Guard Your Mind

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Cor. 10:3-5)



As each of us knows, man is a tripartite being. That is, every man is made up of body, soul and spirit. The body allows us to interact with the physical world. The soul allows us to respond to the intellectual and emotional world. The spirit allows us to relate to the spiritual world. Without the body, we would have no contact with the world. Without the soul, we would have no ability to think or feel. Without the spirit, we would not have the ability to commune with God.

If you are saved, your spirit has already been made alive in Jesus and is sealed by Him until the "day of redemption,” Eph. 4:30. In other words, the body will drop away and be changed, the Spirit has already been changed, and what we are left with is the soul.


The soul can also be called the mind. It is the seat of the intellect, the will and the emotions. It is where we think, feel, and decide. It is also the place where all of the conflicts we face in this life begin! You see, the mind is the ultimate battlefield of life. The Lord, the flesh, and the devil are all battling for control of our minds. Why does the battle rage there? Because the Bible says, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...", Prov. 23:7.


If you don’t believe Satan is trying to invade, influence, and conquer your mind all you have to do is to turn on the TV and see the filth, lies, and the elevating of sin and mockery of God. Satan is out to destroy you and your home and he’s wants to do it in your mind!

We need to understand that this battle, raging in our minds, is a spiritual battle.


Ultimately, it is a battle between good and evil for the control of our lives. Since this is a spiritual battle, we must fight it with spiritual resources:

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; (2 Cor. 10:3-5)

How, you might ask? First, it doesn't happen automatically! It happens intentionally.

And be not conformed to this world, by be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)

The Apostle Paul is writing to the Christians in Rome (approximately 60 AD), but he may have well been writing to us in this present age. The word “conformed” means “to be pressed into a mold.” Paul is telling the believers in Rome (and us today), that we should not allow ourselves to be pressed into the mold of the world or Satan. In fact, the implication of the text and the inference in Greek is even stronger, “Do not be conformed any longer!” It is a command from the Lord and completely indicative that this act can be performed by the individual.


He later states in the same verse, “but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” The word for “transformed” here is “metamorphosis”—changed from the inside-out. This is what the Lord Jesus does through the ministry of the Holy Spirit living inside of us. He changes us from the inside-out. And while salvation is a final act, this text further reveals that this “changing from the inside-out” is a process.


“Transformed” here is present, passive imperative which infers

“Keep on being transformed!”


Thus, we see the act and continual ministry of sanctification in the life of the believer.


Further, Paul says:
Be renewed in the spirit of your mind. (Ephesians 4:23)
Peter adds,
Gird up the loins of your mind. . . (I Peter 1:13)

As we take the step in 1 Peter to "get a grip on the mind", we put ourselves in a position to receive the ministry of the Lord as He renews the mind.


The word "transform" in Rom. 12:2 and the word "renewed" in Eph. 4:23 are both passive voice. They are something to and in the child of God.


Demonstrating the Word of God is a present-day Book, let’s further see what the aged apostle had to say to the believers at Philippi. If followed, these steps will help us to build a wall of protection, allowing us to have victory on our most acquainted battlefield— the mind.

Philippians 4:4-7


Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

BUILD A WALL OF PRAISE TO GOD


Paul commands the believer to "rejoice" in verse 4. This word means "to be glad." It is in the present tense, active voice and imperative mood. This means that the believer is commanded to "go on being glad in the Lord."


Easier said than done? Yes, but we must consider who is writing these words----Paul. In fact, when Paul penned these words, he was bound between two soldiers in a Roman prison. Still, Paul knew that regardless of the circumstances of life, God never changes. His promises are always true and they never change! That is why we are told to "rejoice in the Lord."

Just to mention a few qualifications of the writer; Paul was beaten, spat upon, conspired against, shipwrecked, snake-bitten, had his life threatened on more than one occasion, was beaten with a rod, sentenced to prison, and endured Nero’s prison and persecution beyond belief! YET, he turned every street corner into a pulpit, every house into a chapel, and he conquered Rome writing letters! In the face of Nero, He said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God!” Paul had a face that would not blush and a heart that was rejoicing in the Lord!

Even if the road is hard, remember that He has planned your path, The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, Psalm 37:23.


He has promised to make all things work for good, Romans 8:28.


He has promised to go with you through everything in life, Hebrews 13:5.


He has promised you abiding victory, 1 Corinthians 15:57; Romans 8:37.


He has promised us that the destination will be worth every mile of the trip, Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17.

Therefore, even when you can't be happy about your life, learn to be happy in the Lord! Build that wall of praise!


BUILD A WALL OF PATIENCE


The word "moderation" literally means to be "sweetly reasonable". It has the idea of being patient with others; of giving way to the rights and wishes of others in this life. It does not mean a compromise in doctrine. It does mean that you have a willingness to take the back seat in favor of other people. This is the idea of Phil. 2:4; “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”


Paul is saying that the reality of our faith should be demonstrated in how we deal with other people. If the focus of our lives is on ourselves, then when people hurt us, slight us, cross us, etc, there will be a desire to retaliate and get revenge. Paul wants us to get the focus off of ourselves, and get it on others. When we are focused on those around us, we will be less likely to be hurt by what other people do. What they say won't sting us so bad. How they act can be passed over more easily. This is necessary to be able to rejoice in the Lord!


When we adopt the mentality of self-love that is all around us, we will always look at the things people do and say as a personal attack. It will cause us to wear our feelings on our sleeves and to be more easily hurt by the words and actions of others. This will cause us problems in the mind as we dwell on what was done or what was said. If we can learn to accept others just as they are and overlook how they act and what they do, it will protect the mind from dwelling in negative areas. It will build a wall of protection around the mind that others cannot penetrate!

The mind will be protected from the evil it likes to find in others. The devil loves nothing better than to get your eyes off Jesus and on the faults of others!


BUILD A WALL OF PRAYER


Verse 6 warns us against the dangers of worry. The word "careful" has the idea of "anxiety". It refers to a state of mind that is agitated over the events and circumstances of life. Now there is nothing wrong with having concern. We all have our concerns about certain things. It is when your concerns have you that the problems begin to arise!

Worry is so dangerous because it allows the mind to conceive false notions about God. Worry says, "God is dead!". Or, "If there is a God, He obviously doesn't care about me and my situation." Both of those statements are false! God is alive, Hebrews 7:25, and God does care, Hebrews 4:15; 1 Peter 5:7.


When the problems of life come our way, we are given some precious helps in the verses.


1. The Lord is near (verse 5b) - Not just His second coming, but He is always near to His children - Hebrews 13:5-6.
2. Exercise the tool of prayer (verse 6) - Paul speaks of prayer, supplication and requests. These might be thought of a general praying, specific praying and detailed praying. The main thrust of this verse is that instead of worrying, the believer is to demonstrate his faith in the power and will of God by seeking the Lord in prayer!
3. Develop a thankful heart (verse 6) - Regardless of the situations you face in life, learn to praise the Lord through them all. Nothing brings Him nearer or drives the devil away any faster than a thankful heart!

The Lord's promise to us is that He will replace our worries with His peace when we come before Him in trusting, humble prayer. The word "keep" in verse 7 means "to garrison, or build a fort around, to post a guard.” The Lord promises to post a guard around the heart and mind of the person who trusts Him with the needs of life. Instead of worrying yourself sick about things you can't change, learn to lean on the Lord in prayer! Build the wall of prayer!


BUILD A WALL OF PURITY

THE WORD OF GOD

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, 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)

All of these words Paul uses in this verse are a picture of the Word of God. It is true - John 17:17; “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” Since the Bible is true, everything it says fits within the categories mentioned by Paul. It is honest (honorable), it is just (right), it is pure (holy, clean), it is lovely (beautiful), it is of a good report (good reputation), it is full of virtue (excellence) and praise (that which tends toward worship).

What we have here is a call to fix our minds upon the things of God; the source for finding out about those things in the Word of God. In other words, if we will fill our minds with the Word of God, then there will be no room for evil, no room for worry, no room for fear, no room for vengeance, and no room for confusion or trouble. A mind filled with and led by the Word of God is a stable mind!

If you want a stable, fixed mind, the only place to get it is in the Word of God. We are to take the initiative and force the mind to dwell on the Bible and what it says, instead of allowing the mind to run to evil, or gossip, or others and what they are doing, or our problems, etc. A mind saturated with and fixed upon the Word of God is a stable mind. It is a mind governed by the Spirit of God and able to comprehend the leading of the Lord in matters.

Your mind is a precious gift from God. It can be used for good or for evil and all the forces of good and evil are battling for your mind all the time. Who wins the battle is always determined by you! This is a very critical matter, because how you think determines how you will live your life, thus it would behoove us to "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life."


Through the Word of God, and only through His Word, are we able to fortify and strengthen our minds. It is of utmost importance.