The panorama of your mind is full of high rise cities and towns, vast rail networks, tall cranes, large new riverside developments as well as pathways and roads – all within the distant sound of a holy war.
It’s these cities and towns that determine what will become of you and your future. Every day, trains arrive to drop off fresh supplies that keep the urban residents vibrant and strong. What happens in the cities determines the outcome of your entire life.
MIND MAP IMAGE
Below is a link to the scanned images of Dave Gilpin’s sketch of the ‘Mind Map’. Once open – click on the map to enlarge and navigate around it…
MIND MAP AUDIO EXPERIENCE
Dave Gilpin has also created ‘An Audio Experience’ – walking you through the cities and strongholds of the mind. Click the link below for a 12 minute sample. You can purchase the full version from the Hope City Shop.
MIND MAP DESKTOP WALLPAPER
Click on the below resolutions to DOWNLOAD a copy of the MIND MAP sketch which can use as desktop wallpaper. To download right click on the image that appears and select SAVE IMAGE AS…
These cities and towns are the Strongholds of Habit that determine both the way we think and the way we behave. When discipline wanes and restrictions are removed our habits take over, driving every action we perform and every mood we carry. The stronger the city, the more it dominates our lives. The trains are Trains of Thought that run between The Grand Central Station of our Will and each of these Stronghold Cities. New thoughts arrive hour by hour at Grand Central and it’s the choices that we make with them that cause them to either board the Trains of Unbelief that lead to the Carnal Cities of the Fallen Mind or the Trains of Faith that lead to the Cities of Grace and Truth that are currently being created in the New Mind of a Believer. The decision to either let these thoughts board the Trains of Temptation or board the Trains of Obedience hold the key to which Cities within us grow the largest and how much of God’s ‘good, perfect and pleasing will’ we end up experiencing.
If you think you can’t, you can’t.
Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can do a thing or if you think you can’t do a thing, you’re right’. He’s almost right! If you think you can, you possibly can, but if you think you can’t, you most definitely can’t. Your mind sits on the seat of power between the inner world of your spirit and the outer world in which you live, move and exercise your being.
Romans 8:5 tells us, ‘Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires’. What your mind is set on, or your mindset, determines what you live out. Your mind, therefore, is the connector between your inner world and your outer world. The settings or habits of the mind fully determine the way we live our lives.
Romans 12:2 tells us to ‘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’. The Bible makes it clear that not only does real transformation of a person’s life come from a change in the thinking process, but the experiencing of God’s perfect and expansive Will rests entirely upon it. If your mind is renewed, you can begin to test drive the Maserati of the Will of God.
The first step to experiencing God’s Will is to become a Christian and make Jesus Lord of your life. He will give to you both Eternal Life and a New Heart as the Holy Spirit takes residency within you (2 Corinthians 5:17). It becomes our challenge to renew and re-landscape the mind, bringing all of our Trains of Thought and Cities of Habit in line with everything we now believe.
The Donny Osmond Experience.
Some time ago, I went to see Donny Osmond in London where he was comparing a new television quiz show for one of the lesser Sky channels! I took with me some young guys who were friends of mine from our church. After the show we rode the tube to the Tower of London to have a look around. We spotted a young couple madly kissing in a park as we walked by! After one of us made an involuntary whooping noise at the ‘lovers’ in the park, we walked on, thinking no more about it. Before we knew it, the man had left his partner in the park and was vigorously pursuing us! Upon finally noticing our dangerous predicament, we all made a dash for it. At the start of the dash, one of my friends who was half my age, bumped into me. Without thinking, I put my arm out and tried to hold him back so as to give myself a head start! I couldn’t believe what I’d done. Nor could he! I tried to take myself out of danger and put him in it. The man chasing could have had a knife and my friend could have been killed. It just so happened that I was the slowest runner in our group and the man eventually caught me up, pushed me into the wall of a hotel, only to be pushed off by security!
My reactions puzzled me. My mind had defaulted back to either a primitive survival setting, or to a setting created from childhood, when getting chased was all part of the fun and games. Either way, it was driven by a predetermined pattern of behaviour that came from a setting in the mind!
We all have them – habits and dispositions created by our basic instincts, emotional throwbacks, our propensity to fear and our knack of reasoning things through. Our minds have a bias towards both their natural and carnal dispositions. You don’t have to teach someone to be greedy or selfish. It comes naturally. Within this fallen nature lie habitual strongholds – huge cities and metropolises that hold sway over new thoughts and new observations. Many of these habits are longstanding and may have been learned from the dawn of our consciousness.
ZONES OF STRONGHOLDS
The Carnal Cities can be found in three distinct yet highly connected zones within the Mind of a Believer.
1. The Royal Cities
In the first zone we find The Royal Cities of Self. These are the Governing Cities and the strongest and tallest of all the City Strongholds of the Fallen Mind. Colossians 3:3 refers to them when it reminds us to reset our minds by lining them up with the Spiritual Nature of our New Hearts – ‘For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God’. To die is to surrender our self rulership to the rulership of God. These Self Cities in the mind include the Cities of Self Reliance, Self Righteousness, Self Protection, Self Centredness, Self Pity and Self Confidence. They may not seem all bad, yet their foundations rest upon a throne to Self. It’s what John called the ‘pride of life’ (1 John 2:16). The City armed to protect these Cities is the City of Self Justification. As a result of these City strongholds of the mind violence abounds in our world as people seek to push other people out of the way in order to get what they want and when they want it. Where self seeking abounds, all kinds of evils lurk in its shadows. It all begins in the mind – but rarely stays there. What a man thinks, he usually ends up doing. Where Self rules, it will rarely back down until it gets its way.
2. The Historic Cities
The second zone contains The Historic Cities. These cities are those that lure people by their attractiveness and intrigue. They’re the traditional Cities of Temptation. Colossians lists them in Chapter 3:5 ‘… sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry’. These are the Cities that John described as the ‘lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes’ (1 John 2:16). They take the natural instincts of food, shelter, sex and curiosity and seek to gratify them illicitly.
The City of Lust and the City of Greed both have pathways that lead down to the Stronghold Towns of Sexual Perversion, Theft, Obesity and Various Addictions. The back streets of these Cities are filled with thoughts of abuse against the weak and the innocent. The actual world we live in is a mirror reflection of the thoughts our world feeds on.
3. The Industrial Cities
In the third zone we find the Industrial Cities. These are the Attitudinal Cities that pollute the atmosphere of the entire mind. Colossians 3:8,9 lists some of these Cities. It declares, ‘But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these – anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self …’ These Cities of Slander, Rage, Bitterness, Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Rejection and Inferiority are all rail linked to the City of Deception, and all have major road links with the City of Self Pity. A host of fierce towns surround these Cities including Paranoia Town, Condemnation Hamlet and Anorexiaville. Within the walls of these polluting cities lurks shifting shadows ready to take their victims not only to Quitsville, but to towns where addictive forces are allowed to freely roam the streets. The world’s drug culture is driven by these forces of the mind.
TRAINS OF THOUGHT
Across the entire mind are Railway Lines that transport Trains of Thought to their desired destinations. The beginning of all these lines is The Grand Central Station of the Will. What happens here determines which cities get serviced and strengthened, and which get neglected and weakened.
Individual thoughts arrive at Grand Central ready to be taken to wherever the Will decides. They come from two places – the power of the Intellect which gathers information from both the five senses as well as the memory, and the power of Perception which gathers intuitive thoughts gleaned from deeper observations as well as a wealth of experience and knowledge.
The following example clearly illustrates how these thoughts can arrive at City Strongholds and determine your future life.
It may be that in five days time you’re going to be having your fortieth birthday. You’ve both looked at the calendar and been reminded of it by all of your friends. It’s a cognitive observation. Alongside that intellectual thought comes an intuitive thought – ‘Turning forty is a landmark in every person’s life – they say that ‘life begins at forty’. This is a significant time in my life.’
Both the Intellectual Thought and the Intuitive Thought arrive at Grand Central Station. As they walk over the central bridge that leads to each of the platforms, they’re beckoned by the Temptation Platform Station Masters to ride their waiting Trains of Thought. The Platform Station Master of Emotion simply asks the question, ‘What have you done with your life?’ The ‘forty’ Thought and the ‘forty’ Perception hears the sentiment behind the question and agrees. Turning their back on obedience, faith and the Word of God, they descend the stairs and board the train. Before long, the two ‘forty’ thoughts are a part of a long Train of Thought that is convinced that life has been one big story of failure and no one cares anymore! The tall towers of the City of Self Pity begin to close in on the train as it arrives at its destination. Depression Town becomes the neighbouring holiday destination.
Here’s the alternative story. The two ‘forty’ thoughts refuse to descend the stairs to the Platform of Emotion. They’ve done that before and know that it leads to a dead end of negativity and heaviness. Instead they descend the stairs to stand on the Platform of Obedience. The Station Master of the Holy Spirit is pleased that they heard his call for ‘all aboard’. No train is immediately present and the noise from the other side of the station remains deafening. Imaginations of both a new life with a new wife flash up on nearby screens as well as the word ‘loser’ on another.
The ‘forty’ thoughts wait for a short while until the certain train arrives. It’s the ‘But God’ Train of Faith. All of a sudden the ‘forty’ thoughts are accompanied by an array of thoughts, each with the logo ‘Eternal Truth’ written on them. ‘Forty marks the end of prophecy and the beginning of fulfilment.’ ‘Your life can’t be defined by what you do, but by who you are.’ ‘Success belongs to God, seed belongs to man.’
Before long, the ‘forty’ Train of Thought arrives at the City of Hope and after a short stay, now resides at the Gateway City of Joy.
Here are four more scenarios that illustrate how easy it is for a single thought and observation to jump on board a Train of Thought that soon arrives to strengthen a City of Habit in the Fallen Mind.
Thought: We’re in ‘Toys R Us’ and Jonny wants a new toy.
Train of Thought: I never got any toys when I was young – I was both neglected and unloved.
City of Habit: Self Justification City (Neighbouring Town: Resentment)
Jonny gets all the toys he wants and grows up without the security of firm and loving boundaries. This leads him to Angerville and in later years to Depression Town.
Thought: I’ve not been invited to the wedding reception.
Train of Thought: I never get invited anywhere. No one really wants me around.
City of Habit: Inferiority City (Neighbouring Town: Rejectionville)
Instead of inviting other people out, you start to reject other people and begin to live in isolation. This leads to Anxiety Town as well as Cynicsville.
Thought: Dad’s super pleased with my exam results.
Train of Thought: The only way to please Dad is through being at the top of my game. I long to please him.
City of Habit: Self Improvement City (Neighbouring Town: Condemnation)
Through not being able to consistently achieve strong results, Condemnation becomes the threatening habit. Instead of remaining true to who they are, people often become who they are not. For some, this leads to the Town of Second Life where people straddle between two disconnected worlds.
Thought: The washing machine has broken down.
Train of Thought: Everybody and everything is demanding something from me. I just need a little something for myself!
City of Habit: City of Lust (Neighbouring Town: Sexual Perversion)
Because nothing seems to go right, a slice of self pampering seems justifiable at the time. This creates the well worn track between Lust City and Theft Town. This eventually leads to major relational breakdowns and regular trips to Slander Town.
Make up your Mind
With such a descriptive map of the Fallen Mind, it makes perfect sense to follow the instruction given in Ephesians regarding the new mind. “You were taught, with regards to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds, and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).
What needs changing first is the Attitude of the Mind – not just its thoughts, but its Trains of Thoughts creating new attitudinal strongholds.
Romans 12:2 says to 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’. From this verse we can deduce it’s not just what you believe that counts, but what you think about what you believe. To personally experience and test drive God’s ‘good, pleasing and perfect will’ requires a complete refit of the mind. Change the landscape of your mind – change your world.
Four ways to Change your Mind
There are four ways to change the way you think.
1.Obedience and Repentance
The first way to change your Mind is to directly change what happens at The Grand Central Station of the Will where perceptions, thoughts, memories and observations line up to board Trains of Thought that are either heading to the Fallen Mind or heading to the New Mind of the Spirit. Repentance literally means to ‘change your mind’ – to flip it 180 degrees from facing the Fallen Cities to facing the future Cities of God. The Prayer of Repentance takes responsibility and ownership for every Train of Thought that heads towards the Carnal Mind.
There are five main excuses each involving the power of ‘reason’ that are demolished by true repentance.
1. It’s not my fault.
Repentance refuses to blame Dad, Uncle Tim, The Junior School, your previous boss, your list of disabilities and disorders or the side of the tracks you were born on.
2. I had a momentary lapse of reason.
People who have one are carried away by their wilful imaginings and unrestrained emotions. To give in to these powerful forces and temptations is a decision of the Will. To be in a place of overwhelming temptation usually requires a whole series of choices of the Will.
3. It’s just who I am.
Who we are today is a result of our internal choices, not external pressures. You can lock someone up in a prison cell indefinitely but you can’t lock up their minds. The choice of how you think is in your hands and no one else’s.
4. Something got a hold of me.
That may hold some truth, yet just as a person rides upon a horse, every spiritual force needs a set of decisions to ride upon. You made those decisions. Stop the horse, stop the rider.
5. I’m waiting for a move of God.
God will not move until we move by choosing to turn away from evil and turn toward righteousness. His power is released through the power of repentance.
Repentance is the courage to halt the Train of Thought in the Fallen Mind and return to Central Station. The kindness of God is always ready to transport us back no matter how deeply we have sinned (Romans 2:4).
Repentance then stands on the Platform of Humility and Obedience, ready for new Trains of Thought to arrive. Even though straightforward obedience is better than repentance, it’s not until new Tracks of Faith are laid and the Cities of God are well under way that obedience starts to override repentance. Obedience is never easy though especially in times of trial and immense difficulty. Even Jesus had to experience the difficult choice of obedience through all of the ‘things He suffered’ (Hebrews 5:8).
2.Developing New Tracks and Trains
The second way to change the way you think is through building the new Tracks of Faith and new Trains of Thought. Instead of being led by Tracks of Fear or the Tracks of Instinct, our thoughts are now taken captive by our Will to board the Trains of His Will.
These new tracks of Faith, however, are built upon what were initially narrow pathways of truth created when the power of a revelation seared its way across the landscape of the mind.
Revelation occurs when God speaks to us through His Word. Initially it lights up our spirit creating ‘the substance’ called Faith (Romans 10:17). It then creates a ‘laser beam’ of light that burns a direct pathway of thinking in the mind. Knowledge is now both in your spirit and in your mind. The expression ‘I know that I know’ becomes true not only for salvation but every time God speaks to us. We may have initially known the truth intellectually but now we know it convictionally. We know it’s true both in our Spirit and in our mind. When Peter declared ‘You are the Son of the Living God’, Jesus declared that this sudden awareness did not originate through the intellectual process but from revelation. ‘… For this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in Heaven’ (Matthew 16:17).
It’s our task now to turn the narrow path into a Railway Line that carries Trains of Thought to new City Strongholds of God. The way to do this comes through constant usage of the new pathway of thought. The more it’s ‘walked on’ the wider it gets. The more we meditate on our ‘But God’ words of faith, the wider it gets. The more revelation we get concerning the same lines of thought, the quicker it is for the widened pathway to become a major Train Line of Faith. It can then take our new Trains of Thought towards new clearings in the countryside, ready for the creation of new Cities of Habit. Colossians 3:2 describes the process as ‘setting your minds on things above …’. The new mind setting paves the way for the establishing of new Cities. The more we declare truth through the Power of Confession and the more we practice the truth through our Actions, the stronger the New Mind becomes.
Our first key of Repentance also assists in this process. 2 Timothy 2:25,26 says that ‘… God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil …’
Repentance causes three major things to take place – the creation of fresh revelation and therefore fresh pathways of truth in the mind; a pulling up of the old tracks of emotion and imagination (coming to one’s senses); and a freeing from satanic influences and temptations (escaping the devil’s trap). Together with new Trains of Thought, the door is opened to the creation of new City Strongholds.
3.Shock and Awe – Air Power
While all of this is going on at ground level, a Royal Air Force of Prayer is ready to do business in the skies. When summoned, it has enough ammunition to both destroy the supply routes to the Fallen Cities as well as directly attack the demonic Feeder Towns to the Cities themselves. 2 Corinthians 10:4, 5 claims –
‘The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.’
This passage not only refers to the Weapon of the Word ready to crush the ‘wisdom of the wise’, but also the Weapon of Prayer. As we launch Prayers of Declaration, Petition, Praise and Intercession, Tracks of Fear are uprooted, Floods of Emotion are unplugged and false arguments are destroyed, all by the releasing of God’s Spiritual Power.
The moment the supply links to a City are cut off, the City starts to decay. Like New York in the film ‘I am Legend’, it disintegrates through the course of time. It’s a slow but certain death. Through deeper prayer, however, some Towns and Cities can suddenly collapse in a powerful display of deliverance by the Hand of God. The result of this is Ghost Towns being scattered throughout the mind that were once great hubs of darkened activity. The sound of war is never far away as Old Sinful Cities and Towns are earmarked for destruction by the Spirit of God. The Spirit of Grace removes their blanket of cover and the Spirit of Truth exposes them for what they are. It’s here that tensions in the mind run high and other Cities such as Aggression, Denial and Rejection are all awakened to protect the singled out City or Town from any further form of attack. The Fallen Mind is at war against the growth and prosperity of the New Mind (Galatians 5:17).
Out of all of the Cities in the mind, the hardest ones to destroy are the Self Cities. There are the Governing Cities that dominate the unredeemed skyline. While Towns of Addiction can fall in a day, and Cities of Negativity can fall in a year, these Ego Cities remain highly reinforced. Cutting the supply chain needs to be backed by great patience.
The tracks that lead to these Cities have almost self mending properties and must be continually watched for their self promoting endeavours.
4.Creating New Cities
With the ground cover of Repentance as well the power of Obedience at The Grand Central Station of the Will, as well as new Trains of Thought and the incredible the power of Prayer, the stage is set to build and establish The Seven Cities of God that are destined to rule and reign across the entire panorama of the mind. These Gateway Cities are designed to tower into the sky casting long shadows of grace and truth across every part of the mind.
Galatians gives us nine evidences of the Holy Spirit’s activity in our lives. They’re called ‘The Fruits of the Spirit’. We see them as outward manifestations such as acts of kindness and goodness, yet the first fruits of the Spirit appear firstly in the mind before they appear in our world. These first fruits are the new Habits of the Mind that will create a permanent display of new Spirit led behaviour in our lives as well as put us on a collision course to fully experience God’s ‘good, perfect and pleasing will’.
These nine first fruits of the Spirit can be seen in the Seven City Strongholds of the Renewed Mind. They include:
1. The Metropolis of Love
2. The City of Joy
3. The City of Peace
4. The Twin Cities of Patience and Self Control
5. The Twin Cities of Kindness and Gentleness
6. The City of Goodness
7. The City of Faithfulness
1.The Metropolis of Love
Upon the skyline of the New Mind lies the growing Metropolis of Love. The Bible declares,
‘And now these three remain – faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love’ (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Upon full construction, the Metropolis of Love becomes the greatest of all Cities. Within it stands the Statue of Real Liberty that declares freedom from the tyranny of sin to every place within the mind. Its’ skyscrapers dominate the skyline and declares a love whose power can only be known through the Power of Revelation!
The streets of the Metropolis of Love hold never ending celebrations of who you are, whose you are and who you’re becoming. It holds the Mind’s Eye to the future of your life. Instead of the cruelty of competition and comparison created by The Royal Cities of Self, Love creates a never ending celebration of both your uniqueness and your God given destiny. It’s a City that never stops believing in you. ‘It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.’ It’s a noisy City. It goes on to do exactly the same to the outer world that surrounds it – it forgives, believes, celebrates and endures until all that it sees in love comes to pass.
This huge Metropolis is also a Windy City that blows away the toxic fumes of oppression and replaces it with the clean air of the Righteousness of Christ. Instead of Condemnation brought on by the effluence of the City of Self Righteousness, Love creates an acceptance that ‘keeps no record of wrongs’ and is always ready to forgive and forget.
Instead of the carnal indulgences that are a part of the Historic Cities of Temptation, it provides such a deep intimacy that has no parallels with anything found on earth. After Jesus got baptised, a voice from heaven declared, ‘… You are My Son, whom I love; with whom I am well pleased’ (Luke 3:22). If Jesus needed to be given a fresh supply of both affirmation and intimacy to help establish the Metropolis of Love within Him, then we especially need to flood our minds with fresh words of approval, affirmation and acceptance.
In the centre of the City stands the Statue of Real Liberty that has inscribed upon it the words of Isaiah 54:17 which states –
‘”No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the Lord.’
In the valleys of the Fallen Mind are rows of Furnaces designed to create weapons of mass destruction. These weapons are Words of Accusation with which Satan uses to both tempt and discourage the builders of the new Cities. The Statue’s declaration causes instant job losses in the valley Foundries.
2.The City of Joy
Rising amongst the hills and trees lies The City of Joy. It’s a River City with beautiful Apartments all the way along the waters’ edge. The Word of God says,
‘For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’ (Romans 14:17).
The City of Joy is our birthright. It’s not an added extra to the Christian life and it’s not associated with having lots of money or friends. It’s a first fruit of the Spirit. Nehemiah 8:10 declares that, ‘The joy of the Lord is our strength’. The more Joy we build, the stronger we get. The City of Joy is an Attitudinal City warding off the noxious gases of darkened attitudes coming from the Industrial Cities of the Carnal Mind. It lifts the spirit of our Minds’ Eye, enabling us to see more clearly all we’re called to be and all we’re called to do.
The City of Joy is also a City prophesied by Isaiah when He declared, ‘You shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands’ (Isaiah 55:12).
It goes on to declare that instead of the Thorn Bush of Bitterness will come the Strength and Shade of the Pine Tree, and instead of the Briers of Despair will grow the colourful and aromatic presence of the Myrtle Tree. Beauty replaces Ashes in the City of Joy.
This City will not be naturally built. That’s why Paul urged the Philippians to ‘rejoice in the Lord always’ twice over. The Psalmist also declared ‘I will rejoice and be glad’ (Psalm 118:24).
There are two Strongholds that nestle up to the City of Joy. The first is the City of Thankfulness. It’s full of appreciation for all that God has done, is doing and will do. It holds off the pollutants of complaining, envy and bitterness. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, ‘give thanks in all circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus’.
Thankfulness sees the diamond in the coal of yesterday, the seam of gold in the rock face of today, and the pearl within the sand of tomorrow. It supplies the City of Joy with invaluable treasures that help Joy to dominate both the landscape and the skies above.
The second Stronghold nestled next to the City of Joy is the City of Hope. It’s full of the anticipation that something good is about to happen. It expects great things even in the midst of great calamities. Its key verse is Romans 8:28 – ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose’. Traffic jams appear between the City of Hope and the City of Joy the moment trouble arises. Trials and tribulations become the building blocks sent by Hope to expand the City of Joy in the most unlikely of times.
Running through the City of Joy is the River of Gladness (Psalm 46:4). Its source is a deep cavity that leads from our inmost being (John 7:38). This river is often associated with ‘The presence of God’ and time spent in it and near it can dramatically assist the building of this great City.
3.The City of Peace
As we head South towards our third Stronghold, it becomes evident through the increasing numbers of armed patrols and armoured vehicles that this is not a City to be played with or ignored. The Word of God says,
‘And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:7).
The City of Peace is the major Policing City of the Renewed Mind. Its presence watches over all of the Cities and surrounding countryside and both monitors and disarms the Machinations of Fear and Frenzy. Colossians 3:15 urges us to, ‘let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts …’ To build this City Stronghold, we must take heed to the Peace of God and allow it to dominate over the opposing skyline of Anxiety, Anguish and Anger.
Romans 16:20 gives Peace devil crushing power when it declares, ‘The God of Peace will soon crush Satan under your feet’. Peace not only wears a uniform, but it’s armed and dangerous. It’s a major stronghold of the New Mind.
4.The Twin Cities of Patience and Self Control
As we turn back Northward, the Twin Cities of Patience and Self Control are marked by a huge Clock Tower that rises into the sky. This tower is called the ‘Timing of the Lord’ signifying that God is both The God of breakthrough and The God of timing. He does all things in His perfect time (Romans 5:6).
In this Twin City ‘walking only’ signs are on every street corner and wherever the Clock Tower’s shadow is cast upon the ground, the words ‘God is in control’ are seen by everyone who passes by.
The writer to the Hebrews passionately declares,
‘We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised’ (Hebrews 6:12).
Every one of the Carnal Attitudinal Cities has a road that leads to Quitsville. It aborts missions and says ‘I’m going no further’. The Twin Cities combine together to make a Governing City that determines that all that God has planned for us shall surely come to pass, even if it takes a little longer than expected.
It’s easy to get Faith, but it takes these Twin Cities to be fully established in order for us to keep the faith over the duration of time set by the Providence of God. Galatians refers to their Governance when it says, ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up’. If Patience prevents us from giving up, then Self Control prevents us from mucking up. Both a quick Flood of Emotion and a Momentary lapse of Reason, while waiting for the promises of God to come to pass, can seriously affect our future. It can take thirty years to build a Godly reputation, and only half an hour in a Historic City of Lust to destroy it. It can take ten years of waiting for God’s plan to eventuate and we can be found living in Quitsville just one month before it was actually destined to come to pass.
These Twin Cities are like glue – they hold everything together until God’s prescribed time.
5.The Twin Cities of Kindness and Gentleness
As we head towards the Twin Cities of Kindness and Gentleness there appears to be Junk Yards on either side of the road. Within them are disguarded goods that have either broken, become obsolete or been simply branded as ‘worthless’. The Twin Cities takes what others have rejected and restores them to the best days of their lives. The Bible declared about Jesus,
‘A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out till he leads justice to victory’ (Matthew 12:20).
Without God establishing a Stronghold of Grace within our minds, we naturally veer back to the harshness of Religion, the cut and dryness of Self Righteousness as well as the cruelty of Rejection. Every person has a season of incredible weakness, failure and abandonment. It’s at this time where many give up and find a small bedsit to live in in one of the Fallen Cities. The City of Kindness and Gentleness is a life giver to the weak, the maimed, the poor and the lonely. They take what others have rejected and say to people ‘We think we can make you better than you’ve ever been!’ The Twin Cities are full of smouldering wicks ready to burst into flame and full of bruised reeds being gently healed for a new season of usefulness and destiny.
6.The City of Goodness
As we head east, a City of glass appears. Everything in that City is open for display. Nothing is hidden. It’s the City of Goodness. The Psalmist wrote
‘Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever’ (Psalm 23:6).
The Fallen Nature is an expert at smoke and mirrors, posturing, counterfeiting and deception. The City of Goodness stands out on the skyline as a beacon of integrity, making sure that we are who we say we are and we end up doing what we say we’ll do.
Psalm 25:21 says, ‘May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you’. The City is a Guardian City that both protects us from our former selves and makes sure that all we think and do is in line with what we actually believe. It makes sure that the Commitments of our Mind are in Unity with the Convictions of our Spirit. It goes on to insure that the Confessions of our mouth and the Conduct of our Lives also line up with the Conviction of our Spirit and the Commitments of our Mind. Unity isn’t when all the Churches in your town come together – it’s when You come together. It’s there that God commands His blessing! In the Parable of the Talents, ‘Well done good and faithful servant’ was met by a ‘come and share in your master’s happiness.’ (Matthew 25:21). The City of Goodness and the City of Joy are two Cities with a vast transport link between them.
7.The City of Faithfulness
The last of our Seven Stronghold Cities that God creates by His Spirit and through our Obedience is the City of Faithfulness. In the centre of it is a skyscraper that soars into the sky. On the very top are the words ‘It is finished’. The Psalmist declares
‘For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies’ (Psalm 57:10).
This City is the City that guarantees that God will finish all that He has begun within your Life.
Faithfulness is a City that floods the countryside of the mind with a knowledge that God will not discard, give up on or quit the good work that He’s started within us. He will be faithful to see it right through to the end. ‘… He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ’. (Philippians 1:6) He’ll be faithful to finish what He’s started. ‘Even if we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself’ (2 Timothy 2:13). He is always faithful.
This City is well aware of our humanity, our history and our heartbreaks, yet it declares that none of these shall stand in the way of God and His dreams for our lives.
The construction of new Cities and new infrastructures as well as the demolition of old Cities and old infrastructures takes time. It’s essential to not ‘despise the day of small beginnings’, and even while the towers of the Self Cities still loom in the distance, it’s vital that we don’t lose heart as we lay the Track of Faith that will one day lead to huge Metropolises of Grace and Truth.
We may find ourselves reverting back to our old habitual default settings when we fail to obey God at The Central Station of the Will, but through persistent Repentance, Obedience, Faith, Prayer, Meditation, Declaration and Application, we’ll find our skyline beginning to change and our very nature changing with it.
Not only will Old Towns become Ghost Towns, but the old disused Tracks of Emotion and Imagination in the Carnal Mind are all re-laid and re-used in the Spiritual Mind. You’ll start to feel great doing the Will of God, and you’ll imagine yourself doing great things. It will all seem perfectly reasonable and logical as long as we remain in faith.
It’s at this point that the full panorama of Gods’ Will begins to open up to us so that, through being transformed by the renewing of our minds, we can now start to test drive God’s ‘good, pleasing and perfect will’. It’s here that our renewed thinking changes everything about who we are and how we react and respond to the world around us. We can love because we know love. We can believe in people’s futures because we know how much God believes in ours. We can display joy and hope and lift the spirits of a Nation and we can touch the broken with the healing power of gentleness and kindness. When tested by fire, we can prove through the integrity of ‘goodness’ we’re not one hit wonders and we are who we said we were – lovers of God, even when the benefits turn into trials. We can litter the world with generous gifts of encouragement and provision even as His goodness saturates our life every day we’re alive.
Our new way of thinking begins with just one thought at the Grand Central Station of the Will. It’s just one thought but where will it go? It all depends on you.
All images, text and audio versions of Dave Gilpin’s Mind Map are copyright protected to Dave Gilpin 2008. They can not be used in any way without prior written permission.