“I have seen what it is like when people are unable to hear God because their minds are broken and cannot seem to connect to God even when they want to connect to God. And I know whatever gets your mind gets you. So, one of the most important things we need to learn and teach others is how to guard, strengthen, and renew our minds, because the battle for sin always starts in the mind.” – Rick Warren
I recently found myself at war with . . . well, myself. A situation arose where I strongly disagreed with a friend—a Christian friend—someone who I legitimately believe loves Jesus and belongs to Him. That was a hard and uncomfortable place to be. This situation consumed my thoughts in many unhealthy ways, and my mind was veiled in justification. In my mind, I was completely warranted in my “rightness,” and in the showdown I was prepared to take part in the next time we had a conversation. But there was this inner conflict happening I had never experienced before. I could feel this tug where my mind continued to tell me I was right and to say whatever I wanted, however I wanted; but an overflow of my heart kept repeating, “Please don’t.”
In that moment, the Spirit led me to Romans 8:7 which says, “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” Well, praise God for His intervention, right? Our minds are prone to sinfulness apart from God. I can see, in my situation, where personal thoughts led me to sin nearly every single time, until God stepped in and aligned my mind with my heart. Paul even speaks to this earlier in Romans 7 where he says, “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” – Romans 7:19
So, how do you win the war raging in your mind? Start by not believing everything that comes to your mind. Second Corinthians 10:5 says it plainly that we are to take every thought captive.
Sin has broken everything, including our ability to think clearly and godly. We cannot trust what we think, only what God has spoken as truth. All sin begins with a lie that has been planted in your mind, telling you that you know better than God.
Start measuring your thoughts against the Scripture and pray that God will reveal the true intentions of your thoughts.
Guarding your thoughts is another way to manage what flows in and out of your mind. Put up defenses against gossip, deceit, anxiety, lying, and vengeance, just to name a few. It is incredible to consider the tangled webs of sin one misguided thought can produce. Philippians 4:6-8 reminds us to pray and think about things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, and excellent. So, I charge you to turn away from all evil. Do not entertain thoughts that you recognize as such. If what you are thinking does not line up with the Philippian attributes, toss them. For as the psalmist said, “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.” – Psalm 101:3.
The mind is often rebellious and disobedient to God. Our minds don’t always mind and they try to go in wrong directions without much difficulty.
I pray that you always consider Christ as the only filter for your thoughts. There is no thing and no one more worthy of our thoughts than Jesus. Be steadfast in pursing the effectiveness of your mind for the sake of Christ.
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