The following is an excerpt from Dr. John’s book, PUT ON YOUR GLOVES: The 5 Battles Every Christian Must Win. Follow this link to obtain your copy of PUT ON YOUR GLOVES today.
“Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” 1 PETER 2:11
What is your soul?
Just like your spirit, the soul is made up of three parts: the mind, will, and emotions.
- Mind: controls what you think about.
- Will: influences the choices you make.
- Emotions: determine how you will feel.
Where does the battle for your soul start? In your mind.
Before you got saved, you had a sinful nature. We know this because the Bible tells us that we were all “born in sin and shaped in iniquity” (PSALM 51:5). That has nothing to do with you, this comes straight down the bloodline from Adam and Eve and a piece of fruit in a garden.
But when that happened, your birth ensured that you would without hesitation be drawn to sinful, unlawful acts like a moth to a flame. And as you grew, you experimented and tasted sin and all that it offers. Your members (body) were used to fulfill every desire of your soul.
Sin is a spiritual thing, something that can never be underestimated, nor its propensities overlooked. Before you got saved, your body was a slave to sin as it (sin) sought to gratify itself. In the process, your body developed certain appetites (lusts of the flesh) for things that are unlawful.
Now that you are born-again, your spirit was recreated spiritually. Hear me, your spirit was made new, not your soul. Your soul still had to be saved.
“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” JAMES 1:21
Sin is the nature of satan and is demonic in every way. Like I said, your spirit has been recreated, but now your soul has to be restored (saved).
Now that you have God’s life in you, the Holy Spirit wants to use your body, your members, for God’s desires and His purposes. That is where the battle is waged. The body (the Bible calls it your flesh) still wants what it was getting through gratification. The new-born spirit now wants to gratify the desires and purposes of God. World War III has ensued in the spirit because of this very powerful divide.
The fleshly lusts are waging war against your soul. Those desires are getting into your mind. They will try to get in and dominate your thought life until you surrender. All you can find yourself doing is thinking about that unlawful thing that your body wants.
What many people underestimate and many churches fail to teach is that when you get saved, your body that was trained by sinful, unlawful acts often times still craves and wants those things after your conversion experience. It is so important to teach this so that people don’t think that their salvation ‘didn’t take’ because they are still having those desires and feelings that they know are sinful.
Take for example someone who was a heavy drinker before they got saved. They have given their life to Christ and they stopped drinking. Then one day all of a sudden, they think about a drink. If they don’t immediately take that thought captive, they will continue to think about a drink, until they can start to ‘feel’ how that drink would taste going down their throat. Pretty soon, they will start to ‘feel’ the drink in their hand and before you know it, they will have a full commercial running in their head about taking a drink. When that happens, you will find them pulling up to the nearest liquor or wine store to satisfy what the flesh told them that they wanted. And all of it started with a thought. The same is true of any unlawful act that plays out in your life. It starts with a thought, every single time!
“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 10:5
The devil is not playing with you and this isn’t a game. You win the battle for your soul by protecting your thought life. Because if you don’t, pretty soon you’ll have seven more demons more wicked than the one before him. (MATTHEW 12:43-45)
Then you will have entered into a place where you are going to need a lot of help. Plus, demons bring sickness, disease, poverty, confusion, and a bunch of other things with them. Believe me, they don’t come empty-handed. They come with every vile thing that they are made of, with one goal: to carry out the mission of “killing, stealing, and destroying.” (JOHN 10:10)
Always remember that the goal of a thought is to graduate into an action. The same is true for business owners and inventors. Every company, business endeavor, book, scientific discovery, health cure, etc. – every single one of them started as a thought.
Thoughts in and of themselves are not bad. The thought becomes dangerous when it reveals the type of negative, ungodly information that it is carrying to your mind. And that is where we need to grow in selecting and filtering thoughts that don’t align with God’s Word.
“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
You see from the verse above that there are thoughts that are just, pure, lovely and are of a good report. God says, “I’m not telling you not to think, just think on these kinds of things.” Why would He say that? Remember what I said before. A thought is ultimately trying to graduate out of your mind into the world through your actions. And you cannot allow those negative, unlawful, sinful thoughts a graduation day.
There is a quote that I like that says, “You can’t stop birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from making a nest in your hair.” You can’t stop thoughts from coming. Thoughts will come, but you have the choice to determine which ones stay and for how long.
That’s what it means to lose the war for your soul. But thanks be unto God that we can win the war for the soul. We have dominion over everything in the earth and that includes our thoughts. Our soul can prosper over our thought life!
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” 3 JOHN 2 NKJV
What you just read is an excerpt from Dr. John’s book, PUT ON YOUR GLOVES: The 5 Battles Every Christian Must Win. Follow this link to obtain your copy of PUT ON YOUR GLOVES today.