Some years ago I read the book “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer. The book talked about how our thinking shapes how we act and react to what goes on in our lives. It also talks about how the enemy takes every opportunity to try and get us to focus on the wrong things thereby taking our focus off of God. Many of us don’t realize there is a literal war going on inside of our minds. The more the enemy can deceive us into thinking ungodly thoughts, the further we move away from God and the easier it is to tempt us to fall into sin. James 1:14-15.
This book has had so much impact in my life because one of the biggest fights for me has been to keep my mind focused on God. I have dealt with extremely low self-esteem, depression, anger, worry and fear all throughout my life. So much that at certain times in my life these thoughts and feelings seemed to completely overwhelm me to the point where I could not even function properly. Issues with work, school, family, and everything else often had my mind completely occupied where there wasn’t any room for the Word of God to fit. It does not take much to get me completely thrown off track. My mind searches for the worse possible scenario and dwells on it until my actions are lining up with the worst that could happen. If I don’t guard my thoughts closely I spend so much time dwelling on what could go wrong, what went wrong or what is going to go wrong, that I have no time to stop and see what God’s Word says. I have always been just enamored with those people who despite what happens to them they always have a sunny outlook and cheery disposition. I often think…how do they do that! I have always been the exact opposite. Even when something wonderful happens I often think, what’s the catch, or for every good thing that happens to me, five bad things must happen. I know this, I can totally relate to David when he says in Psalms 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. God’s word has truly opened my eyes to how I was separating myself from God by how I was thinking (Psalm 66:18)
As believers we are to daily put on the full armor of God (His Word) so that we can stand against the devil and we are to be attentive to his words (Ephesians 6:11 and Proverbs 4:20). In this way we can stop those negative thoughts before they get a stronghold in our minds. The way we think is so so so important to how we deal with trials that come into our lives. When negative thoughts come, we must first recognize they are not from God because He has not given us the spirit of fear but of power of love and of a sound mind!( 2 Timothy 1:7) We belong to God so we must take captive every thought into the obedience of Christ because for as we think in our heart, so are we.(2 Corinthians 10:5 and Proverbs 23:7)
When I first gave my life to Christ I would work SO hard on trying to change myself and my behaviors. I used to get so frustrated with myself and God because I would fail over and over again and find myself depressed, angry and victimized because I felt God could never use me. What it took me a while to realize was that I had to focus on changing my thinking, not my behavior. I wasn’t reading the bible daily and I wasn’t digesting God’s Word. The only way we can change our thinking is to sanctify and cleanse our minds by the washing of water by the word and He will lead and correct us (Ephesians 5:26 and Isaiah 30:21)
To win the battle in your mind it is so important to immerse yourself in God’s Word daily. It is the only way to defeat the enemy and increase your faith(Romans 10:17). James 4:7 says…resist the devil and he will flee from you. It almost sounds too easy but God is faithful. Once I started exposing myself to the Word of God daily my thoughts drastically changed. The way I react to situations is completely different because of the way I think. It is still a daily battle and sometimes I fail because my flesh wants to let the negative thoughts take precedent but we must remember to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. His word never fails!