by Pastor Tim Burt
One night I had a dream. It was the kind of dream that I've seldom had for the past twenty-five years. It was an inappropriate a sexual dream that I immediately shut down. Don’t be shocked. I am just being transparent. I'm not embarrassed. I don't want to have those kinds of dreams. But if they ever do occur, God has shown me how to stop them.
I gave my life to the Lord making Jesus my Lord and Savior at the age of 24. I was a new Christian but still had sinful worldly ways trying to cling to me. It was the beginning of letting my old ways of thinking and behaviors fall off. It was a new season of life, learning what it meant to live for Jesus Christ. As you know, becoming a Christian happens in an instant, but becoming Christ-like comes from years and years of maturing in God's word. And so, in the beginning years of my Christian walk, I occasionally had inappropriate sexual dreams. I hated them.
Learning to get my thought-life under control was one of the first mountains of change I had to deal with. In my early years of Christianity, my thought-life was random and grossly polluted with things I should not have been thinking about. I thought everyone was a victim of random thoughts. But then God's Word revealed that this wasn’t to be the case. Your mind belongs to you—not the devil. 1 Corinthians 2:16 declares that we have “the mind of Christ.” I can assure you that Jesus’ thoughtlife is not random and has never been so. Nor was it polluted with ungodly thoughts! How do I know that? Because the Bible says Jesus never sinned. He has control over every thought He thinks. Nothing evil is permitted to stay.
God tells us how to take control of our thoughtlife and imaginations. He tells us that He has given us supernatural help—weapons that aren’t guns or natural weapons, but supernatural weapons—the kind it takes to defeat demonic attacks in our mind. 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 KJV instructs us to take control of our thoughtlife and sort out God-thoughts from random and evil thoughts. He instructs us to cast the random and evil thoughts into the abyss. It says, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ...”
Learning to take control of my thoughtlife and cast out any kind of inappropriate thought or imagination, was like living in a mansion and saying that all the furniture was ugly and had to go. My entire thoughtlife was contaminated. This was going to be a clean house and refurnish experience. When thoughts came that weren’t godly thoughts, I would cast them down. I would say, I rebuke you Satan. This thought isn’t from me. It can’t stay. I rebuke you and it and cast it down and out of my life in Jesus name. Needless to say, this was a something I did numerous times every day until finally, over time, my thoughtlife became more and more pure. It was a mountain to be moved in my life and mountains are impossible to move. But in Mark chapter 11, Jesus talked about speaking to mountains and moving them. And so that promise gave me faith to work on this personal house cleaning project from God.
Romans 12:2 also confirms that this is the road to take to gain the mind of Christ. It says, “Do not conform any longer 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.” And so, after a couple of years at this, I truly did begin to acquire a mind and thoughtlife that did not shame me but instead glorified God. Don’t get me wrong. God was not shaming me. God was loving me through the process. He was cheering me on. But, impure thoughts, wrong motives, and any kind of thinking that was contrary to God’s word did make me feel embarrassed and repentful before the Lord. God affirmed His love, not condemnation.
When I finally got all that under control, there was still this inappropriate dream issue. I would still occasional have impure dreams. You know how dreams are. They can be crazy. They are set off by what we see, what we talk about, our work day, and pizza. Everyone has pizza dreams. I could deal with crazy dreams as long as they weren’t contrary to God’s word.
Sexual dreams outside of my marriage did not fit that criteria. I remember saying to the Lord, Lord, I can’t control my dreams! What am I supposed to do? I don’t want these kinds of dreams. They are inappropriate! The Lord spoke to me and said, You mind belongs to you always! Whether you're awake or asleep! It doesn’t matter. You have the mind of Christ. Take authority even then. If you are dreaming inappropriately, then wake yourself up and cast those imaginations down in Jesus name.
What happened next was wild. I would pray ever night for sweet sleep and only appropriate dreams. James 4:7 KJV says, “…Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.” I would pray each night, Lord, if my dreams are contrary to your word, help me to wake myself up and cast them down. The very first time I was in a dream that was bad, it was like I interrupted my dream from within the dream and said, Wake up. I stopped the dream, woke up, and cast those thoughts down. I could do it from that day forward. I could because God has given us dominion over our thoughtlife. So when I had this recent dream, I woke myself up, cast down those thoughts and flushed them out.
We can’t always stop the devil from trying to bring wrong thoughts. Remember that he spoke to Jesus trying to tempt Him also. But, like Jesus, we can speak the Word over them and cast down wrong thoughts. We can resist him and he will flee. BUT FIRST, you have to know you have this kind of authority in the Lord, and use it!
1 Peter 5:8 “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around LIKE a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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