A battle of the mind

We are at war and the battlefield is in the mind. Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, our enemy seeks to torment, confuse, and oppress us and he works subtly in the shadows of the mind. There are multiple references to this battle in Scripture (see Ephesians 6:10-18; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 12) but one of my favorites is found in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5: 

For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ. 

When we realize we exist on an active battlefield, circumstances in our lives start to make a little more sense. We all experience spiritual attacks, but we have also been given powerful weapons – strong enough to demolish strongholds! God has equipped us with what we need to be victorious and invites us to engage in the process of learning how to gain the victory. There are two phases in gaining victory: intervention and prevention. To “take every thought captive” (2 Cor. 10:5) requires a process and can be viewed as an intervention strategy. Here is an idea of how this process works:  

  • Identify the negative/unhelpful thought 
  • Test the thought against Scripture 
  • Surrender the thought to God in prayer 
  • Replace the thought with God’s Truth 

Remember, this process can – and usually needs to – be repeated as much as necessary.  

Scripture also gives us a prevention strategy which is found in Galatians 5:25: “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” When we are constantly nourishing ourselves and filling our minds with Godly things, we form a protective barrier against assaults from the enemy. There are multiple ways to “keep in step with the Spirit” but here are some practical steps to get you started:  

  • Worship (see Psalm 95:6 & Psalm 150:6)  
  • Start the day with Jesus (see His example in Mark 1:35) 
  • Memorize Scripture (see Psalm 119:11) 
  • Pray alone and with others (see 1 Thessalonians 5:17)  
  • Guard your heart (see Proverbs 4:23) 

 A great way to start winning battles is to acquire knowledge on different effective strategies. The topic of Christian warfare within mental health has become increasingly popular and there is a variety of books available. Here are a few recommendations to get you started: 

  • Enough by Sharon Jaynes 
  • Get Out Of Your Head by Jennie Allen 
  • Fervent by Priscilla Shirer 
  • The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer