The Monster’s Master Plan: To Master Your Mind
2 Corinthians 10:3-4, NIV
What does the Enemy do?
The enemy tries to shape our thinking –one rock at a time until we are imprisoned to the lies. The enemy’s goal is to place distance between you and God by getting you to depart from the Truth. (John 8:44, NKJV; Romans 3:4, TLB; 1 John 2:26-27, TLB) If we abide in the Truth (Jesus), believe the Truth, and obey the Truth Satan has no power over us.
Lies Satan wants you to believe:
Not to trust Jesus and those who love you the most.
Believe we will never be successful. (Joshua 1:8-9, NKJV)
God does not care about me—God is holding out on me. (John 3:16-17, NKJV; James 1:17, NKJV)
Don’t tell anyone you are struggling, or they will object you. (James 5:16, NKJV; Matthew 18:20, NKJV; Deuteronomy 32:30, NKJV)
How do we defeat the Enemy?
Intentionally change what you think by taking your mind and thoughts captive. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5, NKJV) Our life is a reflection of our thought life—change your thinking and you will change your life. (Proverbs 23:7, NKJV) Focus on God’s promises, not the problem—you will become fearless. (2 Peter 1:4, NKJV)
Simple steps to help us defeat the strongholds in our life.
Identify and admit your stronghold—we cannot defeat what we cannot define. Claim the Truth or Promise that demolishes that stronghold. (Ephesians 6:15-17, NCV) Believe the Truth over the lies. (Hebrews 11:6, NKJV)
Sermon Video Transcription
Steven Roberts (00:08):
On behalf of pastor James, I would just like to personally welcome every single person here this morning, whether you are here in person in the parking lot or online, I am so grateful that everybody is here. As a quick update, you may have just seen me and pastor James is doing great in his recovery, in his rest. Amen? Amen? Man. He is so excited to be back. He would probably be here right now if it wasn’t for Miss, Debbie making him follow the doctor’s orders. So, let’s continue to pray for just his rest. And also remember Miss Debbie in your prayers as well, as she’s at home with him right now. Amen? Okay. For those of you who don’t know me, I mean, that was just probably the greatest introduction I’ve ever gotten. My name is Pastor Steven.
Steven Roberts (00:56):
I’m one of the Associate Pastors here and I am over the children’s ministries. And I am just so blessed to have just such an amazing team with me week after week. I actually get paid to just love on all your kids and teach them about Jesus. So, this is probably the greatest job I’ve ever had in my life. And all of that is a Pastor James, I know you’re watching at home. So, if I could just take a moment, um, to just speak about the honor and the gratitude that I have, man, you know, I was just a young kid from Pennsylvania, uh, about a million worlds away from Louisiana. And, uh, when my young family moved down here, we literally knew nobody in this entire state, we moved down here, we had to move into a hotel because we didn’t even have a place to live. And this church and Pastor James really took us in and made us a part of that family here. And from the bottom of my heart for my entire family, Pastor James man, thank you so much for your continued leadership and just guiding me on this journey of my pastoralship. Wow man, that was a lot. That was a lot to say, but let’s get into it. Man, let’s get into it.
Steven Roberts (02:13):
That last song got me a little emotional. So, but it also confirmed that for somebody out there today, this message is for you. So, I want us to just open right up, just like they were saying on that stage. Man, every single word of that came straight from God. Came straight from his word. So, what better place to start than God’s word? And I want to start in 2 Corinthians 10 and I’m going to pick up in verse three. And it says, for though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. And it continues in verse four and it says the weapons we fight are not weapons of this world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. So, what’s that saying, man, that’s saying that we’re humans, right? We’re human so, when we fight a war, we use guns, knives, sticks, fists, feet. We use human things, right? Human things to fight our battle. And what it is saying is, Hey, if you have God, you don’t have to use human things because God is giving you a divine power. What divine literally means is God or godly. So what God is saying that if you have him, he’s literally giving you his power to defeat strongholds.
Steven Roberts (03:10):
And that leads me to the second thing, man, what’s a stronghold? A stronghold back in the day was literally a fortress. And if you studied some of those castles, some of those walls, even like the walls of Jericho, I mean, they were as wide as this entire stage. And they were like 40 feet, high of pure, uh, straight stone, concrete rock, you know, whatever they had to build. That’s how strong of that fortress was today. What this is, meaning is there are some people out there who literally have a stronghold around their mind from the devil. And what God is saying is he’s going to give you his power this morning to tear down one of those strongholds. And all you have to do is ask.
Steven Roberts (04:26):
That was just the intro, man. I’m already excited. I’m excited. I’m feeling it. I’m feeling it this morning. Who’s with me. Okay, come on. Let’s just bow our heads for a minute. God, I just pray right now, father. I just pray, Lord God, that your will would be done here this morning, Lord God. That I would be nothing more than a mouthpiece for your words to flow Lord God. And I just pray Lord that you would continue to work on my heart and work on everybody’s heart here. Lord God, as we prepare for your word Lord and your Holy and precious name. Amen. Amen.
New Speaker (05:18):
So, this sermon was a little bit hard, a little bit hard for me to write and you’ll get why in just a moment. So, this is just a very, very small part of my personal testimony. It’s a little bridge we’re going to have to move through it. I get pretty personal in here. So, bear with me if you will. Okay, Amen? Amen? Because I believe that we’re going to overcome the enemy tonight with his word and the testimony. Amen? So, when I was in my late teens, early twenties, man, I thought I had it all figured out. And I’m not saying that in like an arrogant way. I genuinely thought man, I had a full time job in the ministry. So again, you know I felt like I’ve been called by God to get his word out. And the age of 18, I was granted that opportunity when I joined the army. And I joined as a chaplain’s assistant.
Steven Roberts (06:05):
So, literally I was getting paid army money, which is pretty good money for an 18 year old. I was getting paid army money to preach God’s word. I was getting paid army money to counsel people, to make a way for soldiers and some of the darkest areas, I was able to show them the light of Jesus. I was engaged to my high school sweetheart, who had been with at what seemed like forever. Basically my entire childhood, we were engaged. We were ready to go. We were planning our wedding. We were planning where we were going to live, where we were going to raise our children. So, I was making pretty good money. I was getting to do God’s work. I had my bride to be, and I had it all figured out.
Steven Roberts (06:54):
Until I turned 20. And when I turned 20, I deployed with the army for the first time and I went overseas. And I was really opened up to some of the horrors that this world has. That we’re blessed in America that we don’t have to see a lot of it. And I started seeing things that I’ll never forget, that will never leave my mind. I started hearing things that still haunt me sometimes. And really when you’re deployed your life kind of gets put on hold a little bit because you have to go over and you have to do your duty. Well, when I came back, all my friends that I went to high school with, they were now graduating college. They were moving on, they were having careers. They were forming families of their own.
Steven Roberts (07:44):
Well, when I came back, all my friends that I went to high school with, they were now graduating college. They were moving on, they were having careers. They were forming families of their own. When I came back from that deployment, I no longer had my high school sweetheart. And you know that was kind of a depressing thing because then I started feeling like I was all alone. You know, I didn’t have this girl by my side, who I always had my whole life. All of my friends had been moving kind of past me and that, and I started to kind of self-isolate. And as I started to self-isolate, I stopped going to church more and more. As I stopped going to church more and more, I started going to the bars more and more. And then it wasn’t long before I wasn’t praying, I wasn’t going to the church, and I was going to the bar every single night just because I was so afraid to be alone in my own house. And I was afraid to be alone in my own house because a lot of the guys that were my same age, who we had gone overseas with had now gone home. And I guess we didn’t talk to each other, but I guess they were going through very much the same thing that I was.
Steven Roberts (08:37):
And very quickly I started losing some of my really good friends to things like suicide. And then they couldn’t cope with the ones that still were there. And in Pennsylvania, there was a really big heroin epidemic at that time and they started doing drugs. And then I started losing friends to overdosing. So, really quickly within that years’ time of me thinking I had it all figured out. I came home and I never felt more alone than I did in that moment. And I just kept building brick by brick this wall, this stronghold in front of me. And it got so high, it got so wide, it got so deep that I couldn’t even go home alone because the only voice that I could hear in my head was the enemy’s telling me that I wasn’t good enough. Telling me that nobody loved me.
Steven Roberts (09:34):
And you know, that’s what the devil does because the devil knew that a year before that he couldn’t touch me because the devil can’t go near God, right? And when I was close to God, the devil couldn’t get within a staff’s reach from me. You know, it’s a common misconception that we can isolate and we can read our Bible, and we could be okay. But the strength is in the flock. And the flock is so strong because of the shepherd. The shepherd has that staff for protection, right? And the devil isn’t dumb. So, let’s not fool ourselves this morning. The devil is smarter than me. And he knows that if he comes within that staff’s reach, he’s getting hit, right?
Steven Roberts (10:22):
So, what does the devil try to do? He tries to call the herd. He knows that if he could get you outside of that, staff’s reach, he can get you. And that’s what he started doing. He started whispering in my ear, right? And he started going, Hey man, if you were a better friend, Sam would still be here, right? And I’d put a brick down. Then he said, Hey man, like if you were a better man, that high school sweetheart would still be with you right now. And I put another brick down and he said, Hey man, literally, nobody loves you, right? Everybody’s leaving. These guys would rather put a needle in their arm than be with you and I’d put another brick down. And then the devil would whisper again. And I put a brick down and then I’d put a brick down and I’d put a brick down. And before I knew it, man, I had this whole wall up and I couldn’t even hear what God was trying to say to me because I just kept stacking them, man.
Steven Roberts (11:13):
Satan’s goal is to put as much distance between you and God as he can. And he makes that possible by just spewing lies into your life. You know, John 8:44 says, you are the father. you are your father the devil, and the desires of your father. You want to do, he was a murderer from the beginning and he does not stand in truth because there is no truth in him. When he speaks lies, he speaks from his own resources. For he is a liar and the father of it. And I’m about to make a really bold statement. You can have one of two spiritual fathers. You can have God, or you can choose to be adopted by the devil. Let me say that one more time. You can’t have both.
Steven Roberts (12:24):
You have to choose one and your father can either be God or it can be the devil. And that’s where I was in that time. I had made a very real choice subconsciously in my head, every time I listened to one of those lies that he was saying, and I chose to be adopted by the devil. And I couldn’t even hear my father, God. But literally the opposite of that, right? So I said, you can’t have both. You can have the lies or you can have the? you can have the lies or you can have the? 1 John 2:27 says, but you have received the Holy spirit and he lives within you, in your hearts. So that you don’t need anyone to teach you what is right, for he teaches you all things. He is the truth and he is no liar. Just as he has said, you must live in Christ and never depart from it.
Steven Roberts (13:19):
Man, Satan’s goal is to literally lie to you. His goal is to separate you from the truth, which according to 1 John is literally his goal. And this is very real. This is spiritual warfare here. Listen to me, his goal Satan’s goal is to separate you from the Holy spirit. And he does that by lying. If he could get you to stop listening to the Holy spirit, you will believe every lie that he tells you. He’s going to tell you a ton of lies. Just like he was telling me lies that, Hey, you can’t trust so-and-so right? You can’t trust the wise counsel. And then when you’re not trusting your wise counsel, he’s going to say, hey, that Jesus guy, you can’t trust him. His tactics has been the same. If you look at Adam and Eve, he did it to Adam and Eve and what was Adam and Eve’s big falling point? They believed that God was holding out something from them. The devil made Adam and Eve believe that God had something greater that he wasn’t sharing. And that’s just another lie that Satan’s going to say.
Steven Roberts (14:38):
Hey, Satan’s going to say, hey, go into that bar every night where you’re surrounded by people who don’t care about you. That’s going to make you feel loved and then you’re going to go there. And there’s going to be a bunch of people who want to hang out with you because you’re buying drinks right? And then when I go home, I feel alone. And then he talks to you again, Hey, you didn’t feel all alone. You were at that bar, did you? And then you start believing it, and you start believing it. And you’ve gone, God, where are you? You have something that you’re not giving me, but really what was I doing? I was walking away from God and I was letting the devil lie to me. Can I get an Amen? You know, the devil wants you to pull away. He wants you to self-isolate. The devil wants you to believe that you can’t tell anyone when you’re struggling. And all of that are lies. I want everybody who can hear my voice right now to listen. You are loved. Anyone who needs to hear that this morning, you are loved, but if you choose to accept the devil’s lies, you’re going to choose the devil from your father. And the closer you get to that father, the further away you get from the one true father.
Steven Roberts (15:30):
There are a few really easy ways on how we could defeat the enemy. And the very first is intentionality. We need to intentionally change the way that we think we need to take our mind back. We need to hold it captive, right? 2 Corinthians, 10:4,5 say, for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments in every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of God.
Steven Roberts (16:39):
So, does anybody ride motorcycles here? So, oh a lot of us, great. Then you’re going to get this analogy for those of you who don’t drive motorcycles. There’s, there’s a, there’s a common thing that, uh, that you try to teach new people in their driving motorcycles. And it’s called looking through your corners. And basically wherever you look on a motorcycle, especially when you first start, that’s where it’s going to go. So if you’re trying to get around a curve and you’re looking straight, you’re going to go straight. If you want to go around the curve, you got to look into your curve and that motorcycle glide right around it. It’s a beautiful thing when you do it nicely and you can just roll right through. It’s a plug for anyone to ride a motorcycle, I guess. But, the point of that is, whatever you focus on is where you’re going to drift.
Steven Roberts (17:30):
So right now the reality of life is subjective for everybody in this room. The reality for your life in this room right now is whatever you’re thinking about. So the reality, if you’re thinking about Pastor Steven, hurry up, so I can go eat lunch. You’re going to be hungry, right? So, whatever we’re thinking is going to come true because we think it into reality. So what I’m trying to say is, if you were thinking this morning that you’re not good enough, You won’t be. If you’re thinking this morning that you can’t. I promise that you won’t.
Steven Roberts (18:10):
You know, Pastor James has this amazing tool and it’s called the never again list. We give it to every single new believer who comes down to the alter. We give it to every single person who gets baptized here. We try to put it in as many hands as possible because it’s life changing. And that’s not an understatement this morning. It is life changing because there’s divine power. There’s that godly power in praying God’s words and God’s promises back to him. So, this list that I’m talking about, it’s going to walk you through everything from fear, defeat, worry sickness, and then it’s going to marry it up with God’s promise through his scripture to help you switch your focus and help you roll through that corner. Proverbs 23:7 says, for as he thinks in his heart. So is he. Proverbs is literally saying whatever you think about is going to become what you are. So, what are you thinking about in your heart this morning Journey? Because I promise you when you leave this morning, whatever you’re still holding in your heart is what you’re going to leave with. And what you leave with is what you’re going to become.
Steven Roberts (19:11):
You know, are you stuck in a problem? And are you just thinking about that problem? Do you need a solution? And are you focused on trying to find that solution, whatever is in your heart is where you’re going to find if you need that solution man, get in contact, give us a call, email us. If you’re online man, just Facebook in the comment right now. I promise you that this week we’ll get you a copy of that. Never again, list because that second step for defeating the enemy is to focus like I’ve been hinting at on God’s promises, not the problem.
Steven Roberts (20:08):
And I’m reminded of this story. I love a good story. And this is a true story of a Pastor who I had the privilege of listening to. And, he’s a Pastor of an inner city church. And when him and his wife were, were younger, they were doing some really great things, really powerful things for God. And, and his name started kind of getting out there, getting out in the ether, so to speak and, and he started kind of making a name for himself. That he’s just doing great things for at risk youth in this inner city. And wasn’t long before he gets a call one night and it’s this event coordinator. And they said, hey, we love what you’re doing. We’re throwing this youth crusade in our city and we want you to come and be the speaker at it. And this is like across the nation right across America.
Steven Roberts (20:56):
So, he he’s thinking about it. He’s praying on it. And they said, hey, we’re going to pay for everything. We will fly you and your wife out. We’ll put you up in a hotel. We’re going to pay for the transportation the whole weekend. Whatever you want to do, it’s covered. We just really need you to come speak to our youth the way you speaking to yours. So, he accepts the invitation. Him and his wife fly in the day before the event. And he gets their driver to take him to the event center where it’s going to go and they walk in the door and he said it was a 3000 seat auditorium. It was huge. And in the event coordinators there and they said, hey, this is actually a free event for anyone youth college age, all of these seats are going to be filled at this time tomorrow to hear what God has to say through you. And he goes home, he’s getting a little worked up. And he was like, man, this is going to be a huge, huge opportunity for God.
Steven Roberts (21:52):
He starts praying with his wife and they show up the next day, a little early. He goes to the green room, he’s drinking his water, eating potato chips, whatever, praying, rehearsing the sermon that he’s about to deliver to 3000 young people and finally he looks at his watch. It’s his time. And he comes out and the lights are bright and he really can’t see anything. And he steps up to the pulpit and he looks out and he’s just amazed because in this entire building, there’s only five people. Him, his wife, the event coordinator, and two young girls sitting in the front row, that’s it? He said in that moment, the devil started hammering me and he started telling me, see, you’re not even good enough to have 10 people show up. You know, this, that, and it just starts whispering. And he’s starting to feel it when he looks down and he makes eye contact with his wife, I just made eye contact with mine. That’s what I did there. Makes eye contact with his wife. And she, he said he couldn’t hear, but he could see that. She said, you got this. He said, in that moment, he changed his focus to anything the devil was trying to tell him and he switched it back to God.
Steven Roberts (22:46):
You know, he knew what the problem was, right? The problem was, there was only two people there to hear a message that he had been planning for months. That was the problem. He knew the problem. He didn’t have to think about the problem. The problem was obvious. So church, your problem is obvious. What’s the solution? The solution was easy for this Pastor. The solution said, God gave me a word, I’m going to give it now. And he got up there and he gave the sermon. He said, he went way over his time. He preached for way over an hour. And he’s just, he said, he’s shellacking man. And he said, at the end, he said, what do I have to lose? And he offered an invitation to salvation. And one of those, one of those young girls stood up and came to the altar and that young girl gave her life to God that evening. The coolest part of that story is that young girl turned out to be his little sister.
Steven Roberts (24:15):
You know, so if we focus on the problem and if we stay in the problem, if that Pastor would have stayed in the problem, he would have walked off the stage. He would have never gave that sermon that night. He would have let the devil win that round. And he could have had no guarantee that his little sister would be getting to spend all of eternity with him one day. You know, if you keep your focus on negativity, your mind is going to become negative. If your mind is negative, you’re just going to spew negativity out of your mouth. If you continue to spew negativity out of your mouth, everyone around you is going to start becoming negative. And if everyone around you only knows you as the negative guy soon, nobody’s going to be around you anymore.
Steven Roberts (25:06):
So, what you need to do is you need to do is switch that focus to God’s promise, excuse me. So, the Pastor in that story, man, he was able to hear the enemy really clearly. And he knew it was the enemy. In that moment, he was immediately able to recognize it, flip the script, say, God, you gave me this message. It’s up to you now to give me the strength to deliver it. And God did. And he turned every single lie that the enemy was telling him back to God. But my testimony that I gave earlier, I already allowed all those strongholds to build up. And I couldn’t tell the difference in that era, between the enemy and God between lie and truth. And maybe for some of you that’s where you’re at this morning. God wants you to tear down those strongholds starting today. So, I forgot my watch, but thankfully they have a clock. I know it’s getting a little late. So really, really quick. This is important. I have three steps for you this morning to start destroying those strongholds. Is that okay? Okay, good. I was going to do it anyway.
Steven Roberts (26:17):
So, the very first step is to identify that stronghold, right? You need to start being honest with yourself and you need to start being honest with God and maybe like me, you have a bunch of them and that’s okay, this isn’t an overnight thing, right? It didn’t take overnight for you to build that stronghold. It might not tear down overnight and that’s going to be okay, but you need start the process today. You need to name it. You need to start giving it back to God. And you know, maybe you think you’re not good enough. Maybe you think, this is common this is where I was. You think your past is just too bad. Since your past is just too bad. Your marriage is never going to get better. And I’m too busy. I worry too much. I’m not lovable because of my past.
Steven Roberts (27:11):
My life is stuck and everybody else’s moving ahead of me. Or maybe you think what I thought and you think, hey man, I’m never going to leave this depression. I’m never going to get out of it. You need to identify what’s in your heart today. You need to start being honest with God with what’s in your heart today. And if you have a lot of strongholds like I did, that’s okay. As I said, this is a process. Just start looking into your heart and letting God really be the minister that he is. Because we cannot defeat what we don’t define Journey.
Steven Roberts (27:44):
The second step is once you know your problem, you need to name the true promise from God, right? Because once we know the problem, we can then look to God and we can, we can say, God, this is my problem. And God is going to say to you, this is the solution. Pray it back to me, put it in your heart. Ephesians 6:15-17 tells us on your feet where the good news of peace to help you stand strong and also use the shield of faith to which you can stop all the burning arrows from the evil one. Can I get an Amen? Except God’s salvation as your helmet, take the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. Man, God wants you to be so intimate with him that you are just going to be covered in him. You are going to be drenched in his words. Man, you’re going to be soaked in the love that God has for you. Which leads me to that third step, man, we named it. We’re naming the solution. We’re focusing on God, and this is the important one. You need to believe it.
Steven Roberts (28:53):
You know, Jesus gave us the truth to tear down the devil and, and for many of us, we’re waging war with an enemy that God’s already promised us victory over. But if you don’t believe that God has already promised you victory over. You’re never going to know the sweetness that is that victory. There’s freedom in the bondage from the bondage today. So maybe that’s where maybe that’s where many of you are. You just continue to fight that battle instead of giving it over to God and you just need to believe the promise that Jesus has for us. You know, because our sin allowed the enemy to distance us from God. You know that put us on the one way path in the complete opposite direction than Jesus. The moment we started allowing ourselves to, to believe those lies. But Jesus came down here, man. He came down to earth and he willingly died for every single person that can hear my voice. Even that can’t hear my voice. Every single person, he died. And he died, and this is important, he died because you’re not your sin.
Steven Roberts (30:06):
He died for you because whatever stronghold you have that doesn’t define you as a person you’re worth so much more than everything that you’re letting wrap around your heart this morning and approved that Jesus came down here and he died for you on that cross. And he said he would gladly take up that cross for anybody who chooses to believe in him. And if you believe that Jesus has a freedom, like you’ve never felt and you’ve never believed in your whole life. And he wants to give you that gift now. Maybe for some of you, you’re like me and you just allowed the enemy to really take control of your mind. God wants to tear that stronghold down this morning and in just a moment, just a moment, I’m going to pray. I’m going to pray over everybody. And if you want to take that next step, if you want to believe that that Jesus truly came down here and died so that you can have a freedom when we all stand up. I’m just going to ask you to raise your hand because we want to take that next step with you. We want to help you as best as we can. If you want that, never again, list you. Go ahead and raise your hand. Mark that on, on the next step card. We want to get that into your hand and start destroying the enemy starting this morning. Can I get an Amen?
New Speaker (31:31):
If I could have everybody stand up, we’re going to close. So every head bowed, every eye closed this morning. If that’s you this morning, if you want to accept Jesus, if you want to accept that freedom that he has for you. Just go ahead and raise your hand. Amen. Amen. Oh man. That’s Amazing. That is amazing, man. If you need that never again. List. Go ahead and raise your hand, man because we want to defeat strongholds this morning.
Steven Roberts (31:59):
Lord God, we just come to you father and we thank you, Lord God, we thank you for every single word that you’ve given us this morning. God, we thank you, Lord God. And we believe you, Lord Jesus, that you’re going to start tearing down strongholds, Lord God, you’re going to start softening hearts and you’re going to give us a freedom father. Like we’ve never experienced in our life. Lord Jesus. We love you. And we thank you so much, father and your Holy and precious name. Amen.
Steven Roberts (32:36):
On behalf of Pastor James, we’re so glad that you joined us today in worship service. If you are still in need of prayer, we have people on standby right now that want to pray with you and for you just click the link below. If you’ve been led to give to the ministries of journey church, click the link below and give whatever the Lord has laid on your heart. We want to see you here on Sundays. Our services start 830, 10 and 1130. We will see you next Sunday. Live here at Journey Church.
Recorded in Pineville, Louisiana.