We need to understand ourselves; we have a spirit, soul and body. Of course we also need to know God, because that will help us to know ourselves as well. Understanding how our spirit works is very important because there is a battle between you and the enemy. In addition to relying on the Lord, you also need to understand how your body works, and how to use it properly. For instance, you could walk with your hands, but that might not be the smartest way to use your body.
You have free will in your spirit—an ability to make decisions freely. You are very clear of your choices. Moreover, our reasoning is in our mind, and I’m not going to discuss this in detail today. Besides, you also have feelings, senses and affection. You are not a person without feelings and affection, only sensing black and white. How should we make use of these? If we misuse these, we’ll surely be affected. Since God has given us our mind with all these qualities, we should use them appropriately. Moreover, this affects our spirit, too. You can also see how the enemy disturbs you.
Do you still remember what I shared before? In the Complete Plan diagram, on top is the cloud; in the middle, there is a triangle with “faith” “thought” and “action.” I’m not saying that love is unimportant. Love is extremely important, and it is the greatest. In this diagram, “love” is included in “action,” and there is a special function to express “love” via “action.” In addition, “hope” is included in “faith.” Hope is looking ahead with faith. Now that I’ve explained it and made it more comprehensive, I hope you can understand better. “Action” in fact is love. Love involves your mind and free will to choose. All these affect your feelings.
He says, “Seek.” Therefore, we need to cooperate. You want to overcome the desires of the flesh, but without actions, it’s impossible to succeed. You can’t just let the enemy beat you down; we are conquerors. Why should we let Satan defeat us? It doesn’t make sense. Satan is the loser and we are the conquerors. However, we cannot fight a battle in pajamas. The Bible tells us to put on the whole armour of God. (Ephesians 6:11) One of the items in the armour is faith: “…take up the shield of faith to extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one.” (Ephesians 6:16)
Satan uses many poisonous schemes to attack your mind, such as filthy thoughts and many other fast approaching bad thoughts. Those thoughts do not come from you, but from the enemy. The Lord was once tempted: Satan even tried to persuade the Lord to worship him. Of course, this thought never crossed the Lord’s mind. Therefore, when the bad thoughts come to you, don’t think that they are your own. You can reject and ignore them. Those thoughts are not from you, because you dislike them, yet they continue to appear. When the Lord was on earth, He was also tempted by desires of the flesh and desires of the eyes. Satan asked the Lord to throw Himself down from a high place, so He could be seen. He was tempted in every aspect as we are, yet without sin.
Temptations are bad thoughts that try to lead you astray. Satan usually uses many worldly things, evil doctrines, and the flesh to arouse your desires. He does so through our mind. Why are there so many advertisements? They are to arouse your desires when you see the ads. For example, you see an ad about certain food, then there might be other thoughts to stir up your desire to eat that food. Satan uses these to arouse your desires of the flesh. This is where these thoughts come from. Sometimes, the thoughts might seem to come from nowhere. They might appear from something you saw in the past. Through your memory and past experience in the flesh, Satan stirs up your thoughts, and tempts you with those thoughts.
Let’s say you are in normal and good condition: you have the eyes of faith to count on the Lord, you are before Him, enjoying His provision, being heart to heart with Him. In this normal condition, you think of what pleases Him, you rely on Him, and walk out His words because you love Him. However, Satan can throw thoughts at you, like throwing darts. Through many worldly things and your memory, Satan can throw you off the normal state and attack you. The Holy Spirit constantly helps us to turn to the Lord, focus on Him, and reject these thoughts. He wants you to be attracted by the Lord and His precious love, so that you would live with Him.
Therefore you should use your will to choose what Paul told us to choose: the things that are above, things concerning the Lord, who is our center. I often remind you to behold the Lord. Having said that, I don’t mean you should just look at Him a few times a day and that’s it. Instead, you should get used to living with the Lord. If you are facing Him continuously, there’s no need to remind yourself to look at Him, because you are already heart to heart with Him, living before Him; you have not forgotten Him nor left Him. This is very good. Of course, there are times when you fully attend to Him: to have a date with Him, to practice anchor points, to sing and worship, and to read the Bible. These are special moments that you have fellowship with Him.
I wanted to direct your attention to two points. First is mind. We ought to guard and elevate our mind. Romans chapter 12 says, “But be transformed by the renewal of your mind…” (Romans 12:2) This is how you will be transformed. When your mind is filled with God’s words, and they replace the wrong concepts, you will be transformed. You will improve and experience glory upon glory when you are willing to accept, enter into, enjoy, and believe in God’s word. There is no other way to win if you don’t guard your mind. Be realistic! Will you be in good condition when you mind the things that are filthy, things God doesn’t want you to think, or things that affect your spirit negatively? Absolutely impossible! Next, we need to turn our eyes. A psalmist says, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things…” (Psalm 119:37) We have “windows,” which are our five senses, in particular, our eyes and ears. What you see and hear will greatly affect you, because they can evolve into tempting thoughts. I’m not saying that you can’t look at anything, as some of them are useful. For example, seeing God’s creation will help you. Psalm 121 says, “I lift up my eyes to the hills.” (Psalm 121:1) The Psalmist saw the Lord’s creation, which in turn affected his mind. We ought to make good use of His creation. You know what is good for your spirit, because the Holy Spirit will teach us everything. His anointing will guide us. (1 John 2:27)