Inspired by Joyce Meyer.
I desire a perfect mind-state.
You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind. –Joyce Meyer , Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind
This quote has energized me to pray even more for my mind and to apply more biblical principles. The word warns us in Romans 12
Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
But how is my mind the battlefield?
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,
[Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),
Satan bombards our mind with a cleverly devised pattern of little nagging thoughts, suspicions, doubts, fears, wonderings, reasonings and theories. He moves slowly and cautiously (after all, well-laid plans take time). Remember, he has a strategy for his warfare. He has studied us for a long time. He knows what we like and what we don’t like. He knows our insecurities, our weaknesses and our fears. He knows what bothers us most. He is willing to invest any amount of time it takes to defeat us. One of the devil’s strong points is patience and has best tactics to battle the mind because he’s pretty sure that God is also interested in the renewal of your mind.
Through careful strategy and cunning deceit, Satan attempts to set up “strongholds” in our mind. A stronghold is an area in which we are held in bondage (in prison) due to a certain way of thinking. In this passage, the Apostle Paul tells us that we have the weapons we need to overcome Satan’s strongholds. Verse 5 shows us clearly the location of the battlefield on which this warfare is waged. The mind is the battlefield, your mind.
Finding cover in the word.
Guard Your Mind from Garbage:
One most important thing to learn in this battle for the mind is guarding your mind from garbage. The old cliché from the early days of the computer — GIGO, garbage in/garbage out – is still true today. If you put bad data into a computer, you will get bad results out. If you put mental garbage into your mind, you will get garbage out in your life. Proverbs 15:14 : “A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash” (NLT). Any nutritionist will tell you that there are three kinds of food for your physical body. There is brain food that makes you smarter (food that actually makes you smarter!). There is junk food, which is simple calories — it’s not poison, but it’s just empty calories. And then there are toxic foods, which are poison.
The same is true in what you see, what you hear, and what you allow into your mind. Some food is brain food. It will make you smarter, more godly, and more mature emotionally. Then there is junk food. There is so much you can fill your mind with that really is just stuffing. It is neither good nor bad, as 1 Corinthians 6:12 says, lawful but not helpful. In other words, some things aren’t necessarily wrong, but they aren’t necessary. The Bible tells us to fill our minds with the right things. If you want to be healthy and “successful” in the Christian life and in ministering to others, successful in your ministry, fix your mind on the right things.
By the way, some people say, “God hasn’t called me to be successful. He’s called me to be faithful.” That’s just not true. The Bible says God expects not only faithfulness but also fruitfulness. Trace it through Scriptures. “I chose you . . . that you should go and bear fruit” ( John 15:16 ). Jesus cursed a fig tree because it didn’t bear fruit ( Matthew 21:19 ) — that’s how important fruitfulness is. Faithfulness is only half the equation. God expects fruitfulness as well.
Apply the two-rule Bible principles:
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
The above scriptures gives us two ways to guard our minds: conversational prayer and concentrated focusing.
The first way you guard your heart and mind is “in everything” to pray. Then Paul says to think about “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise.” Notice that he says to pray about everything. If you were to pray as much as you worry, you would have a lot less to worry about. Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything . This kind of prayer is like a running conversation — which means we are not on our knees. We don’t close our eyes. –James 5Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].
Second, Paul says that we should fix our thoughts. “Think about these things.” How do you do that? By concentrated focusing. This is one of the keys to overcoming temptation: don’t merely resist it; replace it. Whatever you merely resist persists. The more you hit a nail, the harder you drive it into the wood. And when people say I don’t want to think about this , what are they doing? They are thinking about it! And whatever gets your focus gets you. James tells us that “sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” ( James 1:15 ). So don’t merely resist it. –Colossians 3:1-2
IF THEN you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. [Ps. 110:1.]
And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.
Learn continuously without ceasing: The word urges us to listen to advise, accept discipline so that at the end we may be counted among the wise – Proverbs 19:20. Never let up on learning. Become a lifelong learner. Learn every second of your time, Love knowledge. Love wisdom. Learn to love the act of learning. The word disciple means “Learner.” You cannot be a disciple of Christ without being a learner. Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden [by the way, that sounds like a felt need!], and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me” ( Matthew 11:28–29 ). What do you do when you take on a yoke? You share a burden with another animal. You lighten a load. And Jesus wants us to learn from him. Learn and do. Read and do. Don’t just read or learn then trash be a doer of the word like James 1:22-25 teaches us.
There are five levels of learning: The first two have to do with knowing. The second two have to do with being. And the third one has to do with doing.
1) Knowledge – First, we need to learn knowledge . God says in Hosea 4:6 , “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” When we don’t know the Word of God, we can be destroyed. And we need to know not only the Bible but also church history. Sadly, you can learn the Bible without really knowing it; in other words, you can know all the facts without really knowing the content. You don’t really know something until you apply it. That’s why Jesus implies to the Pharisees that their problem isn’t that they don’t know Scripture but that they don’t know the power of God ( Mark 12:24 ). 2)Perspective (Wisdom) –The second thing we need is perspective. The Bible calls this perspective “wisdom.” Wisdom is found in seeing life from God’s viewpoint. It is seeing from God’s perspective. Knowledge is knowing what God does; wisdom and perspective are knowing why he does it. Knowledge is the bottom rung; perspective is the next building block above it. God revealed his acts. The children of Israel saw the miracles. They saw the Red Sea split. They saw the water at Marah. They saw the doves and the manna and much more. They saw the acts of God. But Moses knew the ways of God. He knew why God had done those things. They had knowledge, but Moses also had perspective. In knowledge, the goal is to know the Word of God; but in perspective, the goal is to have the mind of God as much as possible. So we want to develop for ourselves, and to help others develop, the mind of Christ ( 1 Corinthians 2:14–16 ;
Philippians 2:5–11 ).
3) Conviction – Conviction is the third building block, as these build on each other. We pursue knowledge of the Word, then perspective on why God does what he does, and, in doing so, we start to develop convictions.
What is God’s perspective on temptation? What is God’s perspective on evil? What is God’s perspective on our past, our present, and our future? What is God’s perspective on sin? What is God’s perspective on Satan? Once we start getting perspective, we begin developing convictions.
Conviction is not opinion. Opinion is something you argue about; conviction is something you die for. And what we need today as much as ever are men and women of godly, biblical convictions. In conviction we want the heart of God. We don’t want only to see what God sees but also to feel what God feels — about the world, about the lost, about his Word, about his church. We need to learn knowledge. Then we need to add to that God’s perspective. But then we need to add to the convictions that come out of knowing the mind of God.
4) Character – Once we begin to develop convictions, we start developing habits — and the sum total of our habits is what we can call “character.” We cannot say that we have the character of honesty unless we are habitually honest. We cannot say we have the character of kindness unless we are habitually kind. Character is the sum total of our habits. You develop character by developing the habits of love and joy and peace and patience — those nine qualities from Galatians 5 — kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control (verses 22–23). What are these fruit of the Spirit? They are a perfect picture of the character of Christ. If we want to become like Jesus, then we must seek the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. The goal is to become more like God in our character, not to become gods. We never will become God — no matter how much fruit we produce. We will never be mini-gods. We are not God. That’s the oldest lie in the book, that we “will be like God” ( Genesis 3:5 ). We need to learn character.
5) Skill – When we begin to develop character and do good habitually — daily Bible reading, regular fasting, regular prayer, regular days of prayer, regular witnessing — when these become the habits of our lives, the more we do them, the better we will get at them. And so we come to the last level of learning: skill. Skill comes through doing something over and over and over.
Ecclesiastes 10:10 says, “If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success” (NIV). That is one of my “life verses.” If you are chopping wood, it helps to have a sharp ax. If you have a dull ax, it takes more energy to cut the wood. But if you have a sharp ax, it doesn’t take as much energy.
“Skill will bring success.” It doesn’t say here that prayer will bring success. It doesn’t say that desire will bring success. It doesn’t say it’s dedication. But skill will bring success. A farmer can pray all he wants, but if he tries to harvest a wheat field with a grape picker, the job will not get done. We must have the right skills.
In conclusion below are three prayer points for your mind and the minds of your loved ones.
1. Pray for wisdom. That the “eyes of your heart” (mind) be enlightened divinely according to Ephesians 1:17-18
[For I always pray to] the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation [of insight into mysteries and secrets] in the [deep and intimate] knowledge of Him,
By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints (His set-apart ones)
2. My mind shall possess divine revelation knowledge of God and his voice. I’ll be able to clearly distinguish between the voice of God and that of the enemy. May I learn to keep myself in a conducive environment with God to be able to hear from Him. 1 Kings 19:11-13
And He said, Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord. And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake;
And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice.
When Elijah heard the voice, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, What are you doing here, Elijah?
3. I pray against the attacks of wondering Ecc 5:1, wandering Mark 11:23,24, a confused mind James 1:5-8, reasoning Matt 16:8 in Jesus mighty name. I shall be obedient to the Holy Spirit instructions (1Corinth 2:14). I shall be a doer of the word, James 1:22. I will always trust God but not human reasonings, prof 3:5 and always resolve to know nothing but Jesus Christ 1Corinth 2:12.