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Managing your thoughts is a vast programme. Some have given up because they don't know how to do it, others can't keep up, and the result is that many Christians find it very difficult to manage their thoughts.
The major difference between the Old and New Covenants is in the area of thinking.
In the Old Covenant, under the Law of Moses, a person was judged by his actions, or attitude.
Since grace, the period in which we live, God no longer bases His judgement on our actions only, but also on our thoughts, because they are at the root of our attitudes. Whatever situation or circumstance we are in, it was initiated by one of our thoughts or someone else's.
For example, in the Old Covenant, a person had to commit a physical act of adultery to have committed a sin, but in the New Covenant, the mere thought of that act is enough to commit a sin.
This means that the management of our thoughts is crucial. It would take far too long to deal with the total management of our thoughts here.
So in this quick teaching we will focus on the deceitful thoughts that we may have to deal with at times.
I would like to start by saying that even if we are born again, filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues, a demonic spirit has the ability to suggest thoughts to us. These thoughts will be essentially lies of course, because a demonic spirit cannot help but lie.
It is difficult to say exactly how, physically, a thought can be put into us without entering into speculation. Therefore, we will simply use a few examples from the Bible to prove this fact. However, it is important to make it clear that just because a demonic spirit can suggest a thought to me, it does not mean that it is able to read my mind. These are two very different things.
2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
This passage is the best known where Paul speaks of this thorn in his flesh which in reality manifests itself in thoughts of lies that a demon was suggesting to him.
Matthew 4:3 Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
Here we can see that satan is addressing Jesus directly. We can easily say that Jesus was the most spiritually evolved human being. He was even God in a human body. Yet here we see that satan could address Him.
Mark 8:33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
In this other example we can see that Jesus addresses Peter telling him that satan has come to incite him into a bad action. If Jesus speaks to Peter in this way it is easy to assume that satan had this ability to suggest thoughts to Peter.
1 Corinthians 7:5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
In this last example Paul, addressing the Corinthian Christians, warns them that satan has this ability to tempt them because of their lack of self-control. Again it is easy to understand that all action begins with thought.
So it is now a fact that satan like any of his demons has this ability to suggest thoughts of lies in the memory or thoughts of a born again, Holy Spirit filled person. This does not mean that he or she is demonically possessed.
The one and only valid defence against lies is to know the truth. How can I know that one of my thoughts is a lie if I cannot compare it to the truth? It is impossible. You can make someone who doesn't know the truth believe anything, but not someone who does. That is why when I counsel people on this subject, I always tell them that a good knowledge of what God says in this time of grace is essential. If you know the terms set by God in the age of grace we are in, and which are taught throughout the New Testament, then you will no longer believe the lies that some demonic spirits suggest to you.
Our TRGN minister is here to help you. We have a whole series of teachings that you can download for free on our website.
There is another angle to managing our thoughts that is very important and affects a large number of Christians today.
I have often heard people telling me that they have quite significant sinful thoughts.
I have often seen men say, for example, that they are caught up in pornography. But very few know that in the vast majority of cases they have been deceived. These people said that they had pornographic thoughts that came back to them regularly. Sometimes they even dreamt about it at night. These kinds of images became more and more present in their thoughts. So they deduced that they were already, or at least well into an addiction.
When you think you have already lost the battle, you are much less active in the struggle. This is a tactic that the devil often uses. Therefore, if we go on to explain this example, we begin to understand a little better.
The truth is that demonic spirits are working 24 hours a day to suggest lies into people's minds. If you are born again and you notice such pornographic thoughts in you, then there is a 90 out of 100 chance that these thoughts are not of you, but simply of a demonic spirit.
And that makes a big difference, because if a person believes that they are regularly generating thoughts of pornography, chances are that person does not have a high opinion of themselves. Over time, this person will slowly but surely sink into pornography for real, thinking that they have already entered into an addiction anyway. But as I said before, this is not true, because in 90% of the cases, these thoughts do not come from the person themselves but from an external evil spirit.
Are you beginning to see where the deception lies?
If I took 10 people and persuaded them that they were going to jail because they were guilty of stealing. Well, a majority of them will have no qualms about starting to steal something.
Of course, and fortunately, not everyone reacts in this way, but many do, and satan knows this. That is why he likes to make people believe that everything is lost in advance, and that unhealthy thoughts come from themselves. In other words satan wants to make them believe that all is already lost. This is also very common with people who have come out of some kind of addiction or a disordered lifestyle.
One day a person who was following the teachings of TRGN contacted me to tell me that he no longer understood what was going on. This person had a homosexual past, but was now born again and had a normal life. So she says to me, "Franck I don't understand, I'm having homosexual thoughts again, so am I still homosexual? I haven't been delivered from this? ".
After talking with this person for a while, and seeing that she was very disturbed and uncomfortable by these kinds of thoughts, I explained to her that she was simply a victim of a demonic deceit. After this explanation she understood that these thoughts were not coming from her at all, but from evil spirits acting from outside. So I taught her how to silence such thoughts, and a few days later it was over, and since then she has been living a completely normal life.
Do you see what an evil deceiver satan is?
Another time I meet two young girls at our healing tent. We chatted for a while. We quickly got to the subject of faith. Then they say to me: "We are homosexuals, does that bother you? “ I answered: "No, it doesn't bother me at all to talk to you. But I would like to tell you that homosexuality is not the best way of life, there are better ways for you". So one of them tells me that she was born that way, that homosexuality makes her suffer, but that she can't change anything because she was born that way.
What a demonic deception!
I have tried to explain the truth to her and I hope she will understand it one day, if she hasn't already, but this is just to show how demonic spirits can cloud people with thoughts of lies. And when people don't know how to deal with their thoughts when faced with the truth, they will act according to these unhealthy thoughts.
If you are concerned about evil thoughts that regularly arise in you in one area or another, here is a powerful and effective way to get rid of them.
I have rarely seen Christians successfully get rid of bad thoughts. Here we will see how to be definitively freed from bad thoughts in general. The mistake that is often made is to think that a spiritual problem can be solved with human means.
Evil thoughts are in most cases a spiritual problem. Of course there are people who generate unhealthy thoughts for their own pleasure, but in most cases we are talking about people who want to overcome them successfully.
So if you are the victim of bad thoughts of any kind, the first rule is not to try to chase them away. This is where you begin to see that dealing with a spiritual problem sometimes involves actions that are the opposite of human common sense.
So if you try to chase that thought away, you will probably not notice it, but you will have the opposite effect. The more you try to chase it away by saying for example: "I take my authority and I order this thought to leave my memory in the name of Jesus" or "satan I chase you away from my thought, you are bound and I order you to leave in the name of Jesus! " and the more this kind of action will only feed these evil thoughts.
Simply because bringing them up will keep them alive in your mind.
But then what can I do?
How do you cast out something without being able to cast it out?
When you think about it, the only way to chase away a thought is to smother it with the truth of God.
Paul tried to chase away this thought symbolised by a thorn in his flesh, but without success. Yet he tried three times, but it did not work. God told him that the grace that was in him was more than enough to solve his problem.
2 Corinthians 12:9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
The original word translated as weakness is ASTHENEIA. This word gives a notion of physical weakness, but also a notion of moral weakness, or of the flesh.
God is telling Paul in other words, that the more he will put his flesh to death, the more he will be able to concentrate on His person and see His power. Even though God is speaking here of an area closer to persecution, we can still be inspired by this Word of God.
Jesus also said this:
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
This word shows us that it is not enough to have a loving relationship with God with our spirit. Our soul, the thought, is also a determining factor.
Now let us return to these evil thoughts. We can remember that it is by saturating an evil thought with the truth of God that it will be choked, suffocated and put to death.
This is why Jesus says that we must love God and involve our whole mind (not just part of it) in our relationship with Him. God Himself told Paul that when our flesh is in tune with our spirit, then our thoughts are filled with His person.
In practice, when you hear an evil thought in you, ignore it, don't talk to it, don't care about it, don't try to drive it away. You know it's there, but you must ignore it. This is an exercise that may take some time as you begin this process. But hang in there and don't give in to the temptation to pay attention to the thought. Do your best to ignore it.
Then begin to realise more deeply the person of God in you, in your life. This can be in many ways. You may praise Him, remember His blessings for you, proclaim a passage from the Bible, worship Him for what He is doing in you, thank Him for the transformation He is working in you.
In this case, the Holy Spirit is also with you, in you and near you, you must remember that. Then you are ready to flood your memory, your thoughts with what God says about you, with all those actions we mentioned above.
In the early stages, don't expect a result immediately, simply because you are just starting out, you are not yet comfortable enough in this kind of action, but persevere. But don't think of it as a battle between God's thoughts and that bad thought. Remember to keep ignoring that thought, don't pay any attention to it. Just concentrate on flooding your mind with God, and you will weaken your flesh more and more, so as God says: “My strength is made perfect in weakness.” God is speaking here of the weakness of the flesh, when it willingly submits to our spirit.
I have been doing this successfully for many years. Of course, as I said, the early days were sometimes a challenge. But if we persevere with determination, very quickly we arrive at a level of freedom of thought that nothing on earth can match.
We are then free of ourselves.
Bye for now.