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A while back, I watched the movie “Peaceful Warrior,” based on events from the life of gymnast Dan Millman.  It was an interesting movie, kinda “zen” but still good.  I was enjoying it, simply for entertainment, when this line came across that spoke such volumes to me, I had to play it back a couple of times.  The line was, “When you feel fear, use the sword.  Take it up here (pointing to his head) and cut the mind to ribbons.  Slash through all those regrets and fears.”  Wow!  The world is using Godly wisdom and it doesn’t even know it!

How many times have we been told to “put the Word on it?”  I mean, really.  How many sermons have to be preached before we actually get it?  Hearing that line immediately (and I do mean before the entire line could be delivered the first time) reminded me of Ephesians 6:17 that tells us about the “Sword of the Spirit” being “The Word of God.”  How often do we let circumstances dictate the outcome of a situation instead of employing God’s instructions for spiritual warfare?  How often do we helplessly stop and stare at mountainous situations instead of believing God and walking by faith instead of by sight?  The enemy is busy speaking, often screaming, pushing, manipulating, cajoling, yelling, into our ears and minds 24/7, yet the still, small voice of Jesus, by His Holy Spirit, speaks ever more clearly, bringing peace and order to any situation, if we would but heed His Voice.  He said, “My sheep know My Voice, and a stranger they will not follow.”  I don’t know about you, but I’m going to confess something right now:  I’ve followed other voices besides the Voice of Jesus many times.  According to Jesus’ teaching, I shouldn’t be following those voices because they belong to strangers.  Now that tells me that those other voices have become so familiar that they no longer belong to a “stranger” but an acquaintance or an ally.  Oh my God!  Help me!

Listening to others will not only acquaint you with their voices and methods, but will acquaint them with your tendencies and weaknesses.  The enemy knows that and employs it at every turn.  He can’t read your thoughts but he’s an expert at reading your reactions.  That’s why we are admonished to guard our hearts and even the David in Psalm 141:3 asked the Lord to “set a guard over his mouth.”  Both verses of Proverbs 13:3 and 21:23 remind us that guarding our mouths will keep our souls from destruction.  Psalm 39:1 says, “I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, while the wicked are before me."  James 1:14-16 goes on to say, “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away.  These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.  So don't be misled, my dear brothers and sisters.”  But then 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 give us a grenade-launcher with, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 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.”  These scriptures all lead me to believe that I can and must keep a reign over what’s within me, but only with the Lord’s help will I be successful.  The enemy may expertly read our reactions, but God knows our thoughts (see Psalm 94:11, Isaiah 66:18, Matthew 9:4, Luke 11:17, 1 Corinthians 3:20), and He is able and willing to help us with them, to keep them under control, even to direct them along right paths.

The enemy tries to sow “un-Godly” thoughts and intentions into us at every turn.  We can combat them by getting fully dressed in the armor of God presented in Ephesians 6:10-20.  I know for me, because of the analytical mind with which God blessed me, I have to be especially vigilant with my “helmet of salvation.”  I confessed to you that often other voices interrupt my thought stream, and because I have listened to them over the years, they have become “familiar.”  I’ve learned from that also, that ignoring those voices becomes easier when I become more and more acquainted with the Voice of The Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit helps me to keep my helmet in place, blocking out those other voices until they are no longer familiar and no longer cause me to veer off the path God The Father has chosen for me, for which Jesus the Son died to gain me access, and along which the Holy Spirit is ever my Guide and Guard.  Even with the armor firmly in place though, during moments of intense battle, pieces may become dislodged and damaged by momentary weaknesses or distractions, and so we need to employ further weaponry to combat the bombs lobbed at us during our daily walk.  Romans 12:1-2 helps us by reminding us to present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, transforming our minds by constant renewal toward the Will of God.

The imagery originally presented in the movie by Nick Nolte (the actor) when he said, “Cut the mind to ribbons; slash through all those regrets and fears,”  is a powerful picture to have before you as a way of showing how the Word can demolish those “un-Godly” thoughts and fears.  We can cast down imaginations, dismiss ridiculous temptations, bypass fearful obstacles and live the victorious life promised to us by God Himself.  If He thinks good thoughts toward us, and directs us toward an expected end, why do we keep giving in to “un-Godly” thoughts and fears?  The excuse “because we‘re human” doesn’t really apply because we can be renewed in our minds at every opportunity we choose to take.  The excuse falls short because we don’t take that opportunity whenever, and however often it’s presented.  It’s our choice to follow God, or to follow the enemy or our flesh.  We can come under condemnation and be continually oppressed, or we can “slash all those regrets and fears to ribbons” by constantly applying the Word, and walk in victory, regardless of the circumstances.  Remember victory isn’t looking peaceful while chaos rages on the outside, it’s being peaceful while chaos threatens on the inside.  Look to God, He is the Author and Perfecter of our faith.  He wouldn’t call Himself the Perfecter if He didn’t know we would need perfecting.  Look, it’s a daily challenge, scratch that, a moment-by-moment challenge to keep our thoughts under subjection.  If we keep our eyes on Jesus, the Prize, with the help of the Holy Spirit however, we can run through troops and leap over walls, slashing through enemy obstacles like tissue paper, and coming out stronger, and ultimately, ahead.

Prayerfully submitted,
Psalmist



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Denise Richardson wrote Jan 14, 2009
    • ((((GIRRRRRRRRRRL)))) this is soooooooooooo AWESOME!!!! thank you I can so relate to this as soon as i read the quote_"When you feel fear, use the sword._ I knew exactly where you were going to go throughout the rest of this blog and I did read it all the way through this is so deep and so profound. I Pray EVERYONE here reads this one. Bless you my sistah!!!



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