A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you a lesson rooted in 1st Corinthians 9:25 which says, “And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.” One of our goals in life, if not the most important one, is to one day finish this race and make it to our heavenly home. To do so, we must be temperate: that is, self-controlled. This race we run called Christianity is not without its challenges. Called to be transformed (Romans 12:1-2), the battle wages within as God’s Spirit fights with our flesh (NIV, sinful nature). The ETRV says, “These two different things are against each other” (Galatians 5:17). Although often silent to those around us, the battle is very real within.
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
2nd Corinthians 10:3
The war within is very real, and so is the enemy. Peter describes him as a “roaring lion” who is looking for the chance to devour someone (1st Peter 5:8). You would think that he would be easy to spot, but Paul reveals he is capable of transforming himself “into an angel of light” (2nd Corinthians 11:14). The primary intent of Satan, I believe, is to get access to the mind, where the war between the Spirit and the flesh is taking place. Proof of this is seen in two locations where Satan is at his work. In Genesis 3:1, as he tempts the woman, he says, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” Or how about in Matthew 4:1-11, where Satan seeks to derail God’s redemptive plan by tempting Jesus. In both cases, the effort given by Satan was to misdirect, mislead or otherwise misrepresent God’s words. It is the battle of the mind.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God,
bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ..
2nd Corinthians 10:4-6
The battle for the mind is very real and it is intensifying around us. Once held Christian beliefs are being challenged by our secular world, deeming that those who would cling to such antiquated beliefs are the one’s that are immoral. The fleshly side of us is inundated on a regular basis to “conform to this world” (Romans 12:2). We, as God’s children, are called to be ready for battle and intentionally “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-18). The battle field is the mind and our objective is to “bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” This means war! Is your mind ready for battle?