9- The battle is won or lost in the mind
Updated: Dec 6, 2021
The bible paints a picture of a nonstop battle that is taking place in the “unseen world” against mighty powers and evil spirits. We are instructed to stay alert and pray with persistence for each other. However, there is another battle of significance that the bible points to as well; that is the battle that takes place in our minds. What we allow our mind/thoughts to dwell on, our emotion and heart will follow.
These thoughts are false, self-focused and based upon our limited understanding. Which end up incorrectly defining who we are, based on our old nature, and how we are to respond. Which is generally in an “un-Christ like,” sinful manner.
We are instructed to then “throw off” the old sinful nature by actively “taking our thoughts captive” and then actively replacing or “putting on” the new nature by “renewing” our minds with God’s word. As we actively live out this principle, in fellowship with His Spirit, we experience a new-found freedom in our lives that naturally produces a loving, “Christ-like” response to all our situations in life.
Psalm 42:5-6,11 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. My soul is cast down within me; therefore I remember you from the land of Jordan and of Hermon, from Mount Mizar. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.
1Peter 1:13Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
2Corinthians 10:5We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
Romans 12:2 Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Ephesians 4:22-24 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God--truly righteous and holy.
Moving from the “have to”, to the “get to”. Growing in the community and in fellowship of the church family.
God has created you with specific creative talents and abilities that He wants us to experience in the context of our home and our church community. It is in the context of serving the church community that we understand God’s love and purpose for our lives. We do not gain favor with Him because we serve; His favor is towards us already. As we grow and mature in the soil of His love, we, like a tree, just bear fruit (good works) (Psalm 1). We do not need to force the fruit or strive in what we desire and are called to do but just rest as His life in us is being worked out through us naturally. We “get to” express that love towards others as we serve them opposed to “having to” out of an obligation because we are trying to earn His love, favor, and acceptance in our lives.
Matthew 20:27-28 and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works
Hebrews 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching
Ephesians 4:15-16 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ-- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Act 2:42,46-47 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
Romans 12:4-8 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ's body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.