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Battle of the mind

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Yes and Amen!

The Battle of the Mind Can Be Won

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

I am not saying anything you haven’t heard before when I state that Satan has been in the business of deceiving mankind since the days of Adam and Eve.  There is no doubt that Satan employs a great offensive strategy against the things of God when He attacks the significant areas.  Areas like the family are under attack (Creation, churches, etc.)  On an individual level, the Devil goes for the mind.  Consider the marvel of just the human brain.  Your brain has 100 billion nerve cells that make 50,000 connections.  That results in 100 trillion interconnections in every human’s brain.  That is more than all of the telephone connections in the entire world.   25% of the blood’s oxygen is used by the brain and 20% of the calories consumed is needed by the brain.  If we just consider the brain alone, it is no wonder that the Devil goes after the mind of the individual.  For the lost man it is a type of blindness.

2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

For the saved, we call it spiritual warfare, and it is a real battle that exists in the mind and soul of God’s people.  Think about this for a minute—How does a false teaching permeate a flock of believers?  Does the Devil just show up one night and convert everyone in attendance to the heresy?  Does it just come from the pulpit, and then jump to the pew?  No, it starts in the mind of the preacher.  He has to believe it, then teach it to the followers, and then they have to roll it around in their minds and believe it.  The Devil knows if He can get into our minds, He can do a lot of damage.  The promise tonight is this:  The Battle of the Mind Can Be One.  I base that promise on the power that stems from the indwelling Christ.

1 John 4:1-4

1.  Consider the strongholds of the mind.  When you think about a stronghold, a fort, or a fortress, you do not think of some shabbily constructed building.  We think about strength, protection, a place that is hard to penetrate.  I am going to list some strongholds that infect the mind.  Once they grab hold, or are established, they are hard to pull down.  Do not forget what the Bible teaches us about our minds, or what is in our heart.

Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.  So it is vitally important to the health of your mind, that you pull down any of these strong holds that you may be dealing with. 

A.  Worry—I have referred to this often as a modern day plague in Christianity.  Not that it is new to this generation of believers, but that it seems to be readily found in so many lives.  Think about what worry does to us both mentally and physically.  We lose sleep, we don’t eat, which causes us to lose our focus.  We cant think on a spiritual level, so our pray life is greatly hindered.  Although I have never preached story of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in this way, there was a spirit of worry when Lazarus became ill. Send someone for Jesus, then He waits for a few days.  If thou hadst been here…Lazarus would not have died.  He tries to turn the conversation to the spiritual, but Martha could not see it.

B.  Unresolved Anger—This is another big issue that eats at the modern day believer.  We get mad over what someone did or didn’t say, about what they did or didn’t do.  Anger is dangerous because it can grow into hatred, malice or bitterness.  Anger kills us spiritually, and you and I know people who are out of church tonight because they have some unresolved anger in their lives.  Remember this about anger; it needs to be fed to live.  Often times we will convince ourselves that we are over it, but in reality we have placed it on a back burner to simmer.  Then all of a sudden it boils over again, and undoubtedly someone gets hurt.

C. Discouragement—This may be one of the most subtle, yet most powerful of the Devil’s weapons in the battle for our mind.  It is subtle, because we don’t readily realize discouragement coming on until it is too late to stop it. Elijah is a good example of the power of discouragement.  From Mt. Carmel to the juniper tree.  What many think is “God is done with me, is actually I’m discouraged.  Sunday School class, souls, etc. 

A wrong thought life, will result in wrong living.

2.  How to pull them down.  There is this idea of pulling down these strongholds, just as an army can systematically take a fort.  I want to give you some Biblical help in this area.

A.  Try to Pray.  I mean to pray before it happens.  In other words, ask God to help you before you venture into unknown regions.  Consider these words of David directed towards God.

Psalms 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.  God I know if I can get control of my thoughts, my behavior would be different. 

  1. Try honesty.  Instead of trying to cover up your wrong thoughts, try confronting them.  Admit to God that you messed up.  We call it confession.  There seems to be a good reason to confess our sins to God Doesn’t there?

1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  When we try to keep our thought to ourselves, all we are doing is creating an environment to thrive.  Think about David and Bathsheba. All of that could have been avoided if David had been honest about his thought life.

C.  Try more of the Word.  Most of us will probably admit that we don’t read enough of the Bible from day to day.  Some of you may have resolved to read through your Bible once or more this year. At first you stay on schedule, then something comes up and you miss a day here or there.  Then you are trying to play catch up.  You can’t survive spiritually by employing a feast or famine mentality to your Bible reading.  A steady diet of the Word is the most beneficial.  The more of it we read, the closer to God we become.  Just consider some of the wisdom found in Psalm 119.

D.  Try conforming.  You cannot deny that whatever our mind is exposed to and dwells on, shapes it.  We have to take seriously the command of Roamns 12 to fully understand this.

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

So if we saturate our mind with TV, internet, news programs, and music; it affects the way we think.  But when you saturate your mind with godly things, and have friendships with godly people based on the love of Christ and His sacrifice, we are changed for the better.  Let me use a few more thoughts from the Psalms.

Psalms 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

Psalms 119:63 I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts.

The battle of the mind can be won, but it takes an effort on our part to pull down these strong holds that exist in our minds.

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