Have you ever heard the story of the man who believed he was freezing to death when trapped in a refrigerated boxcar? I think most of us have. As you know, he freezes to death despite the fact that the car’s refrigeration wasn’t even on. It was all in his mind. And then there is the story of the POW who mentally “escaped” his prison every day by imagining himself playing golf. When he was returned home after many years, he played a round and cut 20 strokes off his game. What is the point? Well, the mind is capable of destruction… or construction depending on how it’s used. God intended for us to live in freedom and communion with Him, and yet so many of us live in bondage all because of what we choose to believe.
My daughter is trying to land an axel. She’s worked on this figure skating element for months. Her coach and I truly believed “today was the day” she would land one unassisted. The problem? She didn’t believe it. Her coach suggested that she spend some time visualizing herself landing the axel; so, during the drive home she did just that. After a few minutes I asked her, jokingly, how many she landed. She said, “Most of them.” What? Even when she is scripting it, in her own mind, she didn’t land them. I told her that she is in control of her own thoughts and if she wants to imagine herself successfully jumping an axel, she should be able to every time. She said that her mind wouldn’t let her. She had so conditioned her mind to believe that she couldn’t do it, that even in her own imagination she was impeded. So, it was time to rebuke the lies of the enemy and the hold he had on her thoughts. Then she tried again to imagine it and she landed them all. I have no idea what this will equate to on the ice tomorrow, but I’m excited to see what God can do if she’ll keep replacing the lies with the Truth!
This afternoon, I caught myself mentally calculating calories. I sat there thinking, “stop thinking about calories!” Like my daughter, I’m so conditioned to believe the wrong things. I tend to believe that I can’t lose weight without dieting or being on some kind of program… that revolves around some version of dieting and massive amounts of exercise. Ugh! Just because my little girl has never landed an axel doesn’t mean that she can’t. Just because I’ve never lost weight without dieting doesn’t mean that I won’t. Trust. Faith. Truth!
Even these negative, enslaving thoughts can become idols. We carry them around like a security blanket. They comfort us because they keep us from becoming something more… which means we don’t have to worry about losing something we never had. If you’ve bowed to these kinds of idols, and been set free, you know exactly what I’m talking about. We don’t have to fight the battle alone though. In fact, God’s Word tells me that I am already free. Christ has already won the battle. If I call on His name, He will answer. He will take these thoughts and make them obedient to Him, replacing them with Truth.
Yeah, I’m tired. I have a headache. I feel as though I’ve been mentally kicked around all day… but I’m still standing because He gives me strength!
In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil.For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people). ~ Ephesians 6:10-18 (AMP)