Do you ever feel trapped in your own mind? Do you ever feel lost in a sea of wandering thoughts that you can't seem to control or emotions that overtake you in a moment's notice? Do you ever try to bring about freedom in your own life only to be brought back to reality as your mind circles back to old patterns and behaviors, reminding you that you're still the same and you probably always will be?
Girl I have been there! For years I struggled with fear and insecurity - even after traveling the world, working with incredible ministries and marrying the single greatest guy on the planet, I still struggled with feeling less than, not important enough and yet too much all at the same time. Well it took my lightening-fast mind quite some time to finally come to the conclusion that the issue probably wasn't something that was happening to me, but rather something happening on the inside of me.
Fear, insecurity, shame, guilt, unworthiness, comparison... it all begins in the mind. Sure our circumstances can assist in bringing these thoughts to the forefront of our minds, but the battles themselves are fought, won and lost right in our own heads. This is one reason why I believe the bible is so adamant about us renewing our minds.
This world has it's own way of thinking and by default, that is exactly how you will think, respond and be conformed to, unless you decide to take action with your mind. The Christian life is not a passive life, but it's an active life where we are constantly moving forward, allowing what is in our new spirits to bleed out into our soul (mind, will and emotions) and into our daily lives. But too many of us don't take our thoughts that seriously. I mean, they're just thoughts right? How serious could this battle be?
Well let's just say it's serious enough for God to declare that our transformation in the Christian life is dependent on the degree that we renew our behavior? No... Choices? No... Church attendance? No... To the degree that we renew our minds. Notice in the above verse that Paul says to, "fix your attention on God." Then he says, "You'll be changed from the inside out." Fixing our attention on God is a decision we have to constantly make and it's not something that will happen without your consent and cooperation. Therefore, there must be a role we have to play in this great but silent battle for your soul.
So what does our role look like? I heard it said once that thoughts are like birds, you can't stop them from flying over your head but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair. Basically, thoughts may come your way and you're not always responsible for every one that pops up in your mind. But what you do with that thought once it's there is your responsibility and will determine the amount of growth in your life. But to combat our thoughts, we must have some weapons at our disposal.
First, we must know the word of God. The word is a double-edged sword (Heb. 4:12) and our greatest weapon against the enemy and his deception. It says in John 8:32 that you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. So the condition on getting set free is to know the truth. The word translated "know" in this verse is the same greek word translated "knew" in Genesis 4:1 where it says that Adam "knew" his wife Eve and she bore Cain. Clearly this is more than just a once a week, church attending, bible reading kind of relationship. This is as close a relationship as we can have and we were created to have it with God.
Truth has a name. His name is Jesus. And if you want to experience true freedom, power and purpose on this earth, then your relationship with Him must be the absolute greatest priority of your life. Only then will you be able to extinguish the flaming darts of the evil one (Eph. 6:16) and start to take ground in the battle in your mind.
Next, once we know truth, we will more easily recognize when a thought doesn't line up with that truth. And that's when we take that thought captive, rebuke it (out loud if you have to) and replace it with the truth. See why the enemy fights you so hard on your bible reading time?
I know this seems like a lot of extra effort just for our thoughts. I mean, aren't we supposed to be casting our devils, waving swords around and beating demons to the ground? We give WAY too much credit to the enemy! The only true power he has is deception, which means he can't get his grimy paws on you without you yielding your mind over to him. Because you see your thoughts lead to your emotions, which lead to your life choices, which ultimately lead you to your destiny. That's why he tries to get in your head first, then he'll have access to your journey.
Don't give him a foothold in your life. The truth is you don't have to! You don't have to stay saved and stuck in the same old lame thoughts and tired emotions. Know the truth, take authority, and begin to act in faith, even before you feel it in the natural. That is the way the Kingdom of God works anyways. He spoke and then it became reality. Walk after the nature of your Maker and be a Daughter of Faith and Wonder, who calls the Spiritual realm into her earthly reality.
Take up your sword and fight these battles well. You have what it takes and your journey awaits!
Want to dive more into what God says about fighting your battles well?
Check out the Fight Well Online Bible Study and let's go on a journey together to learn the battle strategies
of a Royal Daughter.