“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell by the wayside; and it was trampled down, and the birds of the air devoured it. Some fell on rock; and as soon as it sprang up, it withered away because it lacked moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up with it and choked it.But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.” When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
This parable speaks about four types of ground (really four types of hearts.)
Which types can you relate to?
- Wayside – the seed never got in. The hearers didn’t appreciate or value it for whatever reason. It didn’t have any impact on their lives
- Stony ground – they heard the word. They received it – there was a point where they valued it, got excited about it, the word began to work in them, BUT, sometime passed, they hadn’t seen the fruit, they became offended – had no ROOT in them – NO PERSEVERANCE – and they quit. I like to think of this category as ‘tryers’ not ‘doers’.
- Thorny ground – They receive the seed, and it begins to work inside of them. The cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, the lust for other things, choked out the word.
- Good ground – the only type that produced fruit. Having heard the word – they ‘keep’ it and bring forth fruit with patience (or perseverance) – nothing took the place of the word of the Lord in their life.
This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The main thief of confidence is going to be condemnation, so that is where we are going today. We’re going to talk about how to have confidence, what robs us of it, where the battle truly is, and how to overcome condemnation.
Condemnation doesn’t come from God, but from our own minds – when we ignore our conscience – or in other words, don’t walk according to the light we have.
We have to be really careful here, not to ignore what our conscience is telling us, as this is how we become deceived. And our hearts will eventually become hardened to God’s truth.
We then find that we can’t hear God clearly in that condition and can’t have strong faith, or be the good type of ground, that produces fruit.
To him that knows to do good, and doesn’t do it – to him it is sin.
Sin is the violation of the light of God that we have and it results in our own mind condemning us.
What did Jesus say to the woman caught in the act of adultery?
“go and sin no more”.
Not because he doesn’t want you to ‘have fun’, but, because “the wages (or result) of sin is death” or what proceeds from the ‘law of death’.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
So, are we free from the law of death or aren’t we?
If we live our lives in agreement with the Spirit – we reap from the Spirit.
We reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to God. Do not let sin reign in your mortal bodies, that you should obey its lusts.
Whose responsibility is it to deal with sin in you? Yours!
V:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves to obey – you are its slave. Present yourself to sin it will lead to death,
Present yourself to obey God, it leads to righteousness.
V:22 Christ has answered sin for me and set me free from sin.
Live in agreement with that and
Dont return to your own vomit!
As a dog returns to his own vomit, So a fool repeats his folly.
If you read chapter 7 of Romans, you can see the struggle that Paul is having ‘delighting in the law of God (v:22) and his flesh warring against that (v23), trying to bring him into captivity to the law of sin.
THE BATTLEFIELD IS TRULY IN THE MIND!
So what do we do?
It’s a two-part answer
- Got to have faith in the spotless blood of the lamb to cleanse your conscience.
- Walk in agreement with the light that you have.
Faith in the Blood
Did you know that the blood of the lamb does not cover our sins?
Before you condemn me for heresy let me explain.
In the old testament, the blood of bulls and goats was used to cover peoples sins for that year.
The blood of Christ was shed to ‘wash away our sins’, once and for all.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
His blood did so much more than that of bulls and goats.
His blood cleanses our conscience – so we can serve the living God.
What can wash away our sin – nothing but the blood of Jesus.
But some of our minds are tormenting us with the memory of past sin – Let your faith in the blood be stronger than your memory of sin.
You’re either clean, or you’re not clean – get faith in the Blood.
BUT – the battle is in the mind.
Why does Satan tempt you to sin – I don’t think that’s it’s that he particularly cares what you do.
He is trying to drain the power of God from your life – because you will achieve nothing without faith.
If you’re condemned in your own thinking, then you’ll have no confidence to step out in faith.
Condemnation is the confidence killer. The blood of the lamb is the confidence booster
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.
Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience. His blood is greater than my sin.
My word from God this year
Hate what is evil (for me), Cling to what is good.
Walk in the light we have.
Sin is a violation of light. God only holds you accountable according to what you know, or see. And don’t be fooled – people around you might not know what you know, but God does.
We must have faith in the blood to wash away our sin, but we must also walk in the light we have, else our own heart will condemn us.
1 John 1:5-9
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
If your heart bothers you about something – then, to you, its sin.
Do what you know in order to keep your conscience clear.
Looking at the practicalities of the Battlefield of the mind and how to deal with negative thoughts and emotions (and what they are)
The weakness is in the flesh, the strength is in the spirit. For those that walk according to the spirit.
Which one is going to be the dominant force in You? What will you lend your agreement to?
How do we walk in agreement with the Spirit?
2 Corinthians 4:13
And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,
Lord – Your word says that I stand in Christs’ righteousness – therefore I can stand before you with a clear conscience.
The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. So therefore I REFUSE to listen to the lies of the enemy – etc…
2 Cor 4:1
As we have received mercy – let us not lose heart.
but we have renounced the hidden things of shame
V:5 for it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts – to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
It’s the magnitude of where this new kind of life is coming from, not our ability but it’s His ability to smash down the strongholds of our mind.
How do strongholds work in the brain?
According to research done by Dr. Caroline Leaf and others, negative thoughts, or toxic thoughts as some call them, literally form tree-like structures in the brain, that release various chemicals into the body.
What you believe is a powerful force. Your emotions are a powerful force.
It can cause pain and illness in your body – it can have the power to heal in your body.
From Dr. Leafs’ website
87% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about affects us physically and emotionally. It’s an epidemic of toxic emotions. The average person has over 30,000 thoughts a day. Through an uncontrolled thought life, we create the conditions for illness; we make ourselves sick! Research shows that fear, all on its own, triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than 30 different hormones. There are INTELLECTUAL and MEDICAL reasons to FORGIVE! Toxic waste generated by toxic thoughts causes the following: diabetes, cancer, asthma, skin problems and allergies to name just a few.
Now, you can probably see the need to deal with these thoughts, and to have our minds renewed to the word of God – the truth. In other words – to walk in the light!
There is a need to commit to the healing process of renewing our minds, so we can progress, from where, for many of us, we have been ‘stuck’ for so long.
So that we no longer need to believe lies and can live in freedom for which Christ has set us free.
Don’t revisit old, toxic memories, by meditating on them, or, we are like the dog returning to its own vomit, – its foolishness.
It will take some retraining.
Let’s keep washing the word of God over those areas.
The importance of repentance and forgiveness, so that the thorns of the structure of old, toxic thoughts can be removed and a new memory built.
Really, its like His truth, is becoming our truth.
2 Corinthians 10:5
casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
Free will seems to be the linch pin – wilfully rejecting every negative thought and forcefully replacing it with a positive – ie. What God says.
You need to reinforce the new positive info you are hearing, to make it a long-term habit.
Listen to it, talk about it, write it down, talk about it some more, think about it work on it, – one of the best things to do is to give the information to someone else, share what you are learning, it solidifies the ‘branches’ of information in your brain, making it a strong memory.
Taking in God’s word, speaking it, thinking it, listening to it (and engaging your ‘will’ with it) is literally like ‘washing your brain’ each time you take it in, gradually eroding away the strongholds of the imagination, and forming truth – actually changing the chemistry of the body – by releasing various neurotransmitters and hormones.
You know, it’s really not enough to just hear the truth, although that is the vital first step. You really need to ‘work’ with the truth.
He who the Son (the truth) sets free, is free indeed.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
What bondage? A negative belief system – lies of the enemy, lies of your own mind.
The last enemy is death – because all the time you’re in this flesh, you’ll be fighting what’s between your ears.
Therefore having these promises – let’s cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Don’t focus on trying to remove the negative – focus on the truth.
Walk in the spirit and you will not fulfil the lusts of the flesh. It doesn’t say fight the flesh, so you can walk in the spirit.
This is the victory that has overcome the world – even our faith.