The Power of the Mind
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 “We fight with weapons that are different from those the world uses. Our weapons have power from God that can destroy the enemy’s strong places. We destroy people’s arguments and every proud thing that raises itself against the knowledge of God. We capture every thought and make it give up and obey Christ.” (NCV)
Friend to Friend
I hate wearing glasses! They get lost, slide down my nose, attract specks and dirt, require constant adjustment and are, in general, a major nuisance. During a routine eye exam I informed the doctor that I needed contacts because I no longer wanted to wear glasses. He did not look hopeful. “Mary, you have a couple of problems that would make it difficult to wear contacts, difficult but not impossible. You not only have astigmatism but your vision needs to be corrected for both distance and close vision.”
I tried to digest that information but was having difficulty understanding why contacts would be a problem. Seeing the confusion on y face, he explained that I would have to wear a contact in my left eye that would allow me to see up close and a different strength contact in the right eye that would allow me to see in the distance. “In reality,” he said, “we would be tricking the brain and going against the way it was created.” Since I had been battling God from birth I still did not see a problem. “Your brain will be confused for several months. You will step off of curbs that are not there. You will be unable to read except for short periods of time because your eyes will be at war over which one gets to do the job. You will reach for something only to knock it over. Whey your brain becomes retrained the confusion will fade and your vision will improve greatly.”
He was right! That is exactly what happened! The first few months were frustrating and difficult but eventually my vision improved and it seemed as though I had always worn contacts. Reprogramming the brain, training the mind is not only a physical possibility but a spiritual principle.
The mind is a great battlefield. The Bible tells us that we have the mind of Christ because we have a personal relationship with Him but we still have to allow or choose to “let” the mind of Christ be in control! The enemy, Satan, knows that if he can control the mind then he has won the battle. Every day we are at war for the control of the mind. Who wins that war is up to us and the choices that we make. Mental rest is peace. We must wage peace in the mind by controlling and filtering what we allow to dwell in our minds and thoughts. The Apostle Paul gives us a challenging standard for our thought life in Philippians 4:8-9 “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.” (NLT)
What Paul is telling us in this passage is that the best way to control our thoughts and mind is by controlling the outside influences. We must filter every movie, book, television program, conversation, and song – anything we hear – through this standard of excellence. Anything that is not feeding mental excellence is depleting mental excellence. If it is not of God, it will make your heart numb to what is of God. The main weapon in mental warfare is the deliberate feeding of God’s word into the mind. What we allow to dwell in our minds will work its way out in our lives. We must set our minds and then guard that setting. It is the idea of placing a century at the entrance of the mind and giving him the power to determine what comes in and what doesn’t. It is giving up the control of our thinking processes to God.
How quickly we give the custody of our minds away to lesser things…lesser goals, desires or thoughts. If it is going on in the mind it is real and often the first step toward the edge of a very dangerous cliff. Do not give away the control of your mind to anyone but God! There is no holding pattern for the believer. We cannot live in a neutral state. We are either going forward or backward. We are either being renewed or consumed. Do not relinquish any more territory to the enemy.
Lord, I confess to you that I often struggle with my thought life. I need your help. Please make me aware of the influences that draw my mind away from You. Today, through your power, I choose to raise the standard of my thought life. Amen.
Now it's Your Turn
I need to understand that my mind is the control center of my life. I choose to give up control of my mind to God. I commit to filling my mind with the Word of God and enthrone Him as the Lord of my thought life.
- What friendships do I need to back away from in order to honor God with my thought life?
- What specific steps do I need to take in order to put more of God’s word into my mind?
- To honor God with my thought life, what changes do I need to make in these areas?
For more on today’s topic see Escaping the Stress Trap by Mary Southerland
Girlfriends in God, Inc.
Originally published Tuesday, 17 October 2006.