You can’t say, “God change my mind!” He is saying, through the apostle Paul, “No! You change your mind!” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take CAPTIVE every thought to make it obedient to Christ” [emphasis added].
If you really study this passage, you will see words that I call “war words,” i.e., weapons, fight, demolish, stronghold, and captive. Paul teaches us that the real war, the war against our sin nature, is fought in our minds.
Once we receive Jesus into our lives, we have a responsibility to “take captive our thoughts,” to wage war against our “fleshly desires”. God gives us the responsibility of what we think. He gives us His word to guide us and teach us what to think…but it is up to us to not only think it, but believe it! We also have the Holy Spirit that can and will convict us of wrong thinking but we have to “listen!” WE choose our thoughts!
There are 3 things I have found to help me continually wage and win the war…that starts in my mind. I want to share these with you in hopes that you can apply them and benefit from them with victory.
Remember the rules of engagement are this: you have to do it…not just read about it.
You have to Feed, Free and Focus your mind on God’s word. There are over 7000 promises in the Bible for us to feed on.
First: Feed my mind on God’s word. I learn from David, who was said to be a “man after God’s own heart,” how to feed. Keep in mind David also spent much of his life running for his life.
Psalm 119:147, “I rise early -to cry out for help and to put my hope in your words.”
Psalm 119:97, “Lord how I love your word, I think about it ALL Day long” [emphasis added].
Psalm 16:7, “Even in the darkest night, your truth floods my mind” [emphasis added].
Psalm 119:95, “When wicked people hide to ambush and kill me, I quietly keep my MIND on your decrees” [emphasis added].
Second: Free my mind. Learn to recognize lies and replace it with truth. Lies can come from 3 places:
1) from our flesh or old nature. Romans 7:23, “I see my body a principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells inside of me.” Or in the NIV version, “But I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.” And in Romans 8:5, “Those who are dominated by their sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.” See the word “think”? We have to Free our mind in our thoughts.
2) from Satan who is the father of lies. Remember Satan can’t make you do anything but he can suggest and tempt. Reflect on Adam and Eve in the garden. They lived in paradise. Satan tempted them by lying to them. Planted a “seed of doubt about God.” I love the Scripture found in 2 Corinthians 2:10-11 where Paul says, “…I’ve forgiven that man so that Satan won’t outsmart us. For we are very familiar with his evil schemes.” Satan is crafty and evil. His tactic is to “outsmart us”. That happens when we do not free our mind…thus cannot free our heart of lies.
3) from the world’s value system. I see it lie to us every day. We are in fact inundated with lies…from TV, to music, to commercials. to movies. The world’s value system appeals and markets to our passions, our possessions and our position. It is so over the top that it misguides the focus. It seeks to supersede God’s desire for our minds.
If anything is in front of God in our mind, if He is second, He may as well be last. What does truth teach? 1 John 2:16, “All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh [passion], the lust of the eyes [possessions] and the pride of life [position/power] is not of the Father, but is of this world.”
It is not a sin to be passionate, or desire possessions or position, but our world today places it at top priority…the end all of end all. It markets to our flesh to allure us and entice us such that it draws our focus away from God.
I just listed the “triple threat” of liars we face–our flesh (sin nature), Satan, and our world’s value system.
How do we fight and defend against this “triple threat”?
We have to “take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ”. That is where we wage war. We demolish the arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God…in our mind. We wage war with our focus.
>>What we think about the most…is what we end up becoming….
Third: our Focus. We have to focus first, continually focus, on Jesus…on His precepts. Meditating on them day and night.
Also, focus on others, realizing life is not all about me or you. Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”
NOTE: This does not mean anyone should come between you and your relationship with Christ. It’s God first and then yourself…in that order. God will show you the “others” to help. God will never tell you to be selfish and not be other oriented. We can be misguided by humans if they come in between us and God. So on your totem pole of priorities, it is God then you. At that point you have every opportunity to hear directly from God. HE will not misguide you!
Finally, focus on heaven/eternity. This life is a “vapor,” James 4:14, and eternity is forever. Colossians 3:2, “Set your MINDS on things above, not on earthly things” [emphasis added]. When we think about heaven, we tend to make our short time on this earth count. We keep in the forefront of our mind–this is not all there is.
I know for sure…What we flirt with, we fall for. Our mind is powerful. The sum total of our thoughts shapes our lives. Put on the full armor of God and Manage your mind. It is there…where your whole life can change and you can live a “significant” life. A significant life in God’s eyes is way different than what the world screams at us.
“I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that country and to help others to do the same.” ~C. S. Lewis
“Satan is so much more in earnest than we are–he buys up the opportunity while we are wondering how much it will cost.” ~Amy Carmichael