Sunday, July 12, 2015
satan and mind control
How Satan Gains Control Of The Mind Watchman Nee in his book The Spiritual Man states that there are five ways we give control of our minds to Satan: First, by not daily meditating on God's word. Second, by deliberately considering and living out sin in one's mind. Third, through willful ignorance of God's truth's and moral absolutes. Fourth, by accepting any suggestion in the mind as if from God without questioning or checking to see if it lines up with God's Word or past light of God. Fifth, by deliberately blanking one's mind so as to receive suggestions from evil spirits. James 4:7 states, "Submit therefore to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you." God has a purpose and a plan for each of our lives. God’s Word commands us: Ephesians 5:15-17 "Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Each of the above points we could cover. For the most part they are self explanatory. Where they are not, we will cover them in this article. However, none of the above points, except meditating on God's word, would even be a problem if the individual Christian sought God's will for them and walked in His will. The way Satan gains control of a person's mind is when their mind is passive, idle, when they are out of God's will, not occupied with God's will. God commands us in His word to know what His will for our lives are individually. Paul wrote in Galatians 5:16 "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh." We are walking in the Holy Spirit when we are using our daily time according to God’s leading through the Holy Spirit. As long as we are occupied in our use of time according to God’s will, Satan cannot gain control of our minds. You have heard the saying, "An idle mind is the play ground of the Devil." That is literally true. It is only when we disobey God in our use of time, allow our minds to be idle, that Satan is able to get a foothold. First, understand that the Bible teaches us that the flesh never did obey God’s laws and it never will. Paul wrote, Romans 8:6-8 "For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God." This passage tells us that the flesh never did obey God’s laws and that it never will. How then do we bring the flesh under control? How do we keep from sinning? How do we keep Satan from gaining control of our minds? By occupying our time and our minds with God’s will. Paul wrote in Romans 13:14 "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts." As long as you are occupied in doing God’s will, the flesh does not have opportunity to sin. It is when we become idle and our minds become idle that our flesh begins to drift toward its natural inclination to sin. Let me cite you an example in my own life. When I was in Junior College I went through a two year Degree in Electronic Technology. This involved four hours a day in class instruction with a twenty minute break in between five days a week. I used my twenty minute break to go out on campus and share Jesus with students. The campus had a population of over 15,000 students. It took me about five minutes to find a student to talk to, ten minutes to present to them the Gospel through a salvation tract, and five minutes to get back to class. I saw many students come to Christ during this twenty minutes a day sharing the Gospel. When I would go out and do this with my break, God would bless me in my electronics (Luke 6:38). One day I decided to go to the break room and get a coke and a candy bar. I sat down at a table and while drinking my coke I looked around and noticed all the beautiful girls that were on campus. RED FLAG! RED FLAG! RED FLAG! An idle mind is the playground of the Devil. Now there is nothing wrong with enjoying the flowers in the field, but I was idle and once these thoughts entered in, other thoughts also entered in and it was all down hill from there. Given the opportunity to sin, the flesh will sin. "An idle mind is the play ground of the Devil," I thought, so I got up and went out on the campus to look for someone to share Jesus with. So then, how do we bring our flesh under control and keep it from sinning? By filling and occupying our time with God’s will. It is God’s will that Christians use their free time to share Christ with others. When we don’t use our free time to share Christ with others we fill it with worldly things. We become board and start looking for ways to satisfy the desires of the flesh. Paul wrote, Galatians 5:17 "For the flesh with-strong-passion-fights against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please." There is no satisfying the flesh. the more you give into the flesh to satisfy it, the harder it is to go back to walking in the Holy Spirit, because the flesh with strong passion fights against the Holy Spirit. Getting back to our main discussion, how then does Satan gain control of the mind. Simply stated: when we are not obeying God in our use of time. An idle mind is the playground of the Devil plain and simple. The way you gain back control of your mind is by seeking the Lord’s will in your use of time and then obeying him in that use of time. That is what Chapter 5 of Section 1 in the Basic Textbook is all about: it teaches and explains to you how to set up a weekly schedule in your use of time according to God’s will. A second way Satan gains control of the mind is when we place our trust in what many Christians mistakenly call the Holy Spirit. What do I mean by this? I mean "God told me to do this. . ." However, what God told them to do is completely contrary to God’s word. Jesus said in John 8:47 "He who is of God hears the words of God." God never, ever, ever leads us contrary to the Word of God. So when we receive anything we think is the Holy Spirit, the first question we must ask is "Does God’s word agree with what I believe is the Holy Spirit speaking to me?" Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 11:14 "And no wonder for Satan transforms himself into an angel of light." Earlier in the same chapter Paul wrote, 2 Corinthians 11:4 "For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully." Paul talks about another Jesus and a different spirit and a different gospel. How do we know who is the true Jesus preached about or what is truly the Holy Spirit talking to us or what is the true Gospel preached? The Mormons have a different Jesus and gospel, the Jehovah Witnesses another Jesus and gospel, and the Muslims a totally different Jesus and gospel. What is the true Gospel? The Bible tells us who the true Jesus is and what is truly the voice of the Holy Spirit and what the true Gospel is. Paul wrote, "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures." (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) "But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8) Our faith is not based on air, it is not built on Jesus or the Holy Spirit or the Gospel; our faith is based on the Jesus and the Holy Spirit and the Gospel taught in the Bible. The Bible is the bases for what we believe or do not believe. If a voice tells you to do something that does not agree with God’s Word, it is not of God and is to be rejected plain and simple. God speaking through Isaiah said, "And when they say to you, ‘Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,’ should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living? To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because they have no dawn." (Isaiah 8:19-20) Another way Satan gains control of our minds which really relates to what we have already been discussing, is when we deliberately choose to sin. Our flesh is in bondage to sin. All Christians struggle with lust. However, when a Christian deliberately chooses to turn to pornography, they are with their will choosing to sin. That is a doorway. As a result Satan will take control of their minds and it will take more than confession of one's sin to get freed from the bondage of pornography because now unclean spirits are also involved which are keeping the person in bondage. Ecclesiastes 10:8 states "He who digs a pit will fall into it, and whoever breaks a hedge a serpent will bite him." You must now also ask God to cleanse you from the unclean spirits and free your mind from bondage to Satan, then bind the unclean spirits and command them to leave in order to get free. Christians I have worked with who have willfully turned to pornographic sights on the web have found afterwards that regaining control of their minds is a real battle and is not possible in most cases without the help of other Christians. My advise is occupy yourself with God's will and stay away from pornographic sights. See my article on Spiritual Warfare titled "How to Have Victory Over Sexual Sins." Another way Satan gains control of our minds is through non-Biblical types of meditation. What do I mean by non-Biblical types of meditation. What kind of meditation is Biblical, does the Bible teach? Joshua wrote in Joshua 1:8, "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success." The Bible’s definition of meditation is always doing something with your mind, never surrendering or blanking it to anyone or waiting for something or someone to fill it. Meditation in the Bible is always active, it is never passive. What is the active thing the Bible tells us to do in meditation? It tells us to study and meditate upon God’s Word, meaning to think about, muse over: "What is God's word teaching, telling me to do? What is it trying to teach me?" Meditation here refers to actively using your mind to study and understand what the word of God is teaching you. I had a friend once who told me he had a problem spending more than ten minutes of His time in prayer because his mind would wonder and before he was done he found he was thinking about sinful things. What was he doing wrong? He was praying and waiting upon the Lord with a passive mind. This is not how we are to seek the Lord when we pray. When we pray, first, we are to worship the Lord, thank Him for His goodness in our lives, for our salvation and for answers to previous prayers. Psalm 100:4 states "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name." The second thing we are to do is to bring our petitions to the Lord. Philippians 4:6-7 states, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Third, while then waiting upon the Lord you are to read, study and meditate upon His word. "He who is of God hears the words of God." (John 8:47) "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success." (Joshua 1:8) "He who gives attention to the word shall find good, and blessed is he who trusts in Yehovah." (Proverbs 16:20) "Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your mind to my knowledge; For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you, that they may be ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in Yehovah, I have taught you today, even you. Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge, To make you know the certainty of the words of truth that you may correctly answer to him who sent you?" (Proverbs 22:17-21) Why does God want us to meditate upon His Word while waiting upon Him? Psalm 138:2 tells us "You have magnified Your Word according to all Your name." Someone asks "What is God like?" God tells us in Psalm 138:2 that what God is like is what the Word of God teaches us about what God is like. God says that His Word is equal to His name. Being equal to His Name means equal to His character. God tells us in this passage of Scripture that His Character and what the Bible teaches about His character are one and the same. This is why God prefers to reveal Himself to us while meditating upon His word, because God's character, what He reveals to us about Himself through the Holy Spirit will never be contrary to what the Bible reveals to us about God's Character. They are one and the same. Now what is wrong meditation? Wrong meditation is what Eastern religions and Satanic cults teach you to do, and that is to blank your mind while waiting for Satan to come and fill it, and fill it he will. Years ago I prayed with a man who came forward in church to receive Christ. He had been heavily involved in Transcendental Meditation. This is a religion which stresses strongly blanking ones mind in meditation. As a result many unclean spirits entered him. After he came to Christ, he had great difficulty gaining control over his mind because he had passively yielded his mind to Satan for so many years. This is also what Satanists do to gain instruction from Satan and to receive demons, they plank their minds. They will focus upon a burning candle and clear their minds of all thought until an outside force enters their minds and takes control. This is just the opposite of what God asks of us. God never takes control of our minds. He created us in His image. That means like God we have free independent will. God never violates the independent will of anyone. Even after we give our lives to Christ, he does not take control of our minds. Jesus will tell us what His will for our lives are, but he will never force us to do his will. We are always in control of ourselves and must choose to obey Him. He never requires us to yield our minds and bodies to Him to control and walk through like demon possession. Jesus was not a man possessed by God, Jesus was God in bodily form. Paul wrote in Colossians 2:9 "For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form." That is what we mean by Christianity being relationship with Jesus. We seek God’s will for our lives while meditating upon His word. He then either directly through the Word reveals His will to us, or speaks to us through the Holy Spirit but never in contradiction to God’s word. We then choose with our will whether to obey Him or not. To have a relationship with Jesus then means to walk in obedience to His revealed will to us individually. But notice we must make the choice, He never forces us to do anything. When we choose not to obey God’s revealed will to us, this is disobedience, and this removes His protection over us and our minds become open to Satan’s control. Getting back to our original passage quoted in this article, in James 4:7 it states "Submit therefore to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you." We have no power over Satan. The only power we have over Satan is Jesus’ power, and His power is only available to us when we are walking in obedience to Him. When we are not choosing to walk in obedience to Christ, we cannot resist the devil and we become open and under His control, and Satan gains control over our minds. You see, there is no in between: either Jesus is Lord over us or Satan is. This is what Jesus meant in Matthew 12:30 when he said "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters." Only when we choose to walk in obedience to Christ do we have Christ’s power over Satan and are we able to gain control over our hearts and minds. Paul wrote in Romans 1:28 "And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them up to a mind void of judgment, to do those things which are not proper." We are only able to resist the Devil and have control over our minds when we are choosing to walk in obedience to Christ, because then God gives us His grace to have control over our minds. Paul wrote in Ephesians: "And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the age of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest." (Ephesians 2:1-3) "This I say therefore, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality, for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness." (Ephesians 4:17-19) How then do we keep Satan from gaining control of our minds? Paul wrote "But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). How do we know when we are walking in the Holy Spirit and when we are not? We are walking in the Holy Spirit when we are using our time according to God’s will (Eph 5:15-17). We are not walking in the Holy Spirit when we are not using our time according to God’s will, when we are allowing our minds to be passive and idle. When we do this the flesh automatically takes over, and since Paul tells us in Romans 7:14 "For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin," when the flesh takes over, it will sin. James 4:7 tells us that as long as we are walking in obedience to God in our use of time we can resist the Devil and that he will flee, and as long as we are focusing with our minds on God’s will and doing God’s will with our use of time, we will have control of our minds. Satan can only gain access to the mind of a disobedient Christian.