by Pastor Tim Burt
About 12 years ago, my daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters answered the call on their life and moved to Peru as missionaries. Prior to that, they owned the house next door to us, had worked with us in ministry for over a decade, and were a part of our daily life. We often had dinner together. Our granddaughters were over all the time. Our lives were interwoven. Suddenly they were gone! On the day we brought them out to the airport to say goodbye, it felt like my heart was ripped right out of my chest! They would be far away and in another country. I couldn’t imagine life without them nearby and I can honestly say that it was one of the most difficult times I hade ever walked through in my life. When people brought it up, it took over a year before I could even complete a sentence talking about it. My eyes would well up with tears and I couldn’t choke the words out. It almost felt like a death.
The loss of them being in our lives was devastating to me! I suddenly found myself under an attack of mental warfare incomparable to anything I had ever experienced. At times I would stop and pay attention to what was going though my mind. I could see ridiculously irrational thoughts that were exaggerated and fear producing. I won’t even repeat them here but they were bad. They were an attack from the enemy of my soul and they were meant to knock me off my course in serving God and create life-threatening discouragement and depression. That was Satan’s goal, but it was not going to happen!
Fear is a very real thing. 1 John 4:18 (NKJV) says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment…” Torment is a scary word! God doesn’t want us to be the victim of fear and torment but Satan does! Satan would like to control our lives with it. Fear is the strategy of a terrorist—Satan being the father of them all. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV) says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” God does not want us to be controlled by fear. He wants us to become overcomers of fear. 1 John 4:4 (NKJV) says, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He (Jesus) who is in you is greater than he (Satan and every demonic spirit) who is in the world.”
The Bible speaks of strongholds. If you want to understand what that is, try to remember back in your childhood or at some point in your life when someone wrapped and locked their arms around you from behind and you couldn’t move. That is what a demonic stronghold works to do—paralyze you in fear in the realm of your imagination. Satan tries to flood your mind with thoughts that produce paralyzing fear. The goal is to lead its victim to every wrong imagination possible with the hope of destroying that person’s faith and getting them to abandon their trust in God. And to help them lose their mind!
God has given us spiritual authority over these strongholds and over your own mind. God wants us to demolish those kinds of strongholds. 2 Corinthians 10:4 (NIV) says, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” He is saying that we are not going to overcome fear, terror, or depression with drugs or with guns or earthly weapons. The weapons of our warfare are God’s word believed and spoken in faith. Because of the Holy Spirit within you, you have power over those strongholds—power to demolish them. How do we do that? The next verse tells us saying “…casting down mental arguments and imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NKJV)
This verse says we cast out what is contrary to God’s Word and we bring every one of our thoughts into captivity. In other words, we take authority over our thought-life and bring it under our control!
I have learned over the years that I tear down demonic imaginations by taking authority over my own mind—the mind that God gave me for His purposes—not Satan’s. I rebuke and cast out thoughts I know are wrong—whatever they are and whenever they come. As I notice them in my mind, I immediately shout, Get out in Jesus name! These are familiar words I’ve spoken a thousand times. I replace those thoughts with the truth and promise of God’s word saying things like: Lord, I thank you that you have given me the mind of Christ. His thoughts are my thoughts! I thank you that you’ve given me the comfort of the Holy Spirit. As you have said Lord—with God for me, who can be against me? Greater is He that is in me, than he (every demonic spirit) that is in this world. I resist the devil. Flee now in Jesus name.
These are ways we take authority over those strongholds. When we cast out the fear and lies of the enemy and embrace and proclaim the truth and promises of God, they become the stronghold to a beautiful and peaceful mind! Now it is God’s arms of comfort and peace that are wrapped around us! 1 Corinthians 2:16 (NLT) reminds us, “But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.”
The stronghold of God and the Hebrew word it comes from implies an impenetrable fortress of God—a safe place. Psalm 21:1 (NIV) says, “The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” We are not to become subject to Satan’s strongholds of fear and terrorism. We are to take every thought captive and put God’s thoughts on the throne of our mind. This is how we begin to have the mind of Christ. This is where we learn to overcome our fears and take dominion over our thought-life.
The onslaught of warfare from my children moving was a battle for about two and a half days, but then it was over. It was still tough for a year. I missed them every day. But, I knew that God makes every season of life rich! That would be the case for Renee and I and for my daughter’s family! And now looking back, that is exactly what happened. They are being used in a glorious way and exactly where God wants them, and our lives are filled serving God through our ministry AND with new grandchildren here to spend time with.
Satan will always try to create fear in our life. God has given us His word, His promises, and His authority to demolish it! Your part is having faith and using your authority. God’s word is quick and powerful and always does it’s part! So as God teaches us in His Word, James 4:7 (NKJV) “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”
I pray that you also will demolish thoughts that produce fear and torment in your life! Trusting God and having His peace is His will for you!
Psalm 18:2-3 (NLT) “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my Savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold. I will call on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, for He saves me from my enemies.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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