The Battlefield of the Mind
The mind is the great battlefield where relentless spiritual war is waged—the war for the control of people’s thoughts and, through their thoughts, their actions.
Most of the things that bring people down start in the mind: pride, jealousy, selfishness, hatred, covetousness, bitterness, worldliness, self-righteousness, unbelief, etc. They begin in the mind, take root in the mind, and fester in the mind—all through putting on the mind of man and the mind of the world instead of the mind of God.
The Bible has much to say about the need to guard our thoughts, about finding and putting God’s will above our own will, and about putting on the mind of Christ:
“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2).
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).
“To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).
“Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
It is through the mind that Satan gains entrance, through the mind that he tries to influence people, through the mind that he works to recruit the lost of the world to his side, and it is through the mind that he controls and manipulates his own.
And the Devil doesn’t stop with his own, of course. He also attacks God’s children, trying to hinder their happiness and well-being and usefulness to God by interjecting his negative thoughts into their own. But when they choose the Lord’s light over the Devil’s darkness, when they allow Jesus to control them by asking Him to give them His thoughts, anything good is possible.
How close we stay to the Lord and how much He is able to bless us as a result is determined in our mind, because this is where our will is set. This is where we choose Him and His ways, where we choose to believe His word above the Devil’s, where we are able to put on the mind of Christ.
“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), the Bible tells us, and one of the best prayers we could continually pray is for the Lord to direct our thoughts and rid our minds of the Devil’s input, because for the Lord to bless and use us as much as He would like, He needs full control.
His thoughts cannot coexist with our natural minds, which are at odds with His mind. “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). Our natural minds are easy prey for the Devil’s doubts and lies and propaganda, and can stifle the Lord’s Spirit.
This is the crux of the matter: If we’re going to be the kind of Christians the Lord wants us to be, we must be wholly His, and in order to be wholly His, we must put on His mind; we must more fully think His thoughts. How do we do this?—By putting off the mind of man, the mind of the world, the thoughts of Satan, the propaganda of Satan, the vanity of the carnal mind.
We must “gird up the loins of our minds” (1 Peter 1:13). That means to put up barricades to shield us from the Devil’s attacks through our thoughts. It means to allow Jesus full control. When we do, He is able to live in us and work through us like never before!
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