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The Battle For Our Mind

Ephesians 4:23-24 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

It is no secret that as our mind goes, so goes our life. Or as Proverbs 23:7 says, ‘As a person thinks within themselves, so they are.’ Right thinking will lead to right practice, but the opposite is true too. Wrong thinking will lead to wrong behavior. There is great truth in the maxim ‘Change your mind to change your life.’

In biblical language, this means to be renewed in your mind, from one way of thinking to another. Belonging to Christ involves rejecting an old way of thinking and replacing it with a new one. This of course, does not happen automatically, but rather it is an ongoing process. Now that we are in Christ, the believer is to renew their thoughts in the likeness of God, so that we think holy and righteous thoughts like Him. With the help of the Spirit we are to prepare our mind for action and clean up our thinking!

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are commendable; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Here Paul presents the eight parameters or the guard rails, around what we are to dwell upon. These are the virtues that we are to give precise, careful thought to. We are to be active, not passive in thinking about what we are thinking about every moment of every day. Let’s take a closer look at these parameters that lead us down the narrow path of holiness.

True – dwell upon what is true to the Word of God and the apostles teaching. Are our thoughts authentic, genuine, reliable and honest?

Honorable – dwell upon what is worthy of respect. That which is noble and of an elevated nature, is valued and revered. Is our thinking above the muck and mire of the world?

Just – dwell upon what is righteous. That which conforms to a right standard in God’s eyes – the standard of holiness. Are our thoughts proper and law abiding, right and not wrong?

Pure – dwell upon that which is morally whole, clean and wholesome rather than mixed with filth. Is our thinking unadulterated and virtuous?

Lovely – dwell upon that which is beautiful, morally attractive rather than that which is crass and ugly.

Commendable – dwell upon that which is highly regarded by God.

Excellence – dwell upon that which is morally exemplary, and nothing less.

Praise – dwell upon all that gives praise to God and thoughts that God would deem praiseworthy.

Thinking like this is non-negotiable. This is the type of thinking that will keep us on the narrow road that leads to life and holiness. They are in fact the guardians over what we allow our eyes to see, what we allow our ears to hear and what we allow our mind to ponder. From this list, it is clear that there is much in the world that is out of bounds for us to dwell upon.

Participating in or being subject to the gossip and slander of others can taint our thinking, too. So, we must vigilantly keep the trash out, determining that our minds will not become garbage cans collecting other people’s rubbish, because this will drag down our own thinking. A zero-tolerance policy is essential if we are to have the mind of Christ and be build up into Christlikeness.

Perhaps you have allowed your thoughts to wander everywhere and not installed the guard rails that keep them intact. We ought to be diligent at all times to do a mind check and ensure that what we meditate upon is pleasing to our LORD and fruitful for our growth. When we find ourselves looking, saying or thinking thoughts that are out of bounds for the LORD’s children, there is only one course of action to follow – flee! Don’t hang around and tolerate what God hates. The warning is clear, for as our mind goes, so goes our Christian life.

Holy LORD, You have given me the parameters upon which I am to meditate. Please give me a passionate disdain for what is not pleasing to You and the strength and will to abstain from unholy thinking. Thank You.’

About Jennifer Woodley

Jennifer is an Australian freelance writer who lives in a small rural town in sunny Queensland. She is passionate about encouraging others on their journey with Christ through writing and mentoring. Jennifer is a school chaplain, wife, mother of three adult sons and loving grandma of one adorable grandson. More of her writing can be found at www.inhisname6.com and www.faithwriters.com.

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One comment

  1. Jennifer,
    This is a subject that mostly all Christians will relate to. It is a constant source of battle in our daily lives. Only God’s Word, and being attentive to His “voice” are we able in Christ’s name to get be victorious in this battle.
    Thank you Jennifer for this important message.
    God Bless~

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