When we moved from Michigan to South Carolina last year I gave a supply of books to the Good Will. As I cleaned off my bookshelves, though, there were some manuals I just couldn’t part with. They have become great resources to me and have enhanced my journey with Christ. One such book is Joyce Meyer’s edition on the “Battlefield of the Mind.”
The mind is a powerful tool and is often at the core of our struggles – our bondage. Our mind is also a target for Satan and the one place he knows he can conquer and use for his evil intentions. I don’t know what chains you are bound up with, but I struggled for years with intense fear and deep insecurities. And my mind became a breeding ground for lies that held me captive.
Did you know that worry, doubt, confusion, fear, anger, and feelings of condemnation are usually birthed in our minds? If we let these things win, we become paralyzed and our ministry for the kingdom loses passion.
So, bear with me as I attempt to offer a few valuable tools that can help us break free from the strongholds imprisoning us. Tools that will set us on a pathway to abundant freedom!
Here are four things that can win the battle raging in our minds…
- Turn negative thoughts into positive ones! Paul tells us that we should think about things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). One thing that has helped me conquer this is that I make sure to focus on God’s Word every day. Another thing that can help us claim victory over negativism is to always find the positive in each situation. Guaranteed, you will find it if you only look hard enough. You may want to keep a log of your thoughts throughout the day and ask God to help you.
- Pour truth into your mind! Jesus doesn’t leave anything to the imagination when He calls out Satan for who he is in John 8:44: “When he [Satan] lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” So, what crushes a lie on its ugly head? Truth, of course!
God instructs Joshua (the new leader of the Israelite’s) to “meditate on the Book of the Law day and night” (Joshua 1:8). David says that he “thinks of [God] through the watches of the night” (Psalm 63:6). When my friend was dying of cancer, she saturated her mind with praise music. This kept her thoughts positive in her otherwise gloomy world. Anything that speaks of God’s truth is what we should pour into our minds.
- Speak God’s Word out loud! This is one sure way to block Satan’s lies from penetrating into the core of our minds. When Jesus was being tempted by the devil in the desert (Matthew 4:1-11), He proclaimed the Word out loud. Satan finally fled.
I cannot tell you how many times I have paced in my house reciting God’s Holy Word out loud in the midst of a struggle. God’s Word is authoritative and reigns above all else. It’s true that Satan will flee every time at the sound of God’s Word.
- Obey God! Satan appeals to our flesh, our humanness. When he tempts us, it usually looks inviting and beautiful. But, don’t be fooled! It’s just a trap he’s carefully dangled before our eyes. He knows that if it’s cleverly positioned for our eyes and he does it just right, we will get tangled up in his web of deceit, which will ultimately cause our fellowship with God to be broken.
Listen carefully to what John says: “For everything in the world – the cravings of the sinful man, the lust of the eyes and the boasting of what he has and does – comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:16). And who is the prince of the world? Satan himself (John 12:31)! Let’s proceed in this passage: “The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever” (1 John 2:17). There it is. It’s important we obey God to keep Satan from destroying our minds for his purposes. Let’s apply what we learn. Let’s obey even if it goes against every fiber of our being.
I believe that many of us are victims of our negative thoughts. I trust that you gained some valuable insight from today’s lesson.
Upcoming Bible study topic
JOSHUA: HEAVEN’S MIGHTY WARRIOR
Begins January 8, 2016