When I think of the word ‘rival’ my first thought is BATTLE. When two opposing sports teams rival for a victorious win, there is, in fact, a strategic battle that takes place. There is no room for complacency or a half-hearted try in a battle for the ultimate prize known as a WIN. Strategic thinking is imperative before going onto the playing field for any player. A player must know his opponent’s thinking as well and be ready to stay several steps ahead of him. It is imperative that the player listens, learns and then carries out the plan that his coach has laid out.
Rivaling for a win is not limited to only sports. This same concept can be applied spiritually. There is a battle that rages around the life of every person that is breathing and believe me when I say, the stakes are so much higher than any battle that takes place on a sports playing field.
Fear is one of the greatest tools that satan uses to sabotage a person’s destiny. Fear brings doubt. Doubt opens the door to all the “what if” scenarios. Ultimately fear paralyzes a person in their tracks which in turn can cripple a person’s faith.
Fortunately, there is good news. It is simply this. You have a Coach named King Jesus. He has given us the Holy Spirit who leads and guides us with the truth. Our handbook is the infallible Word of God. If we, like the player on a team, will listen, learn and carry out God’s instructions we too can find ourselves on the winning side of the battles that we will face every day.
The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:8 that our minds should be set on thinking about those things which are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy. This thought process is in direct opposition to what fear causes our minds to dwell on.
So how do we live our lives according to the instructions given to us by the writer of Philippians? What is the secret to living with a faith-filled mind as opposed to a fearful mind? Perhaps these next few verses will help to answer this question.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.~Romans 12:2 NIV
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2 NIV
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds, We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.~ 2Corinthians 10:4-5 NIV
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. ~2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.~ 1 John 4:18 NKJV
For we walk by faith, not by sight. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV
And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. ~ John 8:32 NLT
My friend, are you seeing a trend here after reading those verses? The common thread is the MIND. It is about our thought process. What are we thinking about? Is our thought process helping us to thrive or barely survive? Do our thoughts bring peace or anxiety? Does our thinking fuel our faith or diminish it?
If you are a born again child of God then fear has no room or authority in your heart. God’s love is the one perfect love. You just read that perfect love casts out fear…not some fear but ALL fear!
God has given us the gift of a sound mind. But we must daily choose to renew our mind and give no foothold to fear. The minute fear whispers in your ear, you stop it immediately. Entertaining fear will always lead to doubt. Doubt will cloud the life-giving promises of God and fear will take over. Faith and fear are truly opposing rivals. It is up to us to purposely do battle so that faith can win over fear and take up its rightful residence in our thought life. Peace is God’s will for you and nothing less.
In the world we live in today it is easy to succumb to a hopeless doom and gloom mindset. But we are not called to live or think like the world! It is a choice, my friend. Every single day it is a choice because every single day the enemy will try his best to paralyze you with fear and doubt of the things that MIGHT happen! As long as we are living here on earth, there will be a daily battle for our minds, our thinking, and our peace.
I know this because I have been in such battles many times in my life. Graciously God has taught me through his faithfulness that I can be an overcomer and not give in to fear by knowing and standing on his promises. God’s Word is truth and truth will always overcome the lies. You can walk in victory over fear as well. Dive into his Word. Find the promise that opposes the lie that is gripping you with fear. You must know it for yourself. Then mark it in your Bible. Write it out. Hang it in places you will see it often. Speak it out and even shout it out if you have to. Soon the enemy will realize his time is being wasted bothering you. You are a child of God. The victory is already yours. It is time to walk it out!
for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. ~ 1 John 5:4 NIV
The above lovely post is part of a Telling Hearts series. If you missed the other series posts, you can catch them >>here<< in our introduction/index, plus there is a FREEBIE loaded.