Revelation Now (new)

Battle For The Mind

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Jac Colon


Series Code: RNN

Program Code: RNN000012

00:18 If you will open your Bibles to Revelation 15,
00:24 Revelation 15:2, "And I saw what looked like a sea of glass
00:34 mixed with fire and standing beside the sea,
00:38 those who had been victorious over the beast
00:45 and they sang the song of Moses and the Lamb,
00:50 great and marvelous are Your deeds, Lord God Almighty,
00:53 just and true are Your ways, King of the ages."
00:59 I want to be standing on that sea of glass, don't you?
01:05 I want to be seeing Jesus sitting on His throne.
01:09 I want to sing that song, Moses and the Lamb.
01:17 I think if there's any one single word
01:19 that expresses the desire of our hearts
01:23 as we study the Book of Revelation
01:26 or in any matter for that matter that word would be victory.
01:33 We want to be victorious, don't we?
01:36 We want to be successful in life.
01:39 We want to be successful for Jesus.
01:42 We want to be successful not only in our Christian walk
01:46 but in our business life, our careers.
01:49 We want to be successful in our homes,
01:51 our families, our marriages.
01:53 We want to be successful parents.
01:55 We want to be successful people.
01:58 I have never ever met anyone
02:02 who said, I want to be a failure, have you?
02:07 We all want to be victorious. We all want to overcome.
02:12 The word "Overcome" is found over and over again
02:15 in the letters to the seven churches,
02:17 to him who overcomes, Jesus promises.
02:20 We want to be overcomers. We want to be successful.
02:23 But I've discovered that there are many Christians
02:29 living under a cloud of doubt, haunted by the fear of failure.
02:36 Discouraged because their lives
02:39 just don't seem to be measuring up
02:42 to the lofty standard of the Bible and what a pity,
02:45 because the laws for successful Christian living
02:48 are so clear in the scripture.
02:52 Sometimes I think we make Christianity be so complicated
02:57 that too many people just get discouraged then give up.
03:02 On the other hand, they are those
03:04 who reduce it to some meaningless simplicity
03:07 to where there's no difference
03:09 between a Christian or anyone else.
03:12 But I believe that little lady
03:14 who stood up at church one night at prayer meeting
03:18 to give her testimony hit the bull's eye.
03:22 She said, her language wasn't as polished
03:25 as it could have been but her message was right on.
03:28 I ain't what I ought to be and I ain't what I'm gonna be,
03:35 but praise God anyhow I ain't what I was.
03:42 And I think she captured
03:44 the essence of successful Christian living,
03:47 recognizing our lives are not all that they ought to be
03:52 and exercising a bold determination to do better,
03:58 praising God all the way for the victory that He's given us.
04:02 But as I already mentioned, most are just the opposite,
04:06 frustrated and discouraged with their Christian life.
04:13 But God's promises and I'm gonna read a promise
04:17 to you this morning that just lifts us up
04:20 beyond human comprehension,
04:24 it is so awesome and so powerful.
04:28 In 2 Peter 1:3, "His divine power
04:35 has given us everything we need for life.
04:41 His divine power gives us everything we need for life
04:49 and godliness through our knowledge of him
04:51 who called us by his own glory.
04:55 And through these He has given us
04:57 His very great and precious promises,
05:02 that through them you--" and here's the part,
05:06 "You may participate in the divine nature,
05:12 and escape the corruptions in the world
05:14 caused by evil desires."
05:17 So the promise is that we can participate
05:21 in God's divine nature and when we do,
05:26 He empowers us to escape the corruptions of the world,
05:33 to be successful, to be victorious in Jesus Christ.
05:42 Three laws for successful Christian living.
05:45 What is the first law?
05:46 Verse 7, "What shall we say then is the law sin,
05:51 certainly not, indeed I would not known
05:53 that what sin was except through the law."
05:56 Now which law is Paul speaking of here?
05:59 Watch, "I would not have known what coveting really was
06:02 if the law had not said, do not covet."
06:07 So, the first law that Paul mentions
06:10 is the Ten Commandment law, the one that says,
06:13 Thou shalt not covet, that's the first law
06:17 and we gonna discover that's the law that Paul wants to keep.
06:20 He wants to be obedient to God's Ten Commandment law.
06:25 There's nothing wrong with the law, the law is not sin,
06:28 in fact, he said in verse 12, "So then the law is holy
06:33 and the Commandment is holy, righteous, and good.
06:36 "Nothing wrong with God's law.
06:39 God's law is holy, it is righteous, it is good.
06:42 He wants to be obedient to God's law
06:45 but we discovered the real problem in verse 14.
06:50 We know that the law is spiritual, get that.
06:56 God's Ten Commandment law is spiritual,
07:00 the problem is not with the law, what's the problem?
07:05 The law is spiritua, Paul said, but I am unspiritual. What?
07:14 How can Paul the apostle say,
07:17 I am unspiritual, the law is spiritual?
07:22 How can he say, I am unspiritual?
07:24 In fact, he goes on, it gets worse,
07:27 I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin,
07:31 I do not understand what I do,
07:33 for what I want to do I do not do,
07:34 but what I hate I do and if I do what I do want to do
07:37 I agree the law is good, the problem is me.
07:41 The law is spiritual, I'm unspiritual.
07:43 How can Paul the apostle say, I am unspiritual?
07:47 He says it troubled some people so much
07:49 that they came to conclusion,
07:50 well, that was Paul before he was converted,
07:54 after he got converted,
07:56 then he could never say, I am unspiritual.
08:01 But the problem is Paul writing in his letter
08:04 to the church at Rome said,
08:06 we know the law is spiritual but I am unspiritual.
08:12 Was he telling the truth?
08:14 At the time that he wrote his letter to Rome,
08:17 he was the Apostle Paul and he said,
08:19 I the Apostle Paul, am unspiritual,
08:22 he didn't say I was unspiritual but I'm unspiritual.
08:28 The law is spiritual,
08:29 the problem ain't the law, the problem is me.
08:32 I have been sold as a slave to sin.
08:34 He didn't say, I sold myself as a slave to sin,
08:37 no, I have been sold as a slave to sin.
08:42 We all have this battle with sin to fight
08:46 the same battle that Paul fought.
08:51 If I do what I do want to do, I agree the law is good,
08:54 I don't know what I do.
08:55 He said, I don't even understand myself.
08:57 The good that I want to do, I don't do,
08:59 the evil I don't want to do that's what I wind up doing.
09:01 Oh, what am I gonna do? You ever felt like that?
09:06 It reminds me of a little girl
09:08 who got caught with her hand in the cookie jar,
09:11 mom comes in the kitchen, oh, oh,
09:14 mom scolds her a little bit, don't you ever do that again.
09:17 I promise, mommy, I won't ever do it again.
09:19 Next day, mom comes in the kitchen
09:21 and her hands in the cookie jar again
09:24 and she bursts into tears and she says but, mama,
09:27 I don't always want to do what I want to do.
09:31 And I think that's kind of what Paul was saying here
09:34 and I've got a suspicion that every single one of us
09:37 goes through that sometimes,
09:38 I don't want to do what I want to do.
09:42 There's a piece of me that wants to be obedient to the law of God
09:47 but there's another piece of me that every time I try,
09:50 I wind up falling far and miserably short
09:54 from the lofty standard that Jesus Himself set for us.
09:59 So what's the problem?
10:02 Second law, verse 21, now I find this law at work,
10:06 "When I want to do good, evil is right there with me,
10:09 for in my inner being I delight in God's law."
10:13 Now that's how you can know
10:15 that this is Paul the Apostle writing
10:17 and he's not talking about himself before he was converted,
10:21 that's impossible because he says,
10:23 "In my inner being I delight in God's law"
10:28 and an unconverted man cannot say,
10:31 in my inner being, I delight in God's law,
10:34 no way, impossible because in Chapter 8:7,
10:37 "The sinful mind is hostile to God.
10:40 It does not submit to God's law or nor can it do so."
10:44 So this is not a sinful mind,
10:46 this is not an unconverted person,
10:48 this is Paul the Christian, the Paul the Apostle.
10:52 In my inner being I delight in God's law
10:56 but I see another law at work in the members of my body
10:59 waging war against the law of my mind,
11:01 making me a prisoner of the law of sin
11:05 at work within my members.
11:07 So the Bible is telling us that there are two laws,
11:11 God's law, that's the one that he wants to keep
11:13 and then there's the law of sin that's holding him down
11:18 preventing him from being obedient to the law of God,
11:22 waging war against the law of my mind
11:25 and making me a prisoner to the law of sin.
11:28 He wants to obey but the law of sin is holding him back.
11:32 What a wretched man I am, verse 24,
11:35 who will deliver me from this body of death?
11:38 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
11:43 In the same breathe, what a wretched man I am.
11:47 The good that I want to do I can't do,
11:48 the evil I don't want to do that's what I wind up doing,
11:50 oh, what a wretched man I am,
11:52 who will deliver me from this body of death?
11:54 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Wow.
12:00 Is he describing life as we know it today or not?
12:05 That's the battle for the mind, watch.
12:08 So then I myself in my mind, I am slave to God's law,
12:15 but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
12:23 Two laws, God's law, spiritual that he wants to keep,
12:29 the law of sin, preventing him, holding him down,
12:34 preventing him from keeping the law of God.
12:41 Aren't you glad that Paul didn't finish his letter
12:43 to the Church at Rome with Chapter 7?
12:48 But he gives us the solution to the problem in Chapter 8.
12:53 Therefore, verse 1, there is no condemnation now
12:56 for those who are in Christ Jesus, why not?
13:00 Because through Christ Jesus, the law, the spirit of life
13:03 has set me free from the law of sin and death.
13:08 The law of the spirit of life sets me free
13:12 from the law of sin and death.
13:14 It does not, notice, it does not set me free
13:18 from the law of God. No.
13:21 It sets me free from the law of sin
13:24 that is preventing me from obeying the law of God
13:27 in order that, verse 4,
13:29 the righteous requirements of the law of God
13:31 might be met in us.
13:35 So He sets us free from the law of sin,
13:37 so that we can be obedient to the law of God.
13:43 He doesn't set us free from the law of God,
13:44 don't let anyone tell you
13:47 that the cross sets us free from the law of God.
13:50 It sets us free from the condemnation of the law.
13:53 It sets us free from the law of sin
13:55 so that by the law of the spirit,
13:58 we can become obedient to the law of God.
14:02 Now we have to understand a couple of things
14:04 before we go any further.
14:07 And that is that Romans 7 and 8
14:12 are not instructions on how to get saved.
14:17 Paul devoted the entire first six chapters of Romans
14:21 on the fact that by the gospel,
14:23 we're saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ,
14:26 not by works, but it's a gift of God.
14:31 Romans 1-6 define the gospel of salvation
14:35 by grace through faith in him but now
14:39 when we get to Romans 8, and 7 and 8,
14:42 he's talking about not how to get saved,
14:45 but how do we live our lives after we have been saved.
14:51 We're still living in a world of sin.
14:54 We're still influenced by myriads and myriads of powers
14:58 trying to lead us down the wrong pathway,
15:01 so how can we be victorious in the midst of all of that?
15:07 So let's not confuse the two.
15:10 Three laws, the first law, God's law.
15:13 That's the one that He wants to keep.
15:14 The second law, the law of sin and death,
15:17 holding him down preventing him and us
15:19 from obeying the law of God
15:21 that we desire deep down in our hearts to do.
15:24 But the third law, praise the Lord,
15:26 helps us to overcome the law of sin
15:28 so that we can obey the law of God
15:33 and that's how the three laws
15:35 for successful Christian living work in our lives.
15:39 Well, how do we put the law
15:41 of the spirit of life to work for us?
15:44 That's the real question.
15:46 How do we get the law of the spirit of life to empower us
15:49 to live a victorious powerful successful life?
15:53 Well, I'm gonna show you how to do that
15:56 but first, it's quiz time.
16:00 It's quiz time so want everybody to answer together now.
16:06 We've just learned three spiritual laws
16:08 for successful Christian living.
16:09 The first one is the law of God, the Ten Commandments, good.
16:14 See if you can do better on the second one,
16:16 that was a little weak, see if you can do better,
16:19 the law that prevents us from obeying the law of God
16:22 holding us down is the law of sin and death.
16:26 Okay, now, since you did that one louder than the other,
16:30 you really need to be louder than sin on this last one right?
16:34 So the law that enables us to overcome the law of sin
16:38 to be obedient to the law of God is the law of the..
16:43 Come on, you can do better.
16:45 Spirit of life. Spirit of life overcomes the law of sin,
16:50 enables us to be obedient to the law of God,
16:52 not in order to be saved but because we have been saved
16:56 by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. So you got it?
17:02 All right, now, I want to illustrate
17:07 how this works in the world of nature
17:10 because nature gives us good examples of the gospel.
17:15 When I was a little boy growing up in Louisiana,
17:21 every summer, my grandpa would rent a camp out on the Gulf.
17:27 Now down there, a camp is a little different
17:29 from what you think of up here.
17:31 A camp out on the Gulf was a cab, a big house
17:35 built on pilings out over the water
17:39 and there would be a long walkway up here
17:42 like going out to the house built over the water.
17:45 I can remember looking through the cracks in my bedroom
17:48 and seeing the water down there, I love going to the beach.
17:52 My favorite thing was to get out there
17:55 in that hot sun and white burning sand,
18:00 crystal clear water before Katrina messed it all up,
18:05 and just letting the waves flash up on me,
18:10 and watching the big brown pelican stretch out his wings
18:19 and just soar so effortlessly through the air.
18:23 I love brown pelicans, that's my favorite bird.
18:28 That's why I got one sitting right here on my desk,
18:31 see him, ain't he cute?
18:36 Big brown pelican just soaring through the air,
18:39 hardly moving a feather.
18:45 I wanted deep down in my heart, oh,
18:49 I wanted to fly like a brown pelican.
18:54 If I could just fly like that,
18:59 but I could have stood on the shore in the sand,
19:04 in the sun, in the water and flap my arms until they fell off
19:10 and I'm not gonna get off the ground
19:14 because the law of gravity is holding me down
19:20 and it prevents me from doing
19:22 what deep down in my heart I want to do
19:25 and that's to fly like the brown pelican.
19:30 The law of gravity is holding me down,
19:36 but there's a third law, the law of flight,
19:42 it's called Bernoulli's theory.
19:45 And the law of flight or Bernoulli's theory is that
19:48 when air moves across a surface,
19:52 it reduces the pressure that it exerts on that surface
19:58 and the faster the air goes,
20:01 the lower the pressure it exerts on that surface.
20:05 Now an airplane wing is designed in such a way
20:09 as to take advantage of Bernoulli's theory.
20:13 The airplane wing is curved on the top,
20:16 I don't know if you ever noticed that,
20:18 it's flat across the bottom.
20:20 So that means that as it moves through the air,
20:23 the air going over the top of the wing
20:26 as they travel a greater distance
20:28 than the air going straight across the bottom,
20:31 but it does it in the same time so the air across the top
20:35 has to go faster than the air across the bottom.
20:40 And the plane moves through the air fast enough,
20:42 the air across the top is so much less pressure
20:46 than the air across the bottom, it can cause the plane to fly.
20:49 I remember first time I walked out to the giant B-52 bomber,
20:56 and it was my first flight.
21:01 Boy, the closer we got to that airplane,
21:03 the bigger it looked, 500,000 plus pounds loaded.
21:14 The closer we got, the bigger it looked,
21:17 the smaller those eight engines looked.
21:20 And I started to think, no way,
21:24 that giant bird is never gonna get off the ground.
21:29 But we did all of our preflight checklist,
21:33 jump into the plane, got clearance to start the engines,
21:39 began taxing out to the end of the runway,
21:43 big heavy airplane.
21:46 Finally we got clearance from the tower to takeoff.
21:51 Taxied out into position
21:52 and all eight throttles full forward, loud roar
21:58 and that big plane began to just barely inch down the runway
22:03 and I knew we would never get off the ground,
22:08 but it started gathering speed faster and faster.
22:12 The air flowing over the top
22:14 was going faster than the air across the bottom
22:17 and we got to a certain speed
22:18 that the air over the top was so fast,
22:21 the pressure exerted on top of the wing was so much lower
22:25 than the pressure of the air under the wing was exerting,
22:28 that 500,000 pounds of airplane and me lifted off the ground
22:35 and finally I could soar with the pelicans even higher
22:42 because the law of flight enabled me
22:46 to overcome the law of sin and death
22:49 and to soar in fulfillment of the desire deep in my heart.
22:56 And that's the way it is with God.
22:58 We want to obey the law but sin holds us down.
23:02 The law of the spirit of life enables me to overcome
23:06 the law of sin and soar in obedience to the law of God,
23:11 not in order to be saved, no,
23:15 but because He saved me by grace
23:17 through faith in Jesus Christ to do good works
23:20 that He prepared in advance for us to do.
23:26 So how do we put it to work for us?
23:30 How do we get that law of the spirit of life to work?
23:35 There are two steps, the first step is your part,
23:42 the second step, God's part.
23:47 You do yours and God will do His.
23:52 So what is our part?
23:54 I'm gonna read it to you in Roman 8:5
23:58 and see if this phrase doesn't just jump off the pages to you.
24:03 Romans 8:5, see if you pick it up,
24:05 the key to the law of the spirit of life,
24:08 "Now those who live according to the sinful nature
24:11 have their minds set on what that nature desires
24:17 but those who live according to the spirit
24:19 have their minds set on what the spirit desires."
24:25 Did you get it? What's the key?
24:29 Set your mind, the mind set on the spirit
24:36 is gonna do the things of the spirit,
24:40 the mind set on the sinful nature
24:44 is gonna do the things of the sinful nature.
24:48 Set your mind, that's your part, you do your part,
24:55 God will do His. What is your part?
24:58 Set your mind on the things of the spirit.
25:03 I call it mental discipline, mental discipline,
25:09 not to be confused with some of the classics,
25:14 they're old but they're still taught
25:15 in the basis for success teaching today.
25:19 Some of the old classics, 'Norman Vincent Peale,
25:21 "The Power Of Positive Thinking."
25:24 Maxwell Maltz, "Psycho-Cybernetics."
25:26 Napoleon Hill, "Think and Grow Rich."
25:29 These are old classic books
25:31 but the basic principles in there are still valid today.
25:35 The problem is that they all miss a very important key point.
25:43 And I used to teach success seminars
25:47 and sales training seminars based on those principles,
25:53 but once I became a Christian,
25:57 I discovered that all of those principles
25:58 worth anything at all were already in this book.
26:02 I used to charge $600 for a seminar
26:06 and now you get it for free.
26:10 The laws for successful--
26:12 how do we get the law of the spirit of life to work?
26:14 There are three steps, three verses,
26:16 first one, I'm sure you know it by heart.
26:19 Proverbs 23:7, "Whatsoever a man thinketh in his heart,
26:26 what, so is he."
26:31 Whatever you think determines what you are.
26:41 You are what you think about.
26:45 Now that's something to think about, isn't it?
26:49 Your thoughts determine what you are.
26:52 That's the first step.
26:54 The second step in Luke 6:45, Jesus said,
26:59 "The good man does good from the good stored up in his heart.
27:03 The evil man does evil from the evil stored up in his heart,
27:07 so not only do your thoughts determine who you are
27:12 but your thoughts determine what you do.
27:17 Your behavior is controlled by the way that you think,
27:22 that's what Jesus said, can you trust Him?
27:26 The good man does good from the good stored up in his heart.
27:30 How do you store up good in your heart?
27:31 By thinking right, by thinking about the things of the spirit.
27:35 So your behavior determine
27:37 or your thoughts determine what you are,
27:39 your thoughts determine what you do.
27:41 The third step in Romans 12:2, it's just common sense,
27:46 if your thoughts determine what you are
27:48 and your thoughts determine what you do,
27:50 then in order to change what you do,
27:52 in order to change your behavior,
27:54 you simply need to change your mind,
27:58 be transformed by the renewing of the mind.
28:02 Romans 12, you see, it's all in the Bible.
28:07 So your thoughts determine who you are,
28:09 your thoughts determine what you do,
28:10 in order to change what you do, change your thoughts,
28:12 change your mind and your behavior will follow.
28:18 But it's not that easy.
28:21 It's not as easy as it sounds, why?
28:23 Because we think in terms of thought patterns.
28:29 And these thought patterns are called habits.
28:37 Now when I said habits, you probably thought bad, right?
28:49 But a habit is bad only if it's a bad habit.
28:56 Habits can be good.
29:00 In fact, some tell us that as much as 90% is what we do
29:06 on a daily basis is the result of habit and I believe that.
29:12 These habits are very, very powerful
29:19 and they're formed by the process of repetition,
29:22 thinking a certain way over and over again
29:26 and it becomes a habit.
29:29 And these habits are so powerful
29:31 that it's difficult to change the way we think.
29:35 But you can't change your behavior
29:37 unless you change your thoughts.
29:42 Let me give you an illustration how habits are formed.
29:47 How many of you know how to drive a car?
29:50 Okay, a few. Let me ask this one.
29:56 How many of you know how to drive a stick shift?
30:01 Now, that's interesting.
30:04 Every place I go, I find more people
30:08 know how to drive a stick shift than know how to drive.
30:13 You explain that to me.
30:16 Yeah, I drive stick shift, you know, drive, all right,
30:21 remember that when you learned how to drive a stick shift.
30:25 I remember, well, I sat in that car,
30:29 my dad thought me how
30:31 and he had me going through a little list in my head
30:34 of all the things I needed to go,
30:36 make sure the break was set, then put that key in there
30:39 and I even had to think about which way,
30:41 this way or that way, how does it go?
30:45 Put the key in there, and I did everything,
30:47 and then finally may be a little gas and turn the key,
30:53 it started right up, oh, man, I'm driving.
30:57 Then I had to release the brake,
31:00 the clutch in and let that clutch in and give the gas
31:04 just at the right rate in the right point,
31:08 let out the clutch and you know what?
31:10 The first time I did that I just took off so smoothly.
31:15 You believe that? What happened?
31:19 Jerk-jerk-jerk-jerk, it quit on me.
31:23 I had to try it again and jerk-jerk-jerk-jerk,
31:27 quit on me again, jerk-jerk-jerk-jerk, quit, oh!
31:30 I'm never gonna get, jerk-jerk-jerk-jerk, quit,
31:33 finally I went jerk-jerk-jerk-jerk-jerk
31:36 and went on, oh, I'm driving, I'm driving, almost hit a tree,
31:40 got so excited, you remember that?
31:46 You remember the first time
31:47 you stopped at a red light on a hill,
31:53 and there was a car behind you, oh, man,
31:57 but do you remember the last time that happened?
32:02 Probably not, why not?
32:06 Because through the process of repetition,
32:10 all those thoughts become established
32:13 as patterns or habits,
32:17 and the truth is you probably barely remembered
32:21 driving to church this morning.
32:24 You just jumped in your car, you didn't think about
32:26 which way the key goes or which way to turn it
32:28 or clutches or anything, you just jump in the car and go,
32:32 because it's a habit.
32:35 And habits are good 'cause it sets your mind free
32:38 to do other things while you are driving
32:41 like watch for traffic.
32:45 So habits are good if they are good habits
32:48 and most of what we do
32:50 is the result of a habit and they're powerful.
32:54 Let me show you how powerful they are.
32:55 If you let me do a worldly illustration,
33:00 I've tried to, pastor said it's okay, so I'll do it.
33:03 I try to keep coming up with something better but I can't.
33:08 Let me tell you a little jingle,
33:10 Pepsi Cola hits the spot, about four or five of you got it
33:17 12 full ounces that's a lot,
33:20 there are few more getting on down wagon here.
33:24 Now how did you know that?
33:29 And when you first heard that jingle on the radio,
33:31 did you say, oh, man, that's cool.
33:34 No, they weren't saying cool back then.
33:35 Oh, man, I like that. Yeah, I really like it.
33:39 I'm gonna memorize it, I'm gonna write it 150 times
33:41 still I didn't get it perfect.
33:42 Pepsi Cola hits the spot, 12 full ounces that's a lot,
33:44 over and over and over again till, oh, I got it,
33:46 yes, I learned it, is that what happened?
33:49 Nope. What happened?
33:51 You heard it over and over and over and over
33:56 until it became established as a habit pattern,
33:58 a thought pattern or habit.
34:01 Now, oh, you're gonna hate me for this.
34:07 Do you know how long it's been
34:08 since you've heard that on the radio?
34:14 Well, let me just say it this way,
34:16 over 40 years, way over 40 years,
34:23 you have heard that jingle way over 40 years
34:28 and yet now I can still say Pepsi Cola hits the...
34:32 and you instantly respond with spot.
34:36 Habits are very, very powerful creatures.
34:41 And that's why it's not always so easy to change our behavior
34:45 because in order to change our behavior,
34:46 we have to change the way we think.
34:48 Now there's one other thing that we need to understand
34:51 before we actually apply these Bible texts
34:53 and put them into practice in our lives
34:56 that is that your brain has two halves to it,
35:00 the left half and the right half.
35:03 The left side of the brain is where we learn things
35:08 and memorize things and store information
35:12 and we think logically and sequentially
35:15 and we work math problems and all of that is done
35:19 on the left side of the brain,
35:20 language is stored on the left side of the brain.
35:24 The right side of the brain is emotional for the most part.
35:28 Now I've realized for those of you
35:30 that are experts in healthcare,
35:32 I'm being oversimplifying a little bit
35:34 just to keep it simple.
35:36 But the right side of the brain is basically emotional,
35:39 that's where our feelings are seated.
35:45 Now when we learn things,
35:48 we put the information into the left side,
35:52 the right side through the process of repetition
35:56 picks it up and the right side
36:00 automatically follows the instructions given to it.
36:04 It's like a General and the army.
36:07 The General looks at the whole situation with his staff
36:12 and plans strategically what to do and where to strike
36:16 and with how much and then he issues the orders.
36:22 He gives the orders to the army, the troops
36:26 and the troops carry out the orders.
36:28 They don't modify it, they don't change it,
36:32 they don't stop and think, well, this isn't a very good order,
36:36 I think we'll do it this way instead of his way.
36:39 No, if it's a good army,
36:41 they're gonna automatically obey the orders that they're given
36:45 indiscriminately just obey it.
36:48 Now that's the way the brain works.
36:50 The left brain is the General,
36:52 the right brain, that's the troops.
36:55 The left brain makes the decisions,
36:57 the right brain can't do that, it just takes the orders
37:00 from the left brain and automatically
37:02 doesn't decide is this a good thing or a bad thing,
37:05 it just does what it's told to do.
37:09 So through the process of repetition,
37:11 those orders become embedded in the right brain
37:15 and they automatically function
37:18 without you even thinking about it, it just happens.
37:23 That's why it's so hard to change.
37:26 We have to through the process of repetition
37:28 establish a new habit that's stronger and more powerful
37:31 than the one that's been in force for years and years.
37:35 So that's way it's hard to change your behavior.
37:39 I remember the, first-- have you ever been to a country
37:42 where they drive on the wrong side of the road?
37:45 Our son is in London and we were over there
37:49 visiting a few years ago and rented a car and here we go,
37:54 I'm driving down the wrong side of the road.
37:57 We drive on the right side, they go on the wrong side,
38:01 left side, and so I'm driving along
38:04 and as long as I could think about it,
38:06 you know, yes, stay on the left side,
38:08 stay on the left side, stay on the wrong side, you're okay.
38:12 We did fine, but then we would start talking,
38:16 now I look over there and say something to Dina
38:18 and she says something back and we get all into the conversation
38:20 and before I know, she's going,
38:21 Jack, You're on the wrong side of the road!
38:24 I'm looking up, oh, yeah,
38:26 back over there on the wrong side.
38:29 You know, because I know what to do
38:31 but it didn't overhear in my right brain yet to do
38:33 without me thinking about it.
38:37 Now if we're gonna change our behavior,
38:43 we have to change those thought patterns.
38:47 And those thought patterns are generally given
38:49 to the right brain as orders in term of images and pictures.
38:54 The right brain processes pictures.
38:56 Let me show you what I mean.
38:58 I'm gonna say a word, are you ready?
39:02 Car. Now what did you see?
39:06 Did you see the letters, C.A.R.,
39:09 or did you see the picture of a car?
39:12 You saw the picture of a car, your car maybe,
39:16 maybe one you wish was your car,
39:18 but you saw the picture of a car.
39:21 See, our instructions get into the right brain
39:24 in terms of images and pictures,
39:27 so that means that if you are a student
39:32 and you see yourself as a failure,
39:36 then you're giving instructions to your right brain
39:40 to watch TV the night before the exam
39:42 instead of study, you're gonna fail.
39:46 If you see yourself successful,
39:48 then you're given instructions to succeed.
39:54 You see yourself as a successful Christian,
39:57 soaring in obedience to God, then that's what you gonna do.
40:03 If you see yourself as a failure,
40:05 that's what you're gonna do.
40:08 And while we're talking about this parents,
40:11 I have to confess that there are times when I just quench,
40:16 when I see the way some parents talk to their children,
40:20 they may be getting into a little mischief, who doesn't?
40:24 And they'll say something like, "You are so bad,
40:29 You're gonna wind up in jail."
40:32 What kind of image are they forming
40:34 in the minds of their child?
40:39 You are just worse than a bunch of monkeys around here.
40:43 And they wonder why does my son act like a monkey.
40:49 Because they've been told over and over again
40:53 that that's what they are
40:54 and that's the image they have and they're gonna do it.
40:59 So parents be careful of what you say to the little ones.
41:06 Does this really work?
41:08 Folks, it does. God made us that way.
41:12 That's how He made our brain to work.
41:15 Let me prove it to you.
41:16 I want you to sit with your feet flat on the ground,
41:19 put your feet down, hands in your lap,
41:21 relax but don't close your eyes
41:24 or close your eyes but don't sleep,
41:25 let's do it that way.
41:27 Close your eyes, if you sleep it won't work.
41:29 It isn't gonna hurt, all I want you to do
41:31 is just picture in your mind a bright yellow lemon,
41:36 crystal clear, get it sharp focus,
41:39 turn it around so you can see
41:40 the green letter, sun kissed, written on it.
41:45 You see the dimples in the skin,
41:47 the little stem on the end, lemon. Get it in focus.
41:52 Now picture a razor sharp knife slicing through the lemon,
41:59 juice explodes all across the blade, it is so juicy.
42:05 Picture yourself picking up half of that lemon
42:09 and squeezing it over your outstretched tongue.
42:14 Give it a good squeeze, squeeze,
42:16 drip, drip, ooh, wow, it is so sour.
42:22 Squeeze it again, get some more,
42:24 get a mouthful, pick up the other half,
42:26 squeeze it over your tongue, swallow it,
42:29 get another big mouthful, oh, it is so sour.
42:36 Okay, you can open your eyes.
42:39 How many of you noticed your mouth began to water?
42:42 Did it? Did you say mouth water?
42:48 No, you put the image there
42:51 and your right brain took that image as an order
42:54 and your mouth began to water.
42:58 It works. That's the way God made you.
43:02 That's the way He made your brain to function
43:05 and so that's why He said
43:07 you need to set your mind on the things of the spirit.
43:12 Because that's giving your right brain
43:14 instructions of what to do.
43:16 People come to me and say,
43:17 "Pastor, I don't know what's wrong with me,
43:18 I just can't grow spiritually."
43:20 I would say, "What do you watch on TV?
43:23 What kind of books you read?"
43:25 You see you can't fix your mind on the filth
43:27 and the cesspools of this old world
43:29 and expect to soar in obedience to God.
43:33 In the computer industry, they have a formula,
43:35 it's called GIGO, GIGO, garbage in, garbage out.
43:43 You cannot program a bunch of errors into a computer
43:48 and expect to get the right answer.
43:50 You can't take the picture of a pile of sewage
43:56 and expect it to come out looking like a rose,
43:59 unless you have photoshop.
44:04 But did you understand what I'm saying?
44:06 What do you read? What do you watch?
44:10 Fix your mind on the things of the spirit
44:13 and that's what you're gonna do.
44:15 That's the law of life, that's the way God made you.
44:18 In fact, why do you think Paul said in Philippians 4:8,
44:23 "Finally brothers, whatever is true, noble, right,
44:26 whatever is pure, lovely, whatever is admirable,
44:28 if anything is excellent or praiseworthy
44:30 think about such things."
44:33 What a God, He tells us how to think
44:35 and then He tells us what we should be thinking about.
44:38 That verse should be printed out in big letters
44:41 and pasted on the top of your television set.
44:44 Is it noble, is it pure, is it trustworthy, is it right,
44:48 is it lovely, is it admirable?
44:50 If it is, okay, if it's not, don't watch it.
44:54 You can't program all that garbage into your mind
44:57 and expect to be obedient
44:59 empowered by the law of the spirit of life.
45:03 We have to die to sin.
45:05 Discipline, mental disciple must be total.
45:09 We need to die, Paul said, we die to sin.
45:12 Dead people don't respond to anything
45:16 and that's the way we need to be.
45:17 We need to be dead to the temptations of sin,
45:20 we die, we don't respond.
45:22 Sometimes people ask me,
45:27 "Pastor, I don't know what's wrong with me.
45:31 I keep getting all these
45:32 bad thoughts in my mind all the time."
45:35 And I surprise them, I say, "There's nothing wrong with you,
45:41 there's nothing wrong with bad thoughts coming into your mind,
45:45 it's called temptation."
45:50 It only becomes wrong when you choose
45:52 to keep those bad thoughts there."
45:56 We need to put them out of our minds.
45:58 We live in a world of sin.
46:00 We're gonna see things all around that are bad,
46:02 that's temptation, but when we get a bad thought,
46:05 we need to put it out.
46:07 I'm gonna tell you the secret of the banana tree.
46:12 Now you don't know that up here,
46:14 'cause you don't have banana trees.
46:17 So let me tell you about it.
46:19 We bought a house when we lived down in South Texas,
46:22 we bought a house that had banana trees.
46:26 And so I as a good banana plantation owner,
46:31 had a big plantation, It was about this big.
46:35 I brought a machete because you might not know it,
46:39 but banana trees make one bunch of bananas
46:43 and they die, they're finished.
46:47 But they send up little shoots, make new banana trees.
46:51 Now the problem is if one tree sends up a lot of shoots
46:55 and if you just let these things grow, they get so thick
46:59 that they will choke each other out and they all die.
47:02 So you have to weed out your banana trees.
47:05 Well, I got there, got my machete
47:08 and my two little guys helping me
47:10 and I chopped through that first banana tree,
47:13 it was about that big around, and they are heavy.
47:17 And I had to drag that banana tree
47:19 down to the back of our lot, big ditch back there,
47:23 my two guys were gonna help me.
47:25 They rode on the leaves while I pulled it.
47:30 I got that tree back here, I'm tired, man,
47:32 it's heavy but there were more,
47:35 so I'll cut down another one, drag that,
47:38 oh, man, I'm getting tired, only two,
47:41 I've a lot a more to do and I'm doing another one,
47:43 I don't know if I can do this one or not.
47:45 Finally I make it to the back, I come back thinking,
47:48 you know, maybe I'd done enough for today
47:50 and then all of a sudden, ah-hah,
47:53 I saw it, a banana tree that big,
47:59 so I took my machete and I went
48:03 one flick of the wrist and it was gone.
48:07 Bent down, picked it up, put it in my pocket,
48:13 found another one, picked it up, put it in my pocket,
48:17 another one, put them in my pocket.
48:23 Pretty soon, my pockets were full of banana trees.
48:27 I just walked to the back of the lot, emptied my pockets.
48:32 See, it's a lot easier to get them when they're that big
48:34 than when they're full grown.
48:38 And so the secret is when a bad thought comes into your mind,
48:43 put it out immediately, put it out.
48:48 Don't let it take root,
48:49 don't let it get to be a big banana tree, put it out.
48:53 Learn how to recognize the bad thoughts
48:55 by studying your Bible, studying the word of God.
48:58 And then when a bad thought comes in,
49:00 immediately recognize it, put it out,
49:02 that's the secret of the banana tree.
49:05 Don't let them take root and they'll never result in action.
49:10 It'll change your life, mental discipline.
49:16 A man had learned one night at Revelation Now
49:20 that his body was a temple of the Holy Spirit,
49:22 and he was smoker, he says, "That's it,
49:25 I don't want to put anything in my body that defiles it,
49:28 I want to keep healthy and strong
49:30 so I can understand God and what He's trying to say to me.
49:33 He is a farmer in Oklahoma
49:35 driving around a big tractor around the field,
49:38 that day he said that's it, I'm gonna quit smoking.
49:41 So he takes his cigarettes out of his pocket,
49:43 and throws them over his shoulder
49:45 and then turned around to see where they hit in the dirt.
49:49 He's driving around, he said,
49:50 "I wonder how long I'm gonna be able to go."
49:53 Then he goes around the field,
49:54 oh, man, I could just have one more cigarette,
49:57 oh, it would just taste so good if I could have one more.
50:00 Then he gets back to that spot where he threw them out,
50:02 and he got off the tractor, picked up the cigarettes
50:05 and he started smoking again.
50:07 And he's thinking, good night, what's wrong with me?
50:10 I've gone longer than that without smoking
50:12 not even trying to quit.
50:15 So he's disgusted with himself,
50:17 he throws them down and buries them in the dirt
50:19 and he gets on the tractor, goes round and round the field,
50:22 sun's getting right to set, pulls into the barn,
50:25 goes to his house and there's a big farm dinner,
50:29 his wife has spread out on the table for him.
50:31 Oh, wow, it was so good, his tummy is so full
50:34 before he knows it he is digging around in his shirt pocket,
50:37 no cigarettes but he wants a cigarette.
50:42 So he gets up and he goes over to the drawer
50:44 where he keeps them, no cigarettes,
50:47 his wife got rid of them all.
50:49 He goes running around looking in the all the ash trays,
50:52 just a butt, that's all I want, just a butt,
50:55 she emptied them all and threw it all out.
50:58 But he did find a flash light.
51:03 So he goes out in the field with a flash light
51:06 looking around in the dirt
51:08 kicking the clods around till finally he found them.
51:11 Sat out there in the dirt clods,
51:13 smoked three cigarettes in a row,
51:16 then he said, "That's it, that's it,
51:19 I'm gonna quit smoking
51:22 and I'm not even gonna think about it anymore."
51:25 As far as I know,
51:27 that was the last cigarette he ever smoked.
51:30 Mental discipline.
51:34 Fix your mind on the things of the spirit,
51:37 you do your part and then God will do His part.
51:41 But what's God's part?
51:44 Romans 8:9, "You however are not controlled
51:46 by the sinful nature but by the spirit."
51:49 If the spirit of God lives in you,"
51:52 verse 11, "And if the spirit of him
51:53 who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you,
51:57 then he who raised Christ from the dead
52:00 will also give life to your mortal bodies
52:02 through his spirit who lives in you,
52:05 and if by the spirit you put to death
52:06 amidst needs of the body you will live."
52:09 The same spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead
52:13 is willing to live in you and empower you to live
52:17 and break the habits that enslave
52:19 and destroy the mind and the body.
52:21 You can be free, you can be successful,
52:24 but it's the law of the spirit of life
52:27 that enables God's spirit to work in us and to empower us
52:33 to break those shackles and to be free.
52:36 We do our part, mental discipline,
52:39 fix your mind on the spirit and God will do His part
52:43 and you can live victoriously for Christ.
52:48 So why do I have to do my part first,
52:50 why don't God do his first, be a lot easier.
52:55 Well, God never forces,
52:58 the beast uses force but not God.
53:01 And we demonstrate to God
53:03 that we're really wanting to change us
53:06 by fixing our mind on the things of God.
53:11 If we say oh, God, I want to be a Christian,
53:12 I want to be saved but we keep focusing our attention
53:15 watching pornography on the internet
53:18 and watching all the bad things,
53:20 reading the bad, we're really saying,
53:22 God I don't really want to change.
53:25 We signal the change by fixing our mind
53:28 on the things of the spirit.
53:30 You do your part, God does His.
53:32 And this closing verse is so powerful,
53:35 I could have read it at the beginning
53:37 and it would have been the whole message.
53:38 So why didn't you do that? No, I have more to say.
53:44 2 Corinthians 3:18, "We who with unveiled faces
53:48 all behold the Lord's glory are being transformed
53:51 into his likeness with ever increasing glory."
53:54 By beholding Him, we become transformed into His likeness.
53:59 Fix your minds on Jesus.
54:03 And you will do the things of the spirit.
54:06 A friend of mine who does what we do,
54:10 an evangelist, tells a story, he didn't have the advantage,
54:15 I don't know if it's advantage or not,
54:16 the opportunity to be in the military
54:18 and to fly military jets and he love flying though,
54:22 in all his life he wanted to fly,
54:24 this was way back in the Vietnam War,
54:26 when the F-4 Phantom jet, that was it,
54:29 I mean, that was it,
54:30 everybody want to fly the F-4 Phantom.
54:33 He would love to have a ride on a Phantom Jet
54:36 but he wasn't in the military.
54:38 No hope, well, one day he was doing a seminar like this
54:42 and he accidentally let it slip out
54:44 that he wished he could get a ride on a F-4 Phantom jet,
54:48 afterwards a man came up to him, he says,
54:50 "You really want to ride a Phantom?
54:51 He said, "Yeah."
54:52 He says, "I'm a flight instructor over the air base,
54:54 I can get you a ride. Oh, man, he couldn't believe it.
54:58 So he went over and did a little bit of quick emeregency training
55:01 and preparation and finally the day came for him to ride
55:06 and he went over there and they had him fixed up
55:08 in his flight suit and helmet, oxygen mask,
55:12 oh, wow, fighter pilot, now he's gonna ride in that Phantom,
55:16 so he climbed in the jet and the pilot instructor,
55:19 "We have two rules for you while we're flying.
55:23 Number one, the microphones voice activated,
55:27 don't you say a word.
55:30 I don't care what's happening, don't say a word."
55:34 Oh, I won't talk, I won't talk, I promise.
55:37 "Number two, see that stick between your knees?
55:41 Don't even think about touching it,
55:44 that's for me, don't touch it."
55:47 I won't touch it, I won't touch it.
55:48 Okay, so they take off, happen to be formation flight,
55:52 another aircraft off on the right,
55:54 he was leading and they were flying
55:56 and my friend in the back noticed say,
55:58 "Boy that pilot's always looking out the side window
56:01 instead of the front?
56:02 He's looking at the wing tip of the lead aircraft.
56:05 And every time, they climbed, we climbed,
56:07 when they dove, and we dove,
56:08 when they did a split S we did a split S
56:10 and everything they did we did.
56:12 The pilot was just looking at the wing tip
56:14 on the other airplane.
56:16 Finally, they finished the flight,
56:18 they were getting ready to get back to land.
56:20 The pilot's still looking out the side window.
56:24 My friend's looking at the air base, he's right there.
56:27 and they're getting closer and closer
56:29 and the pilot still looking out the side.
56:33 And finally he starts getting nervous.
56:37 And he can't hold it in anymore,
56:40 and he said, "I know I'm not supposed to talk
56:43 but when you're gonna look up?"
56:48 Pilot looking out of the side window,
56:52 the wing tip of the other aircraft
56:55 he said, "When the wheels touch the ground, be quiet."
57:02 Now he was probably being a macho pilot,
57:06 I doubt if he landed it looking out the side of the window.
57:12 But, folks, we're headed into the kingdom,
57:22 don't look to the right, don't look to the left,
57:26 don't look behind, just look straight ahead at Jesus.
57:36 And don't move your eyes until your wheels touch the ground.


Revised 2014-12-17