BREAKING THE INTIMIDATION OF YOUR OWN THOUGHTS
By Vincent Inosencio Download the PDF file
Have you ever felt like your mind sometimes runs away with you with thoughts of condemnation saying you don’t measure up? How about when you get around a crowd people, do you feel that they are talking about you or judging you? Do you find that when you spend time in prayer it isn’t long before your mind starts bring up your failures and you feel that there is a wall between you and your Heavenly Father? If so, you could have a problem with intimidation and condemnation.
Here we will discuss what intimidation and condemnation are and how we can come to a place where they don’t have any influence on us.
There are not any more demoralizing obstacles in the life of a Christian than these 2 they will cause confusion and fear in a heartbeat and they can paralyze the believer so that the full potential of their destiny is never discovered. The bible calls it an “evil conscience”; Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from a evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. And a “carnal mind” Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. In the gospel of Luke, it is called a “doubtful mind” Luke 12:29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. Also, in the Epistle of James it called “double minded” James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
As we have discussed, our worst cause of fear and intimidation comes from within our very own minds. How many times have you come upon a great truth that brings a feeling of freedom, refreshing and joy only to have that self condemnation of a passed sin or a fault in your life siphon the life out of that truth? For many of us this is a common occurrence. We go to church or bible study, come into the presence of God through praise and worship. We receive the rich Word of the Lord only to leave and the struggle begins, our minds become our worst enemy, condemnation and doubt and guilt set in. What is the end result? You forgot the rich Word of the Lord that had just touched your heart.
To a Christian this is debilitating or in other words they will paralyze your faith and your progression into the things of the kingdom by causing you to shrink back from the walk of faith, intimidation and condemnation are also breeding grounds for seeds of unbelief and fear to crop up in your mind and soul. The most devastating result of these two thieves is, they hinder the way you approach your Heavenly Father, because your perspective of how he sees you is connected to the condemnation you hear in your mind and soul. Instead of coming boldly before His throne of grace as it says in Hebrews 4:16 “Therefore let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” we come wondering if we are going to get punished for some reason because of the intimidation in our mind and we forget scriptural truths like 1 John 3:20-21 “For if our own hearts condemn us, God is greater than our hearts, and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our hearts condemn us not, then we have confidence towards God.” and in Romans 8:15 “For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, Abba, Father! 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. 17 And if we are children, then we are heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; so that if we suffer with Him, we may also be glorified together.”
Let’s take a look at the results of this struggle within our own lives.
It causes us to:
- Keep silent, we stop confessing Gods Word (Hebrews 10:23)
- Get backed up in a corner, “so we feel” (Isaiah 54:17)
- Become separated from other Christians (Hebrews 10:25)
- Begin to stay away from church thinking that we will face condemnation
- (Romans 8:1)
- Not read your bible (Romans 10:17-that weakens your faith)
- Not pray as we should (Ephesians 6:18)
Look and see what the end result of these deceptions are (does this sound familiar?)
It causes you to:
- Be critical of others
- Feel that you don’t measure up
- Blame others for your problems
- To believe that others are talking about you behind your back
- Become suspicious of people when they try to befriend you
- Feel that your leadership is trying to hold you back
All of this because of a struggle that goes on in our minds, it seems to be a very debilitating issue that we face. Galatians 5:17 say’s “For the flesh lusts (struggles) against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh, these are contrary one to the other so that you cannot do the things that you would.”
For too many years religious teachers have taught us that this was the common lifestyle for us, fighting and struggling, perhaps because of their own intimidation and condemnation, and the inability to overcome the failures in their own lives they gave way to compromise and settled for the deception that this was the way Christian life is supposed to be. But people of God that is not so, look at verse 16 “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” The key is to walk or live your life in light of God’s Word. Look at verse 18 “But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” That’s good news for us, we don’t have to live under that bondage. See here in Romans 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.
In your inner man you want to be around other Christians, you want to spend time in prayer and go to church and you want to spend time reading your bible, what keeps us from these things?
Intimidation! We become preyed upon by our own thoughts, forget about what other people say or do, we become bound by our very own minds, and for many of us this is a hidden battle we face every day and don’t even realize it. But there is a way in which we can be free from this parasitical occupation that has imprisoned your mind, listen to the words of Jesus John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
As you see, the word of God brings truth. If you define truth you will see that it means “reality” so you will know what is real and in that understanding you will be set free! All by God’s word.
Definition of truth (Entry 1 of 2)
1a (1) the body of real things, events, and facts: ACTUALITY
(2): the state of being the case: FACT
(3) often capitalized: a transcendent fundamental or spiritual reality
Many fail to realize how vital the Word of God is. We need food and water to survive in this existence on earth, the nutrients we draw from the food we eat are so essential to life, without them our bodies starve and wither away and we die, not a pretty picture.
In the same manner, Gods Word is a source of spiritual food to our spiritual bodies, or our inner man. The truths or nutrients we draw out of God’s Word are so vital to us that without them our spiritual lives would starve wither away and die. Again, it’s not a pretty picture.
In the following scriptures we see how vital His Word is to us: Deuteronomy 8:3 He humbled you, and allowed you to be hungry, and fed you with manna, which you didn’t know, neither did your fathers know; that he might teach you that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of Yahweh’s mouth.
1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
Think about this, sometimes you were successful to resist intimidation and condemnation, and sometimes you were not. What did you do to overcome in those times that you were successful? Most likely the revelation of God’s word in your life was greater than the condemnation that was in your mind. But what happened when you were not successful? Most likely the revelation of God’s word was not greater than the condemnation that was in your mind, makes sense doesn’t it?
Intimidation is a strongman that brings hopelessness, confusion and fear! Please understand this; if you are having a problem with intimidation, know that the condition has first been developed in your inner man and in your own thoughts, (as previously discussed) that’s why the word of God tells us to be renewed in our minds; Ephesians 4:23 “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” In Romans 12 we are told that the way to know God’s perfect will is to renew our minds, so we must be transformed as it says in Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
How do we break that pattern of intimidation and condemnation?
- Knowledge / Understanding
First and foremost, you must understand God’s Character and your right standing with your Father in Heaven and being able to understand how He sees you as a son and a daughter.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:
Through the following scriptures we will see the character and essence of God.
- God is not like your earthly father, He is a heavenly Father, He is the essence of Love.
1John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
1John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
- God does not lie
Numbers 23:19 God is not a human male—he doesn't lie, nor is he a human being—he never vacillates. Once he speaks up, He's going to act, isn't he? Once he makes a promise, He'll fulfill it, won't he?
Hebrews 6:16 For* indeed, men swear according to the greater and the oath made *for confirmation is an end in every dispute of theirs. 17 In which God, planning to show even-more to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable will of his plan, intermediated this with an oath; 18 in order that through two unchangeable matters, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge, to take-hold of the hope that lays before us.
- God does not deal with us after our mistakes.
Psalms 103:1 Bless the LORD, My soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the LORD, My soul, and never forget any of his benefits: 3 He continues to forgive all your sins, he continues to heal all your diseases, 4 he continues to redeem your life from the Pit, and he continually surrounds you with gracious love and compassion. 5 He keeps satisfying you with good things, and he keeps renewing your youth like the eagle's. 6 The LORD continually does what is right, executing justice for all who are being oppressed. 7 He revealed his plans to Moses and his deeds to the people of Israel. 8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, patient, and abundantly rich in gracious love. 9 He does not chasten continuously or remain distant for all time. 10 He neither deals with us according to our sins, nor repays us equivalent to our iniquity. 11 As high as heaven rises above earth, so his gracious love strengthens those who fear him. 12 As distant as the east is from the west, that is how far he has removed our sins from us. 13 As a father has compassion for his children, so the LORD has compassion for those who fear him. 14 For he knows how we were formed, aware that we were made from dust.
- What does God see when He looks at you?
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Titus 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
- God see you in right standing
2Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
1Corinthians 1:30 It is because of God that you are in union with the Messiah Jesus, who for us has become wisdom from God, as well as our righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written, "The person who boasts must boast in the Lord."
Colossians 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
- Exercise / Repetition
The apostle Paul gives valuable insight as to how to live without condemnation or intimidation as a way of life; Acts 24:16 And in this I exercise myself, always to have a blameless conscience toward God and men. He says that he exercises himself, the idea here is training oneself, so we can see here that in training or using repetitive methods in God’s word we can come to a place where our minds no longer condemn or intimidate us, that is a peaceful and restful place. Just as Jesus said in Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Some of those methods to train yourself would be memorization of God’s word, also consistently meditating on those scriptures that bring us life. Consistently studying God’s word of course will be the major exercise we will need to do, which means that certain areas will need to be targeted just as physical exercise programs target certain areas of the body. Spiritually speaking areas that will need to be studied are faith, son-ship or who you are in Christ, the spiritual realm to name just a few.
It is the ability of the Christians heart and mind to believe God’s word and what it says concerning him that will determine the fulfillment of his destiny, it’s all about destiny people, it’s all about eternity and we need to understand the potency of God’s word and how we can be transformed by it also, we need to understand how dependent we are upon this Word of Life.
Then we must be willing to put forth the effort to exercise ourselves in the things of God for example;
- Study God’s word
- Learn how to pray (really pray)
- Be consistent in fellowship with God’s people (church, bible study etc.)
- Be discipled
Ability comes through consistency
By being able to consistently allow God’s word to shape the way we think and act we will have the ability to overcome the negative thoughts that are embedded in our minds, this will come by following the instructions given in 2 Corinthians 10: 3-5; 2 Corinthians 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: 4 (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; this tells us that we are to keep track of the things that come into our minds, they will come in two ways;
1) as I mentioned there are thoughts imbedded in our minds by way of previous experiences and all that the enemy has to do is to give a subtle reminder of these thoughts and our own minds will do the rest, that would be bringing up thoughts of condemnation.
2) an all-out spiritual attack from the enemy trying to condemn you by speaking lies to into your mind and trying to bring up past failures which you have been forgiven of.
So, if there are things contrary to God’s word entering your mind then you are to deal with them, I will explain it this way; if there comes a thought into your mind that is contrary to God’s word you must acknowledge that thought as being something that does not belong there and purposely speak to that thought, rebuke it and quote the scriptures that you know to be true. I want to give another translation of this passage of scripture found in the Modern Literal Version or MLV; 2 Corinthians 10:3 For* although we are walking in the flesh, we are not warring according to the flesh. 4 For* the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but are mighty in God, toward the demolition of strongholds, 5 demolishing evil reasonings and every exalted thing which is lifting itself up against the knowledge of God and capturing every device of the Adversary to the obedience of Christ;
Our adversary is sly and will try to get you through reason to get you to believe that you deserve the condemnation brought into your mind. But Praise be to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who won the victory for us as it is written in 1 John 3:8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. And we were provided weapons to keep that evil work in its place, which would be OUT OF OUR MINDS AND LIVES. AMEN!
Thought: The devil is an angelic being, we are human beings. Being an angelic being the devil he can not think on a human level. What he does do is try to persuade you to think his thoughts and his thoughts concerning the Word of God. And as you do, he knows your thoughts and can control your thinking. Otherwise he cannot read your mind.
Remember, the battle is in your mind!
Always remember, you are never defenseless.
The apostle Paul also tells us about spiritual weapons in Ephesians 6:10-17 Let us read;
Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Also, in Hebrews 4:12; Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Jesus said that He would not leave us comfortless: John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Therefore, it is imperative that we understand how important God’s word is and that we receive revelation from God’s word in order to succeed in our walk as Christians. Revelation is like having the lights go on and being able to see things clearly like never before, this comes by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, Jesus said that He (the Holy Spirit) would reveal Jesus words to us; John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Basically, Jesus has sent the Holy Spirit to us to help us succeed in the transformation process of our minds so that we can gain the confidence to;
- Approach God with faith believing
- See that we are truly God’s beloved children
- Understand that we are righteous just as God’s word says
- Know that God’s word really works
- Understand you are much stronger than you previously thought
The apostle Paul put it this way in Ephesians 1:15 “For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18 having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might.”
Colossians 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ;
Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
This understanding comes as God’s word becomes embedded in the minds and hearts of believers as God’s word is systematically studied, through this we will share in the blessings that await all who open their hearts to God’s word.
John 15:3 “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”
1 Peter 2:2 “as newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the Word, that with it you may grow,”
1 Thessalonians 2:13 “ For this reason, we also thank God constantly that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it truly is—the word of God, which does its work in you who believe.”
John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.