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Description: If you leave your mind passive and blank, it makes it a playground for evil. You can get into trouble by using your mind to contradict God's word.
The Passive Mind
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
What I’m trying to talk about these evenings is the mind. And last Sunday we talked about how Satan
always has to satisfy our minds before he can get us to deviate from our trust in God. And so even
the most physical of sins always requires Satan to justify it to our minds in some way. And maybe
you’d look at the verses we were studying and then we could begin there together and go on a little
deeper tonight into the whole problem of the passive mind.
And I think I can show you plainly how we get into that deception, loved ones. Genesis 3 outlines
the original approach of Satan to us human beings. And it’s interesting to see that it was to our
minds. In the form of the serpent you remember, Satan approached Eve. Genesis 3:1, “Now the
serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the LORD God had made. He said to the
woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall not eat of any tree of the garden”?’”
You remember, we spent a little time last Sunday evening remembering ourselves how often Satan had
taken that approach with us. Questioned our minds, not really our memories because we had a fair
idea of what God had said, but questioning our minds. “Did we really accept that into our minds that
God had said to us? And did he exactly say that to us?” And you remember how we shared, how often
many of us have sensed God saying in a communion service, “Five o’clock every morning, that’s where
I want you. Your day will go in a different way entirely if I meet you at five o’clock every
morning.” Or, “At six o’clock,” or whatever the time is, “I’ll meet you on your knees in your
bedroom, first thing, whatever happens.”
And then the communion service passes and Sunday afternoon comes and then you get to Sunday evening
when you watch something a little too long on television and then the voice comes, “Did God say
five?” And then the next step is, “Well, tomorrow isn’t so very important. Maybe six tomorrow and
back to five the following day.” Except that you never get back to five the following day, and
anyway the spell of trust is broken because you’ve actually manipulated the thing to your own ideas
and our own wishes and so the whole command of God is lost.
Have you ever caught the real import of a command of God? God commands Moses to do a certain thing
which Moses can’t possibly do on his own power! And so the decision to obey the command also
ensures the provision of the power. Have you ever seen that? God doesn’t just go around commanding
just for the sake, “Here Jim you do that. John you do that. Tom, I’m a big God I can tell anybody
what to do.” No! He always specifically tells you to do something that you’ll need his power for.
That’s what he wants to manifest in you.
So really commands from God are not simply valuable from the point of view of what they get you to
do, or whether they’re right or wrong. A command from God is always customized and tailored for
you, so that the only way to obey it is to receive some extra life of his. And of course, that’s
the meaning of a command you see. But often we don’t see that. We think, “No, no I feel deadbeat,
I’m going to be seven hours sleep and I usually get my eight and a half.” Or, “I’m going to be five
hours asleep and I always get my six. And that’s right, five tomorrow won’t really be essential.”
Well of course, that’s the one thing it is. ‘Five’ is essential tomorrow because God is going to
show you how he gives you strength that you don’t have physically yourself, because you had a good
And so that kind of thing we shared, you remember, how Satan comes along and says, “Did God say,
‘You shall not eat of any tree of the garden’?” And then the next step, in Verse 2, “And the woman
said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, “You shall
not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it,
lest you die.”’” And of course, that wasn’t what God had said at all. God said that you wouldn’t
eat of the tree of the knowledge of Good and evil but the tree of life was also in the midst of the
garden and you were to eat of that.
And so you remember we shared last Sunday how Satan tries to get us to switch God’s word to us just
a little. To switch it just a little. And then of course, eventually he goes the ‘whole hog’ and
in Verse 4, you remember, he says, “But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die.’” And
just downright contradicts God’s word to you. And that’s his approach with us.
Now, what has followed from that is a further deception, because many of us have turned to verses
like Romans 8:7, “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to
God’s law, indeed it cannot.” And we say, “There, you see, the mind got us into trouble in the
Garden of Eden. It was the mind that Satan deceived. It was the mind that declared its own
independence and autonomy.” And do you see there’s another verse that says, “The mind is hostile to
And then we turn to other verses like 1 Corinthians, there is a verse there that we often use. 1
Corinthians 1:18, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are
being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and
the cleverness of the clever I will thwart.’ Where is the wise man? Where is the scribe? Where is
the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the
wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what
we preach to save those who believe.”
And so we say, “You see there’s another passage where God is saying, ‘It’s not your mind or your
wisdom that will save you, it’s me only.’” And we collect these verses together and Satan gets us
to the conclusion that the mind is evil and that the one way to get yourself into trouble with God
is to use your mind. And loved ones, Christendom is convinced of that. Great parts of Christendom
is convinced that the worst thing you can do to follow God is to use your mind and it’s based on the
kind of experience that we see Eve having in the Garden of Eden. It’s based on the kind of verse in
Romans 8:7, or the kinds of verses that we get there in Corinthians.
And so Satan practices probably his greatest deception because he knows the mind is the king of the
soul. It is really the original executive in the soul. Of the emotions and the will, the mind is
really the king. And Satan knows that if he can get us to stop using our minds then he can do
whatever he wants. And I think someone said last Sunday to me, “Well then, I mean, you’re saying
that we get into trouble so often, and I agree with you, by using our minds, now then do you mean we
shouldn’t use our minds?” And loved ones, that’s exactly what Satan wants.
Do you see the issue isn’t using your mind, or not using your mind? The issue is using your mind in
a legitimate way or using your mind in an illegitimate way. That’s it. If you stop using your mind
altogether I’ll share with you a little later on this evening some of the agonies that you will get
into through doing that. It is God’s will for us to use our minds in a legitimate way, not an
illegitimate way. Now, let’s look back to Genesis and there are a couple of instances there that
plainly show you a person using their mind the right way and a person using their mind the wrong
Plainly the wrong way is the one you get there in Genesis 3, “Now the serpent was more subtle than
any other wild creature that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God say, “You shall
not eat of any tree of the garden”?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of
the trees of the garden; but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the
midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” Obviously, that’s the wrong way.
Using your mind to contradict God’s word is the wrong way, using your mind to get a knowledge beyond
the knowledge that is in God’s word, or the knowledge God has given to you through your spirit.
That’s the wrong way to use your mind. We haven’t to use our minds as a substitute for God and for
his love, and his gift of knowledge to us through the intuition of our spirits. Nor have we to use
our minds to contradict God’s word.
A right way to use our minds is there in Genesis 2:19, “So out of the ground the LORD God formed
every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he could
call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.” God gave us our
minds to use. That’s the only way we’re ever going to fulfill his directions to us. Whether we’re
oil men that sink wells, or whether we’re engineers that build bridges, or nurses that nurse
patients, or doctors that cure the sick, or whether we’re mathematicians, or whether we’re
secretaries, God has given us our minds to fulfill the commands that he has given to us. And God
expects us to use our minds for that purpose.
The only way he will ever get his directions to us through our spirits into our fingertips is
through our minds. God expects us to use our minds to understand his word. He expresses often
that, “My word is a revelation to you and I want you to understand it.” You remember, Jesus tells
the story of the Parable of the Sower and the seed. And he explains how certain people understand
God’s word and in them it bears fruit a hundredfold. If you don’t use your mind to understand his
word, and to work out what it’s going to mean for your life, there will be no fruit born in your
life. And so God expects us to use our minds to understand, but not to contradict his word.
Now loved ones, I could maybe illustrate the thing plainly in that diagram that is the key to all
knowledge [Audience laughs]. You’ve given me a complex about this diagram [Audience laughs again].
You remember how I shared so often that really that’s something of the way the scriptural
interpretation of the personality can be explained, that we are spirit, and soul, and body [Diagram
shows 3 concentric rectangles. The innermost is labeled ‘Spirit’. The next level out is labeled
‘Soul’, and the outer is ‘Body’.] And then if you follow through spirit in the Old and New
Testament you find that the spirit is able to commune with God. Is able to know by intuition what
God wants you to do. Then your conscience judges you on the basis of that. [The ‘Spirit’ rectangle
has the words ‘Intuition’, “Communion’ and ‘Conscience’ in it.] We get into a lot of trouble
because we get our conscience working on the basis of our minds. But conscience actually judges on
the basis of what God is telling us. That’s why the Bible says, “The spiritual man is judged by no
one.” When you’re working as God intends you to do, then really nobody can judge you. It is your
conscience that judges you on the basis of what God is telling you.
And then the soul, which is the human part of us involves our will, and our mind, and our emotions
[The ‘Soul’ rectangle has those 3 words, ‘Will’, ‘Mind’, and ‘Emotions.] and then our bodies. And
we shared, you remember, that the way God intended us to operate was that way. [Indicates the ‘Holy
Spirit’ which is printed outside and above all the rectangles, and draws arrows from him into the
‘Spirit’ rectangle.] That his love would pour his spirit and his whole attitude into us in our
communion, and we would know therefore, what he wanted us to do intuitively. And our conscience
would constrain our will [Here draws arrows down as he indicates each component of our soul, and to
the body.] which would obey our conscience and our will then would begin to express to our mind, our
mind would understand it and work it out in deductive detail sending all the necessary signals to
every part of our body in order to express this in the world.
And of course, as it expressed itself through or bodies our emotions would express the joy of our
communion with God also and would express the joy of our personality working the way it was meant
Now, what actually happened was instead of our mind being used to understand what comes through our
spirits, our whole rebellion took place and involved instead of looking to God for our security, and
our significance, and our happiness, [He places an overlay onto the diagram that show arrows up from
outside the ‘Body’ rectangle] we began to look to things for our security, people for our
significance, and experiences and circumstances for our happiness and we began to live backwards.
And as we did that our mind lost its capacity to understand and it began to instead manipulate these
things in the way that it wanted.
Now loved ones, that’s it. When you use the mind that way to manipulate things, and people, and
circumstances, to provide the security, and the significance, and the happiness that we are meant to
get from God, then that is what Romans 8:7 is talking about. And you see that it’s not just the
mind that Romans 8:7 mentions. If you look at it, the word of God does not say, “For the mind is
hostile to God.” It says, “For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God.”
And that’s the mind that manipulates; the mind that is set on the flesh, the mind that tries to get
from outside, from our fleshly bodies, from the flesh of other people, from the material things
around us, from the events that we see and hear around us. The mind that is set on trying to get
from those, that is set on that flesh, that is hostile to God. Why? Because it’s trying to bring
it in that way [Indicates on the graphic from the world in through our bodies] and God wants us to
receive it from himself.
So loved ones, that’s the mind that is hostile to God. And you remember, that far from God telling
us not to use our minds, in the verse that we’re studying at the moment on the Sunday mornings — if
you’d like to look at it, Romans 12:2. God tells us what is needed with our minds. “Do not be
conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” And that’s what’s needed;
not, “Don’t use your mind,” but in fact, “Renew your mind.” Allow the Holy Spirit — and we’re
going to be talking about that for the next few weeks [referring to the Sunday morning messages].
Allow the Holy Spirit to begin to show you how to renew your mind so that it becomes the kind of
mind that can operate the way it was meant to operate. And that’s God’s will for us.
Now many of us have not done that, really. We have followed on with this old deception that we
ought not to use our minds. And so some of us have decided the only way to worship God, and to
adore him, and to praise him is exactly what you said, “My Lord and my God. I should blank out my
mind and I should just look at God.” Now loved ones, that is not at all the kind of advice we get
in scripture, blanking out your mind.
The transcendental meditation people will suggest that you try to blank out your mind. Then,
Buddhists will suggest that you try to blank out your mind. All kinds of spiritualists will suggest
that you try to blank out your mind. But loved ones, God has always said to us, “Thou shalt love me
with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind.”
And God has implied that the mind is to be involved in an active, cooperating way, when you praise
and adore him.
And that’s the message you remember, you get very clearly in — I think it’s Philippians 4:8, if you
look at it. “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever
is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything
worthy of praise, ‘think’ about these things.” That’s it. And not just let the mind be blanked
So loved ones, when we go before God to praise and adore him, he wants us to think with our minds
about the things that he has given us, about the beautiful day that it was today, about his goodness
to us all through the years of our lives. Think about what he looked like when he was here on earth
in the shape of Jesus. Think about the things that he did with the little children. Think about
the attitude he had to Zacchaeus [the rich tax collector who climbed a tree to see Jesus]. Think
about Psalms’ words, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” “Bless the Lord,
O my soul.” Think! Think when you go before God! Don’t blank out your mind!
Now some of us actually have done worse than that. Blanking out your mind is simply not using it.
But some of us have got into this kind of theory; we say to ourselves, “Now, I want God to speak to
me. So, first of all I’ll ask him to speak to me. So Lord, will you speak to me and show me what
you want me to do? And then I’ll let the first thought that comes into my mind be the thought that
I believe is coming from God.” And we leave our minds absolutely passive so that God can send the
thought into us. And loved ones, I think a lot of us do that. I think a lot of us have the idea
that praying the little mantra, “Lord, speak to me and tell me what you want me to do,” does the
trick. I think we believe that. We believe, “If I just say that word, ‘Lord, speak to me and tell
me what you want me to do,’ and then I leave my mind absolutely blank, then God will tell me.”
Loved ones, that isn’t the way God works at all. And as soon as you leave your mind passive like
that you let other forces use it. And that’s the heart of a ‘passive mind’. A ‘blank mind’ is
simply not using it yourself. A ‘passive mind’ is worse; it’s letting other powers use it,
believing that you’re doing right. And I understand. I know we do it because we believe that’s the
way God speaks. Loved ones, God doesn’t speak that way. God speaks to you as your whole being is
used to praise, and thank him, and love him, and study his word, and pray for others, and ask
forgiveness for your sins, and petition him for your needs. That’s the way. God speaks to you in
the midst of your activity on his behalf. He does. He does not speak to you in this kind of
blankness and this kind of ‘non-cooperative passivity’ that many of us try to produce.
Now loved ones, do you see, we do it in good faith? We think, “Alright, Lord I’ll ask you to speak
to me,” and then [He puts on a blank stare and then waves his hand past his face] Pow! “Speak!”
Well you can see with the old starey eyes what it reminds you of. It reminds you far more of a
person that is hypnotized than it reminds you of somebody who is actively involved with a dear
friend. And really — if you think of it — with your friends, or with your husbands, or your wives
— I mean, you don’t meet each other and say, [he faces to the side and steps forward with almost a
military ‘coming to attention’] “Tell me what you want me to do!” [Audience laughs.] You don’t. You
just don’t. You talk with the person. And you involve yourself in discussion with them, back and
forward. And you get to know them. And you get to sense what they’re thinking about things. And
in the course of the conversation you begin to sense, “Boy! Well that’s what ‘they’ would do.
Yeah, I see.”
And that’s the way our dear Father speaks, you see. Not through that passive mind stuff, loved
ones. And that’s why so much of Christendom — have you noticed so much of Christendom and so much
of ‘charismania land’ — as opposed to true charismatic — ‘charismania land’ has gone into ‘thought
reading’ — you know, ‘thought reading’? — and into foretelling the future, and into singing
choruses again, and again, and again to hypnotize the mind into a kind of ‘mantra like’ passivity.
That’s it. That’s why! Because Satan has deceived great areas of Christendom — even parts of
Christendom that have initially been touched by the Holy Spirit — he has deceived great areas of
Christendom into the idea that if you leave your mind passive, somehow the Spirit will speak to you.
Now loved ones, that’s not so. You see, the Spirit speaks to you when your whole being is involved
in worshiping God. The Spirit speaks to you as you use your whole being. [Indicates the whole
personality on diagram] The Spirit doesn’t speak to you when you say, “Okay Spirit, I’ve
annihilated my soul so speak to me.” [Puts his hand over the ‘Soul’ part of the diagram] No, the
Spirit doesn’t speak to you when you say, “I’ve annihilated my body by beating it and by chains
therefore, speak to me.” No, the Spirit speaks to you when your whole being is involved with God
and with worshipping him.
And you remember there — I think it’s 1 Peter if you look at it. 1 Peter 1:13, “Therefore gird up
your minds, be sober, set your hope fully upon the grace that is coming to you at the revelation of
Jesus Christ.” “Gird up your minds.” God tells us to gird up almost the garments of our minds and
get going in his service and in ministering to him. Now, huge numbers of us have not done it. And
we in fact, have let our minds be used by evil spirits. And that’s why a lot of you have such
trouble at times in prayer, and a lot of us have trouble in serving God. That’s why a lot of us are
useless to God, because our minds in fact, are almost the playground of evil spirits.
Now loved ones, maybe it’s good to say this, there is a difference between obsession by evil spirits
and possession by evil spirits. It’s questionable if any child of God could be possessed by an evil
spirit, because that implies that your will has been submitted to the evil spirit. And so it is
really impossible for a child of God to be possessed by an evil spirit, but we can be oppressed by
evil spirits. Many of us can sense an oppression of a spirit at certain times or in certain
situations. And certainly it is possible to be obsessed at times by evil spirits.
And that’s the danger with a passive mind, that the evil spirits obsess your mind. Of course, what
happens is you can see your spirit may be alive and well, but if Satan can obsess your mind with his
spirits then you can see there’s a blockage there. The Spirit comes down to there, but can’t get
any further. [On the diagram puts his hand over the ‘Soul’ part of the personality.] And that’s why
many children of God are useless to God in the world, because this whole area is possessed or
obsessed by evil spirits. And so the Spirit of God’s life can’t get through to the body because the
only way through is by the mind, emotions, and will.
So loved ones, it is important to know what the state of your own mind is. To tell you the truth, I
don’t think the old educational system that many of us faced in high school and elementary school
helped, because it was too easy for us to have a kind of holiday camp high school experience where
it was virtually a continual holiday camp and our minds virtually went to sleep. The old television
doesn’t help it because we sit there and we’re bombarded, “Entertain me. Entertain me. Entertain
me.” And so Satan has found it very easy to obsess many of our minds so that they’re virtually
I thought this was so important that I would just read what old Nee says because I think it’s so
revealing. So he says, “What are the signs of a passive mind?” And maybe it would be good to say
to you, don’t get all upset in a faithless way and say, “Yes, that is my problem.” That is probably
part of your problem. Probably some passivity has taken place in your mind. But don’t get into the
position where, “Ah, evil spirits have control of me.” They haven’t. If you’re a child of God, “He
that is within you is greater than he that is without,” and your will is presumably being submitted
to God in normal every day activity. But it is possible that Satan is trying to get a hold inside
[Begins reading from “The Spiritual man” by Watchman Nee.] “Flashing thoughts. Flashing thoughts,
like a perpetual motion machine receiving many notions from without which are blasphemous or
confused. The will is impotent to do anything.”
Now, one of the reasons we’re saying that is, that is not the way it’s meant to be. But I think
many of us have got so used to that, flashing thoughts and thoughts coming into my mind that are
absolutely blasphemous. And we get the idea, “Oh well, that’s the normal Christian life.”
No, that’s ridiculous. Our minds are meant to be good and faithful servants that help us, not that
hinder us. But, when we have allowed some passivity to take place in our minds, Satan is able to do
that. He’s able to just come and go as he pleases. And of course, he persuades us, you see, [Shows
the ‘Body’ and ‘Soul’ on the personality diagram] that our mind is in fact at the mercy of the way
our bodies feel. That’s it. That our minds are at the mercy — if we don’t feel good physically
today, well we feel a little down emotionally. And our mind, of course, is always used to being
dominated by our emotions.
Now, that isn’t so. The mind can be controlled by the will. That’s why God said, “Whatsoever
things are pure, and lovely, and have good report, think on those things.” Because, he knew we
could obey that. He wouldn’t tell us to do that if he didn’t know our will could control our minds.
Loved ones, your will can control your mind. Actually, that’s part of the first steps towards
freedom that you would grasp that. “My will can control my mind. It is my mind. It has been
bought with a price. I have the mind of Christ Jesus, and I can make that mind think what I want it
to think.” And really it is true loved ones; your mind was created by God to obey your will. And
it is sub-normality that it does not!
[Begins reading from Nee again.] “Insight into special matters, or abrupt urging to do this or
that.” How many of us have had that? Sudden insight, “I see it all!” “I know God wants me to go
to Africa!” And so I go to Africa. Sudden abrupt flashing insights such as created Christian
Science, such as created Christian Mormonism — all heresies were created by this same situation
where the thoughts of the mind were controlled by Satan. And the abrupt thought was taken as a
revelation from God.
The Father does not work that way. Nine times out of ten, any abrupt revelation that you have got
has not come from God at all. God is our dear friend, and our dear father, and he works in us in as
natural a way as we operate with each other. And loved ones, that’s why Jesus said, “I have not
called you servants, I have called you friends because a servant doesn’t know what his master is
doing. I have called you friends because you understand me. You know the kinds of things I would
do, you know the kinds of ways I would move.” And so it’s a natural thing to you. And loved ones,
that’s true with us. Nine times out of ten, anything abrupt or flashing into your mind is not from
God. It is from the evil one.
[Begins reading from Nee again.] “In Bible study, sudden thoughts during meditation which burst upon
people and then end up tearing a church to pieces as they share those things.” I don’t know if
you’ve had experience of that, but I have certainly been involved in that in churches, where they
have a Bible study and then somebody would have a sudden revelation. And they would share that
without any thought, without any checking with the elders, or with anyone older than themselves
spiritually. And the result was it tore the place apart, because of course, it was sent by Satan.
Flashing thoughts about our miserable selves, you know, we’re all so big headed. [Begins reading
from Nee again.] “You are God’s special vessel. I will do a work in you that will shake the world.
God will open a wide door for your message. Step out to live by faith. Your spiritual usefulness
is unlimited.” Drip! Absolute drip! Really! Really! Any dear little servant of God that has
been used by the Father has been the most surprised guy around. That’s right. Every little David
that has ever been used by God has been the most surprised man or woman around. God doesn’t burden
us with that kind of stuff. Only Satan does in order to blow our minds up and make us vain, and
proud, and preoccupied – well, what does that preoccupy you with? Does that preoccupy you with God?
Not on your life! That preoccupies you with one person, the great ‘me’. What a great person ‘I’m’
going to be.
Whereas, the Father’s way is so good, so free, so light. He tells you to lift this wire. You lift
this wire. Nothing great about that! Then he says, “Lift the microphone.” And you lift the
microphone. Nothing great about that! Then, “Lift the seat.” And you lift the seat. Nothing
great! And before you know it, you’re lifting the piano. And you don’t realize the amazing things
that God is beginning to do through you. But that’s the way it comes about.
But God doesn’t say, “You are going to lift that piano with your little finger and everybody is
going to be filled with awe at your power!” He doesn’t, loved ones! So when those thoughts come
into your mind, they’re not of God. And on the whole, when we’re preoccupied with what God is doing
among us, on the whole it’s not of God. When God is in control usually we’re preoccupied with God
himself and with his beauty.
Sometimes a sudden thought comes into your mind, “They seem to think this about me. I think that
person thinks this about me. Boy, I think everybody in the office thinks this. I think they’re all
critical of me.” That — loved ones, it’s Satan. It’s Satan sends into your mind a sudden thought
that has no connection with how the rest of your life is going. And that’s maybe one clue about
this business of flashing thoughts. Is this an expression of the way your life has been going over
the past days and weeks? Is this a real continuation of what you’ve been experiencing or is this
something sudden? And if it’s something sudden, it is not from God.
God leads us in a gentle way. He leads you through a door; you see a passage ahead of you; you walk
to the end of that passage; you see another door, you walk through that door. That’s the way it
goes. And suddenly you find yourself in broad sunlit uplands, and God has placed your feet in a
broad place. But it comes naturally and easily. Flashing thoughts come because our minds have been
given over to some passivity, and evil spirits are able to use them.
What do you do? Oh, it’s simple. It’s Philippians 4:8 [KJV], “…Whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if
there be any praise, think on these things.” Think! Think! Think! That’s it. Not in a manic way;
not in a scared way. Think in faith, you see. Don’t say, “Oh, I must think, otherwise what Pastor
says will come true. I must think. Think, think, one, two, three, four, five, zippity-do-dah.”
No, don’t! That’s fear! That’s not faith! It’s fear. Don’t think in fear. Don’t run. Stand!
“…And having done all, to stand.” [Ephesians 6:13] “Lord, thank you that you have given me your
mind. And thank you that I’m in you. And thank you that since you are in me, you are greater than
he that is without. And Lord, I thank you for that. And I want to thank you now for some of the
things you’ve done Father, for me.” And then just think.
That’s it. Think in faith. But do think, loved ones. And when you go – there’s so much more, but
we’ll go on next day — but when you go to bed at night, think of something in regard to Jesus.
Don’t go to bed and try to make your mind passive. Don’t go to bed and try to blank out every
thought in your mind. Think of maybe Jesus blessing the children. Think of him doing that. Or,
think of Jesus in the house of Martha and Mary. Or think of Jesus at the end of your own bed. But
think of something positive about God as you go to sleep. No, it may not be the very last thing you
think of, but if you set your mind upon God he has made a promise, “Thou will keep him in perfect
peace whose mind is stayed on thee.” [Isaiah 26:3 KJV] And so the first step is to stay your mind
So loved ones, first of all about the flashing thoughts: Then if we just deal with that tonight.
That’s not the normal activity of your mind. It’s not the normal experience of a child of God. The
normal experience of child of God is that your mind will work under the control of your will. And
if you say to me, “Well, how do we begin to take back the control of our minds?” Start with
Philippians 4:8, “Whatsoever things are lovely and have good report… Think on these things.”
If you say to me, “Brother, if you had my mind you’d see that I thought of it for a minute, and then
I’d be away out in San Francisco, pulling my mind back from there.” Pull it back. And you say,
“Yeah, but I just get it back, and I think of another verse. And then I have to go to Alaska and get
it.” Pull it back. “Yeah, but I just got it back, and I’m thinking of Jesus’ blessing the
children, and then it’s out thinking of a horror film.” It doesn’t matter, pull it back. Pull the
mind back however often loved ones, you have to do it. Pull it back, because then Satan begins to
realize that you know the secret that your mind is your own. It belongs to you in Christ Jesus, and
you are able to control it.
And loved ones, gradually, bit-by-bit as we go through these next Sundays, you’ll see that it is
possible to come free of a passive mind if you begin right now. Begin right now. And then, when we
come together in prayer times, don’t blank out your mind. Don’t wait, “Lord, raise up a prayer in
me.” Don’t do that. Use the dear old mind. Our dear Father is here. Pray out a prayer to him.
It might not be the greatest prayer; it might not be the most beautifully worded; worst of all it
might not be ‘spiritual’, but it’s a prayer that’s using your mind. And that is loving God with
your mind. And the Father always answers that.
So loved ones, do! In worship use your mind. And use it – the mind usually produces thoughts,
believe it or not. And thoughts often issue forth in words. So when you get a thought speak it
out, even if you just whisper it. Many of us have started just having to mouth our prayers, because
it gets the thought outside of us. And that is a power over Satan.
But of course, what is best is, in prayer times, when we just pray out. There’s something, you
remember, Erich Sauer [1898 – 1959, author of “Dawn of World Redemption” and more] says of a man or
woman’s spirit, “When you speak a word, your spirit emanates from you and rises to God.” And of
course, if you get many people doing that, then instead of a séance, with everybody quiet and
passive, you get something approaching a good prayer meeting. And that’s – a good prayer meeting is
a meeting where every child of God is active — is actively loving him with their minds, and their
words, and their bodies. Really! And that is health, and that is fullness.
And oh, for any wee soul here who is just under it and you say, “Flashing thoughts! My life is
spoiled by it. My life is spoiled by flashing thoughts.” Take it back! Take it back under your
control, just — Old Churchill [Winston Churchill, war time prime minister of Great Britain] said,
“Never, never under any circumstances, whatever the provocation, however many amplifying systems
they turn off, never, never, never give in.” And that’s it. No, don’t, just don’t give in. Don’t
give in to Satan. You don’t need to. You are in Jesus. You are more powerful than the one [Satan]
that he [Jesus] has trodden under his feet. And the mind that you have is the mind that has been
freed by our Savior. That’s the beauty of it. Your mind was freed by Jesus on Calvary. And your
mind can be controlled by your dear will.
Let us pray. Dear Father, we thank you for the message of liberty that we have in Jesus’
resurrection. We thank you Lord, that we know that you are at the right hand of God tonight, and
that you have a mind that works perfectly. And we have it on the authority of your word that we
have the mind of Christ Jesus. So Lord, thank you for that.
Thank you that this mind that we now have in these heads, or in these bodies, is the mind that was
renewed, and cleansed, and redeemed by you on Calvary. And we thank you that that mind is well able
to do what you have appointed it to do. So Lord, we commit ourselves now to beginning to use our
minds to love our Father, to worship him, and praise him, and adore him, and to use our minds to
fend off the fiery darts of the wicked one when he would persuade us that we have to let our
thoughts run as they will. Lord, we reject ‘free association’. We reject all of hypnotism. We
reject anything of repetition that would make our minds dormant. And Lord, we intend, starting this
very hour, throughout this week and the coming weeks to exercise our minds after godliness, to ‘gird
up’ our minds, to bring our minds and every thought into captivity of Christ Jesus. And Lord, we
know as we do that our very lives will begin to be transformed.
Lord, thank you. Thank you for unveiling and exposing Satan’s lie. And thank you for showing us
the power that we have tonight.
Now the grace of our Lord Jesus, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with
each one of us now and throughout this coming week.
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