Battle of the Mind - Part III of IV 'The Unending War'
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The war rages on. The mind is the battlefield, littered with hundreds and thousands of soldiers, mighty in weakness and those who have fallen and wounded, pierced through with poisoned arrows of death and lies. Where do we stand in it all?
Paul mentions something about himself that should really be a reminder to all of us all.
2 Corinthians 12:7-9 “And lest I should be exalted above measure but the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
Who in their right mind boasts about being in pain? Especially when we know it isn’t going to go away? It can very easily drag us down. I’ve got this problem so I can’t do what God wants. He’s telling me to do something but...I’m weak! I can’t do it! Lies...all lies. We have fallen face first to the ground and all around us are gathered the spiritual realm of demons laughing because they have caught us easily.
“for My strength is made perfect in weakness...” We tell ourselves all the time that we must be strong for the Lord. We have to fight the good fight. We must be bold! We must be strong... So often times, we forget that God is not even talking about our boldness or our strength. Yes, we will fall if we try to fight Satan’s attacks ourselves because Satan fights in a different realm than where our mortal bodies stand. He fights us in our minds, in our hearts...sometimes he does attack us physically but only when God allows it. (Job) But most times it is the mind. We look to our own self and we will fall before we ever get a chance to run.
Galations 5:16-26 “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another so that you do not do the things that you wish.
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentelenss, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.”
So...what does this have to do with the mind?
Verse 17 “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another so that you do not do the things that you wish.”
It is a constant war and we must be self conscious of what we place in our hearts. All of us can participate in verses 19-21 which are the things that are sinful. Take a hard look at those things Paul mentioned and tell me you cannot. It is so easy. We WANT to do all of that.
Now take a look at the fruits of the Spirit (Verses 22-23). I have to tell you. It’s a war within myself. I’d rather do what is in verses 19-21 than verses 22-23. Here’s another commentary. Read it carefully.
“These virtues are characterized as ‘Fruit’ in contrast to ‘works.’ Only the Holy Spirit can produce them, and not our own efforts. Another contrast is that, whereas the works of the flesh are plural, the fruit of the Spirit is one and indivisible. When the Spirit fully controls the life of a Believer, He produces ALL of these graces.”
The battle within the mind...if we are to stand up for Christ, if we are to even think about doing something for God, we must first fall on our faces and recognize that we are nothing! We are filled with sin. We can do nothing at all for God. We are totally dependant on God.
And second, we must cry out to God to fill us with His Spirit, to lead us away from our own desires that come from ourselves. There is no middle ground. No man or woman is neutral. You are either for or against God. Those who care more about their own bodies, their own rewards, beware. God is a God of love and peace but He is also Holy and Righteous. No sin can enter His presence. Judgement is the reward to those who hate God’s principles or simply don’t care.
It all comes right back to faith. How willing are we to walk beside Christ? How much do we trust Him? Only through faith will we take the next step into the Spiritual realm where nothing here matters and God’s grace and Spirit can flood our souls. It’s a war...
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