The saying that the battle is in the mind couldn't be truer. I have fought mental battles, and they aren't fun. One of the entry points to my mind was experiencing trauma through health ailments in my immediate family.
Several medical circumstances we encountered with our children, my husband and myself left me fearing physical ailments. Whenever I sensed anything wrong in my body, I knew it was a demonic attack, especially if it occurred when I was getting ready to minister. And though I pressed through in spite of it, the attack was true torment. You've probably had a similar experience: The enemy locks your mind down. You feel emotionally and spiritually paralyzed, unable to war and counterattack the agony. A mind-binding spirit keeps you focused on the very thing you fear.
Recognizing the enemy's lies and taking every thought captive are the keys to your freedom. Paul tells us we are to bring "every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5, MEV). Even though the devil still tries to lure me into the fear of medical ailments, I can now recognize his ploy as a demonic attack.
Yes, occasionally I may have an actual symptom. Still, the devil would intensify the manifestation in my body by attacking me with a luring, mind-binding spirit to draw me into focusing on it and coming up with vain imaginations and false scenarios. I can now pray my way through and conquer medical conditions in my family, such as kidney stones, broken bones, medication allergies and others without physician intervention.
Luring spirits that draw you into focusing on the negative and the very thing you are trying to get free from won't permanently leave you alone. The devil wants to keep you in bondage. However, as we are empowered and recognize his attacks, we can rise above our situation and pray effectively against the kingdom of darkness. Once you recognize the lie, you can dismiss it.
The Battle for Your Mind
The battlefield for spiritual warfare is the mind. The enemy will penetrate your thoughts. Your soul (mind, will and emotions), which is the fleshly side of you, will agree with the enemy's lies by coming up with vain imaginations and false scenarios. But recognizing his lies will put you on a pathway to discovering how the enemy targets believers' minds to keep them in bondage. When he can keep us in bondage, we feel as if we are unworthy to receive the calling God has on our lives. We feel as if we don't have the knowledge, freedom, or empowerment to pray effectively and war in the spirit realm.
When we are attacked with negative thoughts, emotional ailments and fear, we are in a battle of good against evil—the good in us, the Holy Spirit within us, against evil spirits attempting to deploy against our destinies. There is a constant war, whether or not we see or feel it.
I quoted a portion of this passage earlier, but it bears repeating because Scripture discusses the battle of the mind so clearly here:
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:3-5, MEV).
The Complete Jewish Bible reads:
"For although we do live in the world, we do not wage war in a worldly way; because the weapons we use to wage war are not worldly. On the contrary, they have God's power for demolishing strongholds. We demolish arguments and every arrogance that raises itself up against the knowledge of God; we take every thought captive and make it obey the Messiah."
I love how the Jewish translation states to "take every thought captive and make it obey the Messiah." This is an excellent, practical exercise you can apply daily. Ask yourself: Does the thought that penetrates my mind obey the Messiah? Does this idea follow the Messiah and align with the Word of God? Life applications such as these can assist you in conquering every negative thought.
Battle Strategies and Tactics
In order to battle as the enemy wages war against us, we need battle strategies and tactics. The Word of God and our minds can be two great tools to have in our arsenals against the demonic world. When we arm ourselves fully with all the weaponry we can, evil spirits won't be able to plague our minds. The Lord told me once, "Kathy, if your mind is full of Scripture, there will be no room in it for the enemy."
We must fight the fires of hell with the fire of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. Capturing every thought takes practice. I would like to say I was quickly delivered of mind-binding spirits and thoughts that tormented me, but I wasn't. We have to consider that we have years of behavior patterns, habits and thoughts to undo and renew. When we have a specific way we think, we cannot change that overnight. We must "be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind[s]" (Rom. 12:2).
We have heard the saying adapted from Scripture, "We are in the world but not of the world." When it comes to thinking, we cannot think as if we are in the world. We need to think as spirit beings. Let's not adapt to the way the world thinks but be unique in our thinking. Being unique in our thinking comes from knowing what the Word says about us and our identity in Christ.
Capturing every thought isn't easy when you feel stagnant or defeated. Unproductive mindsets can become a struggle to conquer. But the good thing about it is that you don't have to do it alone. You have a helper, the Holy Spirit, to assist you in your times of weakness.
He is your strength and portion, as stated in Psalms. "My flesh and my heart fails, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever" (Ps. 73:26). Keep Scripture before your eyes, and the promises of the Bible will assist you in walking out and defeating mind-binding spirits.
Excerpted from Chapter 9 of Prophetic Spiritual Warfare by Kathy DeGraw (Charisma House 2021).
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