Updated: Feb 17
After many years of being a Christian and learning God’s ways, I have come to realize that the battles we fight are in our mind. Let me give an example. If a child is told by his peer/peers that he isn’t very smart and will never amount to anything, it plants a seed in his mind. A seed of doubt. He begins to wonder, since he is told this so often, that perhaps it is really true. And since the devil wants nothing good for us he will be sure to come along and see to it that this doubt gets reinforced over and over, by his circumstances and things he is told. Eventually, the doubt is replaced by a full fledged belief that he isn’t smart enough, talented enough, or good enough, to have a prosperous, meaningful life, so why try?
Look at the chart below. Everything is born from what we believe. In the Garden of Eden everything was perfect. Then the serpent, who was most subtle, came along and placed a tiny seed of doubt in Eve’s mind. All he did was to get Eve to second guess what God had said. God had said that she and Adam could eat of all the trees in the garden except for the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They were told not to eat of it or touch it or they would surely die. Okay. That’s pretty plain. Not too difficult to understand. But, the serpent came along and proposed that God had lied to them. He said to her, “Ye shall not surely die.”
Eve then began to believe that perhaps God had lied to them. So what happened next? She shared this dialogue with Adam and both of them began to believe that maybe God had lied. What they now were believing led them to entertain more thoughts on the matter. The bible doesn’t expound on this, but perhaps they thought things like “Hmm…I wonder why it’s okay to eat of all the other trees, but not this one?” Or maybe they thought, “What’s the big deal? Why should God care? I mean really?” Then, their thoughts turned into feelings. “Hey, wait just a minute! That really hurts my feelings! Why does God have to lie to me? I’ve always been a good person!”
Next, their feelings led them to action. “That’s it! Let’s eat the fruit. Why shouldn’t we? We’ve always been good. We deserve it! What’s the big deal anyway?!”
We know that every action prompts a reaction. And what was the reaction? In Genesis 3:7-19, we see the reaction clearly.
There eyes were opened
They realized they were naked
Adam blamed Eve
Eve blamed the serpent
God put enmity between himself and man
God gave the woman great sorrow in childbirth
God told man he would have to pay the consequences for his disobedience for the rest of his life.
That’s what I call reactions!
And before we know it we have gone full circle and are back to beliefs! Now, because of our bitter experience, we believe all kinds of lies. And the circle continues.
Since the battle is in our mind, let us concentrate now on just one scripture, Romans 12:2a. “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” When God begins to do this work in us we see the “belief wheel” above very differently.
For example: for many years I had the “head knowledge” that God so loved the world he gave his only son to die for me that I could have eternal life.” I knew it, but I didn’t KNOW it. I couldn’t wrap my brain around it and really understand it. I had questions. Then, after the Holy Spirit began to renew my mind I began to understand. I was being transformed!
Let’s look again:
I truly believe that God sent his only son to die for my sin so that I can be forgiven and have eternal life. No one can make me believe any different. Now, I KNOW that it is true. This directly affects my thoughts. Because I truly believe that God did this for me I think wonderful things about Him. He is loving, and good, He is compassionate and merciful. He gives me good gifts. He is full of grace. And so on, and so on.
These marvelous thoughts lead me to have certain feelings. Feelings of joy, love, peace, security, happiness. In turn, these feelings I’m experiencing provoke action. I sing, I pray, I love, I serve others, I go to church, I tell others the good news, and I do my best to walk uprightly before the Lord.
In turn, my actions cause a reaction. Other’s around me see the difference in me. I have a better outlook on life, a better attitude. Perhaps others’ curiosity is piqued and they desire to have what I have now. Perhaps people desire to hang around me now.
By now you’re seeing the picture clearly. The battle is in the mind. Pray and ask the Lord, just as David did, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” If God shows you an area in your life, your belief system, that is in error, ask him to “transform you” by the renewing of your mind.
May the good works of God be alive and active in your life. May you have perfect peace as you keep your eyes on Him. And may you be transformed by the renewing of your mind!