The Battle for Your Mind
THE BATTLE FOR THE MIND
The choices that we make are generally based on the influences in our
lives. These influences come about by what we allow to be fed into our
minds. Therefore, we are controlled by the things we think about the most.
The old saying is, “everyone has a black dog and a white dog inside of
them, who are fighting constantly. The one who gets fed the most
prevails”. The white dog is the desire of the mind to obey the Lord . The
black dog is that sinful nature, or the flesh.
Even our emotions are controlled by what we think about. If we were
brain dead, we could not feel emotion. We could neither feel sad nor
happy, because we would have no thoughts. Therefore, what we think about
determines how we feel.
Both of these are good reasons why we are to be transformed by the
renewing of our minds. (Rom.12:2) . The word “renew” is compared to
on a fresh set of clothes. The process of renewing our minds starts with
the word of God, which is the truth. (Jn.17:17). The truth is paramount.
Consistently, throughout scripture, truth is listed in first place,
implying it’s position of importantance. Consider Philipians 4:8, where
we are told what to feed into our minds. Truth is first. Also, in
Ephesians 6:10-17, the passage on the armor of God, we are told to “gird
our loins with truth”. This means to literally wrap the truth around
ourselves, not necessarily in reference to the facts of the gospel, but,
more in reference to subjective truth, such as a believer’s identity in
We often fall pray to the intimidation and harassment of the enemy
because we passively approach spiritual warfare assuming that because we
are believers, the enemy won’t bother us. If that were the case, then why
are we told to put on the armor of God? And, do we realize that putting
on the armor is a commmand not a request? Well, if that is true, and the
armor is spiritual, how do we put it on? First, we need to understand that
each piece of the armor is the person of Jesus Christ. That is why we are
told to clothe ourselves with Christ. (Rom.15:13) Second, the armor is to
be put on each morning. A soldier never sleeps in his armor. Third, since
it is spiritual in nature, we need to pray it on. A good example of how
to do this is found in a book called “Overcoming the Adversary” by
In fact, this book is the best resource on the practical side of spiritual
warfare that I have found.
We also need to realize that this is a spiritual battle and it must
be fought on that level. The enemy wants control of our minds, because,
if he controls our minds, he controls us. The best way to avoid this
is to crowd him out with the things of God. We can do this by
constantly listening to Christian radio, Christian tapes, Christian music,
reading Christian books and watching Christian movies. We also need to
spend as much time as possible in prayer and meditation on God’s word.
Perhaps this is why the Bible says to pray without ceasing. (lTh.5:17).
Praying and focusing on the goodness of God is vital to both your thoughts
D.L. Moody once held up an empty bottle and asked those in
attendance, “how can I get the air out of this bottle?” One man suggested
sucking it out with a pump, but, this was rejected because creating a
vacuum might destroy the bottle. The only right way to do it would be to
fill it with something else. The analogy is that we can force out the
things of the flesh by being filled with the Spirit. This needs to be our
goal, but it takes a conscious effort, and an awareness of the influences
and how they are affecting us.
Satan and his demons can’t read our minds, but they can put thoughts
into our minds. We can let the enemy know, out loud, that we reject their
thoughts, that we love and praise the Lord Jesus Christ, and that we are
cleansed by the blood of Christ. One thing that they hate to hear about
is the blood of Christ. Singing praise songs also chases evil spirits
They hate to hear about how much we love the Lord. When we do these
things, we are resisting them, and they eventually will flee from us.
It is unlikely that any of us is being attacked by Satan himself,
since he is not omnipresent, but, we are being attacked constantly by
demonic forces. While it is true that a Christian cannot be demon
possessed, we can be demonized or influenced by demons. Possession means
ownership, and since we belong to God, we can’t belong to Satan at the
The scripture tells us that our enemy the devil prowls around like
a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. (lPet.5:8). The word “devour”
means to intimidate or harrass. They want to make our lives miserable.
So, they watch us for unrepented sin, which will give them a doorway into
our lives. Once they have a stronghold, we have big problems. We can
prevent them from causing us much pain by “being sober and alert”, aware
of their schemes, and being totally submissive to the Lordship of Christ.
We can also take authority over them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,
but, we need to know how to conduct spiritual warfare, because the attacks
of the enemy can be relentless. A thorough study of Ephesians 6:10-17 is
a good place to start.
The enemy also wants to control us by putting wrong thoughts into our
minds. That is why we are told to take captive all of our thoughts and
make them obedient to Christ. (2Cor.10:5). An effective way to deal with
wrong thoughts is to say out loud, “I reject that thought in the name
of the Lord Jesus Christ”. This is also resisting the enemy, along with
confessing any current or past sin, and renouncing any involvement in the
occult now or in the past.
Another way to resist the oppression of the enemy is to confirm who
you are, out loud and in a firm voice. Say: “I am a child of God. I have
been born of the Spirit. I have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. My
sins are forgiven. I have eternal life. I will never perish. No one can
pluck me out of my Father’s
hand. I belong to God; body, soul, and spirit, and you, enemy, have no
place in me. I take back any ground, I, or any of my ancestors may have
ever given to you in the past”. These confirmations about who we are in
Christ, are part of the belt of truth talked about in the book of
Ephesians, chapter 6.
To get a better understanding of spiritual warfare, I strongly
recommend such books as “The Deliverance Ministry” by Birch, “The
Adversary” by Bubeck, and “The Bondage Breaker” by Anderson. If you
suspect that you are being demon oppressed, seek the advice and help of a
pastor who is experienced in deliverance. The pastor of your church will
probably know of one in your area. This is serious business. Do not let
the enemy or anyone else convince you that it is all imagined. Seek
competent spiritual advice.
Finally, if we are to win the battle for the mind, we must be
thankful. Gratitude, (thankfulness) is the chief ingredient of joy. In
fact, without thankful hearts, it is impossible to humble ourselves before
God. Humility is the root of a grateful heart. We are told to give thanks
in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for us. (ITh.5:18). If we are
not thankful, then we are in opposition to God’s will. We may not be happy
with our present situation, but, if we are a children of God, we have to
be thankful for what Christ has done and for the future hope that we have.
Too often, we waste time and energy feeling sorry for ourselves instead of
being thankful. The two don’t go together. Try being thankful and feeling
sorry for yourself at the same time. It can’t be done! When you are
thankful, your eyes are on the Lord. When you feel sorry for yourself,
guess where your eyes are? They can’t be focused both places at once. We
make the choice as to where they are focused, back at the valley of
Friedrich Nietzsche, a secular philosopher, had one thing figured out
right. He said, “The essential thing in heaven and earth is that there
should be a long obedience in the same direction. There thereby results,
and has always resulted, in the long run, something which has made life
worth living”. It is this long obedience in the same direction which
society scoffs at. Society is under the assumption that anything
worthwhile can be acquired at once. It cannot be. Things of real value
are eternal and have their source in God, and instant gratification is an
antithesis to the plan of God. Trials produce endurance, and endurance,
by it’s very definition, produces long obedience in the same direction.
The trials and hardships in life are really what give it value in the
sense of making life more meaningful. Just ask folks who have been married
for a long time to tell you about their lives. They will invariably tell
you about hardships that they endured. Often they will talk about the
depression years, or how they lived in a one-room cabin without running
water or electricity. You will hear how they waded thru the snow at 2AM to
a cold, dark outhouse, or how they used to work for a week for 75 cents.
It was the struggles that they remember. It was the endurance through the
trials and afflictions that molded their character and gave their lives
meaning. This is what life is all about. We are promised trials in this
world. (Jn.16:33). These are a sure thing. We can’t change that, but we
do have control over how we respond to the trials. We can submit to God
and move toward spiritual maturity, being conformed to the image of His
Son, or, we can rebel and move away from God and seek to run our own
“doing what is right in our own eyes”. Which will you choose? It is not
possible to be filled with the Spirit of God and to run our own lives at
the same time. The chorus line of a song that I learned some years ago
seems to emphasize this.
I want to be filled with the Spirit,
I want to be used full and free,
Can’t be filled with the Spirit,
‘Til I’m empty of me.
FINAL THOUGHTS TO REMEMBER
Trials are unavoidable. They often come without warning and take us
by surprise. They can shatter or strengthen us. They can be a source of
great bitterness or abounding joy. They can be the means by which our
faith is destroyed, or the tool through which our faith is deepened , The
outcome does not depend on the nature or the source of our adversity, but
on the character and spirit of our response.
If you are a child of God whose heart’s desire is to see God glorified
through you, adversity will not put you down for the count. There will be
those initial moments of shock or confusion, but, the man or woman who has
God’s perspective on this life and the life to come will always emerge
victorious! So, “consider it all joy”.
Isn’t it odd that a being like God,
Still loves this clod, that He made from sod?
It is my sincere hope that you have been comforted with the comfort
with which I have been comforted. And, that you will develop a new
perspective on your trials; that is, an eternal perspective. If that is
so, then you will be spurred on to perseverence, to finish this race,
and to receive your prize.