Tag Archives: battle

The Psychological Advantage

I like to think of King David as a warrior. He’s the guy that entire armies were afraid of. When he stepped on to the battlefield, it gave his army the psychological advantage. It boosted his army’s confidence and crushed that of his enemy. But that’s not the complete picture of who David was. When you read the Psalms, you see a guy who was worried and afraid at times. You see the thoughts of that brave warrior written down in black and white saying he was terrified at times.

No one can be brave and strong all the time. No one is impervious to the words that others hurl at us. After a while, they get to us. They penetrate deep into our mind and heart. They start to cause doubt. They can cause paranoia to. That’s where David was in Psalm 31. He said, “I’m in deep, deep trouble again. I’ve cried my eyes out; I feel hollow inside… My troubles have worn me out.” Even the great warrior David had days where he felt insecure and alone.

He didn’t stay like that though. He didn’t let those thoughts dominate his mind and keep him in that state. He knew how to get out of it. Verse 1 gives us his answer to getting free of the mindset that is constantly worries. David said, “I run to you, God; I run for dear life.” He knew that God was his fortress and his cave made of granite that would protect him. In verses 14-18 he says, “Desperate, I throw myself on you: you are my God! Hour by hour I place my days in your hand, safe from the hands out to get me.”

Every time the thoughts of insecurity came into his mind, he went back to God. When fear crept in, he called out to God. “Hour by hour,” he said. It wasn’t a daily thing. It was an hourly thing. He knew not to let those thoughts linger in his mind. They’re destructive and counterproductive. They are thoughts meant to pull you away from who you are in Christ. Don’t let them rule your mind. When they pop up, run to God like David did. Call out to Him and speak to who He is.

When we speak to how great our God is, our problems don’t seem so big anymore. When we call out to Him for help, we win the psychological battle. Just like when David stepped onto the battlefield, God steps into our situation and gives us the victory before there is ever a fight. He is our strong tower. He is our defender. He gives us the victory in our hearts, minds and lives. When the enemy hears us call to Him and sees Him co ing to our defense, they know the battle is over. You know the battle is over.

I love how he ends Psalm 31 in verse 24. He says this to you, “Be brave. Be strong. Don’t give up. Expect God to get here soon.” I don’t know of any better words of encouragement than that. When you call out to God, He’ll be on His way to help you. In the mean time, be brave and strong. Don’t give up or let the enemy win the psychological advantage over you before the battle begins. God is on your side today and He’s on His way!

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Jehovah Nissi

Most of us are familiar with the story in Exodus 17 where the Israelites went out to fight the Amalekites. Moses went up on a hill to watch the battle. When he raised his arms, Israel prevailed. When his arms grew weak from being raised and they fell, Israel began to lose. Aaron and Hur went up the hill, had Moses sit on a rock and propped his hands up. The Bible says that Israel mowed down the Amalekites that day. Moses then built an altar and called it Jehovah Nissi, The Lord my banner.

Banners aren’t something we use much anymore. But all through history they have been used. If you think about the national anthem for the United States. It was written during a battle. If you listen to the words of it, when night fell, our flag was raised up which meant we were winning the battle. The writer was a prisoner in a ship and he was trying to see if it was still flying. The dawn’s early light was not bright enough to see it. He relied on the rockets red glare to light it up and give proof that it was still there.

The flag, or banner, represented hope in the battle. It let you know in all the confusion of war with the bombs bursting, the lights flashing and smoke rising that we were being victorious. Hope in a battle is huge. People need it to keep fighting when they can’t see the end result. When the banner went down in a battle, people lost hope and the will to fight. What Moses did was create a banner that represented victory and that The Lord was helping them. It gave hope.

You may be fighting a battle right now. It could be personal, spiritual, financial, relational or any type. In it your vision is limited. Your focus has become short sighted. You may even feel like a prisoner in that battle like Francis Scott Key was who wrote the U.S. national anthem. Even as a prisoner of war, he saw our banner and had hope. So much hope that he penned a moving song that is known world wide.

If you’re lacking hope today, raise your hands and praise God. Surrender the battle to Him. He is your victory. He is your strength. Don’t get caught up in the smoke and confusion of the battle. Look for the banner that represents your victory today. It’s still there, you just need to see it. The dawn will break soon and the light of the Son will shine again. Don’t give up. The Lord is your banner of victory. He is Jehovah Nissi.

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Victory of the Mind

I was reading Romans chapters 7 and 8 this morning. In Romans 7, Paul is very transparent with us. He shares the struggles he faced in wrestling with sin in his life. I always like to think of Paul as a super Christian. The man wrote most of the New Testament in the Bible. But here in chapter 7, he is sharing the inner struggle we all face. It is summed up in verses 19 and 21 that say, “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway… I have discovered this principle of life – that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.”

Does that sound like you? I know it sums me up perfectly. We all struggle with sin because our sin nature still lives in us. We all succumb to it when it rears its head in our lives. In verse 24, Paul used the word “dominate” to describe what his sinful nature was doing to him. It isn’t until we get to chapter 8 until he tells us how to overcome. One of the first paths to victory he mentions is in verse 6. It says, “So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”

That leads me to the question, “How do I stop my mind from being controlled by my sinful nature and start letting it be controlled by the Spirit?” I think it starts with what you choose to put in your mind. What movies, TV shows, books and magazines are you looking at? Are they things that cause you to think about sin? Then you need to watch or read something else so that those seeds won’t be planted in your mind. Controlling what goes in will help control your actions. Switch to watching or reading something more wholesome. Plant good, godly things in your mind.

The next thing you can do is take control over those thoughts. Don’t entertain the thoughts that walk you down the path to sin. II Corinthians 10:5 tells us to bring “into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” If that thought doesn’t belong, take it captive and cast it out. Last week my pastor said when those thoughts enter his head, he says out loud, “You have no right to invade my mind.” That’s how you take it captive and cast it out.

Lastly, we need to have the mind of Christ. Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.” We can have the mind of Christ. It’s not easy to get or maintain. It takes a conscious effort to ask for it and then maintain it by thinking good things. Philippians 4:8 tells us to think on things that are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. If your thoughts don’t line up with these, take them captive when they come in and then consciously force yourself to think on these things.

The battle of the mind isn’t easy. We’ll fight it our entire lives until we are made perfect. Just because we have the sinful nature living in us doesn’t mean we have to be dominated by. We can have victory. These are three things I have found to help me win the battles. I’m curious to know what ways you have found victory in the battle of the mind. Leave me a comment as to what you’ve found and let’s help each other win.

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