Ephesians 6:17 (B) In addition to believing it and thinking it, the Word of God is the only offensive weapon mentioned in the list of armor. Satan and his forces are created beings, and they do not perfectly know what you are thinking. By observing you they can pretty well tell what you are thinking, but they do not know what you are going to do before you do it.
Satan and his forces can try to influence you by planting thoughts in your head, and they will now whether you buy their lie by how you behave. If you are going to resist Satan and his forces, you must do so outwardly so they can understand you and be put to flight. We are defend ourselves against Satan and his forces by speaking aloud God’s truth.
You can not expect God to protect you from Satan and his forces influences if you do not take an active part in his prepared strategy. The armor that we must take up to protect ourselves from Satan and his forces attack: the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. The first three are established because of our identity in Christ, the last three help us continue to win the battle.
Philippians 4:8 - No body loses control to Satan and his forces overnight, it is a gradual process of deception and yielding to their subtle influence. Many of the body of Christ, instead of recognizing that their minds are being peppered by the fiery darts of the enemy, they think the problem is their own fault. “If those foul thoughts are mine, what kind of person am I?” they wonder. So they end up condemning themselves while the enemy continues their attack unchecked. They will watch us to learn where we are most vulnerable and will tempt us in any area that we leave unguarded.
They tempt us through the channel of the lust of the flesh, they will invite us to fulfill our physical needs in ways that are outside the boundary of God’s will for us. Whenever we feel enticed to meet a legitimate physical need by acting independently of God, we are being tempted though the lust of the flesh.
The lust of the eyes subtly draws us away from God and eats away at our confidence in God. We see what the world has to offer and we begin to place more credence in our own perspective of life. Fueled by the lust for what we see, we grab for all we can get, believing that we need it and deceived that God wants us to have it. Wrongly assuming that God will withhold nothing good from us, we lustfully claim prosperity.
The temptation of the pride of life is intended to destroy our obedience to our ministry of reconciliation by urging us to take charge of our own lives. Whenever we feel that, we do not need God’s help or direction, that we can handle our life, that is the pride of life. Every temptation that Satan and his forces throw at us will challenge one or more of these values.
Every temptation is first a thought introduced to our mind by our own carnality or the tempters themselves. If we ruminate on that thought and consider it an option, we will eventually act on it. Instead, Paul instructs us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Escaping temptation is to apprehend every thought as soon as it steps through the doorway of our mind. Once we have halted a penetration thought, we need to evaluate it on the basis of Paul’s criterion for what we should think about.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 - The first thing we need to know about the battle for our mind, is that the main targets which must be destroyed are the fortresses in our mind, or called strongholds. Strongholds are negative patters of thought which are burned into our minds, either through repetition over time or through one-time traumatic experiences. The worldly stimulation we were exposed to was both brief and prevailing.
We must capture the tempting thought in the first frame or it will probably capture us. Once our consideration of a temptation has triggered an emotional response, we will act upon that choice and own that behavior. We may resent our actions or claim that we are not responsible for what we do, but we are responsible for our actions at this stage, because we failed to take a tempting thought captive when it first appeared at the threshold of our mind.
If we continue to repeat an act for more than six weeks, we will form a habit, and if we exercise that habit long enough, a stronghold will be established. Once a stronghold of thought and response is entrenched in our mind, our ability to choose and to act contrary to that pattern is virtually nonexistent, and negative thoughts and actions we cannot control, spring from a stronghold. Simply putting on the armor of God at this stage will not solve our dilemma, these strongholds are already entrenched and fortified.
If the strongholds in our mind are the result of conditioning, then we can be reconditioned by the renewing of our mind. Anything that has been learned, can be unlearned, but we are also up against Satan and his devil spirits who are scheming to fill our mind with thoughts which are opposed to our ambassadorship.