If you have received Christ as your Savior, then you have an enemy. Did you know that? I know some people feel uncomfortable talking about the devil, but he is real, and it's important for us to face the truth about him so we can have a victorious life in Christ.
Now, we don't need to be afraid of him because as believers in Jesus, the Holy Spirit who lives in us is greater than our enemy in the world (1 John 4:4). But we can't ignore the enemy's attacks and overcome him. And the Word of God tells us how to "fight the good fight of faith" (1 Tim. 6:12, AMP) using the weapon of the Word.
We Are in a War
Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV) says, "We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness...." And 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 says, "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."
There is a battle raging, and the battlefield is the mind. That's why it is critical for us to learn how to renew our minds with the weapon of God's Word.
Romans 12:2 (AMPC) exhorts us to "not be conformed to this world ... but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind..." The Word of God is the most powerful thing on the earth, and if we will really learn the truth in it, then the power of the Word will literally transform our lives by "pulling down strongholds" in our minds.
Know Your Enemy
The Bible teaches us that the devil "is a liar [himself] and the father of lies" (John 8:44d). He comes against us by bombarding our minds with cleverly devised patterns of nagging thoughts that lead to suspicion, doubt, fear, reasoning and theories that refute the truth of God's Word. When these thoughts get rooted in our minds, we have strongholds that give the enemy control.
A stronghold is an area where the enemy entrenches himself and takes control. So when the Bible talks about strongholds in our mind, it's referring to areas where the enemy has become entrenched in our thoughts, causing us to believe something that's absolutely not true, but because we believe it's true, it has become a reality for us.
Before I learned about being transformed by the renewing of my mind according to God's Word, I believed things that weren't true, and they created a mess in my life. I remember thinking things like, "Nobody cares about me or loves me. Nothing good is going to happen in my life, so I might as well not expect anything good. I'm always going to have a second-class life because I was abused by my father, and I'm damaged goods."
It's taken years of diligently studying God's Word and prayer, but God has set me free from those strongholds, and I have come to the place where I can live in His righteousness, peace and joy every day. And as John 8:32 says, the truth has set me free!
Wield Your Sword
Let's go back to Ephesians 6. Verses 12-18 (AMPC) tell us who our enemy is and that we need to put on the armor of God so we can stand our ground and resist him. Verse 17 says to "take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God."
So how do we "wield the Word"?
It's simple: When we hear the Word, speak the Word, meditate on the Word and sing praises from the Word of God, we are doing spiritual warfare. And as we study the Word, it becomes a filter in our mind that reveals the lies of the enemy and gives us the truth. That's why the devil will do everything he can to distract us from spending time with God and studying the Word.
I want to encourage you today to make a determined decision to keep your relationship with God and His Word your No. 1 priority. Look up every Scripture you can find about renewing the mind, then meditate on those Scriptures and say them out loud. Ask God to reveal any strongholds in your mind and help you tear them down with His Word. Then, when the enemy comes against you, you won't be deceived. And like me, your testimony will be: Thank You, God! Your Truth has set me free!
Joyce Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author and founder of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Inc. She has authored 100 books, including Battlefield of the Mind and Get Your Hopes Up! (Hachette). She hosts the Enjoying Everyday Life radio and TV programs, which air on hundreds of stations worldwide. For more information, visit www.joycemeyer.org.
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