from JO’s sermon tonight:
we all have pictures that we see in our minds. God created us as visual beings; like on a movie screen, different images will come up. sometimes, we’re not even thinking about it, and a negative image will come: we’ll see our business going down, our child getting off course, us losing our health. there’s no truth to it, it’s not going to come to pass, but if you let that play, you’ll go through the day worried, and it will keep you awake at night. dwelling on these negative images will cause you to live in fear, keep you from expecting God’s best.
it’s all an imagination; it’s not a reality, it’s just something that you’re seeing in your mind. it’s one thing to have something to deal with that’s actually happening, we all face challenges, but too often we’re letting these wrong imaginations of what might happen, might not work out, might fall apart, to steal our joy and cause us to live stressed. the good news is; you control your imagination, what pictures play in your mind. just because that negative image comes, doesn’t mean you have to tune in; you can change the channel.
2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)
5 Casting down imaginations
quit letting these negative images play. these negative imaginations will come, especially when we’re in difficult times; they’ll show us all the worst-case scenarios. have you ever noticed, when you’re in the heat of the battle, you never see pictures of you overcoming the sickness, of your business taking off, you meeting the person of your dreams; those pictures don’t automatically come, it’s just the opposite. when you see these negative pictures, don’t take the bait; they are not a reality, that is not predicting your future, that is a wrong imagination that you need to cast down.
quit worrying about something that’s not going to happen, losing sleep over something that’s just in your mind; that’s the enemy trying to torment you, convince you to live stressed out, worried. he knows that he can’t bring it to pass; he doesn’t have that authority, so the next best thing that he’ll try to do it deceive you into believing that it’s a reality, so that you don’t enjoy your life. don’t fall into that trap; guard your mind.
are you worrying about a wrong imagination, something that’s not going to come to pass? are you going to look back years from now and have to say, “if I could do it over again, I wouldn’t spend all that time discouraged, afraid, over what I thought was going to happen”? why don’t you start changing the channel? those negative pictures are not a reality. some of the things that the enemy is showing you, he should win an Academy award; it looks very real, impressive, but it’s all made up. it’s not going to happen; quit believing those lies.
2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God
God’s not going to do it for you; you have to bring it down. God says, you will lend and not borrow; whatever you touch will prosper and succeed. instead of watching that picture of you struggling, not having enough, business going down, cast down that imagination that’s exalting itself above what God promised you; start seeing yourself prosperous, coming out of debt, paying your house off, having an abundance, so you can be a blessing to others. that image is not going to automatically come, but you can create it; use your imagination for the right purposes, to see what God says about you.
God says that with long life he will satisfy you; instead of watching that channel of you going downhill, bring down that imagination and start seeing yourself strong, healthy, living a full, blessed life. or maybe you’ve gone through a disappointment, loss, unfair situation, life hasn’t turned out the way you had planned; those images will come up of you living depressed, lonely, never being fulfilled, but God says that He will give you beauty for those ashes, pay you back double for what was unfair, take what was meant for your harm, and use it to your advantage. those pictures that are showing you defeated, rejected, lonely, they are exalting themselves above what God has said about you. don’t let them stay up; bring them down. they are not a reality.
the enemy will show you the ashes; what he won’t show you is the beauty that’s coming. he’ll show you the loss; what he won’t show you is the new beginning that’s on the way. he’ll show you that it’s all downhill from here, what he won’t show you is the double that’s coming: double the joy, peace, fulfillment. do your part; protect your imagination, what you’re seeing. when those images come, showing you going downhill, they are not from God, not a reality. don’t waste 30 years living worried, stressed out; switch over into faith.
the mistake many people make is that they only watch one channel; whatever comes up in their imagination, they think that’s all there is, so they watch it. you need to get cable in your mind; you can have a lot of different channels. stay on the victory, favor, more than enough, overcoming channels. in your mind, when these negative imaginations come up, it’s real simple; change the channel. quit watching things that are depressing you, making you worried, causing you to live in fear, not pursue your dreams; cast down those imaginations. you control what plays in your mind; you can’t stop all the negative images from coming, but you can stop them from staying. you have the remote control; don’t get stuck in that one channel.
what you constantly dwell on is creating a picture in your imagination. many times, the enemy doesn’t have to put negative images in our minds; we’re creating them with our own thoughts. you have to change the channel; quit seeing yourself as barren, not able to have a child, disappointed, cast down that imagination. God says that the fruit of your womb is blessed, your seed will be mighty in the land, you will be the happy mother of children; that means that that infertility is exalting itself above what God says about you. you have to bring that down. God has the final say. God controls the whole universe.
are negative pictures keeping you from your dreams? do you see yourself overcoming that addiction, happily married, accomplishing what God put in your heart, or are you watching the wrong channel? you can’t watch every imagination that comes up; your mind will naturally gravitate towards the negative. if your business starts to slow down, don’t be surprised if in your imagination you start seeing the creditors coming, having to lay people off, the doors closing; if you’re not disciplined, and you let that play, you’ll go around worried, stressed out. what’s the answer? change the channel. you can create new pictures in your mind; start seeing your business taking off, new customers finding you, opportunities chasing you down.
if you’re struggling with an illness, those negative imaginations will come; you’ll see yourself going downhill, not able to go back to work. be disciplined in your thought life; when you’re facing a physical battle, you need all of your energy to go towards you getting well. when you’re watching negative imaginations, that’s taking your strength, draining your energy, making you weaker. put up some new pictures; start seeing yourself strong, healthy, exercising, full of energy, living a long, blessed life. if you’ll use your imagination the right way, it will help you to remain hopeful, and to believe that God will turn it around.
when God promised Abraham:
Genesis 17:5 (NIV)
5 … I have made you a father of many nations.
he was in his 80s, too old to have a baby. God told him:
Genesis 15:5 (NIV)
5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
it wasn’t a coincidence that God wanted him to have a picture of it, something that he could see it. God knew that these negative images would come; Abraham would start seeing himself as too old, how impossible it was, so God gave him this picture. every time Abraham was tempted to get worried, talk himself out of it, he would go out and look up at the sky, and imagine how those stars represented what God had promised him.
what’s playing on the picture screen of your mind? what God has spoken over you, how you’ll accomplish your dreams, break the addiction, see your health restored, or, are you letting discouraging pictures play? if the only images you’re seeing are negative, it’s going to limit you. God wants to use your imagination to create fresh vision, make you hopeful, help you stay filled with faith.
you may be struggling with an illness, the medical report doesn’t look good, but instead of dwelling on these negative images, why don’t you start imagining, right now, these healing cells flowing through you? picture these cells that are full of the life of the most high God attacking and devouring every sick and diseased cell in you. see yourself getting healthier, getting out of that sickbed. cancer is no match for our God; what’s trying to stop you is no match for the Creator of the universe. keep the right pictures playing in your mind; don’t let your imagination be used to worry, defeat you; turn it around and use it to encourage, strengthen, inspire you.
God said in Jeremiah:
Jeremiah 1:10 (MEV)
10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.”
notice the order; before you can build and plant, before the situation will turn around, before you see increase, you have to pull down and root out. like with Jeremiah, God has a place of victory for you where you will rule over everything that’s holding you back, but you have to first pull down these wrong imaginations, root out any negative pictures. if you’re going to a job interview, don’t imagine that you’re not going to get it, they’re not going to like you; you’re defeating yourself before you get there. pull down that imagination, and imagine them choosing you; imagine you standing out, working there, excelling at that position. if you let these negative imaginations play, they’ll cause you to be weak, timid, feel unqualified; change the channel. “what if I do that and it doesn’t work?; what if you do that and it does work? if you do it, and you don’t get the position, that’s just means that God has something better in store. but if you’re always letting these negative images play, you will never know what you could’ve become.
if you feel a pain in your side, thoughts will tell you, “oh no, that’s serious, that’s the same thing that took your uncle’s life; he didn’t make it that long, neither will you”; if you’re not disciplined in your mind, you’ll get all panicked, start thinking of all the worst-case scenarios. by the time you get home, you’ll be writing out your will, making your final arrangements. even if it is something serious, what’s going to help you to stay in peace is to keep the right images in your mind.
most of the things that come against us are not what we think they are; we let our imaginations run wild, and show us all the worst-case possibilities. if you hear a siren at night, and your children are not home, thoughts will tell you, “that’s your child; your son’s been in an accident, he’s headed to the hospital right now, you better get up and do something about it.” if you let that play, before long you’ll see the ambulance, the accident taking place; those are wrong imaginations that you have to cast down. instead of believing those lies, worrying, imagining the worst, turn it around; “Father, thank you that my children are in the palm of Your hand, no weapon formed against them will prosper, angels are watching over them, keeping them from accidents and harm.”
be disciplined in your mind; don’t let your imagination run wild, and show you all the negative possibilities. maybe what you’re imagining is not what you think it is. maybe you’re not stuck, the addiction is not permanent, your health isn’t going downhill, your dream is achievable, all those pictures that have been playing in your imagination are not your true reality; maybe they’re just trying to keep you from moving forward. cast down these wrong imaginations. they are not a reality; they are trying to deceive you into living worried, afraid, so that you’ll give up on your dreams.
why is it that we let our imaginations run wild only in the negative direction? we imagine the worst, what’s not going to work out. why don’t you start letting your imagination run wild in the right direction? imagine living a supersized life, accomplishing your dreams, your children doing amazing things. let’s keep the right pictures in our minds. when those negative images come up, be quick to change the channel; remember, they are not a reality. if you will protect your imagination, like with Abraham, God is going to bring promises to pass, you’re going to overcome obstacles, accomplish your dreams, and reach the fullness of your destiny.