Too many times we think that the battle we fight is the battle that we see in front of us when the real battle really takes place in our mind.
Proverbs 23:7 Solomon wrote, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
Let me show an example of how this battle takes place: Matthew 5:21-22/5:27-28 here Jesus shows us that the real battle starts in our mind. Even if you haven’t killed someone but if you think like you want to kill that person because of your anger then you have already committed such. Even if you haven’t committed adultery but in your mind you wanted to then you have already committed such.
“The greatest area of sin in the believer’s life is not the area of actions but the area of thought. There is a whole classification of sins that we would have to call sins of the mind. What was the first sin of Lucifer? It was pride. What is that? A sin of the mind. What is lust? A sin of the mind. What is covetousness? A sin of the mind. Greed? A sin of the mind. Suspicion? A sin of the mind. Discouragement? A sin of the mind. We could go on and on. Those sins are more real to the child of God than such sins as adultery and murder and theft. That is a testimony to the fact that there is a warfare going on. Satan is attacking the mind.”
Illustration: When I was younger I really thought that we “love” through our heart. But then when I took up Biology classes they teach us that our emotions, most especially ‘love’, is an emotion coming from the hypothalamus which is actually a part of your brain.
Everything starts in our mind…
…anger …jealousy …pride …most of our problems are mainly caused by us which all started in our mind
Check out James 4:1-3…the cause of fights and quarrels starts from a battle within us
Satan targets our minds to tempt us…
Genesis 3:1-4 … Satan clouds Eve’s mind to doubt the command of God
Matthew 14:28-31 … doubt made Peter sink when he was already walking on water
This is why Romans 12:2 says “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. THEN you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
KNOWING GOD’S WILL IN OUR LIFE STARTS BY BEING TRANSFORMED* (1 Corinthians 2:14); AND BEING TRANFORMED STARTS BY THE **RENEWING OF OUR MIND.
*TRANSFORMATION – in context this is metamorphosis; as in a caterpillar changing to a butterfly; to be changed to someone else which is far from who you are before (Not I but Christ that lives in me)
**RENEWAL OF THE MIND – meaning to have a different mindset or way of thinking; way of thinking = attitude
Note: You will remain to be your old self unless you totally change the way you think…your attitude
, I want to make sure first that we are all aware of the real battle that takes place nowhere else but in our MIND.
Ephesians 6:10-12 “…we do not struggle against flesh and blood…”
Illustration: My computer had a virus so I sent it to be re-programmed or reformatted. I was told ...
that all my files will be lost when they reformat the hard drive so what I did was I saved all my files in a flash-drive. When I got my computer back it was like new – all the programs in it are newly installed…no virus! But then I transferred back all my files from my flash-drive and my computer come crashing again. Why? Because my flash-drive has a virus! Even if my computer has been reformatted, I have to make sure that the files I upload to it should be virus free.
Ephesians 4:22-24 … we are instructed to put off our old self which is corrupted by the world and to be renewed “in the attitude of our mind”.
EVEN IF WE HAVE BEEN WASHED CLEAN WHEN WE WERE UNITED WITH CHRIST IN BAPTISM, IF WE STILL EXPOSE OURSELVES TO THE CARNAL WORLD THEN WE WILL CONTINUE TO LIVE WORLDLY LIVES INSTEAD OF BEING TRANSFORMED TO RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Follow up reading: Colossians 3:5-10 putting to death our earthly nature and put on new self which is renewed in knowledge (mind)
Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
HOW DO WE MAKE SURE THAT OUR MIND IS RENEWED?
I. Make your mind captive to Christ (Make a choice to obey Christ) Explain: BONDSERVANT
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 “…we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ…”
II. Feed your mind with the Word of God (Expose your mind constantly with God’s Words)
READ: 1 Peter 2:1-3, Peter says, “Feed your mind on the pure truth of God’s Word.”
Illustration: An old Indian was explaining to a missionary that the battle inside of him was like a black dog fighting a white dog. “Which dog wins?” asked the missionary. “The one I feed the most,” replied the Indian.
Conclusion: Many of us fail in our Christianity because we fail to understand that the real battle starts in our mind. This is where the renewal should start before a transformation would take place. It will take time that is why you have to start NOW!
Illustration: She dressed in rags, lived in a house amid mounds of garbage, and spent much of her time rummaging through trash cans. The local newspaper picked up her story after the woman who was known in her neighborhood as “Dirty Mary” had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital. Astonishingly, in her filthy apartment police found stock certificates and bankbooks indicating she was worth at least 50 million .
This woman’s condition was heartbreaking. But from God’s point of view there are even more tragic examples of “wealthy” people who subsist on “garbage.” If Christians are controlled by lust, hate, envy, pride, impatience, or bitterness, they’re actually choosing to live off the refuse of the world.