Victory Begins in the Mind
Where we are most spiritually compromised is in our minds. Believing lies destroys us. Like, the one who believes she deserves to be beat up emotionally, the one who believes God doesn’t care, the one who believes his life doesn’t matter, the one who believes in false doctrine, the one who believes her ability to control defines her, the one who believes work and success define him and the list goes on. Once we believe the deception, then WE are the ones to create the destruction in our lives. When you break it all down to where the battle really is – it’s in our minds, thus that’s where the path to victory begins.
Among our thoughts, it’s very difficult to fight the battle between truth and lies, because our thoughts are very close to us. They feel like us, and most of the time we don’t question if they are true or not we assume they are. But often they aren’t. Consider your thoughts throughout the day – do you think most come from the truth or lies?
This past weekend, there were several instances that I had to fight lies in my head. It is VERY difficult, because to us our minds are believable and when backed by emotion (pain, hurt, pride, need for acceptance, value, etc) they become even more convincing about what is true. Sometimes isn’t an easy battle. First we need to realize our thoughts are only ours if we own them – this understanding allows us to question them. For example, I can have the thought that I’m useless, triggered by someone’s comment and reinforced by a past of neglect, but unless I own it, it will pass. But if I hold onto it and support it with other thoughts and emotions, then I will start acting on that false belief. Once we are able to question them, then we can go to the next step, recognizing lies and fighting against them. BUT the only way we are able to recognize AND fight against them and the destruction they bring is with the Truth.
When we know and trust the Truth, lies have no impact. When one comes flying into our mind, we discard it and instead chose the wisdom from above that brings freedom, joy, peace, and love. James 3:15-17 But we can only chose what we know. And that is why a lack of LOVE for the truth is the downfall for many. They are living in deception that steals life and have no idea because they don’t have the truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:10 The impact of our thoughts is why it is our work to believe the truth. John 6:28-29 Yet, we see many not really considering their beliefs but simply on acting on them whatever they may be.
Look at the lie Eve believed. Genesis 3:4-6 Look at the ramifications of acting on it. By falling for it, fallenness and hardship manifested in her life as well as those around her that was never suppose to be. On the other hand, look at Jesus battling the lies thrown at Him in the wilderness. Luke 4 Jesus didn’t fall for them because He deeply knew and trusted the Truth – – and that is the secret of not giving into lies, knowledge and trust in the Truth. We have been given what we need to stand strong, the Truth. When light (truth) comes immediately darkness (deception) flees.
The Bible says the whole world is under the sway of the wicked one 1 John 5:19. The “wicked one” represents the ultimate in pride, selfishness, lies, deception, and a seeking self-will not God’s will. Most people are living by lies not truth, and when we look around we see this is the case by all the destructive behavior that is in the world. Bound by deception, we create afflictions, troubles, hardships, pain, and destruction in our lives and the lives of others. Often we can see the false beliefs in someone else’s life because we are on the outside. But with ourselves, because of the nature of our mind and we are in our mind, it is much more difficult. The nature of deception is that you don’t know it isn’t true until you know the truth.
Not only do false truths create destruction in our lives, but on the flip side they rob us of the promises of God. There are MANY promises to those who TRUST in God. When we know and trust in those promises that truth becomes a powerful force. But if we don’t know those promises and don’t believe they are true and for us then they are stunted. Now God is merciful, so even in our lack of faith He often pours His blessings into our lives. But there is a clear correlation in the Bible between our trust in His Truth and the presence of His promises in our lives.
Knowing His promises is the starting place and it is a process. By abiding in His Word, His truth consumes our thoughts, and our beliefs are crafted on what is true. Only then can we act on them in our lives. Second, trust isn’t just something we decide to do one day; it comes from spending time cultivating a real relationship with God based on truth, which means spending time in His Word on a regular basis with a heart to know God as Lord in our lives. If we doubt God’s promises are for us, we are believing a lie being thrown our way. Don’t believe it. Abide in God’s Word and seek to believe on Him. Ephesians 1:3, Psalm 84:11, Psalm 31:19
When God’s Truth is ours then we are able to stand against the lies thrown at us on a daily basis coming from all directions; lies that derail His promises. In Ephesians 6, all the armor of God that the Apostle Paul instructs us to have either comes from the Word of God or is the Word because the Word provides a foundation of truth from which we can counter the deception we face. Without an outside source of truth to ground our beliefs in we have nothing to fight the vast number of lies that surround us. God gave us His truth to give us light to dispel the darkness of deception.
• “girded your waist with truth” – His Word is truth
• “breastplate of righteousness” – understand our righteousness is from Christ, who is The Word
• “shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace” – gospel of peace, is the gospel of reconciliation which is the Word
• “taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one” – faith comes from hearing the Word
• “take the helmet of salvation” – understanding of our salvation is gained from the Word.
• “and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” – obvious
Victory begins in our minds. How are you going to gain it? What are you going to do to prepare yourself to be victorious? Most of us our battling the wrong thing, we are focused on the outside when we need to focus on what is happening in our minds. The epistle of our lives starts in our thoughts. To be victorious in our lives in every area, we need to know and trust the TRUTH.
John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
April 20, 2010 at 3:10 am
You’re right, Rachel. It’s so hard to see what’s really going on when all these thoughts assail us. It’s difficult to stand back from our own minds and ask, “Am I over-reacting to this? Is it really as it seems?” Two weeks later, maybe, but in the moment? Really hard. Something I frequently struggle with. I’ll have to come back and read this again–Thanks!
April 20, 2010 at 3:57 pm
Hi Cindy – great point – when we step back from a situation we can see more clearly – but in the moment or in the midst of an emotional whirlwind – much more difficult.
April 20, 2010 at 11:00 am
excellent post Rachel, such a timely word. I don’t understand why it is easy to believe the thoughts in our mind we conjure up? I often do the same thing I OVER analyze a circumstance to death. It usually causes me to focus, on what I may have did….insecurity plays a big part in all this.
I am currently in a situation at my job where my mind is going through all the possible scenarios. What I did, if I did something, did I say something wrong, is it me? Honestly it is exhausting! I instinctively determine its my fault, surely do to negativity on my part. But when it boils down to it, its sin, to focus so much on myself.
Appreciate the article…it surely has put so much into perspective for me. My weak is resting and trusting in the promises of God. I definitely need help in that.
April 20, 2010 at 4:03 pm
Hi Mike – I’ve done what you have . . . over analyzing situations. I agree – it is insecurity and lack of trust. The Spirit has been guiding me to let go and trust Him to work out my situations. We create much more drama in our heads then there often is in reality. There is a lot of freedom in letting go and trusting and not doing so is just another form of bondage and not where God wants us mentally and emotionally. But sometimes it is difficult. I’m finding as my trust is growing in Him, the letting go is easier.
April 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm
At times I felt I was reading my own writing . . . so naturally I liked this post. 🙂
Seriously, I think if there is any one thing that I can say I have learned more than anything else in this starting over period of my life, is exactly what you have written here.
So many lies went unnoticed and because they did, I was easily decieved – easily distrected. During this starting over period, the economy got bad, which directly affected my line of work (builder/developer). As a result, my time with God increased even more. Among the lies I was hearing was ‘this is it for you’, and on and on and on.
The extra time with God was to get His perspective on these thoughts. I could have just believed them and accepted them. Instead, I took them to God and He gave me truth. The more I did it, the more I began to recognize lies. The more I recognized them, the harder it was for the enemy to deceive me with them.
During all that, the verse, ‘faith comes by hearing’ came to mind. I realized my faith had increased because I was hearing more truth. By filling myself with truth, lies had much less of an effect on me.
I could go on but I have gone on too much already. But this is kind of a personal testimony to what you are saying.
April 20, 2010 at 4:06 pm
Hi Mike – I love how God connects us don’t you? The truth is so important – and the more we own the Truth as ours the freer we are. Lies are always about bondage. God wants us free. He calls us to His Word – it is truly the bread of life – true life.
April 22, 2010 at 2:39 pm
Wonderful post. We fight the good fight. Spiritual warfare is important in the life of the believer. The Full Armor of God is the weapon of choice. Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus. The Word of God is sure. We must read our Bibles with great faith. God bless you and your work. We at The Joy of Jesus are in constant prayer for you and your great work. God Bless You.
April 23, 2010 at 5:21 pm
Hi Dr. Lee – How true the Word must be read in faith – and flowing through our lives. It is our light, our life.
April 24, 2010 at 1:51 am
I had always been troubled about the thoughts that would come across my mind but as you have stated, unless we take ownership and chose them, they do indeed pass on. They only have power and control when we dwell on them and not on the LORD. I love the “taking every thought captive”. Instead of beating myself up that the thought even came, I just turn my eyes upon Jesus and look full into His face and then the things of earth will dim and relief, the junk that once was there is gone.
April 25, 2010 at 5:00 pm
Hi Judy – great comment and very well said!
April 27, 2010 at 12:41 pm
Hi Rachel, I’ve only given this a brief reading, and it deserves more thought! But I just wanted to share that this has been a huge part of my journey in the past year (and a challenging one!).
What happens in our minds – our belief and the thoughts we dwell on – do have such an impact on the rest of our lives. The mind is such a difficult thing to gain control over, but Paul’s reminders in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 are a constant help to me! Knowing that it’s God working to make these changes makes all the difference.
There have been things outside of me that I’ve changed. I do believe God led me to change them, but I think there was pride in me – proud that I made the change and a skewed belief that I was in control to “fix” the problem. The results only showed me that only the Holy Spirit working INSIDE my heart and mind would make the difference. So, I think a lesson He’s teaching is that even when I’m asked to make an outward change, it is an act of obedience and an act of faith that begins a journey of waiting for God to do HIS work.
Thanks for the post as always!
April 28, 2010 at 4:01 pm
Hi Ruth – so well said and I completely agree. It is a difficult area, and our beliefs and throughts are foundational to all else in our lives. And that is whay the Truth is one of our greatest weapons. I too have tried to take over changing me when I saw progress being made and learned that is what NOT to do. It is truly the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. I believe He tells and shows us what He is doing in us so that He gets the glory – not so that we take over. When we do it moves us backwards instead of forwards. You said it well – we do what He tells us (obedience) but know all the healing is up to Him, not us. For this reason I got rid of all my “self-help” oriented books several years ago – and at one point I had many. They constanly put the burden on me to change me – when I needed to be learning to trust God not myself. All we need is His Word – it is more than enough. There is great freedom and deliverance when we can truly trust Him, His work, and His timing in this area.
May 6, 2010 at 2:59 am
Lots to think about with your post–well done.
I like your conclusion in that “victory begins in our minds.” Once I realize that fleeting thoughts should be tested using God’s words, the better I’ll be able to discern His plan for me.
Also, thanks for your insightful comment on my post on the sidewalk graffiti. Your thought certainly makes sense, and I have been praying for the child since seeing the writing.
May 6, 2010 at 4:23 pm
Hi Slamdunk – thanks for your comment – I’ve been praying too 🙂