Winning In The Mind
In our article this week we will be examining how to win the fight of faith and obedience in our minds.
The mind: the battle ground for faith and obedience
All of our Christian battles are either won or lost in the mind. Most Christians are not vigilant in their thought life. So even after they have prayed the devil is still able to come in and sow thoughts of doubt and disobedience and cause them to act on those negative thoughts and so they are defeated.
Now we do the Word of God by the Spirit through faith by:
Praying in the Spirit for at least an hour each day to cause the moving of the Spirit in our hearts, bodies and circumstances, to enable us obey God and not fall in the time of temptation by the weakness of the flesh:
Matthew 26:40-41 (KJV) And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Romans 8:11-13 (NIV) And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation– but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,
We speak, proclaim or confess the Word of God that we want to do by faith: consciously releasing the power of the Holy Spirit as we speak:
Deuteronomy 30:14 (KJV) But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
For instance, if you want to be slow to speak, swift to hear and slow to wrath letting your words be few, speaking only what God permits; then each day you say by faith:
“I’m slow to speak, swift to hear and slow to wrath and I let my words be few.” (James 1:19, Eccl. 5:2, Jn.8:26)
Remember faith calls what is not as if it is and it will become a reality after some time by the power of God.
Romans 4:17 (KJV) (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Just like it took Abraham about a year of speaking his new name: “Father of many nations” every day by faith before Sarah conceived and gave birth to Isaac:
Genesis 17:5 (KJV) Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
Genesis 17:21 (KJV) But my covenant will I establish with Isaac, which Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.
It will take us time speaking the Word of obedience in faith everyday before gradually that obedience becomes a reality in our conduct supernaturally by the power of God:
Mark 4:26-29 (KJV) And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
Furthermore, as we speak the Word of God with our mouths, we meditate on it in our hearts: and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. (Deut. 30:14).
When we meditate the Word in our hearts we ‘see’ or imagine ourselves in the reality of the situation of doing the Word and so make the determination in our hearts to do it: as a man thinketh in his heart so is he..(Prov. 23:7)
The word of God we speak or confess and meditate daily is like a seed that we plant and water everyday that will gradually produce the fruit of obedience in our lives by the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit:
Psalm 1:1-3 (KJV) But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
We add corresponding physical actions to our prayers and confessions or proclamations of God’s Word:
James 2:17-18 (KJV) Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
When we attempt to do God’s Word without this background of prayer and faith on a daily basis: (Luke 9:23: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me), we do the Word only by the flesh: natural human effort without the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit released through prayer and faith. This doing the word by the flesh makes our righteousness as filthy rags in His sight (Isa. 64:6).
Vigilance in your thoughts
It is essential to realize that after praying, confessing and meditating in the Word as described above it is necessary to remain vigilant in your thoughts so the enemy will not be able to put thoughts in your mind and so make you do the opposite of what you have been praying, saying and thinking.
Practically what this entails is to reply every negative thought with a thought based on God’s word immediately it comes. The key words here are ‘every’ and immediately’.
What happens many times is that we are careless in doing this so Satan fills our minds with negative, sinful thoughts just like one fills a garbage can with garbage. A can that is constantly emptied out when any garbage is put into it will remain clean. In the same way if you constantly immediately reply every thought: bring it into captivity, your mind will remain clean and you will only do what pleases God.
2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV) Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
It takes discipline and diligence to do this properly. This diligence comes from the spiritual power generated by praying in spirit and confessing the Word daily as described above. Now remember that every temptation Satan brings always starts as a thought, that many times is generated through some physical circumstance.
For example the thought that made Peter sink when he was walking on water came by physical circumstance of the winds and waves of the sea. Had Peter kept his thoughts on Jesus and not on the wind he would not have doubted and then sank.
Many times Satan will bring thoughts of immorality to your mind by allowing a woman (or man) who you would find sexually attractive to come your way and they may not necessarily be indecently dressed.
Now instead of being grieved in your mind by these satanic attacks or temptations, view them as an opportunity to exercise your faith by meditating on the appropriate word of God to overcome them. This is why your mind must have the knowledge of the Word.
James 1:2-4 (KJV) My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
Nehemiah 8:10 (KJV) Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
Psalm 119:11 (KJV) Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
One thought that you can use in almost any situation to overcome any satanic thought or attack is the thought of the presence of God. Here you look beyond the promises of God to God Himself who made the promise by visualizing His presence with you in your mind and then you think:
“I love you Lord, so I love righteousness and hate sin. In your presence is fullness of joy, fullness of strength to do your will in this situation.”
So if you will pray daily in the spirit as described above, confess the Word, fill your mind with the Word by daily Bible reading, the spiritual strength and knowledge to be vigilant in your thought life will be present. Every temptation will now be an opportunity to exercise faith at the thought level using the imbibed Word, rather than a source of fear of falling into sin or weariness. By doing these things you will always win in the mind and so always triumph over sin and tribulation because “as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.“