God has given us magnificent minds that are potentiated to reason, communicate, invent and process information. Nonetheless, with such a great instrument that the Lord has given us, the enemy has found ways to attack us through our minds. Our minds are the command centres of our bodies and, rightfully so, God advises us to pay much attention to what goes on in our mind. Although we are redeemed and saved, while we live on earth, we are going to be in constant warfare with a defeated Satan. Let me say that again in case you missed it… you are fighting against a defeated enemy. Since the enemy has lost, his objective is to convince you otherwise. He would rather wear you down, defeat your mind and convince you that you are nothing. If he can’t possess you, he will try and oppress you. His objective is to rob you of your peace and he will start with your mind.
The bible warns us to protect our thought life against the enemy. One way to show you how important this is, is to give you examples of how our thoughts can come to stagnate people in their lives. For example, many people fail before they even begin a new venture because their minds are defeated with doubt and fear. Others never dare to step out of their comfort zone because of the insecurities that resonate in their minds. Many, like myself, struggle to believe in themselves because they are believing defeating thoughts that no one else is even thinking about them.
Our minds are very sensitive vessels that even Paul makes an important exhortation to the church:
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10.5 [NIV]
To “take captive” is an action. It is not a one day experience, but a continuous activity of subduing all thoughts that are contrary to the will of God. It is to act by faith, despite how we are feeling that day. Our feelings should never lead or take charge of our lives. It is dangerous to let our feelings take the steering wheel of our lives. If you find yourself trapped and enslaved by your emotions, I have good news. The Holy Spirit has empowered us with a fruit of self-control. Self-control helps you to manage and take control of your emotions. You may still “feel” a negative emotion, but you are now empowered to choose whether you want to respond to it or not. See, the Holy Spirit doesn’t just want to change your actions, but also your reactions.
I can’t tell you how many thoughts run through my mind every day and how many times I am tempted to respond or react to them. Some of those are good thoughts, some are prideful, others are vengeful and many others are pessimistic. Don’t believe everything you think. When thoughts of insecurity, doubt or pity comes, refuse it. Reject those thoughts and refuse to let them develop or materialize into beliefs. Take the thought captive before it becomes a belief!
You are what you think. “As a man thinketh, so is he!” Proverbs 23.7. I need to let go of what I think about myself, and start trusting and believing what God says about me. This can only be found in God’s Word. Our behaviour is an expression of how we think. So to act differently, I need to think differently. I need to renew my mind and let the Word of God affect me and transform me. If God says I can, then I can. Period.
Here are three steps to follow in order to take back our thought-lives and gain peace in our minds:
1. Recognize that what you are thinking or feeling isn’t the truth about you. If your thoughts don’t align with God’s Word, reject it. God’s Word is true and only His opinion of you matters. His opinion of you should become your opinion of you.
2. Turn to the Holy Spirit and ask for the fruit of self-control. Don’t let your thoughts or feelings dictate your actions. Whether it be depression or anxiety, tell your soul to surrender to the will of the Holy Spirit.
3. Put on the helmet of salvation (Eph. 6.17). Salvation is your reminder that you have already won. Satan is defeated and his threats can’t affect you because you are totally convinced that Jesus has won on the cross. To put on the helmet of salvation is to put on a victorious mindset. Satan can’t defeat a mind that knows that it has won.