[RENEWING OUR MINDS]
One of the greatest battles we will ever fight as believers is the battle of the mind. Until we win this battle, we cannot walk in the victory that is ours in Christ Jesus.
To win this battle, we have to know how to fight it. Paul gives us a blueprint.
Our weapons of warfare are not carnal.
We cannot win spiritual battles with carnal means. We, therefore, have to know how to fight by the Spirit to win the war.
What are the weapons of the flesh?
Anything we use apart from God is of the flesh. Any weapon derived from human knowledge is of the flesh. We can be tempted to come against the enemy with our own ideas, or our own ways.
We can even use spiritual weapons in a carnal way because we didn’t consult God on how to use them.
They have divine power.
What are these divine weapons?
Pau mentions the weapons in Ephesians 6:10-18
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist. Ephesians 6:14
We put in place the belt of truth to come against the lies of the enemy. Without the truth of God’s word, we are fighting a losing battle. We surround ourselves with truth and are able to disarm any lie that the enemy throws at us.
Any other weapon is safely secured by the belt of truth, it is no wonder that Paul mentions it first in Ephesians.
To win the battle of the mind the first thing we do is arm ourselves with the truth. We cannot be able to know when the enemy is speaking lies to us if we don’t have the truth.
Romans 12:2 lauds this, do not be conformed to this word, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.
We renew our minds with truth. We study God’s word and allow it to change how we see things. We allow it to change our perspective. We begin to think differently. By doing this, we arm ourselves with the truth.
Another weapon is the shield of faith.
Faith becomes a shield that stops the enemy from throwing lies, doubt, worry, and anxiety at us. We lift up the shield of faith whenever we are under attack. We stand on God’s word and use that as a shield against the arrows of the enemy.
Faith isn’t automatic, Romans 10:17 tells us, so then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. NKJV
We renew our minds by making sure we are listening to the right things. If we want to grow in faith we make sure that we are hearing the word of God. We listen to faith-filled stuff. We have no excuse because today we have so much content that we can listen to.
Because we are hearing the word of God, faith comes to us and becomes a divine weapon against the attack of the enemy in our minds.
The enemy cannot access the mind that is filled with the word of God. He cannot access the one shielded by faith.
The word of God
Ephesians 6:17 calls the word of God the sword of the spirit. But it’s not just any word that becomes a sword. It’s the word empowered by the Spirit for a specific situation that becomes a sword.
Sometimes we have the truth of God’s word in us, but we don’t know how to turn that truth into a sword to win the battles raging against us.
The Holy Spirit will give you a specific word to use for specific situations. This comes through a relationship. Outside of a relationship with Him, it is impossible. It also takes practice, as we learn to use the word of God as a sword we get better at it.
For example, God could give you psalm 118:6 The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. When you are tempted to give in to fearful, anxious thoughts.
Or He can give you, psalm 91:15 I will be with him ( you) in trouble, I will deliver him ( you) and honor him( you).
Whenever there is a specific word for a situation, it becomes a sword we can wield in the spirit against the enemy.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:18
Prayer is a mighty weapon. It is often the avenue through which all other weapons find expression.
He says to pray in the spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests. Praying in the spirit could mean praying in tongues. When we pray in tongues we pray unto God not unto men and we pray mysteries and hidden truth. (1 Corinthians 14:2)
Sometimes, our understanding is in the way. By praying in the spirit, we can get out of our own way and pray God’s will concerning a situation.
Praying in the spirit can also mean spirit-led prayer. Whenever we pray by the guidance of the Holy Spirit we pray in the spirit. Sometimes, we don’t know what we ought to pray or how to pray concerning a situation. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can be able to fight through prayer. (Romans 8:26)
Many times we are unable to see what the enemy is doing behind the scenes. Through prayer, we can get a specific word and know exactly what to pray against in that situation.
For instance, you could be fighting anxiety and fear not knowing that you need to cast out a spirit of lying. If you deal with the lying spirit the fear and anxiety will leave.
Or you could be struggling with something not knowing the root cause. But through prayer, the Holy Spirit is able to give you the exact problem behind it. When we deal with the enemy behind a circumstance and condition, we are able to get rid of the symptoms.
Through prayer, we put on the belt of truth. We also lift up the shield of faith, and wield the sword of the spirit to win the war in our minds.
We demolish strongholds.
Paul says with divine weapons we demolish strongholds. We cannot win against the enemy unless we know how He is coming against us.
The enemy has power and authority in our lives where there is a stronghold.
A stronghold means a fortified place where one is safe from attack. The enemy builds all kinds of strongholds in our lives.
Thought patterns can become strongholds. Sometimes the way we think and act is because there is a stronghold behind it.
This is how strongholds are formed. A thought becomes a pattern- when a thought becomes established it becomes a pattern in our minds. Patterns become habits- when patterns become established they become actions. And through consistent doing we form habits, then our habits become a way of life. When we think and do something for a long time it becomes a way of life and this is what we call a stronghold.
This can be good or bad. If our thoughts are consistent with God’s truth, then they build good strongholds against the enemy. But when our thoughts are inconsistent with truth, they build the enemy a stronghold in our lives.
Fear, unbelief, anxious thoughts, insecurity, lies, unforgiveness, and shame can be strongholds in our lives.
They can be things that started out as thoughts and over time became impenetrable strongholds.
Strongholds don’t just go away you have to consistently hammer at them until they become rubble. By using different weapons, we are able to demolish destructive strongholds and establish good ones.
We destroy every argument raised against the knowledge of God.
This is how we destroy strongholds, by consistently putting the argument the enemy is raising in our minds against the knowledge of God. As we grow in our knowledge of God, it becomes easier to win against anything that is contrary to God.
We take captive every thought and make it obey Christ.
Some things are so normal for us that it will take a while to demolish.
We begin by identifying wrong thoughts and patterns in our lives. We then take captive those thoughts and bring them under the word of God.
This is not a one-time thing; it’s something we have to do as we continue to grow in God.
I love Philippians 4:8, Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
The word of God is full of pure, true, noble, praiseworthy things. As we learn to think about these things we subsequently take captive what is not.
We know our position.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, Ephesians 2:6
We have been raised with Christ and seated in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 1:20-21 says, “When he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”
We are seated with Him, far above all rule, authority, power, and dominion. The enemy is already under our feet, we only have to enforce the victory. We can win anything that comes against us because we know our position in Christ.
We can win the battle in our minds, renew our minds in Him, and live the life that God has for us.