This weekend, I heard the song “Courageous” by Casting Crowns. It had been a while since I heard it. There was one part that resonated in me. The line said, “In the war of the mind I will make my stand.” I forget sometimes that there is a constant war going on in my mind to decide who gets to control my thoughts. I’m the type of person who can get caught up in my thoughts so much that I don’t hear anything going on outside my mind (my wife can attest to this!). I can be looking right at you and not hear anything because of what I’m thinking.
The war of the mind and the battle for your thoughts is important. Your thoughts determine how you feel. When you first wake up, what thoughts go through your mind? That determines how you feel about the day. Then, the way you feel about things determines how you act. If those feelings are negative, you don’t want to get up, so you hit the snooze. If they’re positive, you get up ready to face the day. All of your actions, both positive and negative, begin with your thoughts. That’s why Satan usually attacks there first.
Think of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In Genesis 3, Eve was minding her own business and satan came to her in the firm of a serpent. To create doubt, he asked, “Can it really be that God has said, ‘You shall not eat from every tree of the garden?'” When she explained they could eat from all the tress except one or else they would die, he went after her thoughts again. He said, “You shall not surely die, for God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened.” With those attacks on her thought process, she changed how due felt about the tree.
Verse 6 says, “And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable, pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” Can you see the pattern? Her thoughts changed how she saw the tree. At first it was untouchable because God said. Thorn it became suitable and pleasant. Her attitude changed toward the tree. Now it became delightful and desired so she acted on those thoughts and ate. What was once off limits and she would have never considered became desired all because she lost the war of the mind.
I think that why Paul wrote in Ephesians 6 about the necessity of the Full Armor of God. In verse 11, he wrote, “Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which
God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and deceits of the devil.” As he listed out the different pieces of armor, salvation was a helmet. The helmet protects your head. It was symbolic of protecting your mind against the thoughts that come from the enemy to get you to do wrong.
If you’re struggling with the war of the mind, go to Ephesians 6:10-18 and read it. Put on the Armor of God so you can withstand the attacks of the enemy. God did not leave you helpless in this battle. He gave you this armor and the Holy Spirit to help you. Don’t buy into your thoughts that give you negative feelings and cause you to do things that you would have never considered before. Be honest with a close friend to have them pray for you and to hold you accountable. You can win this war by protecting your thoughts. You can stand up to the strategies and deceits the enemy brings. You don’t have to repeat Eve’s mistake.