Experiencing Victory in the Midst of Trials
- Bayless Conley Answers with Bayless Conley
- 2009 7 Jul
What trials are you facing in life right now?
Maybe it’s a financial challenge. Or maybe you have stuff going on in your marriage or at work. Perhaps you’re grappling with emotional issues… or some familiar sin… or an issue of illness… or maybe something’s going on with your kids or grandkids.
Whatever stress or challenge you’re facing today, I want to share something with you that could be the single greatest factor in seeing the tide turn against that situation in your life. I really don’t think I can overestimate the importance of what I’m about to share.
It all starts with Romans 12:2, which says,
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The first step in dealing with the challenges you may be facing is not to be conformed to this world.
The word conformed literally means to be squeezed into a mold. And that’s the problem with many Christians today. They have allowed their thinking about marriage, their business, their ministry, and their personal lives to be conformed to the way this world thinks. They’ve been contained. They’ve been squeezed into a mold.
The result is they’ve never lived that large, expansive, broad, expressive life that God wants them to live.
You see, God has put something on the inside of you and me. But the things that are in us, many times, don’t end up matching our outside experience because we have failed to renew our minds!
What God is saying in Romans 12:2 is that if you are going to be blessed, if you are going to break out of the limitations that the world would put on you, you’re going to have to change the whole landscape of your thinking. You’re going to have to knock down some of those old thinking patterns that have been erected in your mind and replace them with new thoughts.
Second Corinthians 10:3-5 says this,
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
More than anything else, the warfare we face has to do with our thinking. The battleground of the ages is the human mind. And what Paul gives us here is a progression from the end result to where everything begins.
It starts with “bringing every thought into captivity.” Literally, it means taking hold of the thoughts in your mind… the things that you’ve embraced, the things that have inspired you to believe the things that you believe, the things that have influenced your behavior, actions, and emotions… and capture them.
You need to capture a thought and say, “Wait a minute. Where did that come from?” Turn it over and take a look at it and examine it and ask, “What’s the origin of this thought?”
If you don’t do that, a wrong thought can grow to the next stage, which is an argument. And an argument is dangerous because it exalts itself against the knowledge of God. It’s not consistent with Scripture. The “arguments” spoken of in these verses are uncaptured thoughts that have gained momentum and force in your mind.
If an argument is not cast down, it grows to another stage, which is a stronghold. This is where the enemy can work in your life. And strongholds can be painful and difficult to deal with as they have to be pulled down.
As I mentioned before, the battleground of the ages is the human mind. It’s not necessarily your marriage… your business… your kids… or your relationships. So you need to ask yourself, “What thoughts do I need to capture and cast down? What thoughts from God’s Word can I replace those wrong thoughts with?”
That is the starting point. I pray you will take time today to carefully consider the areas where you are struggling and see if your thinking is aligned with God’s thoughts.
Original publication date: July 14, 2009