Yes, there is a battle going on. Right now. And YOU are in the center of it.
For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places . Ephesians 6:12
Whether you are aware of it or not, and I’m sure some of you are, we are in a spiritual battle with the Enemy. He has already lost our hearts, because once we accept Christ, we are His forever. But there is so much the enemy can do to wage war on us still. Much of this battle takes place in our mind, which is what we have been studying in Loving God with All Your Mind by Elizabeth George. Since the enemy cannot have our hearts, he battles tirelessly to destroy our witness to others, to cause us to fall into temptation, enslave us in sin, and to rob us of our joy.
We know that during battle, men and women are taken imprisoned on both sides. It is our part to take captives as well. Our captives are not of the human variety, but are part of that battle in our minds and hearts.
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ… 2 Corinthians 10:5
We are to obey God in all things, even to the point of taking our thoughts that do not line up with Philippians 4:8 captive, in order to force them into obedience! That conjures up powerful pictures in my mind. We must capture these thoughts as Prisoners of War and compel them surrender!
These first 6 lessons of Loving God with All Your Mind have been based on Philippians 4:8. (Matthew 6:34 is introduced next week.)
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8
If I were color coding this verse in my Bible, I’d use the color chosen for COMMANDS. This is not a suggestion from Paul. This is God, speaking through Paul, telling us to do this! THINK ON THESE THINGS! We have learned in past weeks some of the dangers when we allow our hearts and minds to focus on other things. But it is important to acknowledge that we are too do this because it is a matter of OBEDIENCE.
There are several resources given to us to help us discern whether our thoughts are following the guidelines given here.
- Our Conscience – (Romans 9:1) As believers, we have the power of the Holy Spirit within us to steer us away from wrong thoughts. One of the ways He does this is by pricking our conscience or “testifying to our spirit.” We need to heed the red flags that we experience. There is a reason for them. Stop, pray, and act accordingly.
- The Holy Spirit – (Hebrew 10:15-16) The Holy Spirit says, of the New Covenant, that He writes His laws on our hearts and in our minds. Taken from Jeremiah 31:31, we have that assurance.
- God’s Word – (2 Timothy 3:16=17) What a wonderful verse! Here we are promised that the scriptures are given to us by God Himself and what are they for? To teach us, correct us, train us in righteousness, all so that we my be equipped for every good work He has in store for us. If you are in doubt about whether your thoughts are true or real, test those thought and see if they line up with God’s Word.
- Wise Counsel – (Proverbs 12:15) In this proverb we are warned that a fool thinks his own way is the right way. A wise man or woman will seek counsel. Reach out to others in the body of Christ, especially those who are older in the faith. They are there to guide you!
We have seen so many benefits of maintaining our focus on things that are TRUE and REAL. The items listed above are there to help you preserve that focus. Let’s use ALL our resources to engage in the battle before us, taking prisoner every thought that does not line up with the Word of God.
Beware. This isn’t just a word picture. This is a true battle and battles are exhausting. On those occasions I have struggled severely, fighting in this battle, I finish the day in complete exhaustion. The enemy fights HARD and dirty. There may be days we fall in the spiritual battle. But we can rejoice, because the WAR has already been WON!There may be days we fall in the spiritual battle. But the WAR has already been WON! Click To Tweet