In the Kingdom Warrior series, we have learned that there are two spiritual kingdoms at war: the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the devil. You are at war, whether you like it or not, and you do not have your own kingdom - the devil wants you to think you have your own way, but this is deception; spiritually, it’s either his way or God’s way.
You are at war, whether you like it or not, and you do not have your own kingdom.
We have learned that a kingdom warrior is a relentless, trained, disciplined fighter who declares kingdom of God, demonstrates the kingdom of God, and destroys the work of the devil. This power is given by the Holy Spirit, who is our teacher.
Last week Pastor Miles talked about the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which saturates our whole mind and being, and this needs to be done consistently so that our problems become peace and our fear becomes faith! Because we wrestle with spiritual forces of darkness, we must be stirred up and filled with the Spirit constantly, so that His ways are flowing through our lives.
1. Think about your thinking. Mark 1:14-15
Kingdom Warriors must take control of their thoughts and choose to think as Christ thinks. You can come to church, study the Bible, and pray, but if you don’t make decisions and act in line with Christ, you will be ineffective.
Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15
You can’t repent of your actions until you repent of your thinking because thoughts lead to actions, which lead to consequences. If your thoughts are in line with the world’s thinking rather than Christ’s, then your actions will be in line with the world’s behavior, and the consequences do not yield godly fruit; hence, your Christian witness will mean nothing to anyone.
2. Think about your thinking as a conversation with the Holy Spirit and/or spiritual forces of darkness. Psalm 1:1-2
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2
The center of spiritual warfare is the mind. When a thought to sin enters your mind, and you engage in an inner conversation, to whom are you talking? The Holy Spirit may ask you to forgive someone or pray for someone, but the devil is likely to counteract, making you feel like you don’t want to forgive or pray. He may shift your perspective to focus on feeling awkward or embarrassed, or he may rationalize all the reasons why you should not obey the Spirit.
But remember, our actions do not have to be obedient to our feelings. We have the choice to feel one way and make a decision to act entirely differently than we feel. These are conversations with spiritual forces. Thoughts of bitterness, resentment, shame, and anger were brought into the world by the devil, so they must be rebuked so that you can dwell on godly thoughts and actions and follow with godly actions and consequences.
3. Think about your thinking as the process of renewing your mind. Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 4:17-24
Even after you are saved (and remember your spirit is 100% righteous by the blood of Christ, but this has to do with your soul), you continue the process of renewing and changing the way you think. You sometimes have to say “no” to your feelings because they do not always accurately represent truth.
4. Think about your thinking as practicing taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6
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, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6
These verses teach that you can take control of your thoughts. If you walk into a gossiping conversation and a thought enters your mind that will add fuel to the fire, you must actively say no to it. If the group around you is engaging in behavior that doesn’t honor God, you may have a tempting thought to join in, but you have to remember that God is still there. Take the thought captive and say no.
As a runner must discipline her body to finish a long race, so you must discipline your mind to keep it on track. Rebuke negative and sinful thoughts and focus on God-honoring thoughts.
This is done by destroying the works of the devil in our minds:
Destroy the works of the devil by:
1. Inviting the active presence of the Holy Spirit into your thinking/conversation. Ephesians 5:18
And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, Ephesians 5:18
Like chocolate syrup at the bottom of a milk glass, the Holy Spirit needs to be stirred up fresh every day to fill all the areas of your life and being. Invite His presence into your day, your thoughts, and your decisions before you even open your eyes to begin the day.
Acknowledge Him as your teacher, leader, God, encourager, counselor, and advocate. Make a conscious choice to recognize and seek out HIs presence in all you do. By applying the Word and prayer in all things, you are a kingdom warrior fiercely and relentlessly fighting the spiritual battle with spiritual weapons.
2. Asking the Holy Spirit for a biblical perspective on your thoughts. John 14:26
Invite the presence of the Holy Spirit to go with you throughout your day. Acknowledge His presence and ask for His guidance.
One name for the identity of a Christian is a gate of heaven. A gate is a passage between one realm/area and another. As a gate of heaven, the Holy Spirit can flow through you from heaven to earth, and you can carry His presence wherever you go.
3. Submit to the power of the Holy Spirit to respond as an act of worship. Acts 1:8
The devil wants your worship, and he pursues it by getting you to make decisions that trust his counsel instead of God’s. For example, if you’re participating in a group conversation that turns to gossip, you can choose to add to that, criticizing and bringing someone else down, or you can choose to change the subject or challenge the group not to gossip.
You have choices to make all day long in how you will act and interact. These actions can either honor God or the devil. This is why you need to invite the Holy Spirit into your life and activities all day long. This is ground zero for your spiritual battle.
Honoring God requires active obedience to the Holy Spirit, even when it feels awkward or unfamiliar. If a thought comes into your mind out of left field and it is a biblical thought, you’ll need to decide to follow it by faith. You’re never going to see a miraculous healing if you don’t pray for people to be healed. You won’t see someone come to faith unless you share your faith. You won’t experience amazing financial blessing if you don’t step out in faith and honor God in your finances.
But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Are you taking your thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ? Every day, throughout the day, invite the Holy Spirit in. Ask Him to fill you and empower you to respond to your circumstances in a way that honors the Father.