April 29, 2018
Who is winning the battle for your mind?
The great battlefield of our day is not in some foreign nation; it is in the human mind. One writer calls it “The Invisible War.” Rick Warren says it is a violent, unrelenting battle between God and Satan, both of whom want to win control of your greatest asset – your mind.
Whoever gets your mind gets you.
You have a choice. But if you do not choose to let God control your mind, then by default Satan will have control. There is no neutral ground. Perhaps that is why Jesus, when asked to name the greatest commandment, said this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
Saint Paul explains this ever so clearly in his Letter to the Romans: “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” The idea of “setting the mind” reminds us of the thermostat which we can set to determine the heating or cooling of a room. In another of his letters Paul says, “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” You can, therefore, set your mind on good or evil.
Paul goes on to point out that “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, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” So allowing your sinful nature to control your mind is the way of death while letting God control your mind is the way of life. The solution, Paul says, is to let Christ live within you, and guide your mind, which will give you the joyful awareness that you are a child of God.
If we go from the New Testament teaching back into the Old Testament, we discover the amazing consistency of the holy scriptures. For example, in Deuteronomy Moses says, “Love God and fix the laws of God in your mind.” And Moses also says, “Love God and walk in all his ways.” Throughout the Bible we are admonished to fix or set our minds on God and the things of God. It is a golden thread in the scriptures.
In America today the minds of millions of people are controlled by their sinful nature, or to say it more simply, by Satan. The awful consequences of this way of living are staggering. For example, there are presently 2.3 million people incarcerated in the United States. Is it not stunning to realize that because so many minds are controlled by “the sinful nature” that our nation operates 1,719 state prisons, 102 Federal prisons, 1852 juvenile correctional facilities and 3,163 local jails?
That is why, when I get an opportunity to speak to young people, I plead with them to let Jesus control their minds. In his second letter to Timothy, Paul advises his son in the faith to flee from the evil desires of youth, to seek righteousness and to walk with people who love God. This is the counsel we need to pour in the minds of today’s youth, entreating them not to conform to the patterns of our worldly society but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. Paul urges Timothy to be patient and kind to those who oppose him in the hope that they will come to their senses and “escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”
That, then, is the bottom line. If Satan controls your mind, you will do his will. If God controls your mind, you will do his will. What you face is not a skirmish; it is the chief battle of your life. But as you wrestle with the forces of evil, never forget that Satan cannot defeat God. Shout NO to your sinful nature. Yield your mind daily to the Spirit of God and he will help you win the battle! + + +