts that God is going to do just as we believe He said He would.  Yes, I do agree, like I said a moment ago that we can have the mind of Christ.  I do believe that Jesus never had a negative thought, I do  believe that Jesus always had a “positive” outlook, but the reason He had that was because He knew God’s Word…and because He knew God’s Word…Jesus was full of faith.  You do know that Jesus had to act and live and walk by faith while He was operating in His earthly ministry right?  So, yes, we most certainly can change from a negative to a positive mindset, but this goes deeper than just being a positive thinker…this goes into having such knowledge of the Word of God that we know like Jesus.

I’m not picking on Joyce.  I love her teaching, but she’s one of those that walks a fine line of preaching too much prosperity, too much easy listening, and is starting to sound a little too much like Joel Osteen today.  I am pointing out Joel Osteen as a false teacher, and someone whose teachings you ought to avoid at all costs.  There is nothing good about this man’s teachings, and if you want to know more just go on YouTube and listen to the video clips of his interviews with CNN’s Larry King.  If that doesn’t make you want to vomit then maybe you need to repent and return to Christ yourself.

The first time I heard of this interview was through watching old clips of Donnie Swaggart who had the entire transcript of the interview, and as he read the questions by Larry King and the responses by Joel Osteen I began to get more and more disgusted.  Larry King sounded more like a preacher than Joel Osteen did.  I think Larry King was stunned by some of the answers Joel gave during that interview, and so was I.

The main thing, friends is that we need to have a hunger for the Word of God like never, and I think now more than any time in church history we are so close to the rapture that we really, really need to buckle down, get the Word of God in us, and share it with a world full people who are on their way to hell.  It’s also necessary to get the Word of God into us as a defense against the garbage that’s coming out of pulpits all across America whether on television, radio, or in churches across the country.

Don’t’ get your Bible education from TBN…get it from the Holy Spirit…Amen?

Conclusion & Prayer:

Well, I certainly didn’t intend to go this long, but the Lord most definitely had some things that He really needed to get across in this message.  I hope I did Him proud, and I again pray that all who read this message would receive this deep in their hearts, and that the Holy Spirit would seal it in them so that the devil cannot come and steal it away…In Jesus Name…Amen.

The mind of Christ in us is positive. So when we fall for the opportunity to be negative about something, we should instantly discern that we are not operating with the mind of Christ. God wants us to be lifted up. It’s the enemy of our soul who wants us pressed down–depressed. We have many opportunities to think negative thoughts, but that’s not the mind of Christ at work in us. We don’t have to accept those thoughts. They are not ours!

I do agree with this.  The mind of Christ was full of boldness, confidence, assurance, and faith.  Our minds can be too, and they only get that way be continually feeding upon the Word of God.  So, I hope that we are all challenged to spend more time reading the Bible, and less time reading other things that have no eternal value.

I have the Word of God every where.  I have it coming to my emails.  I have it coming on my Facebook pages.  I have it on my Twitter account.  I am listening to good, solid Bible teaching all the time now (thanks to my fast from worldly entertainment), and it’s also in good worship music.  I do everything I can to make sure that I’ve got interaction with the Word of God all day…everyday.

It’s not enough for me to hear it on Wednesday nights, Sunday mornings, and ever other Friday night at small group.  I need the Word.  As a minister I am charged and commanded to “preach the Word”, and I can’t do that if I don’t know it.  So, the Word of God is really the theme of today’s message, and I think I know exactly what series we’re going to get into next…a series about…Why We Should Read the Word of God.  I think I’ve done it before…but that’s been in the majority of my messages lately so I guess we need to go through it again…and see what else the Lord would have to say to us through the series.

Pray: Lord, I truly want to be aware of the mind of Christ in my life, and I want to be aware of it every minute of my waking day. Help me to open myself only to know Your will and to push away the old mindsets, the thinking that will lead me down the wrong path. I ask this through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Final Word on the Series:

Well, friends, we have just completed a 14 day series from the book Battlefield of the Mind Devotional by Joyce Meyer.  I hope that it’s been a help to you, and I pray that you have been encouraged, challenged, and uplifted by this series.  I hope that you’ve come to know that we truly can have the mind of Christ, and I hope that you’ll pass these messages on to your friends.  I have enjoyed writing and learning from this series right along with you.  I hope you know that I am learning myself from these messages.  Many times I’ll have to go back and re-read some of them because I don’t always know what the Lord says through me, and how good some of it is until I go back and re-read the message.

I may have to read this one a couple of times.  I might even print this one out.  Feel free, by the way to do so as well.  Our messages are posted free of charge.  So, if you read one (or two) that you like or feel can be of help to someone…please print it out and pass it along.

Thank you for joining me during this series, and I hope that you’ll continue to come back to study with us some more.

“The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.” (1 Corinthians 16:23-24)
Blessing & Grace to you
Bryan J. Kizer