You and I live in a war zone every day of our lives. The fight is for our minds. Whoever controls our mind, controls our life. It is for this reason that we are told in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to take every thought captive. We’re also told in Romans 12:2 to be transformed. How does that happen?
By the renewing of our minds.
What does it mean to “renew our mind,” though? Well, it’s a fancy way of saying
“Change what you believe and what you think about.”
Before I even wake up in the morning, all sorts of negative thoughts begin to crop up. I know because when I am awakened, they’re already in full swing…usually aimed toward my husband.
Did I go to bed angry with him? No.
Has he done anything in those early moments to tick me off? No.
Yet, there they are.
If I’m not careful, I can bite his head off before he’s had a chance to say, “Good morning.” That’s just wrong.
During the day I have to watch my thoughts as well. In a heartbeat, I can be off down one memory lane or other and mentally “duking it out” with someone I haven’t seen in years.
A couple of years ago, we went to the ocean. There’s a beach in Crescent City that we like to visit. It’s loaded with shells. I’d been sitting on the sand, picking up tiny shells for about an hour when I sensed the Lord ask me what I’d been thinking about.
His question caught me off guard.
I was surprised to realize how I’d spent my time.
I reviewed all the people that had been on my mind – this one with their problems, that one who’d said something hurtful. In all, I realized that I’d spent a lot of time mulling over dozens of folks. I said as much to Jesus.
“Hmm. How are you feeling? Are you rested and joyful?” He asked.
“To be honest with You, I’m tired and want to take a nap!”
He pointed out that it takes a lot of mental energy to allow my mind to wander aimlessly in this way.
He was right.
Too often I expend excessive amounts of energy on thoughts that are not helpful.
After all, once I get someone else’s problems “all figured out” – what’s changed?
Not a blessed thing. It wasn’t my issue to sort out in the first place. I don’t have all the information necessary to straighten out a situation in the second place. (Not to mention the fact that he or she wasn’t even there to hear my brilliant solutions!)
What a worthless use of my time – and my mind.
It drags down a cheery disposition; robs me of peace and joy as well.
Philippians 4:7.8 gives a list of things to focus on – whatever is good, pure, right, just, lovely, virtuous, etc. When I turn my mind from what’s wrong with the world to one of these topics, my countenance changes. I feel light, free, and enjoy life again.
This works, I’ve learned from experience. As soon as I switch from thinking negative thoughts to thinking about Jesus and the blessings I have been given, the storm clouds of gloom, depression, and anger lift and the sun shines brightly all around.
Yes, we are in a battle – and it’s a war for our minds. We have an enemy whose desire is to rob, steal, and destroy our lives. He will, if we let him.
Jesus gave the authority we need to take charge in Luke 10:19 – the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions (and He’s not talking about reptiles and bugs here!), and over all the power of the enemy.
He’s given us the armor,
He’s given us the authority.
He’s won the victory,
and given us the honor of reclaiming territory.
We must guard our minds!