Tuesday, 16 August 2016

The Battle of the Mind

Scripture: Romans 8 v 6 - 8:
"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

Our soul consists of our will, our emotions and our Mind. Our soul is the part of us that still needs to be brought under the power of God. Our soul originated when we knew not God and were independent of His will for us.  The soul promotes carnality of the flesh, and encourages it to be sinful. We cannot kill the soul but we must tame it and transform it through obedience to Jesus Christ. This is a lifelong battle which forms our Christian character from our wild ways to moral and righteous behaviour.

Our carnal mind is all we knew and experienced mentally before we were born again and given a new set of life parameters. It stores everything in its memory banks either conscious or subconscious. It gravitates to fleshly pleasures and clings fiercely to them.  Our enemy had full control over our soul before Jesus came into our hearts to spoil his evil fun.  Our first sin opened up a huge can of evil worms that Jesus in us wants to destroy.

The Blood of Jesus cleanses us of all sin and gives us a clean slate and a fresh start to live a life of moral goodness but we still have to overcome the pleasures of sin in our memories. The carnal mind does not give up its pleasures easily.

The battle for the mind is now on. Before Jesus came in guilty pleasures were the norm. Now those old pleasures are tainted and we feel guilty because we know that God is not pleased with us for indulging in things He hates.  Romans 12 v 2 "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."

The method of this transformation of the mind is to read, follow and obey the Word of God - The Holy Bible. As you read and meditate on the scriptures they become a mirror for your actual state of mind.  We must stop conforming to the world system, and worldly solutions to our problems.  We are a new creation in Christ, and we must train our mind to accept the changed circumstances.

The Holy Spirit will guide and teach you by first showing you the things that are wrong. Listen and learn well and make the changes. He will be there to help and strengthen you as you grow in grace.

Some may be ignorant of what makes our minds carnal. Its a long list so I will abbreviate where I can. All thoughts of a sexual nature eg fantasy lust; porn; unclean jokes and speech; ogling. The thoughts progress to sinful behaviour and grieving of the Holy Spirit, which has serious consequences. If you have the love of Jesus in you this thinking is wrong. It is carnal to gossip, slander, undermine and curse people.  Christians should be forgiving and able to lift up the fallen.

In Matthew 15 v 19 Jesus says "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies; these are things which defile a man."

Counteract these with what Paul says in Philippians 4 v 8:  "Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue or be any praise, think on these things."

If you are thinking good, lovely and pure thoughts about people you will not give your carnal mind time to get lustful, angry, murderous thoughts or to fill it with worldly activities. Then the transformation will be complete and the enemy of your soul will have a hard time leading you astray.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You want us to be pure, kind and gentle people who are disciplined in mind and body to reflect the nature of Jesus. Help us to achieve this as soon as possible. In Jesus' name. Amen.