When I first surrendered my life to God and received the Holy Spirit, it wasn’t long before I felt powerless against my thoughts. I couldn’t walk down a single street without receiving terrible unclean thoughts and yet while at church in worship and praise not one unclean thought would enter my mind. I noticed that every time I spoke out the word Jesus, the unclean thought would leave my mind. It came to my realization that these thoughts weren’t actually my thoughts at all! The Devil’s biggest deception is making you think that his thoughts are your own, as he tries to draw out the former conduct of your “old man”. In many instances, he may repeat scenes in your mind from your past that actually makes people feel guilty or ashamed of themselves, but the truth is, in a true belief by faith, that your “old man” has been crucified with Christ and you have been born again in the Spirit; everything you did before you surrendered your life to Jesus has been paid for in full, and you have been given all authority by the Spirit to take back that which has been robbed, including your mind! It doesn’t say take your thoughts captive for nothing! (2 Cor 10:5)
As every unclean thought entered my mind, I started to command Satan to “get away from me by the power of Jesus” And every time I said this, my mind would clear. I would say this sometimes all day to start with and the more I began to realize that the thoughts weren’t mine, the easier, over time, I recognized his deceit and the more my mind became clean. Eventually I came to a point where I may only have to rebuke him in my thoughts, maybe ten times a year because the unclean thought test easily stood out and as I’ve learned to yield to the Holy Spirit, who renews the heart. As long as we put off our former conduct and keep the “old man” from being resurrected, we will be renewed in the spirit of our minds, so that we put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:22).
I find that because of the “battle for the mind”, most Christians never really enter into the fullness of their inheritance; they receive the Holy Spirit but struggle to be led by the Holy Spirit, as in the parable of the sower. Some receive the seed but choke its growth through chasing the pleasures of life to satisfy the desires of their own will. Some allow their hearts to allow the Devil to take the seed away, and others receive the seed for a while but fall away in the time of temptation.
Now everyone who receives the Holy Spirit is a new creation, born again spiritually, with access to the supernatural realm of the Holy Spirit. So as you believed that Jesus paid the price and redeemed you by faith, and that you have been born again in the spirit by faith, so you must hear His voice by faith, too. That new spiritual “gut” instinct is the spiritual consciousness of God and you must act on it by faith.
Abraham (who wasn’t perfect) moved by faith by that which he had received and believed by faith and it was accounted to him for righteousness. He was called a friend of God because he was justified by his moving in obedience by faith through his relationship with God, and not just by believing that God is real by faith only. So you (who aren’t perfect either) have been enabled to become the righteousness in Him if you yield to Him through your faith based relationship too.
When I gave my life to the Lord and received the Holy Spirit, He convicted me of sleeping with my girlfriend, getting drunk, smoking and swearing. Within a week, my life had completely changed, but my life only changed because I yielded to the God consciousness within me. I believed the prompting by faith, then acted in faith, and the desires of the “old man” fell away. But as my journey continued, while watching television I found myself being convicted by the Holy Spirit. Every time a violent scene came on in the movie, I found myself turning away from it or closing my eyes. I just couldn’t understand it. I’d seen movies like this for years. Now with the previous stuff, I could understand why He would convict me, but surely this was a part of ordinary normal life that everyone else did? I remember thinking “God, is that You? Why are you doing this? They are only actors; it’s not real!” But every time a violent scene came on, I couldn’t help but look away.
Now the next time I was watching television, one of my old favourite movies came on, and when the violent action scene came on (which I was looking forward to), I felt the conviction, I closed my eyes, but I knew the scene – I’d seen it loads of times; I could even imagine it! A couple of movies later, I’m peeking and, before you know it, I could watch an entire action movie without feeling any conviction in any way whatsoever. Then I would think, “Well God, if you really didn’t want me to watch that, You could have just stopped me!” See, the Holy Spirit won’t override your free will. And as soon as I started ignoring the prompting from the Spirit I’d gone from doing His will to doing my will! And justifying it too! I’d stopped myself from being transformed. Well you might say, “It’s just a movie, no big deal”, but about a year later someone prayed for me and I received a revelation about the conviction.
Psalm 11:5 – The Lord tests the righteous, but the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.
Yes, they were actors and they were just movies, but the love of violence was in my heart, and He was testing it (Psalm 7: 9) This was the conviction the Holy Spirit was bringing and everyone’s heart is fashioned individually, by His will not yours, and sometimes reading the instruction manual does help, but it’s no good knowing the manual inside-out if you don’t apply it to your life. Thankfully, our God is merciful and full of grace, so that in my acknowledgement of the uncleanness in my heart, with deep regret I repented and received a fresh conviction by the Spirit and it all started happening again, but this time I yielded and this enabled Him to continue His work. See, when the Holy Spirit prompts, you have a responsibility to follow and respond. This is the only way that you can build upon Him (Luke 6: 46), and live a fulfilled life of abundance.
See, religion and religious people create sin consciousness, which promotes striving and trying to qualify by your own efforts, but it is only by yielding to the Spirit that you have the power and authority to overcome and be transformed by allowing Him to heal your mind-sets, heart-sets, soul-ties and generational curses that may give the Devil any legal access to your life.
This was shown to me through a powerful dream where I was the defendant in a dock in God’s courtroom. Jesus was my defence, and Satan was my accuser. Satan pointed at me and in an aggressive tone shouted out, “He is damaging my ministry!” Jesus spoke very calmly and pointed out that actually I had every right to do so because He had paid the price for it. But then Satan pointed to a closet that was behind me. It was “my closet” and the door was wide open! Satan shouted, “Yes, but what about that!” He was pointing to a temper issue that my defence had previously warned me to deal with! These are legal access points that the Devil has a right to test and tempt you with (James 1: 13&14).
Over the years I have ministered with lots of Christians who have struggled with being drawn away by their own desires, such as sexual lust or pornography and I explain it like this. If a person sees an image of a sexual nature, whether in real life or on television, the consciousness of God tells them that it’s not good for the heart and that they should act accordingly by averted their eyes or turning over to another channel.
But ignoring the prompting of the Holy Spirit actually gives the Devil a legal right to tempt (James 1: 13&14). And because of their lack of self-control, (1 Cor7: 5) the Devil will usually play the images back in their minds or dreams to tempt them, but if they let the unclean desire conceive, even in their hearts and fantasies, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. This is part of James’ letter to Holy Spirit filled Christians, just as in one of Paul’s letters to the Holy Spirit filled Ephesians he gave warning not to give place to the Devil (Eph 4: 27).
See, when King David sinned, he acknowledged it and repented with sorrowful regret (Psalm 51) and then God forgave him, but there were consequences for his actions. Just like if we fail the temptation and allow our unclean desires to conceive, it will create legal access points which give a place to the Devil, allowing unclean spirits into our lives which can interfere with our discernment and relationship with God. In this instance, you can give a place to a spirit of lust, which eventually will bring about a spirit of shame, which sooner or later will attract a qualifying spirit (a spirit that makes you feel disqualified). And sooner or later these spirits can and will form strongholds over people’s lives. This is just an example, but there are many different types of legal access points in many different areas and many different types of unclean spirits! Just like a computer, when the software receives bugs, they very subtly get slower and slower, and you don’t notice to start with until one day you realize it’s become dysfunctional or in some cases people may not have even noticed! If you feel that you are wandering through dry places in circles, that’s a good indication that you have not come into the land of promises yet, the wilderness is the place of dying to yourself, or dying spiritually in some cases. In the past, people may have given you amazing prophecies that you are waiting on, but in order to come into the promised land you must allow the renewal of mind-sets and heart-sets, get soul-ties broken and generational baggage removed – get a virus scan and become who you were called to be, justified by your moving by faith and walking boldly in your accredited righteousness and friendship with God.
So the truth is that there is nobody, with a real truthful acknowledgement of where his or her relationship is with God, with a meaningful repentance, who can’t get delivered, learn to yield to Him and put on the “new man” and step into their destiny, so you can stop trying to work for Him and , instead, allow Him to work through you, becoming the living proof of His good and perfect will (Rom 12: 2) by His glory to “be” His glory!
Kevin Dexter, Derby UK