VICTORY IN OUR MINDS
Anita Clark, Pastor Grace Chapel, Carbondale, Kansas
“Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me. For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. Bur I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” II Corinthians 11:1-3
The Apostle Paul was given a special message for the church, that of preparation of the Bride of Jesus Christ. Here he speaks of a “chaste virgin,” which means “clean, modest, pure, innocent.” None of us can achieve these spiritual attributes by our own strength. Christ in us is the hope of glory (Col. 1:7). As we allow Him to work in us, the characteristics of Christ are manifested in us and from us. “Virgin” speaks of the character of a yielded Christian letting the pure and holy life of Christ be ruling in their daily lives.
Apostle Paul was concerned that “As Satan beguiled Eve with his subtilty,” he would pervert our minds from yielding to Christ Jesus also. The key part of this Scripture which shows how Satan works to defeat us as believers is, “...so your mind should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” In Genesis 3:1-19, Eve was tricked by the serpent (Satan) by getting her to reason in her mind. He caused her to question God’s real intent, in declaring they should not eat of the forbidden tree. He seduced her in her thinking. I Timothy says that Eve was deceived or deluded, which means to impose a misleading belief upon someone, and to deceive and fool. Satan gained “mind control” over Eve. This is the subject of this message.
Satan is continuing his deception today to believers and unbelievers. Just as he did with Eve, he does with us also, by placing a question in our mind, Genesis 3:1, “Hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” He appealed to her mind and by that put her mind in opposition to God and what He said. One writer says, “He appealed to the ability of the human mind to think creatively on it’s own, outside of God’s influence and spiritual direction.” From that time the human mind acted in opposition to the Spirit, which brought disharmony at the core of man’s being. The nature of man was changed and he now has an old sin nature.
Today the devil manipulates the minds of God’s people. We all know that sometimes when we’re sitting in a spiritual meeting - Bible Study or other Godly meeting, how easy it is for our minds to wander. Jesus said, “When anyone heareth the Word of the Kingdom and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one (Satan) and catcheth away that which was sown in the heart” Matthew 13:19. Thoughts contrary to God are triggered by Satan. Some of his methods are causing your thoughts to stray away while you’re trying to take in the Word of God, and he tries to get you to forget the Scripture and not remember the promises of God. He introduces new thoughts, trying to turn your attention away from what God’s minister is bringing to you. If we are undisciplined in controlling our thoughts by the power of the Spirit, it makes us vulnerable to the devil’s whispers. He is constantly triggering thoughts to keep you away from thinking on God and the Word.
Ephesians 6:12 speaks of the Spiritual warfare we go through with the devil. It says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” If you find yourself wrestling against flesh and blood, Satan has deceived you. Another person is not your enemy. Our battle is with Satan and his imps- “rulers of darkness,” who have set themselves against us. Satan is in all out war against every believer in their thoughts of their minds. If Satan can control people’s thoughts, he can control them. When we accept the thoughts that he suggests, then he has achieved his purpose. We as Christians must recognize who our enemy is, or we are vulnerable to His attacks. Satan is in an all out war against every believer. The battleground is the thought life of the Christian.
In Philippians 4:6, Apostle Paul admonishes us “Be careful for nothing.” The Amplified Version interprets it, “Do not be anxious or worried about anything.” Satan will try his best to defeat us by bringing many worries and problems to our minds. Sometimes we are burdened with the trial and test and we try to figure out the solution in our minds.
Satan will keep bringing past failures of ourselves and others to our minds especially when we’re trying to sleep. One of the great remedies, from my experience in trials and deep testing to gain that peace in our minds that we need is the truth that this portion of Philippians declares. When we are being tempted and tossed by life and we can’t get our minds off some horrible thing that is happening to us or our loved ones, these Scriptures really work to bring that needed victory.
Apostle Paul continues to say, “... in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” When thoughts are disturbing you and keeping you awake, Call out to God in supplication, and the results will be according to the next verse which says, “And the peace of God, which passeth understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
I have had that problem when my mind was so full of the trial and test that I could not think of anything else; so bad that I could not sleep, when My mind was about to be totally overcome, that the words of Vs. 8 came to me, “think on these things.” My overcoming was to deliberately put my mind on some spiritual truth and constantly bring my mind back to that each time I would fall back on the thought of the horrible trial that had entangled me though almost to utter defeat. I found victory over this circumstance and walked on with triumph through Christ. I decided that I would no longer listen to Satan’s taunts of what had befell my life. If we want to gain victory over the devil, we must bring our minds into the captivity of Christ. Satan and his power has no dominion over me! Praise the Lord! “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me” Phil. 4:13.