The End-time Battle for Our Minds
...the Release of Light into the Darkened Dianoía
There is an amazing knowing coming into the minds of believers
for the last days. Oh, so much Scripture pertaining to this is opening
up! This unveiling of truth within us will be the result of one of the
Holy Spirit's last great movements in this age. Even now, silently and
without fanfare, He is moving.
While this release of truth into our understanding is coming upon us,
there is raging a fierce battle for our minds. Forces from Satan are out
to bring confusion and despair. The Holy Spirit is countering this by
bringing us into a new depth of spiritual warfare. In this article we
will reach into the inner parts of our beings, find out the stations of
evil that have been set for our defeat, and learn how to combat the darkness.
Much of what we learn from Paul in his Prison Epistles about praying pertains
to the release of our minds. In the Greek text of Ephesians 1:18
a particular word pertaining to this takes our attention. It is dianoía.
Occurring thirteen times in the New Testament (see bottom of page),
it is sometimes translated mind, sometimes understanding, and
one time imagination. Paul used it more than anyone else. The Lord
Jesus used it one time when He said, And thou shalt love the Lord thy
God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind
Dianoía is one of several words used to describe the workings
and operations of the mind. It describes it as it draws conclusions about
matters, and makes distinctions as to what is right and wrong. It is the
mind as it is designed to have insight and comprehension. From an enlightened
dianoía, a person can say, "Oh, now I understand!
Now I see!"
In the natural man the dianoía is darkened. This
hinders the grasping of truth. Darkness in the understanding distorts
the perception of life and its priorities. Because of the darkness, the
awareness one could have of Gods Kingdom and its ways are remote
and indistinguishable. There can also lurk in the dianoía
a vast array of negative responses that send forth wild signals to the
will and emotions, as well as to the mind. These make straight thinking
difficult and are often the grounds on which seducing spirits work.
Many times a person cannot tell why resentment, discouragement, fear,
rage, lust, or depression rise up. These responses simply are spit forth
from something in the darkness of the inner man reaching for the will
and emotions of the person in whom they reside. For these, trusting God
in the time of trouble seems well nigh impossible.
The dianoía of every person is different; each one
sees and understands life from a different perspective. Just as the fingerprint
of every person is distinct, so the way each one understands and thinks
is distinct. There are two ways, however, in which the dianoía
of every person is the same. First, everyone was designed by God to have
an understanding of Him. Second, the ability to understand Him has been
darkened in everyone. It is apparent this came because of the fall of
our father, Adam. In His mercy, God is bringing us out of this darkness
for the last days.
Before we look at what Paul said in Ephesians about the dianoía,
we want to see a word in Daniel that is similar in meaning. It is
beenáh, meaning the kind of understanding
that opens up in a person when enlightenment comesespecially the
enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. It is this part the angel Gabriel touched
when he said to Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and
understanding (beenáh)Daniel 9:22.
That angel had access to the innermost part of Daniels brain to
place there an understanding about God and His Kingdom.
The alarming thing is that the anti-Christ will reach for this same part
of us in the last days. Daniel 11:30 tells of the vile person
stepping up his strategy to have intelligence with them who forsake
the holy covenant. Have intelligence comes from the same root
in the Hebrew as understanding in Daniel 9:22. The
vile person reaches for the innermost part of our mind, even the
subconscious part of us, to bring us under his psychic control.
Who are these with whom the anti-Christ has intelligence? Those
who have been in covenant relationship with God, but have defected. The
most subtle strategy of the anti-Christ in the closing days will move
in with clandestine maneuvers upon the minds of believers. He actually
expects us to defect from the faith. His seducing spirits will reach for
any darkness left in our dianoía and use what is
there to confuse us and draw us into his camp.
We are learning now the counter-strategy that will enable us to withstand
in the evil day. We can come through every fight triumphant and stand
in the final day in the camp of the Lord. This is the wonderful scheme
of Ephesians, leading up to this statement: Wherefore take unto you
the whole armour of God that ye may be able to withstand in the
evil day, and having done all, to standEph
This article is about withstanding.
The DIANOíA is the starting
point for Gods Kingdom to enter our lives. While
it is the part that has been darkened, it is also the part that can first
receive light. We are learning this from Paul. He expected three things
to result from the light entering the dianoía.
Look at the following verses some of us have absorbed into our discipline
of praying for several months. As we have pointed out time and again,
note the three "whats." They point to what we can know when we
are enlightened. And, I must say again: the knowing is the deep, instinctive
type of knowledge that finds release from within, placed in us by the
Holy Spirit. It is an enlightenment that results from a light coming from
an absolute source. No darkness is sufficient to overcome it. When this
light is in us, we need have no fear of the darkness around us. It is
this light that will bring us as triumphant overcomers through every fight.
18 The eyes of your understanding (your dianoía)
being enlightened; that ye may know WHAT is the hope of his calling,
and WHAT the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And WHAT is the exceeding greatness of his power
to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power...
These verses point to the spiritual foundations necessary for the movement
of Gods Kingdom in us and through us. They are the building blocks
for our triumph and the substance for our overcoming in the face of tribulation.
Clearing the dianoía of darkness enables us to know:
One, WHAT is the hope of Gods calling upon our lives. This
enables us to be certain in our movements because we know what God wants.
Two, WHAT is the value He places upon us as His inheritance. Oh,
what a boon this is to faith! Three, WHAT is the greatness of the
power available to us. This equips us for any conflict. When these three
points of knowing are made firm within us, the strongholds and trouble
points with which weve struggled become strong points of overcoming.
Make solid the three foundations of Ephesians 1:18,19 and triumph
is as certain as the rising of the sun. When they are sure in us, we can
know peace, joy, strength, fulfillment, and full provision for all needs.
Our hope will remain aliveeven through the darkness of the last
We will know the way through the wilderness.
Now, let me tell you something that is personal and bitter, but
out of which I learned a valuable lesson. I determined long ago that whenever
the enemy strikes, I will receive his blow as an opportunity to get as
much mileage for the Kingdom of God as possible. That is the reason I
am free to relate things that happen, even personal pain. I know there
are multitudes out there who face similar things and who need answers
that are real and that can work in their lives.
Sometimes I think it will never stop happeningthis opening of our
souls to reveal the darkness that remains. Even after years of serving
the Lord, it continues with many of us. About five years ago something
very painful happened that opened me up. I tell about it because many
others I know are having their souls opened in the same painful way.
Briefly, here is what happened. A close relation let Glenda and me know,
in no uncertain terms, what miserable failures we had been in her eyes.
The most painful thing was her slur against our "religion."
You better believe that hurt. Glenda and I had borrowed money to buy
tickets to go see that dear oneonly to receive that!
For days we hurt, fumed, thought about itand tried to pray. We
said, "Why did this have to happen? We thought our relationship with that
person was good. Will this sort of thing never end? Can we ever trust
that one again?"
These were the questions of our shocked souls. We couldnt think
straight or get answers.
Shortly after the above incident, Glenda and I had to be separated for
a week. After we prayed together and parted, fear entered into me. The
shock of what had happened had brought disorder to my mind. It was as
though some of the "wires" in it got crossed. For a while I couldnt
distinguish between what had happened and what I thought might have happened.
I asked myself, "Is this causing me to lose my mind?" My inner man had
been pierced and I was not prepared to withstand the attack.
But then, as I considered what happened, I became encouraged even
though there remained some pain. I found that the trauma of painful events
and emotions does not have to be pushed down into my subconscious mind
in order for me to get on with life. Instead, I found thatif I allow
itblows can serve me well, just like a hammer serves a nail well.
It drives it into the place for which it is designed.
The restoring of my mind and emotions started gently, from within. It
began with a brief vision. It was such a still small thing that at first
I didnt perceive it as coming from the Holy Spirit. He let me see
my soul. I saw it ripped open. Inside was a dark curtain draped over part
of my inner man. Right away I knew, if I allowed the darkness to remain,
that part of my inner man hidden in the darkness would invite more trouble.
The darkness had been in me all along. The hurtful incident only revealed
it. Now the Holy Spirit wanted to work in its place. Very slowlyoh,
so slowlylight began coming. Ive found we cant
rush the work of God any more than we can rush the light of dawn. The
pain had been so great at first that I didnt believe the Holy Spirit
could bring any good out of what had happened. I had a little conflict
with the Lord over this. But, I knew better than to argue too much. He
is so thorough and powerfulyet so gentle.
As soon as I stopped resisting Him, a small positive thing began taking
place. Ive found the Holy Spirit is happy to start in us with little
things. He shot a thought into my mind like a spark of light. He said,
"The one who attacked you is hurting, too." This little thought pierced
my darkness. I couldnt entertain it very long; I was hurting myself.
And, I was busy building the case for my defense. But at least the thought
did come, and it registered. I began seeing what that person said and
did was out of deep inner hurt, most of it unrelated to me.
That was the beginning of the healing of the relationship. Long ago we
learned that expressions of anger and resentment coming from one person
to another frequently come out of old hurts brought on by old relationshipssome
of them from early childhood, long forgotten by the conscious mind.
As I was holding my wound before the Lord, He whispered something to
me. "Do you care about her?" Gradually I began hearing more. It was coming
from the heart of my heavenly Father. "Ive loved you enough to allow
this to happen. Now give up your case. Stop building your defense. Let
My Spirit bring healing in you and bring to life My Word that you already
The Holy Spirit was prompting me to take a very small step out of the
circle of my hurt into the circle of the other persons hurt. When
I did this, He stepped into mine.
As I was thinking about what was taking place inside me, the Lord spoke
something more to me. He said, "The trouble has been in your dianoía.
Ive allowed it to be split open again so you can see the veil
there and receive healing. Andso you can become a greater instrument
of healing to others."
Oh, yesa beautiful and loving relationship was restored with that
relative. It could have been a painful thing dragged on forever. And,
you know something: that sweet person never did have to say, "Im
The Lord knew I was acquainted with the dianoía.
Over twenty-five years ago I took note of it and began studying the
New Testament passages where it occurs. I had even written on the dianoía,
but I always knew there was a quickening yet to come with regard to
my understanding it. And, there is still more! There are two passages
in Ephesians where Paul mentioned the dianoía in
its darkened estate Ephesians 2:1-3 and 4:17-19. From
these two Scriptures we learn how a darkened understanding will
hinder our inner man. It is one of the battlegrounds where the enemy expects
to defeat us. And so, it is the place we can expect some of our greatest
Praying like Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:15-19 is like using a
switch to turn on a light. He prayed something like this: "Dear Lord,
bring light to their understanding." That was so simple!
But it works.
When that blow came to Glenda and me and darkness came over my mind,
I found out someone else prayed for me. This one wasnt with me.
I didnt even know at the time that they prayed. I just know that
all of a sudden a light came on in me. I could think, and understandand
pray. It was later I found out about the other one praying.
I saw anew the importance of the discipline of intercession. We
must not give up on it!
We believe the Holy Spirit will touch the dianoía
of any soul for whom some intercessor cares enough to pray. He can even
reach into an unbeliever.
But what about us who are believers? Some may ask, "Doesnt light
come to our inner man when were born again?" Yes. The new birth
makes light possible and opens us to a whole new realm of life. But, the
veil keeping much of the inner man in darkness remains in many people
after they are born again. We know this by studying Ephesians, Philippians,
Colossians, and practically every other Book in the New Testament. What
we are learning is that the darkness does not have to remain.
The Points of Evil with which We All Contend
Ephesians 2:1-3, one of the passages speaking of
the darkened dianoía, we find it is part of
a malignant team that works at controlling every person outside of Christ.
Paul presented this insight after telling in the previous chapter what
marvelous things he had been praying. Setting the lamp of Gods light
in place is necessary before dealing with the darkness. The team of which
dianoía is a part has seven stations, some inside
the person, some outside. Each part of the team works at maintaining a
dark inner government in unbelievers as well as believers.
This evil team can be knocked out in the life of a believer. The Lord
Jesus has triumphed for us at every point. The condition of many, however,
does not admit to this.
As we learn the stations where the battles rage in and around us, we
gain direction for prayingand for expecting light.
We will all learn, eventually, that the only One who can handle the dark
inner forces that fight from within us is the Holy Spirit. And, oh! He
does this when we acknowledge Him and allow Him to do His work. Weve
numbered the seven statements that direct us to the malignant team. With
a background in "eternal security," I point to them and describe their
threat. But, I also am a realist. I know that if these areas remain, they
will work toward wearing us down and drawing us back onto the side of
the enemy. It is no longer a matter of doctrine. It is a matter of knocking
out these stations and being made ready to stand in the final day.
We have seen each of these things in thousands of believers with whom
we have prayed and counseled, and we have become aware of them in our
own lives. The fact is, at each of these points many are failing; but
this need not be the case.
1 And you hath he quickened, who were...
(1) dead in
trespasses and sins: 2 Wherein in time past ye
(2) walked according
to the course of this world,
(3) according to the prince
of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the
children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past
in the lusts of our flesh,
(5) fulfilling the desires of
(6) and of the mind; and
by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
If we accept this Scripture as fact and then simply say, "Im OK;
youre OK," let us remember Paul was presenting "positional truth."
In actuality, he was praying that the believers under his care would come
out of their darkness. It was not all right for them to remain in it.
Nor were they simply to make a statement of positional truth while their
condition held on to the darkness. He wanted them to know the reality
of a new life in Christ that reached into every area of living.
As we lay out the points, we note that they are the marks of a person
outside of Christ. By this we mean the way a person is by human nature.
The tendency to revert to the natural way of living remains strong with
many believers. This, of course, is helped on by many influences in the
world. The supposition that we who have darkness remaining shall find
our change when Christ appears is a weak hope. There is little likelihood
that those who lightly regard the darkness now will survive to that day.
We will regard the points carefully. The possibility of defeat and the
possibility of freedom are both at hand.
1. Trespass and sin
· Ephesians 2:1And
you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.
The Greek word for sins is hamartía. It
is a shooting word and literally means "a miss." A man shoots his arrow
at the target; the arrow misses; that is what hamartía
is. As it is used in the New Testament, it means missing what God wants.
And, we must remember: the man shooting at the target and missing need
not be shooting with his back turned on the target. It may appear that
his aim is accurate, yet if he misses, he has sinned.
The word for trespasses is paraptóma.
It means "a false step, a slip" or "a blunder." It could be used of
a person losing the way and straying from the right road. It could be
used of someone falling down in the road. It could be used of someone
failing to grasp the truth and slipping away from it. In the New Testament
it is the breaking of Gods Law, whether deliberate or by slip up.
Only the light of the Holy Spirit and of the Word of God can reveal the
extent of sin and trespass in any of us.
Many believers fall back and become bound at these points, even though
deliverance from sins power is provided by the Lord Jesus. Paul
spoke of being dead in trespasses and sins. These two partners
of the devil kill. There is a murderous power in them. Indeed, to participate
in them is a kind of suicide. They kill the things which make life worth
while and work at destroying, or damaging, our relationship with the Lord.
Before coming to Christ, we are dead in sin. It is the life-giving touch
of His grace that awakens us and brings us to life. But when sinor
trespassre-enters, a kind of death returns. It is a death of joy,
a death of peace, a death of the ability to walk in what God wants. In
a believer, sin and trespass paralyze, demoralize, weaken, and make life
a drudgery. Alarmingly, they open the way for seducing and unclean spirits
to work. And, they grieve the Spirit of God. Trespass and sin dull the
conscience, contaminate the emotions, weaken the will, and make the mind
unable to think straight.
We must ask for light to come with regard to what is trespass and
what is sin in our lives. When we do this, conviction will come.
It is the first step for all of us toward an on-going freedom from anti-Christs
PRECIOUS LORD, I dare not set myself
up as one who has no trespass or sin. Search me. Try me. Find in me
what displeases You. Work in me till I am free of its grasp.
2. The course of this world.
· Ephesians 2:2a
wherein in time past you walked according to the course of
The Greek word used here for world is aion. It
means an age, or a dispensation, clearly defined and marked out with its
own character and trends. Living according to the course of this age
means allowing the current trends of society to guide our lives. This
is a great bondage and causes spiritual blindness.
By coming under the allurement of the age, we get off track and lose
direction. Our values become confused and desire for the things of Gods
Kingdom diminishes. Jesus said that the care of this world chokes
the Word of the Kingdom (Matthew 13:22). Care is from a
word meaning "anxious interest in, or ambitious thoughts about."
We ask God for the light of His Spirit to come within us and reveal what
the trends of the age are doing in our lives. This frees us to gain new
perspective and to grow in the direction set for us by the Lord Godnot
in the ways set by the god of this world.
Scripture is very clear with regard to this age. It shall come to an
end. Therefore, to give ourselves to its values is unwise and disabling.
There is a new age coming under the headship and order of the Lord Jesus
Christ. Wisdom would dictate that we give ourselves to it.
Is there any wonder the enemy is bombarding us with his version of what
the new age is? We ask for discernment to reject his dark work.
HEAVENLY FATHER, I here and now renounce
all the influence of the new age movement in my life. Search it out.
Find in me what I cannot find in myself. Then, let Your Spirit move
through me to set me free from the trends of the age that have become
popular, but are grievous to You.
3. The Prince of the power of the
· Ephesians 2:2b
you walked...according to the prince of the
power of the air...
The prince of the power of the air is that ruling force under
Satan working from the heavens to control nations, states, cities, villages,
clubs, movements, families and individuals. This prince dispatches unclean
and seducing spirits to motivate us away from the Kingdom of God. His
realm of spiritual influence is the most subtle and difficult to discover,
for his spirits always work toward being undetected. They also work at
making us so accustomed to their ways of spiritual death and deception
that we live easily with them.
These spirits, dispatched from the prince, set their most ardent desires
upon us who are believers. They want control of our minds so they can
place in us thoughts and ideas contrary to the ways of God. They work
to make us ineffective for His Kingdoms purpose.
We are learning to go after these spirits and bind their work. More and
more, Christian ministries are opening to the understanding that this
evil spiritual influence continues in many believers. Ministries of deliverance
are coming forth. By the authority given us in Christ, we can bind the
energy of the prince of the power of the air. This sets a soul
free to come under the influence of the Holy Spirit.
Those of us who know our authority in Christ must also sometimes deal
with seducing and unclean spirits in our own lives. Whenever they find
ground belonging to their dark realm, they come with fervor to possess
it. To say spirits under the prince of the power of the air cannot
hinder a believer is foolishness. But oh! What grace and power reach us
from the Throne of Gods Kingdom to set us free!
LOVING AND PROTECTING LORD, I flee
to Your bosom. Teach me to dwell in this secret place. If I have allowed
some ground to remain that attracts seducing spirits, then reveal
it in me. Set me in the way of freedom. Use me as an instrument of
freedom for others.
· Ephesians 2:2c you
walked according to...the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.
Worketh in this verse is from energéo, a
word at which we looked recently in the mini-MASCHIL editions when we
discussed the powers released out of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
It is the power of energy. As it is used here, it speaks of another energizing
forcean evil onethat motivates and drives those given to disobedience.
Indeed, it describes the "anointing" of disobedience.
We need to take note of the children of disobedience. Children comes
from huíos, a word meaning a full grown heir, a recognized
and mature son. Disobedience is from apeitheía,
meaning the attitude of one with an incompliant disposition, obstinate;
an unbeliever. Those who are mature and developed in disobedience are
helped on by the prince of the power of the air. But not only are unbelievers
helped by him, the same spiritual force reaches for every believer with
the intention of drawing each one of us into unbelief.
To put it bluntly: the anti-Christ is determined to make every one of
us into unbelievers. He has this as his high goal.
The natural man is a child of disobedience, born in it, with a natural
inclination toward it. He need never be taught to be disobedient. David
said, The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon
as they be born... Psalm 58:3. Disobedience is
the natural way of life. It is obedience that must be learnedand
energized in us by the Holy Spirit.
Disobedience is the same as unbelief. In fact, the New Testament Greek
word apeitheía, translated disobedience
in this Ephesians passage, is translated unbelief in Hebrews
4:6. They . . .entered
not in because of unbelief.
Disobedience is a persuasion away from God, to be overcome only
by the faith which He Himself releases in us. This faith is the product
of the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and our yielded hearts.
HEAVENLY FATHER, I renounce disobedience.
I embrace Your way. Release within me the desire for what You want
so that obedience becomes the most natural way of Life for me.
5. The lusts of the flesh.
· Ephesians 2:3aAmong
whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our
flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh...
Conversation is from the Greek anastrépho,
which means "to conduct ones life in some certain manner." Outside
of Christ, we all do this according to the lusts of the flesh. Lusts
is from the Greek epithumía which means strong
desiresometimes violent and irregularkindled by passion.
By the flesh Paul means the strong desires both of the soul and
the body. These desires, along with the influence of seducing spirits,
send their signals to our will. Thus, they dictate how we order our livesthat
is, unless we come under the authority of Christs government.
Were asking God to strengthen us so that we can put away unlawful
desires. May we wanteven strongly desirewhat He wants. This
will set us free to walk in faith and obedienceand joyful fulfillment.
We are learning to hold our willscorrupted as they may bebefore
the searching light of Gods Spirit. He will bring stubborn desires
of our flesh under the authority of His Kingdom. Paul expressed an amazing
understanding in Philippians 2:13. For it is God which worketh
in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. What a statement!
Again, worketh is from energéo. God, realizing
His will is beyond the capability or desire of our poor souls, condescends
to supply the energy for its performance. He decides what is right for
us and then He supplies the energy for it.
O FATHER, I will to follow Your will
rather than the strong will of my flesh. "Sweet will of God, draw
me closer till I am wholly lost in thee." I trust You, Father, to
bring Your purposes to pass in me.
6. The desires of the mind (dianoía).
· Ephesians 2:3b
... we all had our conversation in
times past ... fulfilling the
desires ...of the mind (dianoía).
Mind is from our word dianoía. We
gain insight here. The dianoía, dark and foreboding
as it is in its natural state, will send its signals to our will. From
its darkness, it will try and direct us, even govern our lives. It teams
its dark desire with the desires of the flesh to persuade our mind and
emotions to go after those desires. This provides a wicked stronghold
against Gods Kingdom and provides a broad base for the enemy to
We are learning to ask for light to come into the dianoía,
both our own and for those we hold before the Throne. When this
light comes, the uncleanness, unwholesomeness, and undesirability of darkened
ideas and desires become manifest. This opens the way to break the control
they have held over our lives and release us to repentance. The pain this
sometimes brings at the outset cannot be compared with the peace that
From this darkened area of the soul, come forth such strong requirements
and demands upon our lives that we sometimes break under the attack! When
we see these things and confess them, were making a step toward
deliverance and healing.
Once, with a group of believers all very open to the rule of the Holy
Spirit in their lives, I asked how many knew of other forces that at times
sought to rule them. A spirit of revelation came upon that gathering,
and the following list evolved. After quite a few expressed what they
battled, one young woman candidly said, "I battle all of the above." Sometimes
the Holy Spirit helps us see painful things quite clearly. The list that
grew that day included: depression, worry, anger, procrastination,
anxiety, fear of what others think, a poor self image, resentment, fear
of being alone, fear of losing a loved one, fear of cancer, hatred, lust,
laziness, fear of failure, bitterness, greed, jealousy, a driving need
to win or be first, insecurity, fear of heights, pride, contempt for others,
unnatural sexual lust, a compulsive need for certain foods, a fearful
need for shelter and comfort, an unreasonable need for clothing and pleasure,
the need to have a high position in society, the need to please others,
an uncontrollable need to lie or exaggerate, manipulation of others, craving
for alcohol or other drugs, craving to be touched or to touch, the drive
to succeed, the need to take vengeance, the need to be punished, the need
to inflict punishment on others, selfishness, the need to have many "pretty
things," a morbid frame of mind that always looks for the worst, the besetting
need to correct others, grief, the compulsion to annoy others, hatred
of the opposite sex, ideas set in motion by words spoken when one is young,
All these can lurk in the darkened dianoía, sending
forth signals to the conscience, mind, emotions, and will. They make demands
and place restrictions that hinder life. Some of these can be so demanding
that their influence becomes destructive of a meaningful life. As we see
them, we can repent. We can let them go. The Holy Spirit will come in
their place and work that which is right.
DEAR LORD, send Your Spirit into every
part of my mind. Search out the dark ways of thinking and responding
that reside in me. Set up Your government in my inner man and rule
me from within.
· Ephesians 2:3c
we all...were by nature children of wrath, even
Wrath may come from God, from other persons, or from natural
causes. Often, we bring it upon ourselves by our actions and reactions.
But there is a wrath that comes upon many simply by their birth into
situations where sin and disorder rulelike the baby born to a drug
addicted mother, or a child born in a war zone, etc. These become children
of wrath in the strictest sense. The wrath of natural circumstance
in some lives is so hard and prolonged that many have no way of deliveranceoutside
the power of Gods Kingdom. Because of their darkened understanding,
many have settled into living as children of wrath.
The Holy Spirit helps at this point, especially when some intercessor
persists in holding some child of wrath before the Throne of Gods
grace. Out of this, faith is born in the place of the wrath and the reach
toward God becomes very sure.
When we see the wrathor rage, or anger, or indignation, or bitternessin
our own lives, and discover that it has been a ruling force within us,
we are a step toward freedom.
LORD, open my eyes to see Your mercy in the midst of my angry life.
Oh! Do it in these I hold before You! Your mercy, released to us and
through us, is our only hope.
The Trouble Points Within
In Ephesians 4:17-19, Paul lays
out nine trouble points that will lock a person into spiritual
death. Some from the previous list are exterior to the person. These are
all interior. They beg for a work that only the Holy Spirit can perform.
Wonderfully, He is ready to do this work.
17 This I say therefore, and testify
in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk,
in the (1) vanity of their mind,
18 (2) Having the understanding (dianoía)
darkened, being (3) alienated from the life of God
through the (4) ignorance that is in them, because
of the (5) blindness of their heart:
19 Who being (6) past feeling have
given themselves over unto (7) lasciviousness,
to work all (8) uncleanness with (9)
The corporate conscience of society, for societys good, has worked
in some places to restrain some of these points. All that can be done
from without, however, is restrain them. No work of man or government,
society or religion, can deal with them at their roots. These points operate
from within the soul of man and crop up with new vengeance in every generation.
They will run rampant, exercising untold influence, wreaking unheard-of
destruction in the last days. We who live in the closing days will have
to deal with their strength, and poison, inflamed in us by the magnetic
energy of evil in the earth. And, we will have to contend with their reinless
operation in people all around, most of whom will know nothing of the
restraints and power of the Holy Spirit.
Many persons, particularly those of a religious nature, either unsuccessfully
attempt to put down these inward points of trouble, or conceal the extent
to which they are controlled by them.
Look at them carefully. They show the pit from which we all were digged.
They help us understand the areas of trouble that, if they remain in our
lives, will make overcoming difficult.
There is hope. We can attack the points precisely and with the help of
the Holy Spirit.
1. A vain mind
· Ephesians 4:17
not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their minds...
The Greek word for mind in this verse is nous. It
is similar to the dianoía, but is a more common word.
It means the organ of thinking and knowing and of making moral decisions.
It embraces all the functions of the mind and provides a broad platform
for the coming of Gods Kingdom into our lives. Jesus used a word
built on the same root when He said, Repent: the Kingdom
of heaven is at hand Matthew 4:17. Repent is
from metanoéo. It means "change your mind, your way
of thinking, your purposes, your inclinations." Thus, we see the first
turn one can make toward the Kingdom is in this area of the mind. Conversion
begins in the changing of the mind.
Vanity means that which produces nothing of value. The
mental functions of those outside of Christ tend toward what is worthless
and profane. They may produce things that are very impressive to the world
but all with the seed of corruption that drags their inventions over into
the arms of what is evil. We are coming to the time when nothing outside
the Kingdom of God can hold value. We must all bow to His Kingdom. Even
thoughts of lofty ideals, if they recognize not the authority of Christ,
come to nothing before the movements of His Kingdom.
As we hold ourselves before God in prayer, and as we hold others, He
helps us see the empty and vain ideas we entertain. We then become free
to renounce the vanity.
DEAR GOD, show me what is empty and hopeless so I can renounce
the vanity of it. I claim release from every vain idea that opposes
what You want. Now cause Your Spirit to work in the minds of these
I hold before You so they can recognize vanity and begin thinking
in line with Your Kingdom.
2. A darkened understanding.
· Ephesians 4:18having the understanding (dianoía)
A dianoía that is darkened has difficulty thinking,
perceiving, understanding, knowing, or acknowledging the presence, the
power, or the authority of the Lord. Forming an opinion and coming up
with an idea will always carry with it the idea of human rights. This
will be a great hindrance in the time of trouble when confusion and irregularity
will come on every hand. Light coming from God into our dianoía
will be more necessary than ever. Even with darkness all around,
we can find the way when His light has entered our dianoía.
This directs us to an important key to intercession. It was here Gods
Spirit touched me as someone prayed for me. Since darkness in the understanding
hinders the ability of any soul to receive the truth of Gods Kingdom,
it is necessary that it be dispelled. And here is an amazing thing: it
takes very little light to dispel darkness. Even a flickering match provides
the way for some movement outward. This is what happened in me. The light
that came into my understanding was small, but it enabled me to see a
door I could open to greater light. It was the door of caring for someone
It is our work as intercessors to release light. As we hold others before
the Lord requesting that the eyes of their understanding be enlightened,
something happens that sets them free to begin seeing the hope and truth
of Gods Kingdom. We must remember this however: the will of every
person remains sovereign. The Holy Spirit does not violate this. He will
bring light, however, so that the soul can at least see the way out and
make a decision.
PRECIOUS FATHER, my understanding has been dim. Ive been
able to see little and therefore Ive been prone to stumble.
Release Your light in my mind and in my understanding. Place a check
on every thought I have that comes from the darkness. Work this in
these I hold before You.
3. Alienation from the life of God.
· Ephesians 4:18
alienated from the life of God
Alienated from means "being a stranger to" God, without
a share in His life. This may seem strange to those who embrace everything
as God. In actual fact, when our Father Adam sinned, he broke the line
of divine life and set us afloat on a sea of humanity in which everyone
comes short of the divine glory. Only in Christ can we come back. Everyone
outside of Him is a stranger to the life Jesus came to reveal.
What a powerful passage of truth and light comes to us in Ephesians
2:13-22! (Read it over and over till your spirit absorbs it.) It describes
the means and the power by which we can move out of this alienation and
know God intimately. It is in Christ Jesus that we are made nigh, brought
close, embraced and received into Gods family. In Christ, we are
no longer strangers to the Covenants of God, to His Word, to His presence,
or to His dwelling.
Many live on such a low plain they have no conception of the life available
to them in Christ. Therefore, we hold them in Gods presence so desire
for the life of His Kingdom can be born in them.
DEAR LORD, You have made known to
us that there is a higher plane of life than we have known. Draw us
on to know it. Bring these we hold before You to the point of dissatisfaction
with the quality of life they now live. Draw them with desire to know
4. Spiritual ignorance
· Ephesians 4:18... through
the ignorance that is in them...
The natural man walks in ignorance. What Paul means here is not the ignorance
of natural things, but of things pertaining to God and the extension of
His Kingdom. This is the greatest ignorance anyone can have for it keeps
a soul separated from God. Ignorance of this sort can be dispelled only
by the Holy Spirit. He will bring truth into the inward partsPsalm
51:6and release in us the powerful effect and light of Gods
The most powerful kind of truth there is comes from the Word of God made
alive in us by the Holy Spirit. As a spiritual exercise, take Psalm
119, with each of its 22 divisions, and pray it. It will guide you
to the law of the Lord whereby we receive direction to make our
paths straight. It will introduce you to His testimonies that
point out matters, places, experiences yet to be attained in relationship
with Him. It will guide you to know His statutes as they mark out
and ordain the way in which we should go. It will bring you in before
His judgments by which we can make right decisions and regulate
our lives. It will teach you to stand in awe of His commandments, to
meditate on His precepts, to receive the cleansing of His word.
This wonderfully long Psalm contains truth that directs us to search
for, and receive, light.
There are some who have spiritual concepts and hold ideas gained from
the Bible, but with not one bit of life from God. Therefore, truth within
them is dead. They remain in spiritual ignorance. Truth, made alive in
us by the Holy Spirit, becomes a powerful force in enabling us to overcome
DEAR LORD, I turn my soul toward You for the enlightenment You
give. Replace the ignorance in me with desire for all You have to
say and do. And nowrelease in these I hold before You a hunger
for Your truth. Bring it before their eyes, and their ears, and to
5. An insensitive heart
· Ephesians 4: 18
of the blindness of their hearts...
The heart is the inner part of a person that feels and knows what
is right. The natural man is deficient in this area, either from blindness
or hardness, or both. The ancient Greek texts use pórosis
here. It might be better translated hardness. It came from
póros which originally meant a stone that was harder
than marble. It came to mean the loss of all power of sensation. Thus,
it describes something that has become so hardened, so petrified, it has
no power to feel at all.
This is a condition that will prevail in the last days. Look at the points
in the following passage and you will see what an insensitive heart is.
II Timothy 3
1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous,
boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers,
incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof:
from such turn away.
Often the hardness and insensitivity of a heart comes from hurts, rejections
and failures. So, we become compassionate toward those whose hearts are
hard. We can pray, when there may be little else we can do.
GOD, heal the hurts and wounds caused by rejection in these I hold
before You. Cause Your Spirit to brood over their hearts. Give them
the courage to feel love again. And, O Lord, bring light to my heart
so the part of me that feels can respond to others in their difficulty.
6. An inability to feel
· Ephesians 4:19
being past feeling...
Being past feeling is from a word in the Greek meaning "having
laid aside hope." This is a very dark place to which one may come. When
the inner part of the natural man comes to this place, it means he is
callous and hard in his feelings toward God, as well as toward others.
Something is damaged inside many personsin some worse than in othersthat
continually pulls them toward hopelessness. In some, it is because life
itself has taken its toll. In others, it is because the iniquity of the
fathers is visited upon the children. The need for healing in some persons
is often so deep that only the Holy Spirit can search it out. Here is
where the intercessor who has insight can work.
Reveal in my own soul, DEAR LORD, the hardness and neglect that sometimes
arises toward You, toward Your Kingdom, and toward others. Heal in
me the inability to feel.
OH LORD, restore in these I hold before
You the feelings that have been damaged through painful encounters.
I break, in the Name of Jesus, the power of the darkness inherited
from family lines.
7. Unbridled desire
· Ephesians 4:19... have
given themselves over unto lasciviousness...
Lasciviousness means living with no restraint upon ones
lustful desires. Some persons, given over to following their natural man,
walk in uncontrolled lust with no moral restraint. They do what they feel
God has given to every person the ability to have desires. But He also
has placed in each one the ability to have self-control. In some, it is
the ability to have desire that is damaged. More often, it is the ability
to control desire that is damaged.
DEAR LORD, I hold my soul before You so Your Spirit can bring under
control the unbridled lusts and unlawful desires that sometimes arise
within me. Place Your restraint in these I hold before You. Cause Your
Spirit to work in them so that right desires can be born.
· Ephesians 4:19
to work all uncleanness
The natural man becomes a doer of uncleanness. This may be physical uncleanness,
but it will more likely be moral uncleanness, emotional uncleanness, mental
uncleanness, or spiritual uncleanness.
The inner parts of some persons who live outside of a relationship with
Christ are frequently so unclean that only the love of God is willing
to take on the task of cleaning them up. His love can be expressed through
an intercessor who will hold that person before the Throne of Grace until
it is able to respond to the cleansing of the Holy Spirit. We must remember
that some have in their inner man so much uncleanness that the cleanness
of the Holy Spirit frightens them. Therefore we learn to pray long.
Regarding the uncleanness in some of our own lives as believers: we have
no hope of completely removing it except through the work of the Holy
Spirit. He is ready to go into the dark and smelly regions of any persons
inner man and do what David prayed in Psalm 51:10: Create
in me a clean heart, O Lord; renew a right spirit within me.
We pray something like this for others:
Bring them, O LORD, to desire Your wholesomeness and Your purity.
Let Your Spirit soak up the dirt in their souls, and lead them in
to a right response toward You and Your Kingdom. And we
pray, Search me, O GOD, and know my heart:
try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in
me, and lead me in the way everlastingPsalm 139:23,24
· Ephesians 4:19
Greed is the crowning mark of a life separated from God, yet it holds
its ground in the lives of many of us who are believers. This means we
never find lasting satisfaction in anything, even our relationship with
the Lord. Greediness is from a Greek word meaning "I will have
more." It describes a life that is always reaching for something. There
is never satisfaction. It always says, "I will have more." While it is
never wrong to desire more and more of Gods work in ones life,
too many associate having more with having more of what is thought of
as blessings. We lay our lives before the Lord for Him to deal with this
dark area of greed and need. How gracious He is!
GRACIOUS AND LOVING FATHER, I lay
my desires before You. Judge them. Examine them. Remove from my heart
the desire for anything that does not fit with Your Kingdoms
This may be a hard thing for these I
hold before You, but please work in them the desire for Your ways.
ADDENDUM FOR THE END-TIME BATTLE FOR OUR MINDS:
The Dianoia Scriptures
- Matt. 22:37 Jesus said unto him. Thou shalt love the Lord thy
God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
- Mark 12:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy
heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,
and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
- Luke 1:51 He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered
the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
- Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy
God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength,
and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour
- Eph. 1:18 The eyes of your understanding,
being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling,
and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
- Eph. 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times
past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh
and of the mind; and were by nature the
children of wrath, even as others.
- Eph. 4:18 Having the understanding
darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance
that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
- Col. 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies
in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath
- Heb. 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the
house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws
into their mind, and write them in their
hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
- Heb. 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after
those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and
in their minds will I write them;
- I Pet. 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind,
be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto
you at the revelation of Jesus
- II Pet. 3:1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you;
in both which I stir up your pure minds by
way of remembrance:
- I John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come,
and hath given us an understanding, that
we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in
his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.
Continue to SPECIAL EDITION: The
Possibility of a New Mind in Christ
© Berean Ministries
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