Overcoming the Flesh

I'm going to teach you a form of mind control. I'm not talking about hypnosis or positive thinking; this is more powerful than that. When strong emotions are forcing your mind to walk down the wrong path, grab your sword. I'm talking about your Sword of the Spirit, you know, your only offensive weapon against evil. Jesus used this form of mind control, and it was the only way He overcame temptation to sin. So let me show you how to do it, how it has worked for me.

You must have already memorized Scripture to pull this off. Whenever you're not in crisis, take the time to put Scripture into your heart. Don't be a wimp. If you were in a war (and Scripture says that we are in Ephesians 6), you would never walk into battle without a weapon. Even if you think you can't memorize anything, read Scripture verses into an audio, and play it back to yourself while eating breakfast each day. Soon you will effortlessly remember the verses. Or you can write the verses on cards, and you can flip through them while waiting at a stop light. The Holy Spirit will bring those Scriptures back at the right moment to disarm specific sin in your life.

I remember when I was barely 18 years old. A religion professor from my university sat down in the cafeteria beside me, uninvited. He recognized me from his class. He asked if I was a Christian, and when I said yes, he proceeded to address me as “Christian,” as if that were my name. In many convoluted, logical arguments, he tried to destroy my faith, and to make me question God. He said that Abraham, for example, should have refused to obey God, “because You are making me go against the conscience that You've put in me. How can I commit murder when it is clearly sin? NO!” He would defiantly scream at God and would have been justified. More and more arguments like this were flung at me like a machine gun until the man up and walked away. He left me with the words, “There is a dark side to God...”

I was trembling. I had grown up in a sheltered environment, and I had just moved to the United States from the mission field. I was a 4.0 student, so I knew I wasn't stupid. But I was completely unprepared for a full-on assault against my faith. The things that the professor had said made sense, they were logical. But in my spirit I knew there was something wrong. Then Scripture broke into my mind like a ray of sunshine, warming my entire soul, “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all...”

I didn't even know where the verse was located. I just knew it existed, and I couldn't rest until I had looked it up and seen it in my Bible in black and white, right there in I John 1:5. Let me also mention that Satan has been around a long time, and he is the most intelligent being in the universe besides God. He is crafty because he uses partial truth (or logic, which disguises itself as truth) to deceive. Like in the garden of Eden, he told Eve that she wouldn't die, and that was technically not a lie, since she didn't die right away (although she did spiritually die in being separated from God, and her physical body began to deteriorate that day). She even gained wisdom just like he said she would. She had to hide from God, though, and eventually gave birth to a murderer who killed her son. Don't tell me there were no consequences to her sin. That's a load of baloney. You see how insidious deception is?

Okay, I promised to show you how to overcome your flesh to regain control of your mind. In a moment of weakness, cry out to God, and He will give you the verse you need to disarm your sin. If you can quote the verse calmly, over and over, the sin will disintegrate. As a visual person, I see the verse at the top of my consciousness as I'm falling asleep, and I drop it like an anchor on the right hand side of my consciousness. I keep doing this over and over to block out the sin.

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ...” (II Corinthians 10:5)