Authors: Joyce Meyer
Tags: #Bible, #Christ, #Christian Life, #Religion, #General, #Jesus, #renewing the mind, #spiritual warfare, #Battlefield of the Mind
Battlefield of the Mind
Winning the Battle in Your Mind
I would like to dedicate
Battlefield of the Mind
to my oldest son, David.
I know your personality is enough like mine that you have had your share of struggles in the mental realm. I see you growing continually, and I know that you are experiencing the victories that come from the renewal of the mind.
I love you, David, and I am proud of you. Keep pressing on!
Part 1: The Importance of the Mind
1 The Mind Is the Battlefield
2 A Vital Necessity
3 Don't Give Up!
4 Little by Little
5 Be Positive
6 Mind-Binding Spirits
7 Think About What You're Thinking About
Part 2: Conditions of the Mind
8 When Is My Mind Normal?
9 A Wandering, Wondering Mind
10 A Confused Mind
11 A Doubtful and Unbelieving Mind
12 An Anxious and Worried Mind
13 A Judgmental, Critical and Suspicious Mind
14 A Passive Mind
15 The Mind of Christ
Part 3: Wilderness Mentalities
16 My future is determined by my past and my present.
17 Someone do it for me; I don't want to take the responsibility.
18 Please make everything easy; I cant take it if things are too hard!
19 I can't help it; I'm just addicted to grumbling, faultfinding and complaining.
20 Don't make me wait for anything; I deserve everything immediately.
21 My behavior may be wrong, but it's not my fault.
22 My life is so miserable; I feel sorry for myself because my life is so wretched!
23 I don't deserve God's blessings because I am not worthy.
24 Why shouldn't I be jealous and envious when everybody else is better off than I am?219
25 I'm going to do it my way, or not at all
The Importance of the Mind
For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 2 CORINTHIANS 10:4,5
How can we express the importance of our thoughts sufficiently in order to convey the true meaning of Proverbs 23:7: For as he [a person] thinks in his heart, so is he...?
The longer I serve God and study His Word, the more I realize the importance of thoughts and words. On a fairly regular basis, I find the Holy Spirit leading me to study in these areas.
I have said, and I believe it is true, that as long as we are on this earth we will need to study in the areas of thoughts and words. No matter how much we know in any area, there are always new things to learn, and things we have previously learned that we need to be refreshed in.
What does Proverbs 23:7 really mean? The
King James Version
says, . .As he [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he . . Another translation states, "As a man thinks in his heart, so does he become."
The mind is the leader or forerunner of all actions. Romans 8:5 makes it clear: For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.
Our actions are a direct result of our thoughts. If we have a negative mind, we will have a negative life. If, on the other hand, we renew our mind according to God's Word, we will, as Romans 12:2 promises, prove out in our experience "the good and acceptable and perfect will of God" for our lives.
I have divided this book into three main parts. This first part deals with the importance of thoughts. I want to establish firmly in your heart forever that you need to begin to think about what you are thinking about.
So many people's problems are rooted in thinking patterns that actually produce the problems they experience in their lives. Satan offers wrong thinking to everyone, but we do not have to accept his offer. Learn what types of thinking are acceptable to the Holy Spirit and what types are not acceptable.
Second Corinthians 10:4,5 clearly indicates that we must know the Word of God well enough to be able to compare what is in our mind with what is in the mind of God; any thought that attempts to exalt itself above the Word of God we are to cast down and bring into captivity to Jesus Christ.
I pray that this book will help you to do that.
The mind is the battlefield. It is a vital necessity that we line up our thoughts with God's thoughts. This is a process that will take time and study.
Don't ever give up, because little by little you are changing. The more you change your mind for the better, the more your life will also change for the better. When you begin to see God's good plan for you in your thinking, you will begin to walk in it.
The Mind Is the Battlefield
For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. EPHESIANS 6:12
From this Scripture we see that we are in a war. A careful study of this verse informs us that our warfare is not with other human beings but with the devil and his demons. Our enemy, Satan, attempts to defeat us with strategy and deceit, through well-laid plans and deliberate deception.
The devil is a liar. Jesus called him ... the father of lies and of all that is false (John 8:44.) He lies to you and me. He tells us things about ourselves, about other people and about circumstances that are just not true. He does not, however, tell us the entire lie all at one time.
He begins by bombarding our mind with a cleverly devised pattern of little nagging thoughts, suspicions, doubts, fears, wonderings, reasonings and theories. He moves slowly and cautiously (after all, well-laid plans take time). Remember, he has a strategy for his warfare. He has studied us for a long time.
He knows what we like and what we don't like. He knows our insecurities, our weaknesses and our fears. He knows what bothers us most. He is willing to invest any amount of time it takes to defeat us. One of the devil's strong points is patience.
TEARING DOWN STRONGHOLDS
For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh
and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and
destruction of strongholds,
[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and
reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up
against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought
and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the
Messiah, the Anointed One). 2 Corinthians 10:4,5
Through careful strategy and cunning deceit, Satan attempts to set up "strongholds" in our mind. stronghold is an area in which we are held in bondage (in prison) due to a certain way of thinking.
In this passage, the Apostle Paul tells us that we have the weapons we need to overcome Satan's strongholds. We will learn more about these weapons later, but right now, please notice that once again we see that we are engaged in warfare, spiritual warfare. Verse 5 shows us clearly the location of the battlefield on which this warfare is waged.
translation of this verse says that we are to take these weapons and refute arguments. The devil argues with us; he offers us theories and reasonings. All of this activity goes on in the mind.
The mind is the battlefield.
SUMMARY OF THE SITUATION
Thus, so far we have seen that:
1. We are engaged in a war.
2. Our enemy is Satan.
3. The mind is the battlefield.
4. The devil works diligently to set up strongholds in our mind.
5. He does it through strategy and deceit (through well-laid plans and deliberate deception).
6. He is in no hurry; he takes his time to work out his plan.
Let's examine his plan more clearly through a parable.
Mary and her husband, John, are not enjoying a happy marriage.
There is strife between them all the time. They are both angry, bitter and resentful. They have two children who are being affected by the problems in the home. The strife is showing up in their school work and behavior.
One of the children is having stomach problems caused by nerves.
Mary's problem is that she doesn't know how to let John be the head of their home. She is bossy—she wants to make all the decisions, handle the finances and discipline the children. She wants to work so she will have her "own" money. She is independent, loud, demanding and a nag.
About now you may be thinking, "I've got her answer. She needs to know Jesus."
She does know Him! Mary received Jesus as her Savior five years ago—three years after she and John were married.
"Do you mean there hasn't been a change in Mary since receiving Jesus as Savior?"
Yes, there has been change. She believes she is going to heaven even though her bad behavior causes her to feel constant condemnation. She has hope now. Before she met Jesus, she was miserable and hopeless; now she is just miserable.
Mary knows that her attitude is wrong. She wants to change. She has received counseling from two people, and she gets in almost every prayer line asking for victory over anger, rebellion, unforgiveness, resentment and bitterness. Why hasn't she seen more improvement?
The answer is found in Romans 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
Mary has strongholds in her mind. They have been there for years.
She doesn't even understand how they got there. She knows she shouldn't be rebellious, bossy, nagging, etc., but she doesn't know what to do to change her nature. It seems that she simply reacts in certain situations in an unseemly way because she can't control her actions.
Mary can't control her actions because she doesn't control her thoughts. She doesn't control her thoughts because there are strong-holds in her mind that the devil set up early in her life.
Satan begins to initiate his well-laid plans and to sow his deliberate deception at a very young age. In Mary's case, her problems started long ago, in childhood.
As a child Mary had an extremely domineering father who often spanked her just because he was in a bad mood. If she made one wrong move, he would vent his anger on her. For years, she suffered helplessly as her father mistreated her and her mother. He was disrespectful in all his ways toward his wife and daughter. Mary's brother, however, could do no wrong. It seemed as if he was favored just because he was a boy.
By the time she was sixteen, Mary had been brain-washed for years by Satan who had told her lies that went something like this: "Men really think they are something. They are all alike; you can't trust them. They will hurt you and take advantage of you. If you're a man, you've got it made in life. You can do anything you want. You can order people around, be the boss, treat people any way you please and nobody (especially not wives or daughters) can do anything about it."
As a result, Mary's mind was resolved: "When I get away from here, nobody is ever going to push me around again!"
Satan was already waging war on the battlefield of her mind. Play those thoughts over and over in your head a hundred thousand times or more over a period of ten years, and see if you're ready to get married and become a sweet, submissive, adoring wife. Even if by some miracle you should want to be, you won't know how. This is the kind of mess in which Mary finds herself today. What can she do? What can any of us do in such a situation?
THE WEAPONS OF THE WORD
...If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in
accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free. John 8:31,32
Here Jesus tells us how we are to win the victory over the lies of Satan. We must get the knowledge of God's truth in us. renew our minds with His Word, then use the weapons of 2 Corinthians 10:4,5 to tear down strongholds and every high and lofty thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.