Battle of the Mind
- 2 Corinthians 10:3–5
- Jeremiah 17:9
Any fun and welcoming Icebreaker that gets the members moving, on their feet, where all the members can participate in. If there are new members be careful not to create a space where they feel exposed or uncomfortable.
Introduce the message by reading the following scripture:
2 Corinthians 10:3–5:
"Though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh [in other words,
we don’t fight with armor, we don’t fight with politics, we don’t fight with money, we don’t
fight with all the humanistic ways]. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but
have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion
raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ."
- The apostle Paul says here that our job in this battle is to “destroy strongholds.”
- Do you know what a stronghold is? It is a mental block. Paul is talking about pretentions, arguments set up against the knowledge of God. This is a mental battle. And he says, “Destroy these strongholds.”
- A stronghold can be one of two things
- It can be a worldview, such as materialism, hedonism, Darwinism, secularism, relativism, communism, atheism. All of the different -isms are mental strongholds that people set up against the knowledge of God.
- A stronghold can also be a personal attitude. Worry can be a stronghold. Seeking the approval of other people can be a stronghold. Anything that you make an idol in your life can be a stronghold — fear, guilt, resentment, insecurity. All of these things can be strongholds in your mind. And the Bible says that we are to tear them down.
Taking Every Thought Captive
The Greek word aichmaløtizø there means “to control, to conquer, to bring into submission.” We take captive. We make it submit. Every thought is obedient to Christ. Make it obedient. Hupakøe means “to bring into submission, to bring under control.”
- But how do you do that?
- And how do you teach other people to do that?
- How do I make my mind, mind?
Your mind is often disobedient. It is often very rebellious. It wants to go in a different
direction. When I want to think a certain way, it wants to go another way. When I need to
ponder, it wants to wander. When I need to pray, my thoughts want to float away.
The fact is, the reason we have so many ineffective Christians today is that they do not know
how to fight the battle of the mind.
Four Principles for Winning the Battle for Your Mind
Don’t Believe Everything You Think
We naturally feel that if we think something, it must be true because it comes from within
us. But just because you think something does not make it true. So many different suggestions can come into the mind. The world puts suggestions in our minds that are false, and we are bombarded with those false ideas all the time. And, of course, Satan makes suggestions all the time.
- Was there a time in your life that you believed something that wasn't true?
- What suggestions from the world have you faced?
- Are there still some suggestions that you need to overcome?
- Give members a few moments to think about this, even possibly discuss this with members who speak up about their stories.
But your problem is much deeper than Satan. Everybody has a mental illness. We are all mentally
ill. The mental illness is called sin. And the Bible uses at least a dozen different phrases for
the condition of our minds under sin. Our minds are broken by sin. Which means we cannot trust even what we think, ourselves. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” We have an amazing ability to lie to ourselves.
- What lies have you told and believed about yourself?
- How do you conquer that?
Guard Your Mind against Garbage
The second thing to learn in this battle for the mind is guarding your mind from garbage.
The old cliché from the early days of the computer — GIGO, garbage in/garbage out — is
still true today. If you put bad data into a computer, you will get bad results out. If you put
mental garbage into your mind, you will get garbage out in your life. Proverbs 15:14: “A
wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash” (NLT).
The same is true in what you see, what you hear, and what you allow into your mind.
Some food is brain food. It will make you smarter, more godly, and more mature
Two Ways to Guard Our Minds Against garbage - Philippians 4:6-8 (conversational prayer
and concentrated focusing):
- Never Let Up On Learning
The third thing to learn and teach to others in this battle for the mind is to never let up on
learning. Become a lifelong learner. Love knowledge. Love wisdom. Learn to love the act
of learning. The word disciple means “learner.” You cannot be a disciple of Christ without
being a learner. Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden [by the way,
that sounds like a felt need!], and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn
from me” (Matthew 11:28–29).
- Let God Stretch Your Imagination
If we are going to learn, and teach others, how to fight the battle for the mind, we must
learn how to let God stretch our imaginations. This is a part of the battle. This is part of
thinking. Everything that happens in life begins with a dream. Somebody has to imagine it
This is a gift that God gave to us: the ability to dream and envision and imagine something
before it comes into reality