Our fragmented world with its nonstop stimuli has created compressed, fragmented thought patterns. Our minds are like haystacks, with a million thoughts blowing through them, along with a few seeds of knowledge and an occasional kernel of wisdom. Most people are ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
The Mental Battlefield
There is nothing Satan so desires to control as your mind. In the days of Noah, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5).
The apostle Paul warned how easily our thoughts become futile, our hearts darkened, and our minds debased (Romans 1:21, 28). Proverbs 15:26 says, “The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the Lord.”
According to Paul, the god of this age (Satan) blinds the minds of those who do not believe (2 Corinthians 4:4). He uses skepticism, unbelief, false arguments, empty entertainment, pornographic images, addictive patterns, genetic traits, faulty logic, and erroneous religious notions to make sure people do not glorify God but become darkened in the foolishness of their hearts (Romans 1:21).
That’s why we must inventory our minds and ensure we are cultivating a Spirit-controlled thought life. The Bible states this in strongest terms in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
What a phrase! Bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
Our brains only come alive when redeemed by the power and knowledge of the truth of Jesus Christ. The Bible says, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). Ephesians 4:23 tells us to be “renewed in the spirit of your mind.” Our minds are made for truth. God created our brains to need the truth of His Word just as He made our bodies to need food and water.
The Spiritual Victory
How do we bring our thoughts into the captivity of His will?
First, we must receive the truth of the Gospel. Jesus said in John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge dwell in Christ, and when we receive Him, God replaces our spirit of fear with power, love, and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
Second, we must cut off the devil’s food chain to the mind and begin feeding on God’s Word. Every temptation comes to us via our thoughts; therefore Christians must carefully evaluate what they read, see, study, and watch. Psalm 119:37 says, “Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.”
But there is one more vital step for a healthy mind—the scriptural habit of biblical meditation. Biblical meditation involves filling your mind with God’s Word, chewing on His truth, digesting it, and assimilating it to every part of your spirit.
Through meditation, our lives are transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2). What would happen if you brought your anxious thoughts into the captivity of Christ by committing yourself to a sustained habit of meditating on Philippians 4:6-7: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Suppose you read that passage aloud or quoted it mentally whenever an anxious thought arose in your mind? Imagine going to sleep at night with those words rolling through your mind like a recording. Through sustained meditation on passages like that, the Holy Spirit transforms us by the renewing of our minds.
Inventory your thought life and take some practical steps to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, through receiving Him as Savior, changing your mental diet, feeding on His Word daily, and meditating on Scripture day and night. When your thoughts are under God’s control, the rest of you follows, and you’ll discover the joy of a Spirit-filled thought life.
David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church and the founder and host of Turning Point for God. For more information about Dr. Jeremiah or Turning Point, visit www.DavidJeremiah.org.
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