Thursday, 27 August 2020

The Battle For Our Mind

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

Most of us want to experience life and peace, not as the world defines it, but as Jesus lived it.  We want to be like Him and have every aspect of our existence under His control.  He is our Lord, we gave ourselves willing to Him, we invited Him into our hearts.  We belong to Him.

It's not a matter of deciding to cherry pick the words in the Bible that we like and underline and ignore the uncomfortable words that challenge our rights to ourselves.  Basically, conforming to Jesus as a New Creation releases ownership to Jesus forever.  That is the choice we make when we are born again .  And its a good and perfect choice.

By now we should know that 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 grew when we knew not God and were independent of His will for us.  Our mind was the devil's playground, and if we do not use our free will to remove his influence, we will suffer for it.

Our 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 since that moment we were given a new set of life parameters. The carnal mind stores everything in its memory banks, either conscious or subconscious. It gravitates to fleshly, sinful pleasures and clings fiercely to them until we actively reject those thoughts with the help of Jesus.  We can let a bird land on our head but stop it making a nest in our hair!

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.  The Word is anointed so that when we apply it to our lives, it will renew our minds, heal our diseases, calm our emotions and regulate our free will.

The Holy Spirit will guide and teach us by first showing us 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 can  progress to sinful behaviour and grieving of the Holy Spirit. If we have the love of Jesus in our hearts this thinking is wrong.  Since the lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic, the increase in Gender Based Violence has been alarming.  

Boredom, frustration, fear and carnal instincts have caused this type of violence to explode.  Jesus said its not what we eat or drink that brings out the worst in us but what resides in our innermost being that causes evil to happen.  He is talking about our inner demons that trouble our minds and if not reined in will cause harm to ourselves and others.

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.

It is carnal to gossip, slander, undermine and curse people.  Galatians 5 v 15 - 21: "For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19  Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."

If any of the above conditions are present in our lives, Paul is very clear about the consequences.  I am not going to explain each word, rather look them up for the real meanings and check your conscience diligently.  There are no grey areas, no excuses, no other way but to completely conquer these danger zones and win the battle for our minds.

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.