Hi, this is Joel and Victoria. Thanks for listening to our podcast and thanks for supporting the ministry. If you enjoy today's message, why don't you be a blessing and share it with a friend? We appreciate you and for God's very best in your life. Oh, God bless you. It's a joy to come into your homes, and if you're ever in our area, please stop by and be a part of one of our services. I promise you will make you feel right at home.
I like to start with something funny. And I heard about these two evil brothers that were very wealthy. One of them died. His brother said to the pastor, I'll make a deal with you. I'll make a large donation to your church under one condition. If at the funeral you'll say, my brother was a saint, the pastor agreed and the man made the donation. During the service, the pastor said this man was an evil man. He lied, he cheated, he stole.
But compared to his brother, he was a saint.
Say it like you mean it. This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do today. I will be taught the word of God. I'll boldly confess. My mind is alert. My heart is receptive. I will never be the same in Jesus name. God bless you. Want to talk to you today about protecting your imagination. We all have pictures that we see in our mind.
God created us as visual beings like a movie screen. Different images will come up. Sometimes we're not even thinking about it and the negative imagination will come. We'll see our business going down or our child getting off course, us losing our health. There's no truth to it. It's not going to come to pass. But if you let that play, you'll go through the day worried. Wrong imagination's will keep you awake at night. Dwelling on these negative images will cause you to live in fear.
It will keep you from expecting God's best. It's all an imagination. It's not a reality. It's just something you're seeing in your mind. And it's one thing to have something to deal with this actually happening. We all face challenges, but too often we're letting these wrong imaginations of what might happen, what might not work out, what might fall apart to steal our joy cause us to live stressed. The good news is you control your imagination. You control what pictures play in your mind.
Just because that negative image comes, does it mean you have to tune in? You can change the channel and the scripture tells us to cast down these wrong imagination's. Quit letting these negative images playing. When my mother was fighting terminal cancer in the middle of the night lying in bed, she would see herself being buried in a new pink dress that she had never worn. That picture came up on the movie screen of her life. She didn't ask for it.
She wasn't thinking about it. She was trying to stay in fame. But these negative imaginations will come, especially when we're in difficult times. They'll show us all the worst case scenarios. Have you ever noticed when you're in the heat of the battle, you never see pictures of you overcoming the sickness, the business taken. Are you meeting the person of your dreams? Those pictures don't automatically come is just the opposite. And if my mother would have pulled up a chair and watched that movie night after night of her being buried in that pink dress that would have taken root in her spirit, she would have become depressed, defeated and might not be here today.
When you see these negative pictures, don't take the bait. They are not a reality that is not predicting your future. That is a wrong imagination that you need to cast down. Quit worrying about something that's not going to happen. Quit losing sleep over something that's just in your mind. That's the enemy trying to torment you, try to convince you to live stressed out, worried. He knows he can't bring it to pass. He doesn't have that authority.
So the next best thing he'll do is try to deceive you into believing that it's a reality so you don't enjoy your life. Don't fall into that trap. Guard your mind. I talk to a man that was very concerned about his health. His father died at the age of forty six. His grandfather died at fifty one and other relatives had died. Early death as well. All through his thirties and forties. He was so stressed, so fearful, every voice said, That's going to be you.
Too bad it's in your genes. You're not going to make it. Those images would come in his mind. He saw himself like his father, getting sick, going downhill when he made. It to his forty seventh birthday, he was so happy, so relieved, he made it past his father's and he was still strong and healthy, Thought said, don't get too happy. You made it to forty seven, but you'll never make it to fifty one.
It's just a matter of time. Those images kept coming, him going downhill, him losing his health. But he made it past fifty one. He made it past sixty one past seventy one past eighty one. He was 93 years old. Looked like he was 70. Strong, healthy, joyful. He said, you know, if I had it to do over again I wouldn't have lived all those years worried, losing sleep, afraid that my health wasn't going to last.
Are you worrying about a wrong imagination about something that's not going to come to pass? Are you going to look back years from now and have to say, like him, if I could do it over again, I wouldn't spend all that time discouraged, afraid over what I thought was going to happen? Why don't you start changing the channel? Those negative pictures are not a reality. And some of the things the enemy is showing you, he should win an Academy Award.
It looks very real. It looks impressive, but it's all made up. It is not going to happen. Quit believing those lies. The scripture goes on to say you have to bring down every high thing that exalts itself above what God says about you.
God's not going to do it for you. You have to bring it down. God says you will lend and not borrow. Whatever you touch will prosper and succeed. Instead of watching that picture of you struggling, not having a business going down, cast down that imagination that's exalting itself above what God promised you start seeing yourself prosperous, coming out of debt, pay in your house of heaven and abundance so you can be a blessing to others. That image is not going to automatically come, but you can create it.
Use your imagination for the right purposes to see what God says about you.
God says with long live, he will satisfy you instead of watching that channel of you going downhill, being buried in that pink dress, not making it past your father's death. Bring down that imagination. Start seeing yourself strong, healthy, living a full, blessed life. Or maybe you've gone through a disappointment, a loss, an unfair situation.
Life hasn't turned out the way you had planned. Those images will come up of you live in depressed, lonely, never fulfilled. But God says he will give you a beauty for those ashes, that he will pay you back double for what was unfair, that he will take what was meant for your harm and use it to your advantage. Those pictures that are showing you defeated, rejected, lonely. They are exalting themselves above what God said about you.
Don't let them stay up. Bring them down. They are not a reality. See, the enemy will show you the ash is what he won't show you is the beauty that's coming. He'll show you the loss. What do you want? Show you is the new beginning. It's on the way. He'll show you that it's all downhill from here. What he won't show you is the double that's coming, double the joy, double the double the fulfillment.
Now do your part, protect your imagination, protect what you see when those images come that show you going downhill. They are not from God and they are not a reality.
Don't waste thirty years living worried, stressed out. Switch over into faith. The mistake many people make is they only watch one channel.
Whatever comes up in their imagination, they think that's all there is. So they watch it. You need to get cable in your mind. I have five hundred stations at home when I'm watching something I don't like. I don't want to sit there and endure it. I simply change the channel. It's the same way in your mind. You can have a lot of different channels on one channel. I see myself happy, fulfilled, enjoy in life. On another channel I see myself healthy, hold strong on another channel.
I see myself prosperous, blessed out of Dan on another channel. I see Victoria love and me with our whole heart on another channel. I see Victoria love and me with our whole heart. I got a bunch of old channel on another channel. My children doing amazing things, fulfilling their purpose, leaving their mom on another channel. I see our ministry growing, helping more people and another channel. I see myself living into my 90s, healthy, strong finish in my course with joy.
So when I switch on one of those channels that show me going downhill, losing my health, family falling apart, business drying up, I'm smart enough to say no thanks. I'm not watching that channel. I don't watch the TV channel. I don't watch the things are going downhill channel. I don't watch the Bad Memories Channel. I stay on the Victory Channel, the favorite channel, the more than enough channel, the overcoming channel.
In your mind when these negative imaginations come up, it's real simple. Change the channel. Quit watching things that are depressing you, making you worried, causing you to live in fear, not pursue your dreams. Cast down those imaginations. You control what plays in your mind. You can't stop all the negative images from coming, but you can stop them from staying. You have the remote control. Don't get stuck on that one channel. There was a young lady that came down for prayer.
She and her husband wanted to have a baby and had been trying for many years with no success and she'd gone through all the fertility treatments. She said, Joel, I've been worried since I was in my early teens that I wouldn't be able to have a baby because my mother had a terrible time getting pregnant with me. My grandmother had the same problem. Other family members have struggled with infertility. I always knew this was going to happen to me.
What you constantly dwell on is creating a picture in your imagination. Many times the enemy doesn't have to put negative images in our mind. We're creating them with our own thoughts. I told her what I'm telling you. You have to change the channel, quit seeing yourself barren, not able to have a child disappointed. Cast down that imagination. God says the fruit of your womb is blessed. He says your seed will be made in the land. He said in Psalms you will be the happy mother of children.
That means that infertility is exalting itself above what God says about you. You have to bring that down. She changed the channel. She started seeing herself with a baby. She switched off that station of all of her relatives, barren, disappointed.
She started seeing her and her husband playing with this baby, having fun, going around as a family. Three years later, she came back with a beautiful baby girl. Medically speaking, she wasn't supposed to have a child. But God has the final say. God controls the whole universe. Our negative pictures keeping you from your dreams.
Do you see yourself overcoming that addiction? Happily married, accomplishing what God put in your heart or are you watching the wrong channel? The scripture tells us intimately to have a disciplined mind. You can't watch every imagination that comes up. Your mind will naturally gravitate toward the negative if your business starts to slow down. Don't be surprised if in your imagination you start seeing the creditors coming. You see you having to lay people off, you see the doors closing.
If you're not disciplined and you let that play, you'll go around worried, stressed out. What's the answer? Change the channel. You can create new pictures in your mind, start seeing your business taken all seeing new customers, finding you, seeing opportunities, chasing you down. If you're struggling with an illness like my mom, those negative imaginations will come. You'll see yourself going downhill, not able to go back to work, be disciplined in your thought line.
When you're facing a physical battle, you need all of your energy to go toward you getting well when you're watching negative imagination's that's taking your strength, draining your energy, making you weaker.
Put up some new pictures, start seeing yourself strong and healthy, see yourself out exercising full of energy. See yourself living a long, blessed life. If you use your imagination the right way, it will help you stay hopeful and to believe that God can turn it around. When God promised Abraham that he was going to be the father of many nations, he was in his 80s too old to have a baby and God. Told him to go outside his tent and look up into the nighttime sky and as many stars as he could see, that's how many descendants he would have.
It wasn't a coincidence that God wanted him to have a picture of it, something that he could see. God knew these negative images would come. He knew Abraham would start seeing himself as being too old, thinking about how impossible it was. So God gave him this picture. And every time Abraham was tempted to get worried and talk himself out of it, he would go out and look up at the sky. He had imagined how those stars represented what God promised him.
What's playing on the picture screen of your mind, what God has spoken over you, how you'll accomplish your dreams, break the addiction, see your health restored, or are you letting discouraging pictures playing? If the only images you're seeing are negative, it's going to limit you.
God wants to use your imagination to create fresh vision, to make you hopeful, to help you stay filled with faith. There was a gentleman diagnosed with cancer of the bladder. The doctors told him that it was inoperable. He took chemotherapy, but it didn't do any good.
And all they could do was give him some pain medicine and send him home.
They told him he had less than a year to live, but instead of being depressed, given up on life, he did something interesting. All through the day, he imagined armies of healing white blood cells flowing through his body. He pictured them coming down from his head, going through his veins into his organs, attacking those cancerous cells, he said. These images were as clear in my mind as if I was watching them on television hundreds of times throughout the day.
He saw life healing, wholeness flowing back into him the whole time, thanking God that he was restored in hell, that he could do the impossible. He went back a year later for a checkup. The doctor said, we can explain it. We don't know how this has happened, but we can't find any sign of cancer in your body.
You may be struggling with an illness.
The medical report doesn't look good. But instead of dwelling on these negative images, why don't you start imagining right now these healing cells flowing through? You picture these cells that are full of the life of the most high God, attacking and devouring every sick and disease cell in. You see yourself getting healthy. You see yourself coming out of that sick bed. Cancer is no match for our God. What's trying to stop you is no match for the creator of the universe.
Keep the right pictures playing in your mind.
Don't let your imagination be used to worry you to defeat you. Turn it around and use it to encourage you. To strengthen you, to inspire you.
God said in Jeremiah, I have set you over the nations to rule over kingdoms, to pull down and root out, to build and plan. Notice the order before you can build and plan before the situation will turn around. Before you see increase, you have to pull down and root out. Like Jeremiah, God has a place of victory for you where you will rule over everything that's holding you back.
But you have to first pull down these wrong imagination's. You have to root out any negative pictures. If you're going to a job interview, don't imagine that you're not going to get it. Don't imagine that they're not going to like you. You're defeating yourself before you get there. Pull down that imagination and imagine them choosing you.
Imagine you stand in out. Imagine you working. They're excelling at that position. If you let these negative imaginations play, they'll cause you to be weak, timid, feel unqualified, change the channel. Joel, what if I do that and it doesn't work? What if you do it and it does work? If you do it and you don't get the position, that just means God has something better in store. But if you're always letting these negative images play, you will never know what you could have become.
If you feel a pain in your side, thoughts will tell you, oh, man, as serious as the same thing that took your uncle's life, he didn't make it that long. Neither will you. If you're not disciplined in your mind, you'll get all panicked. You'll start thinking of all the worst case scenarios. By the time you get home, you'll be writing out your will, making your final. Arrangements. All it was, was you had too much pizza for lunch, you just needed some Pepto Bismullah even if it is something serious, what's going to help you to stay in peace is to keep the right images in your mind.
Most of the things that come against us are not what we think they are. We let our imaginations run wild and show us all the worst case possibilities. If you hear a siren at night, your children are not home. Thoughts will tell you that your child, your son's been in an accident. He's headed to the hospital right now. You better get up, do something about it. If you let that plane before long, you'll see the ambulance, you'll see the accident, you'll see it all taken place.
Those are wrong imagination's that you have to cast down.
Instead of believing those lies, worryin, imagining the worst.
Turn it around, Father. Thank you. That my children are in the palm of your hand. Thank you. That no weapon formed against them will prosper. Thank you. That your angels are watching over them, keeping them from accident and harm. What am I saying? Be disciplined in your mind. Don't let your imagination run wild and show you all the negative possibilities. It was a twenty three year old young lady named Sarah. She went to the grocery store to pick up a few items.
When she got back in her car, she heard a loud noise and felt something hit her in the back of the head. She thought she'd been shot. She reached up and felt what she thought were her brains coming out. She initially passed out. When she woke up, she sat in the car motionless for over an hour, holding the back of her head, trying to keep her brains in. A man walked by and noticed something was wrong, called the police.
The police came and asked her to open the car door. She said she couldn't. She had been shot and she was holding her brains in. The police broke open the back window. They discovered a can of Pillsbury biscuits had exploded. The dough had shot out and hit her in the back of the head. Maybe what you're imagining is not what you think it is. Maybe that's not your brains after all. Here's my point. Maybe you're not stuck.
Maybe the addiction is not permanent. Maybe your health isn't going downhill. Maybe your dream is achievable. Perhaps all those pictures that have been playing in your imagination are not your true reality. Maybe they're just a bunch of dough trying to keep you from moving forward. Do yourself a favor, open up the car door, let go your brains and get going. About a year after I begin ministering, the church was really growing and we decided to start a second Sunday morning service.
Now, I announced that on the first Sunday of the year, two thousand, we were going to have this new early morning service. This was in October, so I had several months to think about it during that time. All kinds of negative thoughts told me, Joel, this is a big mistake. Nobody is going to come. You're going to look like a fool. I tried to stay in faith, but one night I had a dream.
A better description was a nightmare. It was that first Sunday of our new service when I went out to minister, not one person was in the auditorium, not Victoria, not my mother, not a musician, not an usher, nobody. I woke up in a cold sweat. Thoughts told me you better cancel it. There's still time to call it off. You can halfway save face all through the day. That image of that empty auditorium would come up.
I had to do what I'm asking you to do, change the channel. Sometimes I'd change it. And the same picture would be on the next station. Kind of like watching the presidential debates. There are everywhere. I had to keep flipping and flipping till I found something encouraging. The week of that first service rolled around and I was talking to my mom.
I kind of nonchalantly said, Are you coming to the news service this Sunday? She looked at me puzzled and said, Joel, does it start this weekend? Dear Lord, we've announced that four hundred and thirty seven times my own mother's not coming. That dream might have been a prophecy, but I said, yes, it starts this weekend. You need to come bring all your friends, enemies, neighbors, cousins, relatives, ancestors. It wasn't easy, but I kept changing the channel.
I made up my mind. I am not watching the empty auditorium channel. I'm not watching the nobody's come and channel. I'm going to stay on the victory channel and in my imagination, through my eyes of fate, I saw thousands of people coming on that. First Sunday of 2000, I was so nervous, I left the house an hour early when I pulled up to the property, one parking lot was already full. We had over 6000 people that day and they've been coming ever since.
What am I saying?
Pass down these wrong imagination's. They are not a reality. They are trying to deceive you into living worried, afraid. So you will give up on your dreams. Why is it that we let our imagination run wild only in the negative direction? We imagine the worst. Imagine what's not going to work out. Why don't you start letting your imagination run wild in the right direction? Imagine live in a super sized life. Imagine accomplishing your dream. Imagine your children doing amazing things.
Let's keep the right pictures in our minds when those negative images come up the quick to change the channel. Remember, they are not a reality. If you will protect your imagination, I believe and declare like Abraham, God is going to bring promises to pass. You're going to overcome obstacles, accomplish your dreams and reach the fullness of your destiny in Jesus name. If you receive it. Can you say amen? Today I'd like to give you an opportunity to meet Jesus, the Lord of your life.
Would you pray with me? Just say, Lord Jesus, I repent of my sins. Come into my heart. I'll make you my Lord and Savior. If you prayed that simple prayer. We believe you got born again. Get in a good Bible based church. Keep God first place. He's going to take your places that you've never dreamed.
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