This is the second part on a series about spiritual warfare. To read the first post, click below:
The Invisible War
The effects of spiritual warfare are often experienced in our minds. The enemy uses his vast power to distort our view of God and remove our identity in Christ. In order to be successful in this unseen war, we need to form tactics to reign victoriously in the battlefield of our minds.
“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.” – 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
1. We wage war differently.
Our battles are not fought with assault rifles and grenades. We do not outmaneuver our opponent by clever political strategies. Our war is fought in an unseen realm which is populated by beings far more powerful than any of us. Our enemy does not falter at the thought of bulletins and explosions – if anything, that delights him.
Instead, the weapons we fight with are empowered by God Himself. Our two primary offensive weapons in this grueling battlefield are prayer and the Word of God. We wage war successfully when we allow our minds to be renewed by daily meditation on the Scriptures. As our minds are renewed, we are led to pray for holiness in our lives and in the lives of those around us.
2. Our objective is to demolish strongholds in our minds.
The enemy gains ground when he is able to assault our minds and establish strongholds of false belief. These beliefs may present themselves in the form of false religion (or lack of religion). This onslaught can also be experienced in condemning, judgmental thoughts that SEEM to come from God. Ultimately, if you are a Christian, the enemy wants to twist your view of God and of your standing before God.
If you do not tear down these strongholds with the truth of God’s Word and the power of prayer, they will utterly destroy your faith. The enemy has already gained ground in the minds of every person reading this. It takes careful discernment to discover which area of your thought life is being infected by the enemy. I would encourage you to pray Psalm 139:23-24 to discover strongholds in your mind:
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
3. For victory, we must capture EVERY thought.
Although the old nature of sin is dead and we are alive in Christ, our depravity is still active in trampling our thought life. The enemy’s primary weapon is to confuse our thoughts and use them to debilitate our faith.
In order to capture every thought, you need to run them through the filter of Philippians 4:8 –
“Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.”
As thoughts come to your mind, capture them so they are obedient to this standard:
- Is it true?
- Is it noble?
- Is it right (or just)?
- Is it pure?
- Is it lovely?
- Is it worthy to be admired by others?
- Is it excellent?
- Does it cause my heart to praise God?
When you first do this, it will feel mechanical. It will also be an incredible challenge to take every thought through this rubric. As you begin to make this a regular process of your thought life, it will become a habit that reaps incredible rewards. Ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to shatter the demonic and worldly thoughts that assault your mind.
What are some strategies you have found helpful in the battle for your mind? Let me know by sharing a comment, I would love to hear from you!