The following is a portion of a booklet I wrote entitled Are You Ready for Transformation?
Repairing the Breach
Once you begin to recognize destructive thought patterns, you have to begin to repair the place in which they entered your mind. If a breach occurs in a dam, water can begin leaking out, or the dam could break down which would be detrimental to those in its path. It is the same with your mind. If you do not repair the spiritual door or wall of your mind, the destructive thoughts will continue to gain access. Repairing the breach is what will begin to bring about permanent solutions.
According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a breach is a violation. When demonic forces sense a weak spot, they will pounce with all their might to gain access. What we entertain as far as movies, television shows, books, and conversations have the potential to weaken our spiritual walls which can eventually cause a breech. This gives easy access to demonic forces to play games with your mind.
The following quote is from Kelly Minter and her Bible study on the book of Nehemiah: “Have you ever wondered if ‘mindless entertainment’ might be a wide-open gate in your life by which many hurtful and deceiving ideas are sliding straight into your thinking? What about the friendships you keep, the magazines you read, the conversations in which you choose to engage? Are your doors open to the uplifting, truth-telling, and life-giving, or to what corrodes your soul? All day long we choose what goes in and out of our hearts and minds, and if you’re like me there are some doors, bars, and bolts that need tightening.”
When I went through the portion of that study, I was convicted. We are not going to be perfect, but there are certain entertainment such as conversations, movies, and reading material that we need to avoid if they continually cause a problem. On the other hand, there might be some entertainment in which we should take part if it brings life to our hearts and minds.
Now is the time to insert one of my disclaimers. I am not saying that you should not watch television or read books. There are television shows and movies that I greatly enjoy. I am simply saying that if it breaks down walls in my thinking and brings ungodly thinking, then I need to find another type of entertainment.
Our conversations with others are a part of our “entertainment”. When a friend or acquaintance gives you the “low-down” on someone else, you will begin to entertain negative thoughts about that person even if you do not know her. That is why the Bible gives instruction as to the types of conversations that we should, or should not, be taking part in.
Let me say that when these thoughts invade, you can and should take them captive and renew your mind; however, renewing the mind might not be such hard work if we refuse to allow certain things into our minds beforehand. Sometimes, it will mean changing the subject in a conversation, or turning off the television if needed.
You might be thinking that I sound extreme at this point. If your thought life is in extreme trouble, it will take extreme measures to break free. Remember, in most cases, you did not get into the mess in your mind overnight. It happened over time. It is the same with taking your thoughts captive and renewing the mind, it will take time. It will also take time to survey the walls of your mind to find places that need repair. It took Nehemiah the exiles time to survey the walls of Jerusalem to determine what types of repair would be needed and where. Allow yourself to utilize the grace God has given you. Philippians 1:6 reminds us that the work God has begun in us will be completed. Some jobs take time to complete, particularly if you want the work to be thorough and complete. You cannot afford to leave breaches in the walls of your mind. You must guard what you are allowing in your mind. Even in doing this, there will be things come through our walls that are not godly. We are only human. It is then that we hold the thought up to the light of God’s word and allow it no further entrance if we determine it is not what we need.
At this point, I feel the need to warn you about stubbornness. There are times when stubbornness can be a good quality to have if one is taking a stand for what is good. However, stubbornness as a refusal to change a negative behavior is dangerous. Refusing to take thoughts captive and refusing to take care as to what you will allow into your mind will be detrimental to you.
Repentance is the cure for stubbornness. By turning to God in repentance for ungodly thinking patterns that we have allowed to become strongholds, we invite freedom. We are allowing God to come in and help us repair the walls of our minds which will lead us to victory.
James MacDonald had a Bible study entitled Think Differently. He addresses the issue of stubbornness. An example of stubbornness is thinking or even saying that you can repent when you are good and ready. Some people want to hold on to their sin because it brings a sense of comfort. Refusing to repent when God is dealing with you is dangerous! Yield to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. There is such peace and joy that results from repentance.
In many churches today, the word “repent” is almost considered a by-word. God is saddened by this because it puts up a dangerous wall between Him and His people. Strongholds of destructive thinking patterns will result in destructive behavior. The results of destructive behavior are a ruined life. Sadly, these results can spill over into the lives of others. If the Holy Spirit is convicting you to allow Him to work on a destructive thought pattern, behavior, or both, yield to that conviction. You have nothing to lose but your chains.
There are some people in the bible who refused to repent when given the opportunity. As a result, they suffered dire consequences. Cain, the son of Adam, was one of these people. In Genesis 4:7, the Lord assures Cain that he will be accepted if he does what is right. Another example is Esau, the son of Isaac. Esau was at odds with his brother, Jacob, from childhood. Sibling rivalry can be ugly. Esau allowed his fleshly appetite to cause him to sell his birthright to Jacob (see Genesis 25). Yielding to our fleshly desires rather than to the Holy Spirit will cause us to reap unwanted results. We might shake our heads in disbelief at Esau’s foolishness, but we are guilty as well. When we decide to listen to the latest gossip, we are selling our peace. When we are entertained by people who blaspheme God’s name, we are forfeiting what we have with God for something that is temporary. Let’s learn from these examples. Certainly, we will not be perfect, but we can be more mindful toward the eternal.
Before closing this chapter, I must address another type of situation. Often, destructive thinking patterns form as a result of abuse suffered at the hands of another person, or, by someone who has offended or hurt us in some way. If you have suffered abuse, I urge you right now to seek godly counsel. For those of us who might struggle with other types of offense, we must take captive thoughts of bitterness and lack of forgiveness. In our minds, we must choose to forgive our offenders. The process might have to be repeated a number of times. Forgiveness does not mean that your offender was right in harming you. It simply released you from bondage and puts the situation in God’s hands for Him to deal with. Trust me, He can deal with others much better than we can.
The following are scriptures that relate to what we have discussed in this chapter:
Acts 3:19, “Therefore, repent and be converted, that your sins may be wiped away, and that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, if there is any praise, think on these things.”
Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will protect your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Colossians 3:2 (NKJV), “Set your minds on things above, not on things on the earth.”