“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” [2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NASB]
In writing to Timothy, Paul links freedom from fear with having a sound, healthy mind [2 Timothy 1:7]. Fear begins in the mind and it is in the mind that spiritual battles are fought. The Bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so he is” [Proverbs 23:7].
Some people attribute our struggles and battles to our old selfish nature. However, the Bible clearly teaches that when we were born again our old nature was crucified with Christ. It is dead, and God has given us a new nature. Our battle is not with our old nature but it is in the mind. Satan seeks to sow thoughts into our mind that are opposed to God’s word. Paul calls these thoughts, speculations and lofty things [2 Corinthians 10:3-5], and makes it clear that when we believe these lies, they gradually become strongholds. Paul also makes it clear that we are not fighting against flesh and blood but against the rulers, the powers, the world forces of darkness, and spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places [Ephesians 6:12].
One of the enemy’s greatest tactics is fear. If he can, he will sow thoughts that put fear into your mind. If you accept these fears, then the enemy is on his way to building a stronghold of fear in your mind. The more powerful that stronghold becomes, the more difficult it will be to hear God’s voice, and to live in the way that God intends you to live. In the case of Timothy, this was the cause of him not functioning in the gifting that God had given him.
Our mind needs to be both renewed and guarded. The key to both of these important actions is the Word of God.
The word for “renewing” in Romans 12:2 is ‘anakainosis’ [Grk]. This word also has the meaning of “to renovate.” From the moment of conversion God wants to renew our mind so that through His word He can teach us to think differently. It is both the work of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to change our thinking patterns.
Peter writes, “Gird up the loins of your mind” [1 Peter 1:13]. A cluttered mind, full of messy thoughts will hinder your walk with God. John Piper says of this verse, “Turn the robes of your mind into running shorts. Pull them up between your legs and tuck them into your belt.” Remember that the belt is truth. [Ephesians 6:14]
What are you doing to unclutter your mind and keep it spiritually alert to all the lies of the enemy?
Read Psalm 56:3 & Isaiah 26:3. If you have believed the enemy’s lies and struggle with fear, what steps can you take to be free of the fear?