"And David inquired of God, saying, "Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?" The Lord said to him, "Go up, for I will deliver them into your hand." So they went up to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there. Then David said, " God has broken through my enemies by my hand like a breakthrough of water." Therefore they call the name of that place Baal Perazim."
1 Chronicles 14:10-11
The Amplified Bible says in verse eleven "the Lord of Breaking through." One translation says in the literal sense that the Lord is the "Master of Breakthroughs." Our God is a God of breakthroughs! He's never late, but He's always right on time all the time. He is the Master of Breakthroughs for you and for me! So much of the time we yield our "eyes" to other things. We allow ourselves to pulled away from being fixed and on track. We allow ourselves to be pulled away from being on course and fixed on purpose and hitting the mark.
There will always be times in our lives when we seem to be held up or we "feel" like our wheels are moving slow. There will be times when things just don't seem to be right. We must be alert that we are not allowing fear to take hold of us with feelings of inadequacy. We must not allow these feelings to shackle us and hold us back right when we are about to step into our victory!
When I was in high school, I took a class called "Home Maintenance and Repair." I learned so much in that class. I learned about wiring, fixing a wall, hanging wallpaper, building shelves, even soldering copper water lines with a propane torch and so much more. It was a fun class and it was an easy class to score a perfect grade, but you had to do it right! If you didn't do it right your project would turn out wrong. If you didn't do it right your project would be lopsided and goofy and to beat it all, you'd have to do that particular project all over again till you got it right! This devotional can help you get hold of some truths to help you "get it right" every time!
One of the greatest truths that the enemy just does not want you to understand or grasp in any way, shape, or form is the simple but profound truth, "You can control your thought life."
All of us deal with our thinking. That old stinkin' thinkin'. A lot of the time it's that old stinking thinking that is keeping those feelings hanging around in our lives. They may be feelings that we keep fighting off and on in our lives like feelings of defeat and discouragement. You know all those words that begin with "de" and "dis" like disgruntled and deflated etc.
Proverbs 23:7 tells us, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." The goofy devil's purpose for attacking your mind is really simple. If he can get you to think about something long enough and hard enough, he knows that you'll become the object of your meditation. You choose what you dwell on. The only thing that the devil can do is throw those curve balls, you're the one that chooses to catch them and keep them.
If you meditate on fearful thoughts, you'll be afraid. If it's discouragement, then you'll be discouraged. If it's inadequacy, you'll be incapable. You alone can hinder yourself from fulfilling God's plan for your life all by being bound by your own thought life! Ouch! That's good preaching!
Here are three Home Maintenance and Repair keys for you and me to apply to keep us breakthough-minded!
ONE: Cast down goofy imaginations!
Second Corinthians 10:4-5 says, "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."
When the enemy sticks a thought out there, don't just sit there! CAST IT DOWN! When bad thoughts come, say it out loud, "In the Name of Jesus, NO, I will not think that way!" Bring your thoughts into captivity and think on what His Word says! You don't have to think on all that stuff if you really don't want to. Stop it!
Don't sit there and wait for God to do something. He already did it! Jesus has already died and been resurrected! You've got it. You do something about your thoughts! Cast down those vain imaginations. The problem so much of the time is that we look for some "outside" help or influence to help us deal with the problem. There are times in the midst of a situation that we do need some outside help. But when it comes to our thoughts, it's up to us to cast them down!
TWO: Fill your mind with thoughts of faith!
Did you know that the word "success" is only mentioned one time in the Bible? It's true. The one reference is in Joshua 1:8, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."
What is interesting here in the only reference to word success in the Bible, is that it is connected to our meditation! We must make a decision to be dominated by faith and not fear. I was coming back from a trip once on one of the major airlines. As we were coming in for the landing, the plane banked hard and you could feel the landing gear doors open. Flying as much as I have, certain sounds in flight can become "comforting". The landing gear doors opening and then hearing them come down is one that I recognized. It felt different this time. All of a sudden, as we were approaching, the pilot pulled the gear doors closed, and we were going back higher in the air. The approach was made again. And again the gears didn't come down. The pilot came on and told us they were having some problems. The person beside me started asking me serious questions about what would be next. For the next hour and a half we flew around as they tried to get that gear down. Isn't it funny that when we're in a situation like that, we find ourselves thinking the worst? The worst thoughts come up first because of the way we have programmed our own thinking!
Well they got the gear down and we landed safely, but I tell you, the thoughts were real. I chose to cast them down and believed instead, "We'll be just fine!" And we were! People will sometimes react with the worst of thoughts, "Oh, I've got a terrible headache, it must be a brain tumor!" No, you've got to change your thinking. "I dwell in the secret place of the Most High, His angels have charge over me. I will not fear!"
We are the ones who make the decision about what we dwell on! Thoughts are out there, but we choose whether we'll take that thought or not. A computer will only do what somebody has told it to do. You and I only do, act, and say what we've plugged into that space between our ears!
THREE: Watch your thought intake!
A lot of us struggle with our thoughts. People wonder why they struggle with certain things. It always goes back to what we've taken in!
The old adage, "You are what you eat." That is so true. Too much intake of things that cause you to drift is very dangerous! Too much secular things will dull you and lull you into a drift. A ship that is not anchored is a hazard to other vessels. Your anchor must be sure and steadfast. Warning signs for drifting are things like: a diminishing desire to study the Word, a diminishing desire to be with God's people, a diminishing desire to share the Gospel, and an increasing thrill over the things of the world. All of those things create undercurrents that will pull you off course. Put the Word in and the Word will come out! Jesus said in Mark 4:24, "Take heed what you hear." We must be careful of the type of seeds that we plant in our heads. If you don't keep your grass cut and treated you'll have a mess of weeds. Watch your thought intake!
Make a quality decision and the necessary adjustments, and set a guard on your thoughts. Be faithful to take care of your "Home Maintenance and Repairs."
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am a believer, full of faith in Your Word. I cast down every thought that would prevent me from walking in victory. I control my thoughts; my thoughts do not control me. There is no weapon formed against me that shall prosper, and You are leading me in Your triumph through Christ. I thank You, Father, for the mind of Christ. I am releasing Your miracle-working power to flow through my life and circumstances now, in the mighty Name of Jesus! Amen!
Pastor James Farmer