Romans 8:5-6 (NLT) Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
Our mind is a powerful weapon. Like any other piece of ammunition, the knowledge and experience of the user makes all the difference in the world. A loaded gun in the hand of a toddler is dangerous but in the capable grasp of its owner, it becomes protection. Humanity has been given higher intelligence than any other God-created creature. We are made in the image and likeness of our Father. (Genesis 1:27) The battle for one’s mind is ongoing as our flesh demands control from the Holy Spirit each day. Jesus Christ has made this a free choice. We decide who wins the battlefield of the mind each and every day. Paul talks about the battle for our mind candidly in Romans 7:21-25 which are some of the most liberating and challenging ideas. He also gives the final answer – Jesus Christ is the one who can help us overcome our sinful nature and stinking thinking. We all want to remain right with God, but how do I do it in such an influential world?
I have more faith in God today than ever before. I know more about God, too. I study and pray every day and yet I still find way to sin or disobey the Lord. Some days, I forget. Other days when I am tired of waiting, I pitch temper tantrums and argue with the Lord. My sinful nature is always hostile to the Lord but I have absolute control over it. My helper, the Holy Spirit, will deal harshly with my flesh and mind to allow Christ to rule my life with peace and power. I must have mind over matter.
Mind over matter means intellectual powers overriding threats, difficulties or problems. (McGraw-Hill) It is the belief that thought is stronger than physical things. Willpower can overcome physical obstacles. Virgil in the Aeneid wrote “mens agitat molem” which means mind moves matter. The power of the human mind is without question but there is a missing link hidden in this idiom. Mind over matter in a natural state is powerless. However, when we decide to have the mind of Christ – intellectual becomes supernatural. When we decide to work on self-control by yielding to cultivation by God’s Spirit – we produce the fruit of the Spirit called self-control. (Galatians 5:23) Jesus said, “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) Moving from impossible to possible begins by giving not just our heart but our mind to the Lord for a total transformation from self-control to Spirit-control. This is how we move from death to life in the natural.
Romans 12:1-2 (NLT) And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Picture a swordfight playing in your mind, our hero swinging his sword valiantly as the enemy retreats. Victory seems sure until the villain seems to draw from an inner strength to make a quick comeback. Caught off guard, the good guy stumbles a bit falling to the ground sword still in hand. The weapon of the enemy seems ready to deal a deathblow. But wait, our hero surges to his feet gripping his sword tighter than before and engages the enemy again stronger and faster than before. Imagine this going on and one replaying over and over. This is the battle going on in our mind every single day. The enemy wants to penetrate our thoughts. He finds ways to catch us off guard. He wants us to stumble and fall. His whole purpose is to steal, kill and destroy God’s People. (John 10:10) Our hero, Jesus came to give us a rich and satisfying life. He has overcome the world (John 16:33) so that when we allow Him to transform our thinking, invade our thoughts and take over our mind nothing is impossible and we have total victory. Our mind is the Mind of Christ now we have power and authority over all things in Jesus Name.
Of course, we desire to be a living sacrifice. However, our humanity finds way to pull us from the altar and thrust us back into the world. If only in our mind which is more than enough to cause us to wonder if God’s Word is true, want things other than God’s Best, worry that produces fear, and eventually wander from His Love. We must be conscious of this every single day and strive to remain in Jesus Christ. We must allow God to transform us into a new person which happens when we allow Him to change the way that we think. It is not an overnight transformation, or a quick sensation, but as the Lord changes our heart, influences our mind, and waits for our actions to follow suit. You will never know how to serve God effectively and live in Him completely until we love Him with our body, soul AND mind.
Psalm 63:6-8 (NLT) I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong right hand holds me securely.
We do not control the thoughts that pop into our head. We do have complete control over those that we allow to remain there. We must deal harshly with any and every idea or notion contrary to God and His Word. Satan works day and night to blind the minds of people. (2 Corinthians 4:4) It is the mainstay of his attack. He cannot touch you, harm you, kill you or destroy you unless he can convince you to walk away from God and that His Love is not real or you are somehow exempt or undeserving. He is luring you from the safety of God’s Presence to isolate you and annihilate you. If he can convince you God is not for you, you will walk away from the Lord and right into his shackles just as the enemy planned.
What do you spend your time thinking about? What do you fixate on? What is the basis of your meditation? In Psalm 63, David was focused on pursuing the Lord. Verses one through five talk about it explicitly. You are my God. My soul thirsts for you. My whole body longs for you. I have seen you and gazed on your power and glory, God I want to see You again. Your Unfailing Love God is better than life. I will praise you Lord. You satisfy me God. All these things were circling in his head. Oh, that and the fact that people were plotting to kill him. Rather than pleading with God for his life, David praised the Lord and rejoiced in Him completely calling his enemies what? Liars. When we believe God over the enemy, our mind is able to overcome every matter. David’s Mind was wrapped around the Lord. The matter of his enemy became nothing more than a bag of lies. Your circumstances do not change God’s Plan and Purpose for your life. You will win. You will overcome. You will have peace that passes all understanding and inexpressible joy – if and only if – your mind is set on Christ by faith and your thoughts are wrapped up in the One who is our hope.
Philippians 4:6-9 (NLT) Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
The first order of business in a made up mind and moving the matter blocking your blessing and peace is the gray matter between our ears. We are thinking machines. When my husband is unusually quiet, I may ask him what he is thinking about. He ALWAYS says, “Nothing, I can do that you know” which means one of two things. A) He doesn’t want to tell me, or B) It is so small and insignificant that he feels it is not worth sharing. I am his wife and love him with all of my heart so I want to know everything about him even his innermost thoughts. How much more Jesus loves us and wants to know what we are thinking.
God’s Peace is for those who choose to trust Him in all things. When we immediately turn all that matters in our life into His Hands, it is then that we have peace but without trust there is no such thing. In Jeremiah 7:8-11, God calls out the people regarding their lifestyle. His message to them is don’t succumb to foolish thinking. Oh how far we have fallen, see the people were living any way they wanted to except when trouble came they would run into the temple seeking safety in the Lord. Now we don’t live that way, of course, not. Tiptoeing away from conviction into confirmation, God knows what you are thinking. He knows the contents of your consciousness ever single breathing moment of the day. When we stress and worry all the time, He sees our fear. Doubt exposes our disbelief. Sin is as black as muddy hands wiped on a clean, white shirt. I cannot fool God into thinking I have it all together. He sees right through me.
So how do I fix my thoughts on all these things indicated in Philippians 4, God’s Word is knowledge and power to circulate the right things in our heart and mind and roost out those things hidden there not of God. You cannot think about God’s Word and mediate on it if you do not read it. (Psalm 119:97-98) Find a promise for your life and think about it every single day. (Psalm 119:147-149) This works great when you have a desire or need an answer. When the enemy comes after your blessing, you have a sword to use in your defense. (Hebrews 4:12) Wise people think before they act consulting the Lord for His Way. (Proverbs 13:16) The godly think before they speak. (Proverbs 15:28) Wise people consider death and eternal life more than living this life. (Ecclesiastes 7:4) Continuously thinking about God’s Word, His Way, His Promises and everything there is to know and love about the Lord we serve will allow His Spirit to continuously transform our mind and renew our thinking.
Ephesians 3:19-20 (NLT) May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.
When we allow the Holy Spirit to transform our thoughts and renew our mind, it moves self out of the way to allow trust to grow a strong connection to Christ. When this happens our flesh loses control of our mind, will and emotions allowing the Holy Spirit to take over which produces life and peace. Life produces new fruit in our life. Peace moves us closer to God. Now through His Mighty Power at work in us, He is able to accomplish “more than we might ask or think.” Have my thoughts barricaded my blessing? Is my mind controlling my actions? I must cast down any thought, idea or notion that is contrary to God to free the Holy Spirit to finish the good work that He has begun in my life. This is not a one and done. This is a daily battle of mind over matter.
Colossians 2:7-9 (NLT) Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.
Can I be honest and completely transparent today? The enemy set me up this week. He laid a trap and I walked right into it. I lost it. My mind and thoughts shut me down and bound me up so quickly like an unseen anaconda apprehending unsuspecting prey and equally as suffocating. I know the promise that God made me. I don’t know how or when He will do it. What I do know is that He is faithful and trustworthy to do exactly what He says that He will do. I share this to say that we all succumb to the pitfall of stinking thinking sometimes but it does not have to be fatal.
Empty philosophies seem full of truth. Twisted truth is a lie altogether. To the ignorant and unsuspecting it is a well-laid trap that will cause a quick fall. It is a molehill that becomes a mighty mountain between us and God. We can overcome. We have the power and authority of Jesus Christ to do so. However, the lie becomes a prison and doubt holds the unlocked door closed. We cannot escape our overwhelming thoughts. We cannot breakthrough the barricade of doubt. We hold the door to freedom shut out of fear because even the smallest lie of the enemy holds an ounce of truth or familiarity. The only way to stop the cycle of bondage is to know the truth and allow it to set you free. You must mediate on it. Think about it. Doing it over and over, day and night, until your first response is God’s Word and every lie exposed by truth so you will be truly free to enjoy the life and peace given by Jesus Christ.
Colossians 3:1-3 (NLT) Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.
Set your sights on the realities of Heaven today. I challenge you (and me) to meditate on God’s Word, compare every situation and circumstance to what God has to say about our life, and refute every lie the enemy cast at us. In the Name of Jesus, I ask the Holy Spirit to reveal every lie of the enemy circulating in your life today keeping you from the freedom, life and peace that God promised to those who have the Mind of Christ. Lord, I ask that in your love each person reading this will have peace that passes understanding and inexpressible joy like you promised in your Word. Let us hold tightly to the hope we have and the promise you gave us without wavering in weak faith or releasing it to doubt and indecision. Let us think of ways to motivate each other to know and love you more. Thank you Lord for strengthening my mind and renewing my thoughts today. Let the Mind of Christ rule and reign over every matter today and every other day until Heaven is my home.
Hebrews 10:23-25 (NLT) Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.