Moving on to Perfection A Practical Study in the Deceptive Mind and Tools to Overcome It
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. (Phil 4:4-9 NIV)
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection… Heb 6:1
Agenda • Class 1: Questioning Our Deceptive Mind • Class 2: Faith vs. Our Deceptive Mind • Class 3: Our Deceptive Mind in Interpersonal Relationships and Everyday Life • Class 4: The Deceptive Mind in Bible Characters • Class 5: The Deceptive Mind Destroyed in Christ
Judge Your Neighbor Worksheet • Can judge a person or a thought that causes you emotional pain (worry, sadness, anxiety, anger, etc.) • Not to turn in or share with anyone…unless you decide to do it. • Judging a person is easier. • We all make judgments. • Try not to be kind or spiritual or politically correct.
What are we trying to accomplish? • Understand our real problem and how to overcome it. • Empower us with the tools to do so. • Practice these techniques. • Ultimately, make us live the fruit of the Spirit. • Move us one more step toward perfection (God).
Benefits • Eliminate stress • Think Biblically • Improve relationships • Reduce anger, fear, depression, anxiety • Act with clarity • Increase energy • Gain peace, contentment and joy
Questioning the Deceptive Mind Class 1
The diabolos • Ye are of your father the devil <1228>, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:44) • Strongs 1228 – Deceptive – false accuser, a liar
The Problem from Eden • Death & Corruption • Separation from God • Physical Pain • Decay • The Deceptive (Lying) Mind • Source of Mental & Spiritual Pain • Source of Sinful Inclinations
The diabolos • And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the diabolos, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord? (Acts 13:10 – speaking of Barjesus) • Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the diabolos as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8) • He that committeth sin is of the diabolos; for diabolos sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the diabolos. (1 John 3:8)
The Subtlety of the Deceptive Mind • Things shouldn’t be the way that they are. • God should do things differently. People shouldn’t get sick, suffer or have bad things happen. • People should act differently. • We have to give up the things which bring happiness for God.
The Deceptive Mind = Heart • The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer. 17:9) • But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man. (Matt. 15:18-20)
Anger Depression Fear Worry Anxiety Body Image Issues Hatred Guilt Envy Resentment Hopelessness Despair The Effects of the Deceptive Mind All are key indicators that there is work to be done. All come with a story which supports our belief which is causing our pain.
Love Joy Peace Patience Kindness Goodness Faithfulness Gentleness Self-control ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? The Fruit of the Spirit vs. The Fruit of the Deceptive Mind
IF YOUR LIFE STINKS, IT IS BECAUSE YOUR THINKING STINKS!
You will never overcome adversity until you overcome the adversary. Our enemy is much closer than we think!
The Deceptive Mind tells us… • The problem is out there. • Those people/circumstances are the source of my pain. • But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. (Mt. 15:18-19) • If… • If people would just act right, I would be fine. • If this thing in my past would not have happened… • I have no control over any of this.
I Wish… • I wish that cats barked. • I wish that I didn’t have allergies. • I wish that believers all got along. • I wish that I was smarter. • I wish my wife loved me more. When we argue with reality, we lose… but only 100% of the time. Byron Katie
Arguing With Reality: Unemployment Example • Two scenarios: • I wish I hadn’t lost my job. • I lost my job, now what am I going to do about it. Accepting reality does not mean apathy. It means accepting things for what they are and acting with a clear mind.
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. (1 Peter 4:7)
What would it take to make you happy? What the Deceptive Mind tells us. Good Health friends Money a better family or ecclesia Esteem a husband or wife behaving children a good job Love power or prestige Fame a better body
The Deceptive Mind – a blessing in a curse • There is a specific thought behind all of our mental suffering. • Negative emotions are “good” in that they allow us to pinpoint the cause of our suffering much in the same way that physical pain allows us to pinpoint a physical problem.
Patient Kind Does not envy Does not boast Is not proud Is not rude Is not self-seeking Does not delight in evil Rejoices with the truth Always protects Always trusts Always hopes Always perseveres Is not easily angered Keeps no record of wrongs Love is…
Storytime: Deceptive Mind Style • Bible School after release of The Judaizers • Approached by three different brothers from very conservative ecclesias. • Wanted to talk to me • What were they going to say or do? • Became anxious.
Epictetus (Greek Philosopher) • “We are disturbed not by what happens to us, but by our thoughts about what happens.” • “There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”
Byron Katie • Severely depressed in her 30s • Discovered “The Work” – a series of questions to challenge our thoughts • Wrote Loving What Is
Four Questions • Is it true? • Can you absolutely know that it is true? • How do you feel when you think that thought? • Who would you be without that thought? Turn it around!
Using the Four Questions to Challenge the Deceptive Mind • I am angry at my critics because I am being criticized unfairly and being lied about. • I want my critics to follow Matt. 18, not be so hypercritical, gets their facts straight and stop lying/slandering. • They shouldn’t lie, hate, slander, conspire, gossip.
Using the Four Questions to Challenge the Deceptive Mind • I need my critics to act brotherly, act in accordance with Scripture. • My critics are immature, petty, dishonest, fault-finders, unforgiving, mean and unloving. • I don’t ever want to experience their lies and meanness.
They Should/They Shouldn’t Example: People Shouldn’t Lie Biblical Becomes: “I shouldn’t lie” Reality People lie all the time.
Benefits of Doing the Work • Stopped expecting brethren to be different than they always have been. • Grew in areas where I needed it. • Forgiveness • Loving my enemies • Accepting criticism
I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. (Ps. 16:8,9)
Faith vs. Our Deceptive Mind Class 2
Psalm 118:4-7 NIV Let those who fear the LORD say: "His love endures forever." In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The LORD is with me; he is my helper.
The Lesson of Habakkuk • Habakkuk: Why do the (Jewish) wicked prosper? • God: I will punish the wicked with the Babylonians. • Habakkuk: They are worse than us. • God: You do your job and let me do mine.
The Lesson of Habakkuk • God: But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him. (2:20) • Habakkuk: Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation. (3:17-18)
Psalm 23 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.(Phil 4:4-7 NIV)
Review • The man wanted the situation God put him in (reality) to be different that it actually is. • His thought made him stressed. • Options • 1) He gets better. • If so, he has spent his time stressed needlessly. • 2) He dies. • If so, why would he want to spend his last days stressed?
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Pr 3:5)