Revelation Now

Battle For The Mind

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. Jac Colon


Series Code: RN

Program Code: RN000012

01:05 I believe if there is any one word that
01:09 would characterize our desire for our
01:12 lives as we live day by day, that word
01:15 would be victory, don't we want to be
01:18 victorious especially for Jesus we want to
01:21 be victorious in Christ. You know, the
01:24 Book of Revelation uses a phrase over and
01:26 over again, to him who overcomes and
01:30 all the promises in Revelation are
01:33 promised to the one who overcomes.
01:35 We want to be overcomers. Amen!
01:38 "Amen" We want to be victorious
01:40 for Jesus in every aspect of our lives, but I've
01:46 discovered that most Christians are just the
01:51 opposite, haunted by the fear of failure,
01:58 hidden under a cloud of doubt and
02:01 discouragement, and what a pity because
02:04 the laws for successful Christian
02:06 living are so very clear in God's word.
02:13 Sometimes, I think we just make it too
02:15 complicated so that those who try get
02:19 frustrated, discouraged and give
02:21 up and quit. In another times, we
02:25 can reduce Christianity to a meaningless
02:28 simplicity, but I believe that, a little old lady
02:37 who sit up in prayer meeting one night and
02:38 gave her testimony hit the bull's-eye.
02:44 Her language wasn't as polished as perhaps it
02:47 could have been, but her message was right on.
02:51 She stood up in front of the church
02:53 and said I ain't what I ought to be and I ain't
03:00 what I gonna be, but praise God anyhow
03:03 I ain't what I was. Isn't that it, recognizing
03:09 that our lives are not all that they ought to be
03:12 and having a bold, calm determination to
03:15 do better and praising God all the way for
03:19 what he has done and how far he's led us,
03:23 but again many are just the opposite, so
03:28 this morning I want to take a look in the
03:30 battle for the mind, I want to take a look at
03:32 what I call three laws for successful
03:36 Christian living and another thing that I
03:40 want to make clear this morning is we are
03:42 going to do something a little different.
03:46 I don't want you to just sit here and listen
03:49 to the stories and go out and say, oh!
03:51 Pastor, good sermon, good sermon, because
03:55 many times it goes one in-in one ear and
03:57 out the other ear. So, I want you to get
04:02 what we are taking about this morning
04:04 and if you've been coming to the meetings
04:06 in the evening you're gonna get a printed
04:07 copy, if you haven't been attending the
04:09 evening meetings then you won't be able to
04:11 get a printed copy this morning, so you may
04:12 want to take notes, but we're gonna,
04:16 I'm warning you in advance, we're gonna
04:18 stop in the middle of this sermon and we're
04:20 gonna have a quiz because I want to
04:22 make sure you're getting this, it's gonna
04:23 do any good if you just sit here if you don't
04:24 get it, right? So, we are going to have a little
04:26 quiz and I'm not going to tell you when it is, it's
04:28 going to be a pop quiz, so be prepared.
04:33 Three laws for successful Christian living. In Romans
04:36 the 7th chapter we find them. Romans chapter7,
04:40 what is the first law, verse 7, what
04:42 shall we say then is the law sin, certainly not, for
04:49 I would not known what sin was except through
04:52 the law. Now we could ask which law is Paul
04:56 speaking of here, it's not sin, but it reveals sin,
05:00 which law is he speaking of, he tells us for I would
05:03 not have known what coveting really was if the
05:07 law had not said do not covet, which law said
05:11 not to covet. God's law, the Ten Commandments
05:15 right! So the first law is the Ten Commandments,
05:20 that's the first law for successful Christian
05:22 living. Remember that, the Ten Commandments.
05:24 There is nothing wrong with God's law, there is
05:26 nothing wrong with the Ten Commandments,
05:28 verse 12 even says so then the law is holy and
05:32 the Commandment is holy, righteous, and good.
05:35 He goes so far as to say in verse 14, the law is
05:38 spiritual. So there is no problem with God's law,
05:42 its holy, its righteous, its good, its spiritual, that's
05:45 the law that Paul wants to be obedient to, but watch
05:48 this. In verse 14, but I am unspiritual. See the
05:54 problem isn't the law, the problem is us, the people.
05:59 The law is spiritual, we are unspiritual. Paul says
06:02 I am unspiritual, that's Paul the Apostle, and he
06:08 calls himself unspiritual. I've been sold as a slave
06:13 to sin, I don't understand what I do, for I want to
06:19 do I do not do, but what I hate I do and if I do
06:23 what I do want to do I agree the law is good,
06:26 nothing wrong with the law is me as it is, there is no
06:29 longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.
06:35 Do you see, I agree the law is good, I want to do good,
06:37 I want to obey the law, but sin living in me prevents
06:41 me from obeying the law and doing the good that I
06:44 want to do. So in verse 21, I find this law at work when
06:48 I want to do good evil is right there with me, for in
06:53 my inner being I delight in God's law, so again you see
07:00 there is nothing wrong with God's law. He has the
07:03 passion for God's law, in his inner being he delights
07:06 in God's law, he desires God's law. The problem is
07:13 he doesn't understand himself he says, I don't
07:16 understand what I do for what I want to do I don't do
07:18 and what I hate I do, you ever felt like that. So, he
07:23 wants to be obedient to God's law, he strives with
07:26 all of his heart to obey God's law, but there is
07:29 something holding him down, he never seems to be able
07:32 to arrive, he never gets to the place where he can say
07:36 I am obedient to the law of God, I have kept his
07:39 commandments. Why not, when I want to do good evil
07:44 is right there with me, for my inner being I delight in
07:47 God's law, but in verse 23, I see another law at work in
07:51 the members of my body waging war against the law
07:54 of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin
07:59 at work within my members. The second law is the law
08:03 of sin, notice God's law is not sin, God's law is good
08:16 and righteous. The law of sin prevents him from
08:22 obeying the law of God, he wants to obey God's law,
08:27 but he can't do it why not? Because the law of sin is at
08:32 work within my members. Oh! What a wretched man I am,
08:36 he cries out, who will deliver me from this body
08:40 of death. Now Paul doesn't excuse it when he breaks
08:45 the law, he doesn't say well I can't keep the
08:49 Commandments anyway may as well just break them, he
08:52 doesn't say well I'm under grace so it doesn't matter
08:55 if I break the law. When he breaks the law, he hates it,
08:59 he says what a wretched man I am, I hate myself,
09:03 God, deliver me from this body of sin. Aren't you glad
09:08 that he didn't end his letter to the church of Rome
09:11 right there. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord,
09:20 so in my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but in my
09:27 sinful nature a slave to the law of sin, you see the battle
09:36 for the mind is the desire in our hearts and in our minds
09:41 to be obedient to the law of God, but the law of sin also
09:46 at work in our bodies is holding us back and
09:51 preventing us from doing what we desire in our hearts.
09:56 Two laws waging war against the law of my mind making me a
10:03 prisoner of the law of sin. The chapter 8, verse 1, we
10:11 find the solution, therefore there is now no
10:14 condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, why?
10:21 Because through Christ Jesus, the third law, the law of the
10:26 spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death,
10:33 why? Verse 4 tells us, in order that the righteous
10:38 requirements of the law might be fully met in us who live
10:43 not according to the sinful nature, but according to the
10:46 spirit. So, the third law sets us free from the law of sin
10:53 and death in order that the righteous requirements of
10:57 God's law might be fully met in us. Notice, the law
11:03 of the spirit of life does not set us free from the law of
11:10 God, as some would have you believe, it sets us free
11:16 from the law of sin that prevents us from obeying
11:21 the law of God in order that we can obey the law of God.
11:27 So now we have three laws, the law of God that's the
11:31 good one that we want to obey, the law of sin that's the
11:35 bad one that's preventing us from obeying, and the law
11:37 of the spirit of life that enables us to overcome the
11:41 law of sin and obey the law of God. Now, we can see these
11:47 three forces at work in the laws of nature all around us.
11:54 When I was a little boy growing up in Louisiana every
11:57 summer we go out to the beach on the gulf and that was
12:02 one of my favorite times. We go out there in the beach
12:05 and I would love to be out there in my little bathing
12:07 suit, running around in the sand and feeling the cool
12:11 waves, the water just lapping around my feet and legs
12:14 and then I would look up and there he would be, a big giant
12:19 brown pelican just soaring through the air, have you ever
12:25 seen a brown pelican, so beautiful they hardly ruffle
12:29 a feather when they're flying and all of a sudden I just
12:34 forgot about everything else and I would just be fixed on
12:37 that bird and I had a burning desire in my heart. I wished
12:43 I could fly like a brown pelican, but there is a law
12:50 that holds me down, the law of sin, the law of
12:56 gravity holds me down and prevents me from doing
13:00 what I want to do deep down in my heart, but there is
13:06 another law, the law of flight enables me to overcome the
13:14 law of gravity and let me fly. I always remember the first
13:23 time I went out to take my very first ride on a B-52
13:29 bomber, I don't know if you have ever seen one
13:31 up close, but the B-52 is a huge airplane and fully
13:38 loaded with fuel and weapons weighs close to 500,000
13:42 pounds. The closer we got to that airplane the bigger
13:47 it looked and the smaller the engine seemed, even though
13:52 they were eight engines they just didn't seem big enough
13:56 to get us off the ground and I thought whoa, there is no
14:01 way that that thing is gonna fly. We did all of our
14:04 checklists and we got clearance to start the
14:07 engines, taxied out to the end of the runway, finished
14:10 our checklist and finally we got clearance from the
14:13 tower to takeoff. So we taxied out into position and all
14:19 eight throttles for all eight engines go full bore to the
14:23 wall and those engines begin to roar and that big bird
14:30 began to just inch down the runway and I knew we
14:35 would never get off the ground, but the law of
14:40 flight it's so powerful. I don't know if you have
14:45 ever noticed how the wing of an airplane is designed,
14:50 it's designed to take advantage of the law of
14:53 flight. Bernoulli's principle, and Bernoulli's principle
14:58 goes like this. Air that moves across the surface will
15:05 reduce the pressure that it exerts on that surface and
15:10 the faster the air flows across the surface the less
15:14 pressure it exerts. The wing of an airplane is curved
15:20 across the top and flat across the bottom and for
15:25 that reason the air flowing over the top of the wing has
15:29 to go further than the air flowing across the bottom,
15:34 that means its covering a lot more distance in less time
15:38 so it's flowing faster across the surface and remember
15:42 Bernoulli's principle, the faster it goes across the
15:45 surface the less pressure it exerts, so as the wing
15:49 moves through the air faster and faster the pressure on
15:53 the top of the wing gets lighter and the pressure
15:56 underneath is greater compared to the pressure on top until
15:59 you reach a certain speed that the pressure under the wing
16:03 is so much greater than the pressure on top that it just
16:08 lifts that bird 500,000 pounds off the
16:12 ground and I can swore and fulfill the desire deep down
16:17 in my heart to fly. The law of flight enables me to
16:23 overcome the law of gravity and do what I desire in my
16:27 heart and that is to fly and therefore the law of God is
16:32 what I desire, but the law of sin and death is holding me
16:36 down, but the law of the spirit of life enables me to
16:40 overcome the law of sin and death and swore in obedience
16:45 victorious for God, good news. Amen. "Amen"
16:52 Now, a word of caution before we learn how to put the law
16:55 of spirit of life to work in our own lives.
16:59 Romans, chapter 8, is not instruction on how
17:05 to be saved. The first part of Romans talks about how to
17:10 be saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and not
17:14 by works. We are not saved by overcoming, we are not
17:20 saved even because the law of the spirit of life enables me
17:24 to overcome the law of sin and death and become
17:26 obedient to the law of God that does not save me, that
17:29 is the result of being saved by grace through faith in
17:33 Jesus and we need to be clear on that, but nevertheless it
17:39 is a power, it is a force that God has enacted in our
17:43 lives and made available to us, so that we can be
17:46 victorious for him without excuse. How do you put the
17:59 law of the spirit of life to work, that's the question,
18:00 but before we answer that question you have to
18:03 answer three questions because its quiz time,
18:08 quiz time, so get your thinking caps on, this is not
18:14 that hard a quiz folks, don't worry. There are three laws
18:19 for successful Christian living. The first law is?
18:23 "God's law." God's law, say it nice
18:25 and loud for the camera now. The first law is?
18:28 "God's law." God's law, the
18:30 Ten Commandments, that's the one we want to obey, but
18:34 the second law prevents us from obeying and the Bible
18:37 calls it the law of? "Sin."
18:39 Sin, very good, it holds us down. But the third law
18:43 enables me to overcome the law of sin and be obedient
18:46 to the law of God and that's the law of?
18:49 "Spirit." The spirit of life,
18:51 very good, you get an A this morning. Now, how do we
18:55 put it to work, how do we get the law of spirit of life
18:59 to work. There are two things that have to happen. The first
19:03 step is your part, the second step is God's part.
19:10 Remember God never operates by force, he operates
19:14 by love and choice you do your part and God will do his,
19:20 so what is your part. I'm going to read the verse
19:23 to you and see if it just doesn't jump out at you,
19:27 see if you can pick it up. How do you get the law of
19:29 the spirit of life to work in your life, here is the answer.
19:32 In chapter 8, verse 5, those who live according to the
19:36 sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature
19:43 desires, but those who live according to the spirit have
19:47 their minds set on what the spirit desires.
19:53 Did you catch it. How do we get the law of the spirit
19:57 of life to work for us, set your mind on the things of
20:06 the spirit and that's what you're gonna do. If you set
20:11 your mind on the things of the flesh then that's
20:15 what you'll wind up doing. The secret then
20:18 to the battle for the mind is to set your mind
20:24 on the things of the spirit. Now, don't confuse what I
20:32 call mental discipline, setting the mind, don't
20:36 confuse it with some of the popular things like
20:41 positive thinking by Norman Vincent Peale or
20:46 Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz,
20:48 or think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. All of these
20:53 books are good and all of these men have made
20:55 contributions to understanding how the mind works,
20:58 but they all leave out something. Mental discipline
21:03 is God's plan for us, so what is mental discipline.
21:08 There are three texts in the Bible that define
21:12 the three steps of mental discipline. The first one is
21:17 Proverbs 23, verse 7, and you don't even have to look
21:20 this one up. You probably know it by heart, whatsoever
21:23 a man thinketh in his heart, what, so is he. Now that
21:30 means in simple terms that you are what you think
21:34 about, your thoughts determine what you are. Now that's
21:40 something to think about, Amen You are what you think about.
21:45 Whatever man thinks in his heart, so is he. The second
21:47 verse, Luke, chapter 6, verse 45, the good man does
21:53 good from the good stored up in his heart while the evil
21:56 man does evil from the evil stored up in his heart,
21:59 not only do your thoughts control what you are,
22:02 your thoughts control what you do, your thoughts
22:08 control your behavior. So, the third step then seems
22:15 rather obvious if your thoughts control what you
22:18 are and your thoughts control what you do, your thoughts
22:21 control your behavior, then in order to change your
22:24 behavior you simply need to change your mind
22:30 and that's exactly what Paul says in Romans, chapter 12,
22:33 verse 2, be transformed by the renewing of the mind.
22:41 It's simple in theory, but it's not so simple in practice
22:52 and the reason is because these thoughts in our minds
22:57 that control our behavior are actually thought patterns,
23:05 patterns of thought that are called habits and habits are
23:13 very, very powerful creatures. Most of what we do on a daily
23:23 basis is the result of habit, that's a fact, now usually
23:30 when you hear the word habit you think bad, but that's
23:36 not always true. A habit is bad only if it's a bad habit.
23:44 Habits can be good. God made our minds to work
23:48 that way, most of what we do on a daily basis is the
23:51 result of habit and habits are formed through the process
23:58 of repetition doing something over and over again.
24:03 For example, learning to drive, how many of you
24:09 learned to drive on a stick shift. Well, that's a good
24:14 number of hands, you know, how to drive a stick shift.
24:16 You remember when you learned how to do it, you knew that
24:21 you had to put the clutch in, change the gear, and let that
24:28 clutch out at just the right timing and speed and give
24:32 it a little gas at just the right moment in order to
24:35 accelerate and takeoff, and you remember the first time
24:39 that you did it. You sat in that car and you had to
24:46 even think well which way do I turn the key this way
24:49 or that way, and you had it in neutral, the clutch is in,
24:54 break on, turn the key, start it up and then you put it
24:58 into gear and you had to let that clutch out at just the
25:01 right and you're thinking through all of this and it
25:03 just started going so smoothly down the road first time,
25:08 it didn't, what happened jerk-jerk-jerk-jerk and then
25:15 it stops right, at least that's what happened to me
25:19 jerk-jerk-jerk-jerk and it stopped again, and I don't
25:23 know how many times I have to do it and when I finally got
25:26 it going it was jerk-jerk-jerk-jerk, oh!
25:29 Finally got it and then remember when you had to
25:32 stop for a red light on a hill and somebody is behind
25:39 you, too close, but can you remember the last time you
25:47 started your car up and took off and even stopped at a
25:51 light on the hill, probably not, why not? Because
25:56 through the process of doing it over and over and over
25:59 again those thoughts became entrenched as patterns
26:03 habits, so now you can jump in the car, turn the key on,
26:08 start it up, take off, drive to where you're going
26:11 without even thinking about what you're doing and that's
26:15 good because it leaves your mind free to do something
26:18 else like look for other cars. See so habits are not bad,
26:24 habits free our minds to be able to do constructive and
26:28 positive things. God made us that way, it's a wonderful
26:33 way, the way that he made the mind and it's through the
26:36 process of repetition over and over again these habits
26:39 become ingrained and established and they happen
26:42 automatically. Example, if I'm listening to my wife's CD
26:50 every morning when I'm getting dressed, I listen to
26:52 my wife's CD, I'm shaving, I'm listening, one day at a
26:54 time. Oh! I like that song over and over and over again
26:57 one day at a time everyday when I'm shaving,
26:59 all this goes on for two or three weeks. Finally one day
27:02 I'm driving down the freeway and it's time for me to hum,
27:05 so I look at my watch and say oh yeah, time to hum,
27:07 what am I gonna hum, oh one day at a time, hmm,
27:10 that has goes. No, what happens, I'm just driving
27:15 along and all of a sudden it comes out, why? Because
27:21 it's been established as a pattern of thought and it
27:23 just comes out automatically without even thinking, so it's
27:27 the process of repetition that sets these patterns,
27:32 these habits, these thought patterns up in our minds.
27:36 Now the other thing that we need to know is that these
27:40 patterns are very, very powerful creatures and that's
27:46 why it's not so easy to change our behavior. I'm gonna
27:52 demonstrate this and I know I'm gonna get in troubles,
27:55 I always get in trouble when I do it, but it's such a good
27:59 illustration I'm gonna do it anyway, alright. You ever
28:03 heard of this jingle, it goes like this, Pepsi Cola hits the
28:09 spot, 12 full ounces that's a, yeah, I heard about 3 or 4
28:14 ounces out there, 12 full ounces that's a lot. Now tell
28:18 me those of you that know the answer, tell me when
28:25 you heard that jingle did you say oh! man I really like that
28:28 I'm gonna write it down 150 times and memorize it,
28:31 is that what happened? Nope, you probably heard it
28:34 150 times and after hearing it over and over again it
28:36 becomes established as a pattern, a thought pattern, a
28:39 habit and it's a powerful one. Now, here is where I get
28:44 in trouble, do you know how long it's been since
28:50 that jingle has been broadcast on the air. Well, just to be
28:57 safe, I'll say it's been over 40 years, way over 40, but I
29:05 won't say how many. You haven't heard that
29:08 advertisement for 40 years and yet I can say Pepsi Cola hits
29:12 the and you instantly respond with spot, a few of you,
29:16 12 full ounces that's a lot, after 40 years it just shows
29:20 you how powerful these thought patterns or these habits are.
29:25 That's why will power alone is not always enough to
29:27 change your behavior, have you ever noticed that, you
29:31 make a decision, set a New Year's resolution, I'm gonna
29:33 stop smoking, I'm gonna stop this, I'm gonna do that
29:35 and maybe it lasts for a day or two and then right back
29:38 to where you were, because these are powerful,
29:41 powerful creatures. Now, listen, one last thing that we
29:43 have know about how the mind works and then we're gonna
29:45 put it altogether in a package that you can use easily and
29:49 that is that your brain has two halves to it, a right side
29:53 and a left side and everybody has both halves to their
29:56 brains well, almost everybody here, both halves to the
30:01 brain. Now, the right side of the brain is what we typically
30:06 refer to as the subconscious and the left side is the
30:09 conscious. The left side of the brain does all the
30:12 reasoning and logic, it makes decisions, it decides what is
30:19 the best thing to do in any certain situation. It's kind of
30:24 like the general in an army. The army, the general makes
30:28 all the decisions, but he does not have the power to execute
30:32 those decisions. He may say we need to take that hill, but he
30:37 doesn't have the power to take the hill. The army on the
30:40 other hand has the power and that's the way the right brain
30:43 brain works. It has all the emotion, all the feelings
30:47 that drive our behavior and that's where the power is.
30:52 The general makes a decision and issues the orders and
30:55 the army automatically, indiscriminately, without
30:59 trying to decide is that a good order or bad order,
31:01 if it's a good army it goes. The general says take the
31:04 hill the army says yes sir, let's go. And you see that's
31:09 the way your brain works. The left brain decides
31:12 this is right, this is true and the right brain obeys
31:17 and after that order has been given a number of times it
31:21 becomes established as a pattern in the right brain.
31:25 So that the right brain who has the power automatically
31:28 takes over and you obey that order without even the
31:32 left side thinking about it or issuing the order,
31:35 that's exactly how it works. Some of you have been
31:39 learning some new things and some of you are here
31:43 on a Sabbath morning for the very first time in your life
31:46 and it feels a little strange. It feels different you know
31:50 in your head that it's a right thing to do, but it just
31:54 doesn't feel right because for so many years you have
31:57 been doing it differently. The right brain is saying
32:01 wait a minute, wrong day, wait a minute, I should be
32:04 watching the ballgame on television in just a
32:07 few minutes, wait a minute what's mom gonna think,
32:09 what's your dad gonna think, what are all your friends
32:12 gonna think, wait a minute. Have you have been wrong
32:14 all this years oh! Wait a minute, I don't know if
32:17 I can do that, you see all the emotions, all the fears are
32:20 stacked in the right side and they've been controlling
32:22 your behavior for so long that it seem so difficult and the
32:26 left brain is saying yes, but it's the right thing to do.
32:32 That's why we have such a battle and such a struggle
32:35 and so we need to keep giving those orders over
32:37 and over to the right side of the brain until it becomes
32:40 established as a habit or a pattern, and then it will feel
32:43 like the right thing to do. The other thing is that for
32:49 most people, most of the time those orders are given to the
32:51 the right brain in terms of the images, pictures.
32:56 For example, if I say the word car, you didn't see the
33:00 letters CAR in your mind did you? Probably not,
33:04 what do you see? Saw a car, how many of you saw a car.
33:10 Yeah, your car or one you wish was your car. Alright,
33:14 we think in terms of images, most people do images and
33:18 so your orders are given to the right brain as an image,
33:21 a picture, if you have an image of yourself as a
33:25 dummy. A failure in life, never being able to mount
33:31 anything than that image becomes a goal for your
33:36 right brain to accomplish and that's exactly what you
33:40 are going to be. On the other end, if you have an
33:42 image of yourself as successful, powerful, a
33:46 Christian obeying Jesus then that's what you are
33:48 gonna do. The student who sees themselves as a failure is
33:52 going to give instructions to fail their test that day.
33:56 Student who sees themselves as successful and smart and
34:00 brilliant is given instructions to their right
34:03 brain to do the things that are going to make them
34:05 pass their test. Parents, I hope that you are getting
34:12 the full implication of what we are talking about this
34:15 morning? I've been in homes and I've heard parents
34:20 talking to their kids. I've heard things like he is a
34:25 little monster, he will never amount to anything, he is
34:29 so dumb, he will never accomplish anything in his
34:31 life and we wonder why they grow up
34:34 not accomplishing anything. Because everything you say
34:38 is giving an order to your child's right brain to obey
34:42 and he is going to obey it. On the other hand, children
34:46 that are brought up in an environment where they
34:48 thought that God has given him a brain and they're
34:51 bright and they are smart and they are intelligent and
34:54 they are successful and they can accomplish all things
34:57 through Christ who gives them strength those children have
34:59 images of themselves as goals to accomplish that are
35:03 going to be successful and positive in life. Parents be
35:09 careful what you say to your children because it
35:12 becomes a prophecy. Now does all of this really work,
35:20 I'm going to prove it to you right now all right. So I'm
35:24 gonna ask you to experiment with me. I'd like for you to
35:28 put your feet on the ground, flap your hands in your lap
35:31 and close your eyes, but don't go to sleep. It won't
35:34 work if you're sleeping, this is gonna be fun.
35:38 Alright, so close your eyes, put your feet down, hands
35:40 on your lap and tune in the television screen of your
35:43 mind so that you can see a lemon. A bright yellow
35:48 lemon and I want you to get it in crystal clear focus,
35:53 look at it. Look at that wrinkled skin, look at the
35:56 little green stem on the end, rotate that lemon in your
36:01 mind until you can read the letters sun kissed written
36:06 across the yellow skin in green letters then picture a
36:11 knife slicing through the lemon, this lemon is so juicy
36:16 that the juice just erupts around the blade of the
36:19 knife, squirting everywhere and you pick up half of that
36:24 lemon and you squeeze it over your outstretch
36:27 tongue. Squeeze it hard, let it drip down, catch a
36:32 mouthful of that lemon juice and whew! It is sour, you
36:38 have it, taste it, swish it around, get another
36:43 mouthful. Oh! It is sour, now open your eyes.
36:52 How many of you have noticed that your mouth started to
36:54 water? Did your mouth water, look at that, did you say
36:59 mouth water. Did you tell your mouth to water, no
37:03 what did you do, you presented the image and that image
37:06 becomes a goal and your right brain automatically
37:10 embraces it and begins to do the things that it
37:13 accomplished and that's why your mouth begins to water.
37:18 This stuff works, the brain is an incredibly powerful
37:24 instrument that God gave us and we must use it in the
37:28 right way. You cannot, you know people ask me
37:32 sometimes Pastor, I don't know what's wrong with me I just
37:35 can't seem to get victorious for Jesus, I can't seem to
37:38 get over certain sins, my life just doesn't seem to get any
37:41 better and I always ask number one, what do you
37:44 watch on television? What kind of books do you read?
37:48 What kind of magazines do you read? What kind of
37:52 images are you putting into your mind? You cannot take
37:58 a picture of a pile of garbage, develop it and expect
38:03 it to come out looking like a rose. In the computer
38:08 industry they have a formula called GIGO and it means
38:14 garbage in garbage out. You cannot program a
38:19 bunch of errors into a computer and expect it to
38:22 give you the right answer. We cannot feed our mind
38:27 on the filth and the cesspools of this world and expect to
38:32 swore in obedience to God. Fix your mind on the things
38:38 of the spirit and you will do the things of the spirit, you
38:42 cannot spend four or five hours or more a day
38:46 watching the things that are tearing and holding you
38:50 down and expect to be obedient to God. Mental
38:59 discipline is the key and mental discipline must be
39:03 total. In fact, Paul tells us in chapter 4 Philippians,
39:07 verse 8, finally brothers whatever is true, whatever is
39:10 whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure,
39:14 whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if
39:16 anything is excellent or praise worthy think about
39:19 such things. God not only tells us what we ought to
39:24 think he tells us how we ought to think, he tells us
39:26 what we ought to think. Fix your mind on the things
39:31 that are good. Fix your mind on the things of the pure
39:34 and those are the things you are gonna do. And our
39:37 mental discipline must be total, we must die to sin,
39:42 the dead don't respond to anything and that's the way
39:44 we need to be to sin. You know sometimes people say
39:47 Pastor, I don't know what's wrong with me, I keep getting
39:49 all these bad thoughts in my mind what's wrong with me,
39:51 nothing. There is nothing wrong with a bad thought
39:56 coming into your mind, that's called temptation,
40:01 it becomes wrong when you choose to keep it there
40:06 and that's the battle for the mind. Recognizing when a
40:10 bad thought comes in and instantly putting it out and
40:13 replacing it with a good thought. Folks that's
40:16 the battle for the mind, that's where it all takes
40:19 place and you have the power, you have the control by
40:23 controlling what thoughts you keep in your mind.
40:29 And the secret to mental discipline is what I call the
40:33 secret of the banana tree. Now you don't know about
40:38 banana trees up here because it's too cold and you don't
40:42 have banana trees, but I'm from the deep South and
40:45 before we moved up here, we lived down in Texas in
40:48 the southern tip of Texas and we had banana trees in
40:51 our backyard. That was the first time I ever had any
40:53 banana trees, I didn't know, I learned some things. Did you
40:57 know that a banana tree only makes one bunch of bananas
41:00 and then dies did you know that? Just one bunch and
41:03 than it's dead. And so they keep sending up little
41:06 shoots, new banana trees and they send up a lot more
41:11 new banana trees than the banana trees that are there.
41:15 So you have to weed out your banana trees, chop
41:19 them down, get them out of there, otherwise there will
41:21 be so many they will all die. So I got a machete, like
41:27 a good banana plantation owner and I went over with
41:31 my two little boys and we chopped down that first
41:34 banana tree and so the three others myself and two little
41:38 boys started dragging that big banana tree to the back
41:41 of the lot, there was a big ditch and we were going to
41:43 throw them in there. Have you ever tried dragging the
41:46 banana tree all the way to the back of your lot, they are
41:49 heavy, they're almost all water. They are heavy, so
41:52 pulling this thing and they thought they were
41:54 contributing a little bit too. You know, pulling this big
41:57 banana tree to the back and then, oh! I've to go chop
42:00 down another one by now I'm tried, I drag it to the
42:03 back, I don't really wanna do another banana tree, but
42:05 there are a lot more that have to chop down and we are
42:08 dragging these trees to the back and I'm getting
42:10 so tired. Finally, I looked in there and I thought. Aha!
42:16 I got it, the secret of the banana tree, there was a
42:21 little shoot growing up out of the ground about that big.
42:25 I took my machete and went, shook and I pick that
42:29 banana tree up and put it in my pocket and chopped off
42:34 another one, shook, put it in my pocket and chopped off
42:38 another one and put it in my pocket and then when
42:43 my pocket got full I just walked to the back of the lot
42:46 and dumped out a whole bunch of banana trees in
42:49 that ditch. You see if you wait until those thoughts
42:55 take route in your mind and grow tall, it's almost
43:00 impossible to get them out. It takes a lot of work, you
43:03 can do it, but it takes a lot of work, but if you learn to
43:07 come off the instant they sprout up, it's a lot easier
43:14 and you can be successful. Mental discipline must be
43:19 total. A man is coming to Revelation Now meetings
43:24 and made a decision since his body is a temple of
43:27 Holy Spirit, he is going to stop smoking cigarettes.
43:31 He was a farmer in Oklahoma and that next day he was
43:36 driving around his tractor plowing up the field and he
43:38 said this is it, I think I'm going to stop right now.
43:40 So he took his cigarettes out of his pocket, threw
43:43 threw them over his shoulder and then he turned around
43:46 to see where they hit. So he starts around the field again
43:50 and he starts thinking just one more, man if I could
43:54 just have one more cigarette, oh! It would taste so good
43:56 right now. I don't know how long I'll able to go,
43:58 if you think you'll be able to make it, man it's going to
44:00 be tough by the time he gets back to that spot where
44:02 he threw them down, he stopped got off his tractor, picked
44:06 up his cigarettes and smoked another one.
44:08 Now he really got disgusted with himself, I've gone
44:11 longer than this without smoking not even trying to
44:13 quit before, so what's wrong with me. He throws
44:16 them down, he stumps them in the ground, he plows
44:18 around that field round, round and round and then
44:21 he goes into the house, the sunsets, he sits there at the
44:23 table for his big farm supper and after eating his hand
44:27 goes in his pocket, no cigarettes there, he threw
44:30 them out in the dirt, so he got up and he starts looking
44:33 around in all the drawers of the house. His wife beating
44:36 to the punch and they were all gone. So he starts
44:39 looking for the ashtrays, just one butt that's all, can't
44:43 even find a butt, she washed them all. But he did
44:47 find the flash light. So he took that flash light went
44:51 back out into the field digging around in the dirt
44:55 until he found those cigarettes, sat out there in
44:58 the dirt clods, smoked three cigarettes in a row. He was
45:01 really disguised with himself now and says that's it, I'm
45:04 gonna stop smoking and I'm never gonna think
45:06 about another cigarette again. As far as I know that's the
45:09 last cigarette that he ever smoked. Mental discipline,
45:13 the power of the mind, but we must die to sin and
45:16 don't let those thoughts come into your mind
45:18 anymore, when they do come put them out. It's like
45:21 the ancient proverb, Chinese proverb, it says
45:24 that you can't stop the birds from flying over your head,
45:29 you can't even stop them from landing on the top of
45:31 your head, but you can prevent them from making
45:34 a nest in your hair, the bad thoughts are out there folks,
45:38 we live in a world of sin, they are gonna come in, but
45:41 as soon as they come in put them out, mental discipline,
45:44 fix your mind on the things of the spirit and you will do
45:47 the things of the spirit. That's the secret to
45:51 victorious Christian living, you do your part and then
45:56 God does his. What's God part, verse 9, you however
46:00 are not controlled by your sinful nature, you are
46:03 controlled by your spirit. Verse 11, and if the spirit of
46:08 him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you
46:12 then he who raised Christ from the dead will also give
46:15 life to your mortal bodies through his spirit who lives,
46:18 the same power that raised Jesus from the dead will
46:21 give life to you and to your body. Therefore if by the
46:24 spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body you
46:28 will live the Bible says, you do your part and God does
46:33 his part, God will never force you, he'll never force
46:36 you to stop smoking, he'll never force you to stop
46:39 eating too much, he'll never force you to stop sharing
46:42 that little juicy bit of gossip, but if you do your
46:46 part mental discipline signaling to God that you
46:49 want to change, signaling to God that you freely submit
46:52 yourself to him by mental discipline, he will change you
46:56 and you will be victorious. "Amen."
47:00 You decide, I want to stop smoking and you go around
47:05 all day thinking about how long can you go till you get
47:07 your next cigarette then you're signaling to God
47:10 you don't really want to stop, he's not gonna force
47:13 you, you decide I'm gonna stop this terrible habit of
47:18 gossip, but as soon as you hear something you start
47:20 making a list of everybody that you think ought to
47:22 know, then you're signaling to God that you don't really
47:26 want to change, if you decide I'm gonna stop
47:29 overeating, but all the way home from church you start
47:33 thinking oh! If I could just have a Baskin-Robbins
47:35 ice cream cone, then you're gonna stop and get one
47:40 because you're signaling to God I just don't want to quit,
47:45 but once we learn to fight the battle where it is in the
47:48 mind then the behavior is gonna change, you can be
47:54 successful in fact one of my favorite verses in the Bible
48:00 that sums up the whole sermon is found right here
48:05 in Second Corinthians Chapter 3 verse 18, "and we
48:12 who with unveiled faces all behold the Lord's glory are
48:18 being transformed into his likeness with ever increasing
48:23 glory which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
48:30 By beholding Jesus, we become transformed into his image,
48:37 into his likeness, the more you fix your mind on
48:42 Christ, the more like him you become transformed,
48:47 so the secret to success in life is to follow the lamb.
48:56 And now you know how to do it. Fix your mind on the lamb,
49:04 turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful
49:10 face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim
49:17 in the light of his glory and grace, follow the lamb.
49:26 Pray with me, Oh! Lord God, we have learned the
49:36 secret in your word, mental discipline, fix the mind on
49:43 the things of the Spirit and that's what we'll do, we've
49:49 learned Lord that that's what it means to follow
49:51 the lamb, help us by your grace to follow him,
49:59 become transformed into his image by beholding
50:02 him, we ask in Jesus name. Amen! Wanna do
50:08 something a little bit different this morning,
50:10 we've talked about the mind and how we can discipline
50:15 our thoughts so that we can learn to screen out the bad
50:19 thoughts and allow those good thoughts to take root
50:22 and to grow and that the way we think is gonna
50:25 effect the way we live and change our behavior.
50:29 and so I want to challenge you, you know,
50:31 it's one thing to come to the Revelation Now or to
50:34 watch Revelation Now on the air, those of you sitting
50:37 at home, it's one thing to watch it, to hear it, and then
50:40 walk away and say Oh! Yeah, that was nice, but it's
50:43 another thing to bring it into your heart, bring it
50:45 into your life, so that it makes a difference in
50:47 your life and that's what we want to do. This one that
50:50 you heard this morning was so important, it's the most
50:55 important one I believe of the whole series next to
50:58 in fact the impact it had on my life is more important than
51:01 anything I have ever done except to accept
51:03 Jesus Christ as my savior, so I want to challenge you
51:06 to do is what I call the power formula. We are half way
51:09 through Revelation Now and I want to challenge you
51:13 for the last two weeks, for the last half of the series to
51:16 do the power formula and here is what the power
51:19 formula consists of. There are two parts, the first part is
51:23 for you to commit yourself over the next two weeks,
51:26 let's give it a trail here over the next two weeks you
51:29 commit yourself to spending 15, 20, 30 minutes a day
51:35 in the word of God first thing before you wake up in the
51:38 morning, if you can do that, that's better yet, first thing
51:43 after you wake up in the morning, alright, before you
51:46 do anything else. So what I like for you to do is to
51:49 commit yourself to spend a little time everyday with
51:53 Jesus, that's the first part and then the second part
51:58 of the power formula is to commit yourself throughout
52:01 the rest of the day to practice mental discipline,
52:05 remember those little banana trees its so much
52:08 easier to whack off the banana tree when it's
52:10 big then to wait until it gets full grown. So the moment
52:13 you find the wrong kind of thought coming into
52:16 your mind, what I want you to do is learn how to
52:18 recognize those thoughts and you learn how to do
52:20 that by spending time with Jesus everyday and then
52:23 when a bad thought comes in immediately you put it
52:26 out, alright. Now, let me talk a little bit about your
52:28 time with Jesus, now we've been spending time looking
52:31 at Revelation and we are into the Antichrist and
52:34 the mark of the beast and all of those things, but folks
52:36 if you are not spending time with the lamb everyday
52:40 it won't do you a bit of good to know all about
52:42 Revelation. And so spend time with the Lord, and let me
52:46 suggest the way to do it. I don't suggest that you start
52:49 in Genesis and start reading through, because if you do
52:54 you gonna get to Chronicles with all the begets and the
52:57 begots and you know I guess kind of bogged down
53:01 a little bit until you really learn how to understand
53:03 that part of the Bible. What we are really looking
53:06 for is how to find Jesus in the scripture, so I want to
53:09 suggest that you start in the Gospels, pick one that you
53:14 like Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, I like Luke, Luke had
53:20 a neat way of writing, I like Matthew because Matthew
53:22 is so steeped in the Old Testament, pick one
53:25 that you really like and then read it through. Now when
53:29 you read the Gospels, you're gonna read stories
53:32 about Jesus, so pick a story and read it and then ask
53:38 yourself and this is important you may want to jot it down
53:42 as a little reminder on your note book, desktop, computer,
53:46 on your notepad or whatever you do everyday, read a story
53:50 and ask yourself this question. What did that
53:54 story teach me about what God is like, you see that's
53:59 what you want to know when you study the Bible isn't it.
54:02 What is God like, what did that story teach me about
54:05 who Jesus is and what he's like, ask yourself that
54:09 question, think about it and then pray. Now when you
54:16 pray, I want you to practice and try something that may
54:21 be a little different from what you are accustomed
54:25 to doing in your prayer life, but I promise you its
54:30 powerful and effective, try this, may be one morning
54:38 you read the story about the time when Jesus
54:42 healed a leper, think it through, what did it teach
54:50 me about God and then pray like this. Pray, Lord,
54:59 I read about the leper this morning you know that already,
55:04 Lord I know you do, but you know this time it was
55:08 different for me, this time I realize that I'm the leper,
55:19 I'm the one that's unclean and I'm the one that's
55:27 walking over the hillside coming down on the other side,
55:31 seeing the multitude out there, trying to get close
55:37 to you. Lord, I want to get close to you, but I can't,
55:43 they won't let me, because I'm unclean. But Lord,
55:47 I'm coming anyway, I'm coming, I'm not gonna let
55:51 anything stop you, stop me, I'm coming to you Lord
55:55 I'm walking through the crowd, they pull away in
55:58 horror, but I'm coming, here I am Lord,
56:03 I'm kneeling at your feet, the crowd's pulling away,
56:08 but I know that if you just touch me I'll be healed,
56:14 I know, Lord I can feel your hand, I can feel
56:19 your hand on my head right now, you're the one
56:23 who reached down and touched the untouchable
56:25 when everybody else pulls away. I can feel the power
56:31 surging into my body, I know that you've made me holy.
56:36 Lord, I know you've empowered me to make it through this
56:39 day, I'm gonna walk with you step by step.
56:44 Oh! Lord, I just want to love you more and more,
56:48 thank you and praise you. Amen. You see pray like
56:54 that everyday, it will change your life. And then
57:00 discipline your mind, would you do that? Just
57:02 make a note to yourself right now, those of you
57:04 who are watching at home and those of you here in
57:06 the congregation, just make a note to yourself
57:09 power formula everyday for two weeks and you
57:12 watch what God does. Thank you, God loves you,
57:16 God bless you and follow the lamb.
57:19 "Amen!."


Revised 2014-12-17