This is such a good meditation (#10) from Graham Cooke's book Radical Perceptions: Brilliant Thoughts For an Amazing Life. (You can order the book here on Graham's website.) Obviously, God meant what He said when He told us to give thanks in everything and to think on things that are lovely, pure, of a good report, etc. He knew there would be serious consequences not only for us but for those around us if we didn't take our thoughts captive. Graham explains that so well!
The Enemy is not content to depress you---he needs you for an ally
Whenever we have a negative mindset and confession, we give the enemy permission to afflict us. Agreement is either the making or the breaking of us, depending upon who we align ourselves with in real terms. We allow ourselves to be overcome mostly by default. We are meek in our acceptance of situations and circumstances to the point where we become resigned to outcomes that should be challenged.
Overcoming a believer is not the prime goal of the enemy. Turning a Christian into an asset is the chief focus because then he has a resource into the family, church, business, ministry et al. The negativity, procrastination, doubt, fear, anxiety, anger, resentment, bitterness, passivity, unbelief and resignation generated gives the enemy so many tools and weapons in that confined space to create havoc. A believer that is so undermined becomes a Trojan horse; a means of internal destruction from without. How many relationships can be affected? How many dreams ruined and visions damaged?
Ten spies out of twelve brave men were so undone by the enemy that they ruined the chances of over a million people reaching the land of promise. The enemy works by penetration, demoralization and subversion. Homes, relationships, churches, and the workplace are infliltrated with negativity. Breaches are caused in fellowship. We become prone to tiredness, weariness and inertia. The devil is the prince of the power of the air; he lives in the atmosphere. Penetrating the atmosphere to create an environment that he can live in is a major strategy. Check out the atmosphere around you. If it is not loving, joyful, peaceful, gracious and gentle. . .you have a problem! We all know when we have an infestation of ants, mice, rats and cockroaches, the signs are everywhere. What is true in the natural is also true in the spirit. We must reclaim our own inner territory before we can recover the ground around us.
Demoralizaion occurs gradually. There is a softening up process: an attack on morale, general discouragement, feelings of powerlessness. People imagine the worst and become prone to worry, fear and general malaise, a feeling that nothing much will change. We want escape, not recovery. Our prayer life is subdued and we feel resigned, indifferent. Positive people make us annoyed and we want to burst their bubble.
Our language and attitude ensnare other people. Misery loves company. We are bored, tired, blaming everything and everyone else. Adrift from rejoicing, no faith connection. We are done! Now we are ripe for the enemy to use us in the subversion of others. We have been won over to a passive acceptance of our circumstances. By not contributing to the atmosphere positively, we become an unconscious resistor; a drag and a drain on the work and relationships. Subverted people challenge everything negatively. They murmur, complain and undermine. They are a critical, corrupting influence. They have allowed themselves to be unequally yoked to a negative.
Negative feelings and thought make us vulnerable to the enemy. Anxiety is tiring and tiresome! Sarcasm, cynicism and oppositional humor pulls everyone down. When something adverse happens, the first things we think, say and do tell us everything about our true spiritual condition.
When we allow ourselves to become negatively intended, we become like the enemy. When our mind is renewed, we destroy speculations and bring every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5-6)
Where are we on the strategy of Penetration, Demoralization and Subversion? What are the signs of negative spiritual infestation around us? Are we contributing to that atmosphere or are we committed to changing it for good?
Read chapers 11-14 of Numbers to understand the process of destabilization that is used by the enemy. How will you counter that process?