Discipleship: Battles for your mind.
Discipleship is a process in which you grow in mind, knowledge, wisdom, and spirit. It is imperative to grow in these areas. If one does not grow in these areas then stagnation occurs and that leads to opportunities for Satan to creep in and set up strongholds.
One of the areas that Satan loves to attack is our mind and our thinking processes. If he can convince us that things are never going to be better, that we are not worth anything, or that our lives are pointless, then he has a stronghold that is, more often than not, very difficult to overcome. That is, of course, that we realize that there is a stronghold present and take action to overcome it. If it is never realized that a stronghold is in place, then we find ourselves way down the creek without the proverbial paddle to come back to our original point.
It’s called Spiritual Warfare. Let me give you an example. I recently a young man in his early twenties is saved for a period of about a year when he perceives the calling on his life to be an evangelist. He is digging in God’s Word everyday devouring the truths contained within. He can’t get enough of the Bible. He is on fire for God. Do you think that Satan wants that young man to fulfill his calling? Absolutely not! Satan will do everything he can to discourage this young man. He will place thoughts in the young man’s mind that he is not fit for this ministry or that no one will ever listen to what he has to say. Satan will place distractions in the young man’s path that will attempt to pull his attention away from reading and studying his Bible. Those stumbling blocks can greatly hinder the young man’s discipleship to the point that his calling is delayed. Do you see? Satan will attack the mind and the heart. He will discourage the young man because nothing is happening as fast as the young man would like for it to. This young man has not yet learned that all things happen according to God’s timing, not ours.
I know that all this can and does happen. Satan did all that he could to discourage and distract me during seminary. He has attempted to lure me away from my own discipleship process by attempting to distract me with other, worldly things. He has attacked me through my family, through deaths in my family, through conflicts in my personal life. Satan leaves no stone unturned. How did I survive? I survived all this warfare by being solidly grounded in Scripture, by being in prayer on a daily basis, by submitting to the constant discipleship process. Of course, my faith sustained me to a great extent. I survived by making a conscious effort, every day, to live my life as a daily witness to others.
One of the best resources that I’ve run across regarding this attack on our mind is Joyce Meyer’s Book, The Battlefield of the Mind. I know that many of you may say, “I’m not reading a book by a woman preacher!” Well let me say this, I do not make this recommendation lightly. It is solid teaching about Spiritual Warfare and the war aspect within the mind.
Proverbs 23:6-7 (NASB95) 6“Do not eat the bread of a selfish man, or desire his delicacies;
7 For as he thinks within himself, so he is….”
Do you understand? We should guard our hearts and our minds. How we think has a huge impact upon how we act and speak. If we think, “Oh that guy on the street corner is just a washed up bum.”, how are we reflecting Christ in our lives? Jesus said the second of the two greatest Commandments was to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
Romans 8:5 (NASB95) states, “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” (emphasis is mine).
Believe this, our thought patterns and the way we think about even the most common things impact our hearts and the heart rules the mind. Our words and actions are formed in the mind. Thus what is in our heart is in our mind and is usually what comes out of our mouth and expressed through our actions. The spiritual warfare for the mind is significant!
I strongly recommend this book as a part of your discipleship. I read it. I applied it. It is sound teaching in this area. I lead my family through this book as a family study. I have posted this book in RECOMMENDED READING. I urge you to read this book and apply the truths within. It will enhance your discipleship. I pray that you overcome the strongholds Satan has established in your mind, perhaps without you even realizing it. I pray that this reading helps.
In His Grip,
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