Editor's Note: During this election week, no matter the outcome, let's resist negative thoughts and keep our minds focused on God's Word and things above, knowing that in the Lord we are safe, secure, at peace and positioned to receive His personal and national blessing (Phil. 4:8-9).
Have you ever heard the statement, "The battle is in the mind?" I have too—countless times. I've even ministered on the topic.
But have you every asked yourself, "What battle?" The battle that goes on in our minds is the relentless siege by Satan upon our thought lives that is intended to cause us first to think, and then to behave and speak, contrary to the Word of God.
I suppose in military terms, one could say the thought-life is the command post. In the armed services, all strategies, battle plans and orders must first run through "intelligence." In reality, most campaigns are won or lost right here—long before they actually are acted out on the battlefield.
So it is with our minds. This control center is the arena the enemy wants to infiltrate so he can defeat us in our thought-life, long before we are ever confronted in the fray.
You see, our opponent, the devil, is a talking adversary. He comes to us with a full quiver of verbal arrows ready to launch his thoughts, ideas and words into our minds, in the hope that we will accept them as our own and eventually, act on them. That's why it is said in spiritual warfare, "Whoever gets the mind gets the man." For out of our thought lives, decisions are made, and from our decisions, behavior is practiced. In other words, what we think about, we bring about!
Consequently, the war zones of our minds must be prepared for attack. If we are aware that our center of thinking and feeling is a primary target for the devil to invade, we will be less likely to fall prey to his assaults. Remember, his mind games are not mere war games; the devil plays for keeps.
The Bible tells us that we, the children of God, are the intended objects of Satan's fiery darts. The deluge of his smoldering shafts of accusation, deception and outright temptation will be shot directly at us with the goal of penetrating our hearts and minds. This is why we are admonished to be alert and equipped with spiritual weapons. God has not intended for us to be the helpless victims of these mental attacks, but He has provided a way for us to be armed and courageous—by clothing ourselves with the armor of God.
"Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. ... and above all, taking the shield of faith, with which you will be able to extinguish all the fiery arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6:13, 16-17).
He assures us that "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds" (2 Cor. 10:4).
By reading and meditating on the Scriptures, we renew our minds and position ourselves for victory. We also allow the Holy Spirit to strike the match of truth and burn out of our thinking all the subtle lies and false beliefs that have been secretly sown by the enemy. Knowing what God's Word says helps us to readily discern the sly onslaught of deception when it comes our way.
Yes, the adversary will try to access our minds. All the more reason for us to keep them where he cannot find them! The Bible tells us how to do this: by focusing on the things of God.
The apostle Paul told the Colossians, "Set your affection on things above, not on things on earth" (Col. 3:2). In his letter to the Philippians, he wrote: "Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, 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 any praise, think on these things. Do those things which you have both learned and received, and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you" (Phil. 4:8-9).
It is clearly our responsibility to train our minds to think on things that are heavenly, good and uplifting. The way I read these passages, we are not to permit our thoughts to wander aimlessly with any impression or suggestion that enters our heads. Instead we are to screen these entries to see where they are originating—sort of like a divine called I.D.!
So today, if you want the peace of God to guard your heart and mind, remember to set your mind on things above. This won't prevent evil missiles from being launched against you, but it will keep you from being an easy target—and help you win the battle in the mind.
Prayer Power for the Week of Nov. 16, 2016
This week let the peace of God guard your heart and mind by setting your mind on things above and placing all your earthly concerns on Him. Pray for the church to unite once again in prayer and purpose for a great harvest of souls and the multiplication of God's kingdom on earth. Pray that those newly elected into office, as well as those already in positions of leadership, would turn to the Lord for wisdom and direction to fulfill their duties. Continue to pray for our military and their families, the persecuted church and our allies. Ask God to expand your sphere of influence and service for His kingdom and glory (Eph. 6:13, 16-17; Col. 3:2; Phil.4:8-9).
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