No matter how bad the condition of your life and your mind, don’t give up! Regain the territory the devil has stolen from you. If necessary, regain it one inch at a time, always leaning on God’s grace and not on your own ability to get the desired results. In Galatians 6:9 the Apostle Paul simply encourages us to keep on keeping on! Don’t be 3 And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint. GALATIANS 6:9 a quitter! Don’t have that old “give-up” spirit. God is looking for people who will go all the way through with Him. GO T HROUGH When yon pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you. Isaiah 43:2 Whatever you may be facing or experiencing right now in your life, I am encouraging you to go through it and not give up! Habakkuk 3:19 says that the way we develop hind’s feet (a hind is an animal that can climb mountains swiftly) is … to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]! The way God helps us make spiritual progress is by being with us to strengthen and encourage us to “keep on keeping on” in rough times. It’s easy to quit; it takes faith to go through. T HE C HOICE IS Y OURS! I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live. Deuteronomy 30:19 There are thousands upon thousands of thoughts presented to us every day. The mind has to be renewed to follow after the Spirit and not the flesh. Our carnal (worldly, fleshly) minds have had so much practice operating freely that we surely don’t have to use any effort to think wrong thoughts. On the other hand, we have to purposely choose right thinking. After we have finally decided to be like-minded with God, then we will need to choose and to continue to choose right thoughts. When we begin to feel that the battle of the mind is just too difficult and that we aren’t going to make it, then we must be able to cast down that kind of thinking and choose to think that we are going to make it! Not only must we choose to think that we are going to make it, but we must also decide not to quit. Bombarded with doubts and fears, we must take a stand and say: “I will never give up! God is on my side, He loves me, and He is helping me!” You and I will have many choices to make throughout our lives. In Deuteronomy 30:19 the Lord told His people that He had set before them life and death and urged them to choose life. And in Proverbs 18:21 we are told, Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it…. Our thoughts become our words. Therefore, it is vitally important that we choose life-generating thoughts. When we do, right words will follow. D ON’T G IVE U P ! When the battle seems endless and you think you’ll never make it, remember that you are reprogramming a very carnal, fleshly, worldly mind to think as God thinks. Impossible? No! Difficult? Yes! But, just think, you have God on your team. I believe He is the best “computer programmer” around. (Your mind is like a computer that has had a lifetime of garbage programmed into it.) God is working even on you; at least, He is if you have invited Him to have control of your thoughts. He is reprogramming your mind. Just keep cooperating with Him—and don’t give up! It will definitely take time, and it won’t all be easy, but you are going in the right direction if you choose God’s way of thinking. You will spend your time doing something, so it may as well be going forward and not staying in the same mess for the rest of your life. T URN AND T AKE P OSSESSION! The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, You have dwelt long enough on this mountain. Turn and take up your journey and go to the hill country of the Amorites…. Behold, I have set the land before you; go in and take possession of the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their descendants after them. Deuteronomy 1:6-8 In Deuteronomy 1:2, Moses pointed out to the Israelites that it was only an eleven-day journey to the border of Canaan (the Promised Land), yet it had taken them forty years to get there. Then in verse 6, he told them, “The Lord God says to us, ‘You have dwelt long enough on this mountain.'” Have you dwelt long enough on the same mountain? Have you spent forty years trying to make an eleven-day trip? In my own life, I finally had to wake up and realize that I was going nowhere. I was a Christian without victory. Like Mary and John, I had many wrong mindsets and many mental strongholds that had been built up over years and years. The devil had lied to me, and I had believed him. Therefore, I had been living in deception. I had been at the same mountain long enough. I had spent forty years making what could have been a much shorter journey had I known the truth of God’s Word. God showed me that the Israelites stayed in the wilderness because they had a “wilderness mentality”—certain types of wrong thinking that kept them in bondage. We will deal with this subject in a future chapter, but for now, let me urge you to make a quality decision that you are going to get your mind renewed and learn to choose your thoughts carefully. Make up your mind that you will not quit and give up until victory is complete and you have taken possession of your rightful inheritance.