Last week, I spoke about newness, and about how the newness we seek/desire at the beginning of each year isn’t found where we tend to first look. As I thought about today’s post, whilst also trying to balance the demands of my everyday life, it really felt like a supermarket on the last Saturday of the month. Packed. With a whole lot going on. This morning though, the Holy Spirit helped me quiet my thoughts. And that’s where I realized that the mind is actually a battlefield. Your mind, is a battlefield.
I’ve always viewed the human mind as a place, as opposed to an abstract concept. Let’s use that train of thought to set the stage for our conversation today. With the mind being a place, and not just a concept, the idea of it being a battlefield begins to make more sense. A battlefield is defined as the location of a present or historic battle.
Allow me to preface the rest of today’s post with this: The human mind is to the human spirit what the human brain is to the physical body. It is the seat of consciousness, thought, memory, and emotions. Though we often associate these with the brain, the truth of the matter is that the brain is actually only the center for the regulation and control of bodily activities. This is why the brain can still operate even when an individual is unconscious. However, when a person is unconscious, the mind is inaccessible, and we are unable to access their thoughts, memories and emotions. The brain is physical, whereas the mind is intangible.
Alright. Let us continue.
Eve’s mind as a battlefield.
The very first battle of the mind that we overtly see in the word of God is right at the beginning.
Remember, I mentioned that the mind is the seat of thought and emotion (amongst other things). Therefore, a battle in the mind would affect both of these.
In Genesis 3, we see the serpent influence the mind of Eve with a carefully crafted question. “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Eve responds with what she knows to be true. “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” The serpent counters and says: “You will not certainly die… For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
I imagine that in that very moment, Eve is conflicted in thought. She begins to weigh what she knows God has said up against what the serpent wants her to believe. He has planted the seed of doubt in her mind, knowing how powerful the mind is. You see, what we believe, influences how we behave. And in that moment, Eve begins to doubt that God has her and Adam’s best interests at heart. Instead, she believes the lie that God is keeping goodness away from them, forgetting all the goodness that He gave them access to. Including the other tree that was in the center of the garden that they weren’t forbidden to eat from. The tree of life.
Most of us know how the story goes.
She eats the fruit, gives some to her husband, sin enters the world, chaos ensues, and and and. Go read your Bible fam. It’s all in there! 😉
What I’m getting at though is this, because we live in a world where sin is both encouraged and celebrated, the thought patterns that are in line with this are prevalent. They are accepted as the norm. Not just that though, we know that satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), and we can see that from the very beginning his aim has always been to influence the mind of God’s people (we who are not of this world John 17:14) against God’s word.
Let us recap a little, shall we…
Last week, Romans 12:2 was our focus scripture and it encouraged us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Why do we need to renew our minds? What is it about how we think that needs to change? Is the change necessary?
Well. Consider the fact that Ephesians 6 vs 12 says “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” There’s a spiritual war going on, and the effects of it are what you see physically. If your mind is not trained and equipped for the battlefield, your spirit-man will not emerge victorious. It’s like being a brain dead soldier going to fight with the country’s army. Doesn’t make any sense. (Again, the mind is to the spirit what the brain is to the body)
However, let us not forget that we are armed. We have weapons. Because of this, we are not helpless.
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds )5 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;2 Corinthians 10: 4-5
All things that exist within the mind. If our weapons are meant to be effective in bringing to order aspects within the mind that are straying from the obedience of Gods word, it tells us something important. That the place of battle is in this same mind. Furthermore, the battle is won in the mind first.
How and what we think on a daily shapes what we believe.
But also, what we consume, what we feed our mind on the regular shapes how we think. Consequently, the words we speak and our actions are guided by our predominant thoughts.
The question now becomes, “How is what you feed on – what you watch, listen to, think on, and talk about – contributing to your mind state?”
Are you feeding on content that is programming you to believe anything contrary to what God says about you?
Are you letting past traumas dictate the direction of your life, and how you interact with those in your present-future?
Have you let anger be the driving force behind goals and dreams you’re looking to achieve? Or perspectives you hold as they relate to the world around you?
In short, which armed force are you siding with when it comes to the battlefield of your mind?
Today, I leave you with a scripture. One that aids in understanding the right things to feed on and, by extension, think on.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.Philippians 4 vs 8
Grace & Peace to you & yours
– Xo, Jo 🌺