I’ve suffered a long time in sin. I’ve done the same stupid things over and over again. Come, let me disclose to you a most alarming fact: my mind and your mind are riddled with live landmines. Watch your step. Legs are important, and you’ll need them.
I’ve begun reading a very important book. It is called Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. Believe me, I’m not one to swoon over a book and give it superfluous praise and endearing compliments. This piece of literature was hidden from me for too long. The information, the revelations, which it contains may at first seem obvious, but after reading you’ll be forced to examine the life you’ve been leading.
Enter the battlefield.
Meyer tediously explains that Satan attacks our thoughts. Our thoughts affect our words, our actions, our attitudes, our emotions, and our lives. Negativity and deceit can poison your mind so mightily that you lose control of your life. Meyer is careful to mention on page 60 that “Many people (Christians) will be in heaven because they truly accepted Jesus as their Savior, but many of these same people will never have walked in victory or enjoyed the good plan God had for their lives because they did not get their mind renewed according to his Word.”
It is beyond vital that our minds are renewed in Christ Jesus. Meyer offers scripture to support this renewal process. She adds that a renewed mind is not an attached gift to salvation. It must be learned and practiced and sharpened.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
Indeed, our circumstances are irrelevant. You can say this is the hardest time in your life. You can lament and say it’s beyond imagining. It’s truly the worst you’ve ever been off. I won’t deny you these statements. I believe you.
But God doesn’t want you to face your enemy with depression, anger, stubbornness, fear, anxiety, or worry. God wants you to have the very best he has to offer. Remember the fruits of the Spirit, for they all belong to you.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:22-24
If you’re having trouble identifying sin, the Bible can help you do that too. Here are the fruits of the flesh, in other words, the fruits of sin.
“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Galatians 5:19-21
Notice how there are far more sins you can commit then there are fruits of the Spirit, but the fruits of the Spirit carry value; the fruits of the flesh have nothing to offer. As Christians, we have all of the goodness of Jesus. Nothing is withheld from the children of God.
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32
“Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” Psalm 34:9-10
God wants to do more than forgive us. He wants us to have amazing, productive lives. Not too many days ago I wrestled in God with prayer. I had asked him if change is possible. So many people may escape their wicked addictions, but don’t they just backpedal? Doesn’t everyone relapse and go back to that which destroys them?
I asked God if it was possible that I could change my life and stop being afraid all of the time. So many years I’ve been tormented by fear and worry. I do not exaggerate by using the word “tormented.” Most days I do not have a panic attack; I will only have symptoms of anxiety, which are still hellish. But what’s a panic attack, anyway? They’re harmless physically; it is in the mind that they cause mayhem.
What is worst, do you think? Being unable to breathe, or spending every single day in perpetual fear of being unable to breathe? Surely both are awful, but it is this obsessive worrying that causes more pain than anything. If you somehow suffocated to death, this event typically takes under five minutes. But then there are the countless days you spent worrying about suffocating. I guarantee these worries have far surpassed the amount of time it actually takes to asphyxiate.
I cannot explain myself, and why I worry about so many health-related things. I have considered calling myself a hypochondriac, but what sense is in that? My thoughts have been polluted by sin, and I am reaping from it.
But, I will not live this way anymore. I refuse. God answered many prayers through providing me with Meyer’s book. One of the prayers I mentioned. Change is possible with God.
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.’” Mark 10:27, Matthew 19:26, Luke 18:27
Meyer says on page 20, “One of the best aids to freedom is asking God for a lot of help—and asking often. One of your weapons is prayer (asking). You can’t overcome your situation by determination alone. You need to be determined, but determined in the Holy Spirit, not in the effort of your own flesh. The Holy Spirit is your Helper—seek His help. Lean on Him. You can’t make it alone.”
God provides us with the strength we need to change and lead better Christian lives. He gives us the strength we need to obey his commands and the wisdom to understand his Word. But we make the choice whether to obey God or to rebel.
There is one last thing I want to mention in regards to Battlefield of the Mind. Sometimes it’s not just sin that binds our minds. Meyer takes note of wicked spirits that she refers to as “Mind-Binding Spirits.” On page 49 Meyer says, “I was miserable (unbelief always produces misery). My mind was sluggish and I felt as if I could not believe God no matter how hard I tried. Two days in a row I heard this phrase coming up out of my spirit: ‘mind-binding spirits.’ The first day I didn’t think much about it. However, the second day, as I began a time of intercession, I heard it again for about the fourth or fifth time: ‘mind-binding spirits.’ Although I was unfamiliar with that phrase, it made sense considering how I felt mentally.”
“I knew from all the people to whom I had ministered that multitudes of believers have trouble with their minds. I thought the Holy Spirit was leading me to pray for the Body of Christ against a spirit called ‘Mind-Binding.’ So I began to pray and come against mind-binding spirits in Jesus’ name. After only a couple of minutes of praying, I felt a tremendous deliverance come to my own mind.”
Meyer explains that she had symptoms of a spiritual attack: unbelief, doubt, laziness, confusion, misery, and mental sluggishness. Imagine Satan sticking his hands into your head. Your thoughts become snowy with static and it’s hard to concentrate or understand what is going on with yourself.
Pray against these spirits because they are real even though you can’t see them. They may come back and mess with you every once in a while or very frequently, so be aware of the symptoms. If you allow Satan to have control in your life, then he will take control. He can’t take away your salvation in Christ, but he can steal your peace, your time, your sleep, your passion and so much more.
Put on the full armor of Christ because you are in a battlefield, and the enemy is not people.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:10-18
Just imagine if the apostle Paul, who wrote the scripture above, had allowed Satan to attack his mind. If Paul did not follow God’s plan for his life, then we would have a much smaller New Testament because Paul wrote the majority of its books. I can’t comprehend how many people Paul brought to Christ and how many people went out from Paul and saved others. Paul was a trailblazer.
Truthfully, God sees us all as trailblazers, and even Satan believes this. This is why he tries to destroy us. Pray to Jesus to rise above the Devil’s schemes and it will be given to you.