“Your mind is a battlefield; not a theme park.” -Priscilla Shirer
I read this quote the other day in my devotional and it resonated with me on a whole new level. This wise statement, penned by author and speaker, Priscilla Shirer, brought to my attention a serious truth that we need to take hold of. Our minds are at war with us, and for that very reason, we need to be on guard and prepared to fight at all times.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” 1 Peter 5:8-9
You might be asking the question…but how? How can I fight the vicious cycle of destructive feelings? How can I protect myself from negative opinions about myself or others? How can I control my thoughts instead of being controlled by them? Well, let me share a little story with you that will hopefully give you better understanding on how…
I am a recovering anorexic. For the last 10 years I allowed my mind to be controlled by the devil’s vicious assaults. A negative thought would enter my mind, subsequently controlling my every move. It seemed as if I could never escape them, instead they would only breed more internal lies. Between the loathing feelings about my body and the plotting to deceive my family about my eating habits, my destructive thoughts spiraled out of control and became obsessions. I gave way to the enemy’s schemes and allowed his tactics to rule over my life. I was an open target for the devil’s attacks, permitting myself to be wounded time after time. Looking back, I realize that I had no protection over my mind. I was defenseless.
But recently last year I was reminded by God’s perfect, tender, and abundant grace, that I can “take captive every thought” and make them “obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) God revealed that through Christ alone I am victorious over my mind and all negative thoughts are powerless in the midst of the Word of God.
This is how we protect ourselves; by taking every thought captive and combating the lies with the weapons of Truth! Jesus demonstrates this defense strategy perfectly in Matthew 4:1-11.
“Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word, that comes from the mouth of God.’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.” [emphasis added]
Jesus was in an extremely vulnerable state, hungry and exhausted (let’s be honest, Jesus was hangry, a very holy hangry…but hangry nonetheless). Yet, He was not defenseless. Jesus’s body was most likely physically weak from lack of nutrients, however, Jesus declared the Word of God against the devil’s calculated temptations. He reiterated “it is written…” three times, symbolizing that Jesus memorized the Word of God and used it tactfully against his enemy. This defense strategy is ours to use, too! We have the same ammunition Jesus had, God’s powerful and victorious Word.
In order to defend ourselves from the “fiery arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16) we must carry biblical truths with us throughout the day. I am not saying this is an easy task, but I can guarantee it is 100% possible. It requires effort on our part to strengthen and train for battle but we are promised that “victory rests in the Lord.” (Proverbs 21:31) Whether your fight is with insecurity, fear, worry, or pride…etc., you have weapons to combat them. As long as we are on the earth we are at war. The devil’s ambition to distract you will not cease. You know your enemy and his tactics so fight with confidence in the victory attained through Christ!
I encourage you to get into your Bible today and search hard for ammunition to use against the devil. Find truths that you can use to oppose the lies penetrating your mind. The Bible is God’s form of communication. It is personal, intimate and written with you in mind. The Lord has declared promises that will set you free from the turmoil of your struggles. (John 8:31-32) So, take some time today to discover scripture that can directly be used against your enemy.
Below are a few verses that can be a guard for your mind during this raging war: