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"If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridles not his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is vain" (James 1:26).

If you think you have it all together spiritually but don't keep your tongue from speaking things contrary to God's Word, then you are fooling yourself. Satan will try to deceive us into believing our thoughts and words are inconsequential. But don't we all eventually say what we have been thinking?

Jesus said,
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
(Luke 6:45)
The two principle factors that determine whether or not you become a doer of the Word are what you think on and what you speak. If you meditate on God's Word and then speak God's Word, you will tap into the exceeding greatness of his power.

And that power can and will change your behavior. You will become a doer of the Word—not by your own strength and resolve but by the power of God that resides in His Word.

Let me show you the same truth in another Scripture. There are many places in the Bible that confirm this truth, but in Joshua 1:8 God plainly tells us how to do the Word. Keep in mind that if it worked for Joshua, it will work for us. God is no respecter of persons.

He recorded this for our benefit as well:
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Notice this verse says you observe, or do, the law (God's Word) only after you have meditated on it and spoken it. Consistent doing is always preceded by consistent thinking and consistent speaking. Now notice something else about what God told Joshua: thinking the Word, speaking the Word, and then doing the Word lead to being prosperous and having good success.

Failure to do the Word, however, leads to deception. And as we have seen, deception leads to something very different from prosperity and success. You have the God-given capacity to imagine, or mentally picture, experiencing your life in a particular way. The way you see your life has a big impact on how you experience it. This isn't magic, it is simply that your imagination tends to prompt and motivate your behavior.

This is why Satan wants you to have vain (empty and foolish) imaginations. He wants you to fantasize about sinful things. The devil wants you to see yourself defeated, sick, and broke. He wants you to think only about yourself and your needs. He does so because as you dwell on those kinds of thoughts, they influence the direction of your life.

If you are in difficult straits now, Satan will try to keep you there by promoting vain imaginations consistent with that negative situation. Let me remind you again of what the Word says in this matter: "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he" (Prov. 23:7).

Don't let thoughts contrary to God's Word stay in your mind. Cast down vain thoughts and bring them captive to the obedience of Christ. Begin imagining yourself doing mighty works for God. See yourself as being more than a conqueror and able to do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Pray in the Holy Spirit, and yield your life to His ministry. And as 1 Corinthians 2:9 promises, God will show you things your eye hasn't seen, your ear hasn't heard, and your heart hasn't even pondered. He will show you what He has prepared for those who love Him.

Not only can you imagine the promises in God's Word being fully operative in your life, but you can also receive a grand image or vision from the Holy Spirit of what God has specifically planned for you.

As you meditate on God's plan for your life and begin to talk about that plan, you will begin tapping into that exceeding greatness of His power. And the things in your life that would stand in the way of God's purpose for you will begin to fall away.

The Word further promises that you will be delivered and set free from all of Satan's hindrances. But most importantly, you will become a doer of the things you have heard and believed. And when that happens, it closes a major door to deception in your life, and you can begin to become all that God intends you to be.

Source: Doorways to Deception by Mac Hammond
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Mac Hammond
Web site: Mac Hammond
Mac Hammond is the senior pastor of Living Word, a large and growing church in Brooklyn Park (a suburb of Minneapolis), Minnesota. He is the host of the Winner’s Minute, which is seen locally in the Minneapolis area on KMSP Channel 9 at 6:44 a.m. and 11:11 a.m. He is also the host of the Winner's Way broadcast and author of several internationally distributed books. Mac is broadly acclaimed for his ability to apply the principles of the Bible to practical situations and the challenges of daily living.

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