A Battle For The Mind
You and I beloved are indwelled by the Holy Spirit of God. And you have the privilege then, by faith, of opening your mind to the blessed Spirit of God whose job it is to reveal Christ to you.
Alright, thank you very much. Always nice to be put on the air with a friendly voice. I appreciate my friends at the transmitters, you folks have to listen to all of us, don’t you? I suppose much of the preaching and singing that you have on the program goes by in a blur, because you just have to keep your eye on the dial. But sometimes, surprisingly, I get a card or a letter from somebody who’s an engineer or an announcer that God blessed. Well, hallelujah for that. [chuckle] Hello, radio friends. How in the world are you? You doing Alright? Bless your heart. This is your good friend, Bob Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you to open up the Word of God. You and I and the Word of God together, and the miles drop away, and here we are just to share from God’s inerrant, infallible, eternal Word of God, the Bible.
And we’re in Ephesians 3:20. I’ve been talking about the fact that God can do things, He’s able, He’s got the dynamite, able to do. And then we talked about the surprises of God exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. Now I wanna walk around just a little longer in this concept of ask or think.
Do you have a prayer list? I find myself praying, if I don’t have reference to any kind of a list, I find myself praying on the basis of whatever is bugging me at the time. And to be frank, there are many subjects and people for whom I ought to pray, that oftentimes I just leave out because I’m preoccupied with some local crisis or other. Does that describe you sometimes? I think it may as well. So he says, “Ask.” Now, make a sensible practice out of your prayer. Many of us think of praying in terms purely of spiritual emotion and a spiritual experience, oftentimes which could not really be put into words. And that’s alright. If praying doesn’t reach your heart and start your tears flowing, it isn’t much good. But at the same time, God is a sensible God. He’s the God of wisdom, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. And so, I’d like just to suggest that you make a deliberate sensible practice of praying. And that doesn’t mean that it’s gonna be cold and formal, it just means that you’re going to show the respect that God deserves when you come into the presence of the King of kings and Lord of lords, and you’re not gonna wander in an aimless agenda, but you’re going to speak to Him about things that really matter, ask.
Paul says in Philippians 4, “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.” Prayer, that’s worship. Supplication, that’s a list of things you want. Thanksgiving, that’s thanking God in advance for what he’s doing and is going to do. That is a parallel admonition to what Jesus our Lord said, “What things you desire when you pray, believe that you receive them and you shall have them.” Make a habit of thanking God for things by faith. You’d be surprised what happens in your own soul and in the circumstances around you. Ask. What I’m saying is not just rushing into the presence of God and spilling out what is on the surface of your heart. That’s Alright, God wants you to pray from the heart. But not that only is what I’m saying. Have a sensible, organized approach to your praying and remind yourself that you’re talking to the King of kings and that this is eternally more important than anything you might be able to say to a King or a President of State if you were having an interview.
Ask. And then the second thing I wanted just to dwell on momentarily with you is this. Let your mind be open to the Spirit of God. Now, I don’t mean daydream, but I do mean, when you’ve prayed sincerely and you’ve prayed until your heart is full and your cup of supplications has been poured out and you know that you’ve been in touch with your Lord, now then, stay in His presence for a while and just let Him whisper in your mind those things that He wants you to know. And have a piece of paper or a little blank notebook handy so that you can jot down some of the things that God says to you. Did you know that the Spirit of God will whisper to you some things that God wants you to know in that fashion? They’ll always be true to His inspired Word, the Bible. God will never reveal anything to you that is not in agreement with His inspired Word. They’ll always be true to the honor of your Savior and His commands, but God has special things He wants to whisper to your own heart by the indwelling Holy Spirit if you’ll wait on Him.
“Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart,” said the psalmist. “They that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him,” said the psalmist in Psalm 37. What I’m saying is, open your mind. See, he says ask or think, above all that we ask or think, open your mind after you’ve prayed. Start by getting your mind in tune through the Word of God. Read the Word of God and pray aloud some of the Psalms. They’re Hebrew prayers so you can pray them. Get your mind in tune before you start with your own list of supplications. And then when you’re finished with your asking, and you’ve thanked Him by faith for the answer, then just wait, and listen for what the Holy Spirit of God will say to you. And when the Lord whispers something special to your heart, write it down. It’s not always in terms of something to do or even in terms of something that is going to happen. Sometimes he just tells you that He loves you and that you’re His child. What a precious realization that is, when God whispers it to your heart as you’ve been praying and dwelling in his Word.
What I’m saying is let the Holy Spirit begin to use your mind as you pray. And part of the answer will turn out to be what God whispers to you in the quiet moments. A month or so ago, I guess I referred to Clint Utterbach, my good friend over there in Nanuet, New York, he writes songs and sings them beautifully. He and Sarah have a great work there in the Church of Redeeming Love. But one of his songs is a favorite of mine, he says, “There is a quiet… When I hear him say to me, Before I ever formed you in the womb I loved you, I love you now and I’ll always love you.” He says in the song, he says, it’s in those quiet times that you know that you know that he cares. Ask or think. It’s the quiet waiting on God that produces some of the best ideas you’ll ever have. I think back in the beginning days of Youth For Christ, the burden to produce was there. I was in charge of all the advertising. And we were then, Torrey Johnson and the rest of us, were planning the launching of twenty-one Saturday nights in Orchestra Hall there on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, right across from the Art Institute. And I didn’t have, as they say a bean in my basket, I really wasn’t sure what we wanted to say in our advertising.
And I remember I was praying, praying, and then as I waited, as I just waited and let the Lord speak to me, the whole idea of the advertising campaign for that series of rallies that was going to initiate Youth for Christ in Chicago, came to me. We called it Miracle on Michigan Avenue. And Scotty McKay, the artist, I guess he’s with the Lord now a good many years, he took that concept and he drew a picture of Michigan Avenue with the Art Institute on one side and the big bronze lions that stand out in front of it silhouetted. And Orchestra Hall on the other side of Michigan Boulevard, and we put out a brochure called Miracle on Michigan Avenue. And then I was praying for a slogan. What are we gonna do? Again, I was waiting and praying. And I sat down at the typewriter, I remember, bowed my head, just waited on God and then I began to type. And I got this slogan that was used and still is used around the world, “Geared to the Times but Anchored to the Rock.” A mixed metaphor for sure, but people understood it.
Geared to the times but anchored to the rock. God gives you ideas if you’ll wait on Him, that’s my point. He’s able to do exceeding abundantly above all that you could ask or think. Turn your mind over to the Holy Spirit of God.
See the battle in our day, or in any day, is the battle for the mind. Godless forces are training children all over this nation and across the world in the religion of humanism. The New Age religion is taking hold in educational circles as well as in cultural circles, and people are being taught that they themselves are God, and that they can choose their own destiny, and so on–humanism. Satan’s Garden of Eden doctrine dressed up with a tuxedo on today. It’s a battle for the mind. And some unfortunate wretches have turned their minds over to demon power and they’re living in the concentrated misery of a life where one’s mind is controlled by evil forces. You and I, beloved, are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God and you have the privilege then of, by faith, opening your mind to the blessed Spirit of God, whose job it is to reveal Christ to you and whose job also it is according to the Savior’s dictum, to bring to your remembrance all things whatsoever he has said unto you.
He’ll teach you, He’ll guide you, He’ll lead you, He’ll suggest to you that which is the Will of God. And He’s able, God is able to do exceeding abundantly, above all, we ask. Have a prayer list and work it, or think, open your mind, so that God can drop some new ideas into it. Isaiah says quoting God, “Behold, I will do a new thing, shall ye not know it shall it not now spring forth.” God is the God of surprises, of new ideas, of innovation, and he will let you in on his secrets if you’ll wait on him. “The secret of the Lord,” Psalm 25 says, “Is with them that fear him.” The secret of the Lord. Wait on your blessed Lord and let Him whisper His secrets to your heart. Amen?
Now He says that he’s able to do it according to the power that works in us. The proportion of effectiveness is directly related to the amount of control the Holy Spirit of God has over your life. See? Spiritual power. Micah said, “Truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Zechariah said, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: “Saying not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” In Luke Chapter four, it says, “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit.” Our Savior said to the disciples, “Ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost has come upon you.” And in Acts 4 it says, “With great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and great grace was upon them all.” The proportion of effectiveness is directly related to the amount of control the Holy Spirit has in your life. We’ll take that up the next time we get together.
Precious Father, let us in on your surprises today as we trust Thee, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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