"THE BATTLE FOR YOUR MIND"

I. INTRODUCTION

The mind of the human being is the most powerful part of your human existence. The mind is more than just the 3 pound mass of cells in your skull that is the computer that controls every function of your body. Your mind has many different functions but two of the most powerful are the memory and imagination. With the memory you replay the past and with your imagination you pre-play the future. Both play an incredibly powerful role in determining how you live your life while you were here on this earth.

Your mind is a functioning part in what the Bible calls your soul. According to the Scriptures you are created in the likeness and image of God which means you are a spirit that possesses a soul which allows you to function in the spirit realm; and that at your creation He also gave you a body to house your spirit and the soul so that you can also function and relate to the physical realm. This makes the human being an incredible creation because you can function in both the spirit realm and the physical realm.

Since the mind is such a powerful part of us I can understand why both God and Satan battle over the control of your mind because he who controls your mind will most likely determine where you spend your eternity.

This battle began all the way back in the Garden of Eden when Satan came to God's human creations, Adam and Eve, and presented Eve with the lie that set into motion this epic conflict over the mind of man. Adam and Eve believed his lie that they would be "like God" and they disobeyed God's "only" command to them. As a consequence of this act the entire human race that would come after Adam was plunged into darkness because Adam and Eve rejected the benefits of God's kingdom and yielded their dominion over the earth to Satan. So after Adam, every human was born into the kingdom of darkness under Satan's control.

God, because of His great love for His human creations, had to institute a plan to redeem His human family from under Satan's control. The battle for the control of man's mind has raged ever since.,br>

This teaching entitled "The Battle for Your Mind" is being given so that you can come to understand what this battle is, how it is being waged, and how you can be victorious in this battle over the control of your mind.

________________________________________________________________

II. WHAT DOES YOUR THINKING HAVE TO DO WITH YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE?,

YOU ARE WHAT YOU THINK

Have you ever considered what effect the way you think has on the way you live your life? It is a well-established fact that what goes on in your thought life has a direct impact on every area of your life. It affects your attitudes, hopes and fears, the way you speak, your personal philosophy of life, how you react to others, how you do your job, and how you will fulfill your family responsibilities.

Out of his God-given wisdom Solomon encapsulated this principle in a single phrase:

"As a man thinks within himself, so he is." Proverbs 23:7

Every act of man, however good or bad, begins with a single thought.

_____________________________________

EVERYTHING IN LIFE STARTS WITH A SINGLE THOUGHT

A single thought can change your life dramatically if it is dwelt upon, developed, and translated into action. Every modern convenience you have now began with an idea in the mind of the inventor! Equally, every facet of your character and action of your life started as a single thought.

  • The first site of the man's future wife triggered a thought pattern which resulted in his asking for a date and their ultimate marriage.
  • The first time the convict considered how easy it would be to shoplift, he triggered a thought pattern which resulted in his stealing and eventual imprisonment.
  • The idea of man being able to fly like a bird triggered a sequence of events that resulted in the development of the airplane.
  • The child's first encounter with a barking dog set off a thought pattern which resulted in a deep-seated fear of being attacked by one.
  • The construction of a great building starts with a single thought in the mind of an architect or builder.
  • The raping of a woman starts with a single thought in the mind of a man who eventually becomes so obsessed with the idea that he commits the act.

This principle can work either positively for your good or negatively for your harm.

Let's look at a positive example:

"Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years came up behind Him and touched the edge of His garment. She said to herself, 'If I only touch His garment, I shall get well.' Jesus turned and saw her and said to her, 'Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you." Matthew 9:20-21

What motivated the sick woman to push through the crowd to reach Jesus? A single thought: "If only I touch His garment, I will get healed." I'm sure she had heard about and possibly even seen other people healed by Jesus. This rekindled an undying hope that she would one day be well again. She had to touch him. If only she could, she just knew she would be healed. This thought, which had now become a confidence of faith, gripped and motivated her as she pushed through the crowd. Nothing would stop her -- and she received according to her faith.

A single thought, based on the truth of God's desire to heal the sick, triggered the whole sequence of events leading to its realization.

A negative example would be the story of David and Bathsheba:

See 2 Samuel 11:2-4

In this example we see how David's thoughts became his actions. The way he thought within himself was the way he became. A lustful thought became an act of adultery.

The sad truth is that the sequence could have been stopped at any point if David had so desired. He was the master of his own thoughts just as you are the master of your own thoughts.

______________________________________

YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF WHAT GOES INTO YOUR MIND

"We Are destroying speculations and every lofty thing that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ."
2 Corinthians 10:5

Recognizing the truth that you can destroy thoughts that come at you and that you can take your thoughts captive and make your thoughts obedient to God should cause you as a responsible Christian to take control of your thought life. A sinful thought that is not dealt with will result in a sinful action. On the other hand, a righteous thought that is entertained will produce a righteous action.

Look at the onslaught of the information overload that you are exposed to on a daily basis. Look at the things that bombard your mind everyday. Things like radio, television programs, books you read, magazines you look at, reading your Bible, billboards you see, audio materials you listen to, etc. Look at the millions of dollars spent on advertising that you see, especially through TV commercials that try to make you lust after things that you really don't need. Consider all the crime, murders, sexually explicit situations, violence, ridicule of fatherhood, adulterous situations, etc. that you allow to enter into your mind. Can you begin to see the battle that you have with trying to control our thinking.

Yet God tells you in the Scriptures what you have to do to overcome this attack on your mind.

"Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things."
Colossians 3:2

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and fewer, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8(New Living Bible)

You are responsible for what you allow to enter into and remain in your mind. You have the control. You may not believe this because of your experience, but in the next issues I will show you how you can develop this control.

________________________________________________________________

III. YOUR MIND AND YOUR SALVATION

The principle of setting your mind on something works for everyone, whether you are a Christian or not a Christian. All human beings have a soul. The soul is that part of you that is your mind, your will, and your emotions. Since every human being has a mind, then this principle of setting your mind on something with the potential of bringing it to pass is a law of God that He has given to you and applies to every human being. It is His great desire that you use it in a positive manner to bring good things to pass, but if you choose to use for evil it will still work and bring the consequences of those actions.

You must recognize this principle and make it work for you as you seek to develop into the fullness of God's purpose for you.

________________________________________

THE ROLE OF SIMPLE FAITH

"Without faith it is impossible to please God" Hebrews 11:6

"So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding. Surely we don’t need to start again with the fundamental importance of repenting from evil deeds and placing our faith in God." Hebrews 6:1 (Living New Testament)

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;..." Ephesians 2:8

As you see from these scriptures, faith is absolutely necessary for your salvation, it is essential in order to please God, and it is something that you can place where you want to.

What is Simple Faith?

The simplest working definition is that faith is putting your trust and confidence in someone's words to the extent that you act upon them.

For example:

The weatherman says it is going to rain tomorrow; so you prepare by taking your raincoat or umbrella. You have exercised your faith in his words and acted accordingly.

Your employer says he will pay you $xxx.00 at the end of the week for doing a job. You put in 40 hours of labor for him because you put your faith in his words and acted accordingly.

Putting our faith in God is the same thing. We hear what He says and then act accordingly. This pleases God and He then acts on your behalf.

Faith is a combination of two words: Trust and Belief. The trust gives you the confidence that what God says is true and the belief is actually an action word indicating you will act on what was said, not simply give it a mental assent that it might be true.

It takes the exercise of your faith to go through the process of changing your thinking. You must believe that what God says is true concerning your mind and then act accordingly.

______________________________________

YOUR SALVATION IS A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE

Your new birth into the kingdom of God is primarily a spiritual issue. In order to be born again your natural mind must lay aside its logic and reason and submit to God's words and the operation of simple faith. The act of coming into covenant with God was an act of faith on your part because you could not see or feel anything that was happening. You are a being that, according to Scripture, is created in the likeness and image of God (Genesis 1:26). Therefore, you are a being that exercises your simple faith all the time. You can either exercise your faith towards what God says and adjust your lifestyle accordingly, or you can believe what Satan tells you and adjust your life accordingly, or you can believe what other human beings say and then adjust your life accordingly. The choice is up to you because part of being created in the likeness and image of God is to have the freedom of choice. You have the freedom to make choices, but once those choices are made you do not have the freedom to choose the consequences of those choices made.

So when it comes to your new birth experience and your salvation it requires that you focus your faith on what God says and then begin to "set our minds" on what He says so that your lifestyle actions begin to be conformed to His desires for your life.

When you were born again you did not "receive Jesus" into your heart as many preachers say. The Scripture says that Jesus is seated at the right hand of the Father after His resurrection. The Father then sent the Holy Spirit as your new Teacher and Helper. You simply responded to what God declared to you as truth by simple faith and accepted the fact that what He said He was doing - He was actually doing it. You were being transferred from the kingdom of darkness into His kingdom by simply believing that He is the Lord of His kingdom and yielding your life to His Lordship. This act of faith becomes the vehicle of being born again into a new life that allows you to enter His domain and experience your eternal salvation. When you do this, God's Holy Spirit comes into your life as a gift to give you the same "life" that was in Jesus. This experience of receiving God's gift is what is commonly referred to as "receiving Jesus into your heart". This is the essence of the New Covenant. It is a "spiritual" happening that is done to you and for you by God. You simply accept it as a fact by simply exercising your faith toward what God has said.

____________________________________________

GOD'S ULTIMATE GOAL FOR YOU IS TRANSFORMATION

Your salvation, though a spiritual encounter initially, deals with the whole of your being -- body, soul, and spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit permeates every area of your life.

"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and all things have become new!" 2 Corinthians 5:17

The process of change which takes place in your life after being born again begins to affect every area of your life. It is a process of change towards a very specific goal. The Scripture teaches you in 2 Corinthians 3:18 that "we are being transformed into Christ's image".

"For whom He foreknew, He predestined to to become conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren;..." Romans 8:29

THIS IS THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF THE FATHER GOD FOR EVERYONE WHO BECOMES A CHRISTIAN AND ENTERS INTO HIS KINGDOM.

_______________________________________________________________

IV. REMOVE YOURSELF FROM THE MOLD OF THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS LIFESTYLES

Your salvation was initiated by God and you've received your new birth as a free gift, knowing that there was nothing you could do to merit it or earn it.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;..."

Your Christian experience is not passive or beyond your control. You have a responsible part to play.

"Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." Philippians 2:13 (Living New Testament)

You are by nature a creature of free will and choice. As a Christian you can choose to disobey God or to follow Him wholeheartedly. When you are first born again into the kingdom of God you are literally a baby in your understanding of how to live in that kingdom. It is totally different than what you have been used to all of your life while you were in the kingdom of darkness. Remember, the scripture says that you are a new creation, that old things have passed away, and new things have come. That does not mean that you will instantaneously be able to live your life like Jesus did. You may have the desire but you lack the ability because you are so young in your understanding of the ways of God.

Let me give you a couple of examples.

[1] When you are 1 year old you may have the desire to tie your shoes, but you have not developed enough manual dexterity in your fingers to accomplish it. But given a little more age you will learn this feat and have no problem with it the rest of your life.

[2] When you are 8 years old you may have the desire to drive a car, but you have not yet developed the mental skills or the reflexes to accomplish this feat. Give it a few more years and you will grow into the place where you have the abilities to accomplish this feat and have no problem with it the rest of your life.

I could give you many more examples such as baking a cake, cooking a meal, shooting a gun, etc. There are a great many things we learn how to do as we grow and develop in various skills and abilities. The same is true with our spiritual growth and development. It is a process just like growing through the stages of natural growth and development. We need to understand that the Holy Spirit now lives within you and will begin to lead you and guide you and reveal to you how to live this new life. While the Holy Spirit works in you, your responsibility is to learn to hear His voice within you, see what Scripture has to say, and then begin to do what you hear. This becomes the practical outworking of God's will and purpose in your life. This is what it means to learn to walk by the Spirit.

"Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." Philippians 2:13 (Living New Testament)

"Those who live according to the fleshly 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." Romans 8:5

This Scripture describes how the nature of your life -- expressed in actions, speech, and attitudes -- is a consequence of where you "set" your mind.

The fixing of your mind on a matter is an issue of personal choice. You decide about whether or not to entertain in your mind that which you know to be sinful. You have the final say as to what you will fill your mind with.

"Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." Romans 12:2

__________________________________________

YOU ARE TRANSFORMED BY THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND

A major part of "working out" what God has done in you begins by changing your thinking. The way you think as a Christian and what you let your mind dwell upon has a great bearing on your spiritual growth and stability. Your responsibility to think right as you work out what God has put in you is seen in the following Scripture:

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

Because you live in this world that is controlled by the kingdom of darkness your mind has become conditioned to its way of thinking. This inevitably works against God's purpose for you. Now that you have been called out of darkness and transferred into the kingdom of light you need to learn to think the way the inhabitants of this new kingdom think. If you have simply been born-again into this new kingdom, but yet you continue to expose yourself to the pattern of thinking of the kingdom of darkness you will remain like all the other people that are in that kingdom - lost in darkness. But, because you have been taken out of that kingdom and transferred into God's kingdom, the Holy Spirit is at work within you giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. Therefore, you can break out of the world's mold and be transformed into people who know and do God's will and represent Jesus perfectly, by the renewing of your mind.

God's ultimate purpose for you is to be like Jesus (Romans 8:29); you must therefore learn to think the way Jesus thinks. This involves a deliberate act of your will in 2 ways:

First, you need to decide not to conform any longer to the pattern of this world. This is the mental choice, the introduction of a new way of thinking.

Second, decide to act in line with this new way of thinking. You deliberately decide not to do the things which characterized the life you once lived when you were in the kingdom of darkness before you yielded your life to King Jesus. You need to consciously say: "I won't be conformed to the pattern of this world-- I'm going to think God's thoughts and consequently live God's way in covenant with God through Jesus Christ as I am taught by the Holy Spirit."

"If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is on account of these things that the wrath of God will come, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the one who created him..." Colossians 3:1-10

You are literally the "living dead" in the spiritual realm. You are dead to the old life in the kingdom of darkness, but alive in newness of life because of being born again into covenant with God in His kingdom.

As you set your mind to think God's ways you will also be able to put to death ( rid yourself of) your old sinful life patterns:

"Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of right justice to God. For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace." Romans 6:11-14

Reckoning or considering yourself dead to sin is an issue to do with the mind. Consider, think, ponder, and meditate upon the fact that because you are in covenant with God and the Holy Spirit lives within you that you are dead to sin and its power. You must become "God-inside-you-minded". Thinking this way equips you to resist temptation so that you "do not let sin reign in your mortal body". You will not have a desire to offer parts of your body to sin. When temptation comes to you simply humble yourself before God and thank Him for empowering you by the Holy Spirit within you and He will give you the dynamic power of grace - the desire and ability to do His will.

Think God's thoughts and you will live God's way more effectively. Think like Jesus; become like Jesus.

"...as He is, so are we in this world." 1 John 4:17

______________________________________________

ROLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE WORD'S OF GOD

In your natural life the way you grow to maturity from the time you were born is to be cared for, loved, fed, trained, and taught. As a believer that has come into the kingdom of God you need the same things. You are cared for and loved by both God and your brothers and sisters that are part of God's family. They have gone through, or are going through, the same experiences you are. You are all in covenant with God in His kingdom and are learning to live a new life in a new way. You get trained, or at least should get trained, by being discipled or equipped by an older more mature follower of Jesus. This process should take place in the life of every believer following the example of a father training his son or a mother training her daughter. As to your being fed, this occurs as you read, study, and meditate on the Words of God as recorded in the Bible. As for being taught, you need to learn to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit within you as he leads us and guides you into truth because God gave Him to you to be your Teacher.

I believe one of the greatest tragedies of the Christian experience is that the modern-day Christian relies more on other human beings to teach them than we do on the Holy Spirit. We rely more on what we are taught through sermons, books, or teaching we receive on TV or other forms of audio media than we do on the ministry of the Holy Spirit within us.

He is the greatest gift that God could ever give a human being and you need to diligently pursue developing your friendship and your relationship with Him. After all, He is the spiritual life force that was in Jesus while Jesus was on the earth.

"But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said." John 14:26

"...greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

The Bible plays a very important role in our teaching because it perfectly reveals everything you need to know and understand about the ways of God. As you fill your mind with God's Word you will begin to see things through God's eyes and react to it as He would. Knowing God's Word will change your life, not in the sense of an academic learning exercise, but by knowing in your mind and heart what God says and then being able to apply it as the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of your understanding for the practical out-living of God's will and purpose for your life. The Bible should never take the place of the Holy Spirit as being our primary teacher. The Bible lights our path in this dark world, but the Holy Spirit is the Writer of the contents of the book and the power that makes the light. He should be the One that is our primary Instructor in life. After all, the promise of the New Covenant was the Holy Spirit not a book of more rules and laws to follow. That is what the Old Covenant was that had to be done away with by Jesus.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105

______________________________________________________________

V. CONCLUSION

"As a man thinks within himself, so he is." Proverbs 23:7

How you are today is a direct result of how you have thought up to this point in time. What you feel and experience now has been conditioned by what you have let your mind dwell upon, even today.

The sort of person you will be in the future depends on how you think from this point forward. Make a conscious decision to work with God by filling your mind with his thoughts so that it can be your boast that:

"As He is, so also are we in this world." 1 John 4:17

____________________________________________________________

IN OUR NEXT ISSUE OF OUR COVENANT KINGDOM COMMUNIQUÉ WE WILL CONTINUE ON WITH THE SUBJECT "THE BATTLE FOR OUR MIND". THE SPECIFIC SUBJECT OF NEXT MONTH'S E-ZINE WILL BE "KNOWING THE BATTLE".

If you have benefited from, or enjoyed the content of, this month's e-zine communiqué, please encourage others to sign up by using the form on our website at Covenant Kingdom Communique Opt-in Form

Thank you for subscribing and let me know what your thoughts or questions are on the form below. I am here to serve you in any way I can.

Advancing His kingdom,

ROB

Go to our Contact Us page



New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.