Battlefield of the Mind

Dear Friend,

Do you ever find yourself thinking random thoughts or humming random tunes and wonder where they came from?

Last Summer I found myself singing a Christmas song as I was doing my housework.  When I realised what song it was, I thought how strange for that one to be in my head - particularly in the middle of Summer.  I then realised that my daughter had been singing it earlier (yes, I know, I have a crazy daughter!)  Without being conscious of it, my mind had obviously taken it in at the time and I was now replaying it.

Thursday morning this week I woke with another song on my mind.  It was one we had sung four days ago at my church.  It was a fairly new song to me, and I didn't know much of it, but what I did remember replayed over and over in my mind throughout the day: "Unending praise be yours, God, forever, all my praise be yours, God, forever...unbroken praise be yours."  (From the song by Matt Redman 'Unbroken Praise')

It was such a lovely way to wake up - singing my praise to God and great to be able to enjoy it throughout the day.  It really made a difference to my attitude and outlook.

These two examples showed me how easily my mind can absorb information from what goes on around me, even though I may not be aware of it at the time, and that what has entered my mind will come out in some form or another sooner or later. 

I believe that what we think about and allow into our minds has an influence, both for good and for bad, on our emotions, our attitudes, our speech and our actions.  The devil knows this too.

The mind is a battlefield and the devil is always looking for ways to win the war over our minds. "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT) 

So when it comes to our minds we need to be very careful what we are feeding on.

Some years ago, God made it clear to me that I should be reading different books to the ones I was currently reading.  The books I was reading were not necessarily wrong, but there were better ones I could be reading and filling my mind with.  God wasn't telling me I shouldn't read novels anymore but to discern which kinds of novels I read.  I now read Christian novels and these bring much enjoyment.  I also read books on spiritual living which have helped me in my spiritual growth.

I choose to listen to Christian worship CDs and Christian radio as I prefer to fill my mind with songs that are pleasing to God.  Songs which help me to worship and honour him.

If I feed on rubbish - such as listening to gossip, the type of books that I read, certain things on the internet, what I watch on television etc - then rubbish is what will come out.

If I feed on that which is good, pure, and honouring to God then this will become evident in my life.  My thinking will line up with God's thinking.  My attitude will be more Christ-like, as will my speech and actions.

Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippians the kinds of things we should be thinking about: "And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honourable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." Philippians 4:8 (NLT).

The Message Bible puts it this way: "Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse."

The choice is ours to make - will we choose to fill our minds with those things that Paul speaks about?  There is a need for us to be proactive in this, otherwise, we will be leaving room for the ways and the thoughts of the world to shape and fill our minds.  Not only that, we will also be leaving room for the devil to attack our mind and bring us down.

Let's not forget that whilst we have a choice to make, we also have one with us, the Holy Spirit, who will help us to think and live as God intended.  We do not have to face this battle for our mind alone and ultimately we have the victory because Christ overcame the devil at the cross.

Together let's pray this prayer: "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."  Psalm 19:14 (NLT)  Amen.

To Think About:
What has your mind been feeding on this past week?

How do you think it has influenced your attitudes, emotions, speech and actions?

Are there any changes you need to make to what goes into your mind?



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