“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 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. 2 Corinthians 10: 4-5 KJV
All sinful, evil, and fearful thoughts, feelings and imaginations are strongholds in our mind and life. Therefore, it stands to reason that it is very important to take authority over and control those thoughts, feelings and imaginations. Whether good or evil, the things we are exposed to, through our five senses, influence our thoughts and are stored in our minds. The goal of the enemy is to bring us into bondage and destroy us and he uses our own mind to do this.
Genesis 6:5 AMP says, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually.” Before you knew Christ, you were a child of the devil and your mind was only carnal and sinful. You knew no other way. 2 Corinthians 4:4 AMP says, “For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers’ minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and Likeness of God.”
Proverbs 15:26a AMP says “The thoughts of the wicked are shamefully vile and exceedingly offensive to the Lord” and Romans 8:7 says that the carnal mind is enmity against God. The AMP says, “That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot.”
The carnal, sinful mind is blind to the truth and hostile to God and His laws. God is against all forms of sin and carnality. Why—because He is a party-pooper? No, because He loves you and sin brings nothing with it but bondage and death and destruction! If your mind is carnal, then you can’t and won’t submit to God and His commands. If your thoughts, feelings and imaginations are yielded to the flesh and the devil, then you will continue on in the strongholds of wickedness, bondage and fear. You are a product of your thought life—you are what you think about—which is why the devil tries to erect and maintain these strongholds in your mind.
And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” Mark 7:20-23 NKJV
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21
Nothing good comes from the carnal nature. Before we are born again we are completely carnal, wicked and ruled by our flesh. Our thoughts are carnal, our actions are carnal and our works are carnal. All these works of the flesh do nothing, but hurt us and others. When the Gospel is preached to us, the light of God’s word and His truth shines into our heart and mind ( 2 Corinthians 4:6)
Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:7 NKJV
You were taught to leave your old self. This means that you must stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self becomes worse and worse, because people are fooled by the evil things they want to do. 23 You must be made new in your hearts and in your thinking. 24 You must become a new person, made to be like God–made to be truly good and holy. Ephesians 4:22-24
The moment you are born again, you are washed in His blood, you are forgiven and you are made a new creature in Christ, by the work of the precious Holy Spirit. Your mind, however, needs to be renewed and that is your job! The difference, now, is that you have His power to change the way you think and to walk free from the devil’s strongholds.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
Good things make a positive contribution and evil things make a negative contribution to your mental outlook, that why it is so important to regulate what you hear and see. You have to begin to think differently before you can expect to act and live differently. You must take your thoughts captive by submitting to the Word of God and the will of God, through Jesus Christ, and with the help of the Holy Spirit. From now on, if you see or hear anything that is not pure or wholesome or that is contrary to the Word of God, you must immediately throw it out. You must make a daily effort to keep your thoughts and imaginations godly and pure. If your thoughts, feelings and imaginations are submitted to God, then you will walk in His life and freedom, now and in eternity.