Health Ministries

Health & Wellness

August 10, 2023

In an increasingly complex world where misinformation is rampant, confusion becomes one of Satan's most potent weapons. His goal is to distract our minds, leaving us with little or no room for Jesus, our only beacon of hope in this tumultuous, perplexed world filled with pain. However, the Bible provides explicit instructions on safeguarding our minds from Satan's cunning traps. Romans 12:2 implores us not to mold ourselves to the patterns of this world but to undergo a transformation by renewing our minds. It's crucial to acknowledge that the spiritual warfare is real, and everyone we know risks eternal life if we succumb to temptation and allow our minds to be tainted by sin. Nevertheless, hope is not lost! Jesus generously provides us His armor. Ephesians 6:10-11 advises us to don the full armor of God to resist the devil's schemes effectively.

Let’s start today by doing the following:

1. Scrutinize Your Thoughts
Are you attuned to the conversations happening within your mind? What thoughts cross your mind? What beliefs do you hold? Our minds are continually bombarded with ideologies, worldviews, and narratives. Personal experiences of loss, suffering, and distress shape us, and our minds often harbor untruths and misconceptions from the world, our own selves, and the devil. It becomes crucial to seize control of our thoughts and scrutinize them. Capturing a thought means taking control of it, similar to taming a wild beast. We need to delve into our thoughts, understanding what we're thinking, why we're thinking it, and if it aligns with the teachings of Jesus and the gospel. Ask yourself: Are my thoughts representative of the gospel's truths about God, others, or me?

2. Bow Your Mind to Jesus
As we examine our thoughts, we should invite the Holy Spirit to bring them into alignment with Jesus and the gospel truths. The Holy Spirit is our guide to understanding Jesus and identifying any beliefs inconsistent with the gospel (John 14–16). Regularly seek the Holy Spirit's wisdom regarding Jesus's identity, his deeds, and our identity in relation to his work. If our thoughts or beliefs deviate from this, the Spirit enlightens us by reminding us of God's truths and our identity in the gospel.

3. Assess the Yield
As we surrender to the Holy Spirit's guidance, we begin to experience the Spirit's fruits. Galatians 5:22–23 describes these as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control—a life mirroring Jesus. In contrast, a life led by the flesh yields outcomes like "sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies" (Galatians 5:19–21). To succeed in this mental battle, we must examine the fruits of our thoughts or potential actions. If they do not embody the Spirit's fruits, it is a clear indicator that our minds are not in alignment with Jesus.

4. Stand Your Ground
The mental battle isn't passive—it's active, aggressive, and fought with God's might and the spiritual weaponry provided through the gospel. As the Spirit reveals Jesus's truths, we must cling to them (1 Corinthians 15:2), find refuge in them and learn to proactively defend ourselves with them. Paul urges the Ephesians to "be strong in the Lord and in his power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can fight against the devil's evil tricks" (Ephesians 6:10–11) and outlines the armor—truth, righteousness, readiness, faith, salvation, and God's word—provided through the gospel (Ephesians 6:14–18). The fight involves using these truths as a belt holding everything together, shielding our hearts with Jesus's righteousness, and quickness to flee from evil and pursue obedience, knowing that we are free from guilt, shame, and fear. It's about raising the shield of faith and believing in Jesus's work for us, defending our minds with the helmet of salvation from lies, accusations, and temptations, and wielding God's word, the sword given to us, to confront the devil's attacks. Prayer, a dependence on the Spirit, forms the crux of this battle—the armor would be futile without the Spirit's power. We need to capture our thoughts, examine them, assess the resultant fruits, and actively defend our minds with the gospel's truths—this is our strategy in the Christian journey's continuous warfare.

5. Recognize the Battle Ground
The battlefield for our minds is ever-present and increasingly complex. Satan, the deceiver and the adversary of our souls, uses the most pervasive tools at his disposal to infiltrate our minds. These tools include media, movies, music, video games, and social media; all seemingly harmless, yet potentially lethal channels through which harmful ideologies and ungodly narratives are disseminated into our minds. These channels subtly foster attitudes, desires, and mindsets that are contrary to the teachings of Jesus, leading us down a path of separation from our Savior.

6. Embrace God's Patience and Long-Suffering
Despite the chaos and the deception, Jesus remains patient and long-suffering, awaiting our return. He understands our struggles and never forces His will upon us. His love is a testament to His desire for us to freely choose Him above all else. John 14:15 says, "If you love me, keep my commands." Jesus wants us to love Him out of our own free will, not out of obligation or fear. This love is further emphasized in John 15:10, "If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commands and remain in his love." Revelation 22:14 blesses those who do His commandments, with access to the tree of life and entrance into the gates of the city.

7. Challenging the Infiltration
Resisting the enemy's infiltration requires an intentional, active effort on our part. We need to guard our minds against ungodly influences and filter the content we consume through the lens of scripture. We must learn to discern the truth from the lies, and constantly align our thoughts, beliefs, and actions with God's word. In doing so, we actively choose Jesus, express our love for Him, and secure our minds against the enemy's schemes. The fight for our minds is indeed a formidable one, but with Jesus and the gospel truths as our armor, we can confidently say, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).

8. Your Mind is a Work of Art
Our minds are a precious instrument, a unique masterpiece that God created. The enemy seeks to corrupt this work of art through its infiltration and lies, but Jesus desires to restore it back to its original form—to bring it into harmony with His gospel truths. Through His Spirit and the manifold graces of the gospel, Jesus is at work to restore our minds and make us whole. If we open our hearts and minds to His love, He will provide strength and assurance in this battle—and ultimately help us win the war.

9. Closing Thoughts
The fight for our minds is a continuous one—a spiritual warfare that requires diligence, strategy, and most importantly, faith in Jesus. His power overcomes the enemy's schemes and lies, providing us with a refuge and the spiritual weapons to protect our minds from harm. Let us be reminded of this truth as we engage in earthly battles—and entrust our minds into His holy hands.

10. A Prayer for Renewed Thoughts
Heavenly Father, we come before You in the name of our Savior Jesus. We thank You for Your patience and long-suffering towards us, and for the gift of free will to make decisions that honor You. We ask that You would renew our thoughts, guard us against ungodly influences, and equip us with spiritual weapons to fight this mental battle. Let truth be our shield and faith guide us to victory. May we always remember that You are with us, love us deeply, and desire for us to come back to You. In Jesus’s name we pray, Amen.

11. Take Action
Today is the day to stand our ground in this mental battle! Let us all take a step forward towards making our minds into a holy sanctuary that honors our Savior.

Here are some practical steps we can take:
1) Pray for yourself and loved ones daily, seeking God's guidance in this battle.
2) Establish boundaries with media, social media, and other sources of potential infiltration.
3) Filter all content through the lens of scripture, double-checking its origins.
4) Stay informed on current events and issues from a Christian perspective.
5) Replace negative thoughts with gospel truths, seeking to capture them in your heart. 
6) Make it a priority to read the Bible daily and meditate on its teachings. 
7) Spend time with likeminded believers who can lift you up in prayer and support.
8) Commit to standing firm in the fight, never compromising your faith for any reason.

Let us keep fighting and defending our minds with the love of Jesus! May we all be strengthened by His grace as we pursue a closer relationship with Him through this process. Amen.

Over the next few months we will delve into each of topics above as we transform our minds from being conformed by the world, into having the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16).