The Mind Is A Valuable Commodity

The most powerful faculty given a human being is his capacity to reason.  God created humans with the ability to think and generate thought and placed this faculty inside the anatomical structure called the “brain”. 

The “mind” is where all the invisible activity of the “brain” occurs.  It is where we make sense of our surroundings, our environments, our relationships, and our existence. 

The “mind” is described in the following ways:

  1. The reasoning faculty, which thinks, judges, understands, and directs in humans, capable of great complexity because of the development of the human brain.
  2. The human consciousness that originates in the brain and is manifested especially in thought, perception, emotion, will, memory and imagination.
  3. The mind is the home of our conscience which is the human faculty that enables one to decide between right and wrong acts of behavior, especially in regard to one’s own conduct.

What is interesting and intriguing is that God wants us to become wise in the knowledge of how the faculty of the mind works.  He places such importance on this that he tells us to protect it by putting it under a helmet; to rid it of old sinful tapes through constant and vigilant renewal; and he tells us to upgrade it with newness of attitude. 

Scripture tells us that God is the stronghold of our lives and therefore we should not be afraid of anyone. The word stronghold refers to a fortified place; a strongly defended place; a fortress.  It is an encampment in the field of battle; a place of security and refuge.  It protects us from outside or unwanted intrusion from an enemy or foe.

This is the vanguard God wants in our lives.  From the vantage point of his stronghold, we are able to defend ourselves from attack.  We are especially capable of defending our minds from the attack of the devil.  Scripture tells us that we are in a battle, a war, and a struggle against our former slave master the devil.  He wishes to destroy us and he uses our mind as his battlefield. 

The devil is no stranger to the effectiveness of a stronghold.  He had each and every one of us in his stronghold before we converted to Christianity and for many of us there are some areas of our mind that are still not renewed from his influence.  We manifest residuals of the devil’s stronghold in undelivered behaviors and patterns of thought that we struggle against and feel plagued by.  Because our conversion, or salvation, is a one-time act of God in our lives, we do not have to do anything else in this area.   But because our sanctification is an on-going continuing process, we have much work to do in this area “cleaning out” our minds from the influence of the devil’s stronghold in order for us to grow and mature as a Christian.

God tells us to be mindful of our thoughts, our mental attitudes and our emotions.  He knows that through the channel of our mind the devil will wage his war and try to render God’s stronghold ineffective in our lives.  He is soberly aware of the fact that he must assault the stronghold of God; that these assaults must be continuous.  And he knows that the assaults must be aimed at our mind because it is our mind that is the doorway to our heart and our heart under girds our faith.   

The greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, mind and soul.  God doesn’t tell us to use our brain to love him, he says to use our mind.  Remember, this is where we have conscience, consciousness and reasoning with respect to God’s truths.  If our minds are operating under the influence of lies, then our behaviors and patterns of thought will not be reflective of God, they will be reflective of the devil and we will find ourselves living a life of defeat instead of a life of victory.

God provides us with a foolproof process for not only combating, but for defeating the devil’s assaults on our mind.  Pay attention to what he says:

2Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV) – “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.  On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  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.”

We must demolish, not tolerate, not coexist with, but demolish every thought that is against the knowledge of God.  What an exhausting process that could be if God was not our stronghold.  It is he who provides us with divine power to demolish any opposing stronghold.  This being true, tell me then why so many Christians are defeated in their thought lives?  In my tenure as a biblical counselor I have seen numerous people struggle with various circumstances of life and personal trials all because of incorrect “mind management”.  The thoughts that were operating in their minds were not those of God but of the devil with much confusion, anxiety, hopelessness, poor decision making and destructive behaviors as a consequence.

For many Christians, the reality of spiritual warfare is foreign to them.  I believe this to be true because of a lack of understanding on their part about their salvation.  The component of God’s forgiveness is all they know.  They are unlearned about authority; therefore they do not comprehend the fact that the devil had authority over their minds and lives before they were converted to Christianity.  They are unlearned about the enmity that exists between the flesh and the Spirit; that when they were under the authority of the devil, they weren’t a threat to him because they belonged to him.  But now that they are under the authority of the Lord, they are the devil’s enemy and he wants to destroy them. 

Here’s a concept to meditate on: 

  • The devil hates God and all that belongs to him.
  • When you were an unbeliever, you belonged to him and were an enemy of God.
  • You were under God’s wrath and condemnation and were headed for the same eternal destination as the devil – the second death – the lake of fire.
  • The devil didn’t need to try to destroy you because you were already destroyed.
  • But when you became a believer you then became the devil’s enemy because you were “saved” from God’s condemnation.  You became his child.  You were adopted into his family.
  • The devil now wants to destroy you because of that fact.

If every Christian could get this truth embedded deep within their heart, mind and soul then I believe they would be more sensitive to the fact that they are in spiritual warfare with the devil and he assaults them in the only way he has at his disposal; their mind. 

Though God is our stronghold, he commands us to fortify our thinking by growing in the knowledge of Christ.  We can do this most effectively through knowing the Word of Truth – that’s the Bible.  By studying the Bible, not memorizing the Bible, we will be given revelation from God concerning all of his truths.  They will be part of our fiber because we will have “eaten his truth”.  It will be nourishment to our soul.  Only then will we know the truth of God and will be able to demolish every lie of the devil that he throws our way.

I conclude with this exhortation by the Apostle Paul to the church at Philippi…

Philippians 4:8 (NIV) – “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

Teach Me About God’s Grace

“Grace” is traditionally understood by many born-again believers to mean God’s unmerited favor. Ironically, this traditional definition has been so used and abused to where it has lost relevance in the lives of so many born again believers. Many cannot comprehend how pervasive this attitude of God is in their lives, and many cannot understand how they can be a recipient of it nor walk in it. In short, many born-again believers do not appreciate the depth nor the breath of this unmerited favor.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “grace” in a way that reflects its deepest implication. It defines “grace” as unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration and sanctification.

Well, the implication here is that both the unbeliever and the believer as human beings are beneficiaries of a divine assistance that is unmerited. Meaning, it is an assistance that is given to them, not because of anything they did that qualified them to receive it, but it was given to them because of the character of the giver.

Now regeneration is the born-again experience and this pertains to sinful man. You see, sinful man needs divine assistance from God to be saved; to convert from an unbeliever to a believer in God. Sinful man cannot do this on his own merit.

Sanctification is the process of growing and maturing in God that a believer experiences once they have received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. It means that transformation occurs in every aspect of their life, in a way that allows Christ to live through them, bringing glory to the Father through the multiplicity of good works God calls them to perform. Now the believer cannot do this on his own merit, he too needs divine assistance to accomplish it.

So what caused man to be in need of divine assistance?

The answer is in the Garden of Eden. It is the place where God put Adam and Eve to dwell and have dominion over all He had created. It is where they had intimate fellowship with Him. All was well. Life was good. Then something happened. Sin entered into the picture. The sin of disobedience to the command God gave, not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

God told Adam and Eve if they ate the fruit from the tree they would die the moment they did. God was referring to eternal spiritual death; eternal separation from His presence, His kingdom, and His intimacy. This separation brought the curse of physical death, the toil, and the change of their nature from godly to sinful with loss of dominion and authority over the earth. The result; man and God are separated. Eternally separated.

Well, it is at this point that the concept of assistance comes into play. God did something to bring about a reuniting of man to Himself because man could not bring himself to God due to his sinful nature. You see, sin cannot stand in the presence of God.

Therefore, man can do nothing to change his separated condition because he cannot be in God’s presence due to his sinful nature. Man is doomed to eternal separation from God.

ENTER GRACE:

John 3: 16-17 (NIV):  16For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

This is God’s divine assistance for the purpose of man’s regeneration. God through His Son Jesus Christ provides rescue from eternal separation.

Scripture tells us that no one can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him and that those who do come will be raised up in the last days. Many people are under the assumption that they have the power to approach God for their salvation. Well, that is not true. God calls you to Himself because of His loving-kindness towards you. You must make a decision when this call comes, either to accept or reject the invitation.

Jesus tells us that He stands at the door and knocks. If anyone hears His voice and opens the door, He will come in and eat with them and they with Him. You see, God is reaching out to mankind and asking him to accept His provision of regeneration. This is the dimension of “grace” that is of greatest importance to God. His assistance in reuniting, reconciling, and forgiving fallen mankind for the sin of Adam.

Then there is the other dimension of “grace” that provides us with the assistance to live the Christian life while in our physical body. God provides us with help to do this in the person of the Holy Spirit. He is our Paraclete; someone who walks with us until we are taken home with Christ.

Scripture tells us the work of the Holy Spirit is to teach us all things and remind us of what Jesus has taught us. The Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth and will tell us what is yet to come and will take from the Father what is Christ’s and make it known to us.

This awesome disposition of God, this “grace,” is rooted in an attitude of God, to want to extend a favor to mankind because of His love for mankind. It is unmerited because man is not worthy of such a favor. Because of what Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden, man deserves to be punished. It is only through the mercy extended toward us from God that we are recipients of this unmerited favor or divine assistance.

God sees to it that not only does the assistance reunite, forgive, and reconcile us back to Himself, but it also covers us until the Day of Redemption when we will be taken out of our physical body and placed in a heavenly body that carries no corruption with it for eternity.

So as a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, walk continuously in the knowledge of the “grace” of the Father and be ever mindful that His “grace” is sufficient for you until you are taken home to eternity. Always be encouraged that God is faithful when He tells you He will never leave you nor forsake you.