Jesus Christ spoke these awesome words, “. . . for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers” (John 10:4b-5). False carnal and religious voices are everywhere and multiplying. The only safe place is a relationship with Christ where we become familiar with His voice. The Bible speaks of strongholds, imaginations, high things that exalteth itself, and corrupt communications. The spiritual war is first and foremost fought in the minds of all of us. If Satan can capture our thought life, our shipwreck is right down the road.
The Antichrist spirit has succeeded in flooding the imaginations of people with a multitude of dark thoughts. Much of today’s thought life starts innocently. The physical needs of life, natural desires within our bodies, and the need for pleasures that rest the body and minds have become dominate in every culture. The Bible warns us,“And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away” (I Corinthians 7:31).
Everything of a Bible-believing Christian’s life must be under strong discipline so that even good things of life never control us. The Bible calls this a self-controlled life. The moment you lose it, there are dark places to follow.
Roots of bitterness cannot begin anywhere but in your emotions and thoughts. The sources of bitterness are an ever enduring possibility. We hear words that could wound us almost every week and, sometimes, every day. Bitter people inhabit churches, offices, and every walk of life. If you are happy, there is someone that would enjoy making you sad. Wounded people are almost continually wounding someone else. Knowing this is true puts a strong burden on those that refuse to become bitter! The Holy Ghost is our helper. Here is his warning to you, “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:15).
What is sad is that most bitter people think only of the source of their bitterness. Bitterness is absolutely blinding. Religious strongholds are most often the strongest bondage of all. The soul in each of us is the location of the Adamic or fallen nature. The soul is also religious because the Creator made it religious. Unless we experience and maintain a devotion to the cleansing blood of Christ, we easily revert to the religious nature of man. The cleansing blood alone can keep all of our desires and thoughts pure. David prayed regularly, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
Apostle Paul spoke by the Holy Ghost, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). Your mind is on your head, so be its master and control what is allowed in the door. It’s your happiness and even your health that you are protecting when you keep all negative thoughts out and pure thoughts flowing like a river. Your face will tell the tale of which is your master.
There is a God-provided dynamic ready to help assure your victory. It is called “praying in the Spirit.” The voice of Christ is available to every believer by the person of His Holy Ghost. Read carefully what the voice of Christ recorded in this letter that Paul wrote to Corinth, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 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 10:3-5). These words have the possibility of changing your entire life and, especially, your success in blessing others.
First, we must not war after this flesh. Our struggle is never to be flesh with flesh or warring with each other. Regardless of what anyone says to you, speak back with kindness. Learn to pray with the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
The Holy Ghost was given to us to be the voice of Jesus Christ within us, but you must learn to pray and then listen. I don’t mean just hearing silly imaginations but growing and being led by the Holy Ghost in and through the Holy Scripture. “And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17).
Nothing will so alter your life as learning the true voice of your Lord and Master. A humble and broken spirit is the real beginning of this new and powerful walk with Christ.“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us” (II Corinthians 4:7).
You are helpless in your flesh, but you can be powerful when the flesh is hung on the cross with Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is our High Priest of the Heavenly Temple. He is there to be your voice to the Father and by the Holy Spirit to be the Father’s voice to and in you.
Joseph R. Chambers