Sometimes I tell my kids, “As a family, let’s choose to row in the same direction.”
In my mind, I know, as a family, it is critically important that we move together. To use the analogy of rowing on a kayak, if one person in the boat rows in the opposite direction, we all must overexert ourselves to make it to our intended destination.
It is tiring. Peace is reduced. We likely will get off-course. We probably will not make it to the intended destination. Division moves us off-course.
If my son wants to eat dinner at a fast-food chicken restaurant and everyone else wants pizza, the disunity can create disharmony. Someone gets upset; things aren’t going his way. Family joy is stolen due to divided goals.
Did you know, our mind can easily row in the opposite direction of God?
“[That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot.” (Romans 8:7, AMPC)
Our flesh mind tends to row in the opposite direction of God’s Word, His law, and His Holy Spirit. The result? A lack of peace. A lack of joy. Rowing away from God’s “good, pleasing and perfect will” for our life.” (Romans 12:2, NIV)
Our carnal mind always moves away from God; it is hostile to Him.
The word “hostile” means, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, “having an intimidating, antagonistic, or offensive nature.” Can you imagine? Our flesh is intimidating God. It is antagonistic towards Him. It is offensive. When we are ruled by our flesh nature, we come at the Captain of the Lord’s Host — ready to fight Him. Can you imagine?
We suffer major losses when we do this.
“Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.” (James 1:6-8, NLT)
To be outside the mind of Christ is not only to be confused, but it is to be rediverted away from His highest and best for our lives – and, worst of all, it blocks our prayers from being answered. We cannot afford to think carnally; there is a great price paid for doing so.
So, what is the alternative?
“For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)…” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5, AMPC)
Dear servants of Christ, do you see the good news here? We don’t suffer — being held captive to our thoughts, our habits, our doubt-filled thinking, our fears, and our carnal worries.
The good news is we have been given mighty weapons for the pulling down of strongholds. While the world, the enemy of our soul, and our flesh, may try to take strong hold of our emotions, our mindsets, and our outlooks, God has given us supernatural weapons and grace-enduing power to overthrow and destroy strongholds.
This is no small thing.
We can, offensively, rather than defensively – empowered with the very Word of God, now lead “every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ”.
Here are 3 high-level tips on winning the thought war in your mind:
1. Think about what you are thinking about.
Having an awareness of where your thoughts are going is critical to growth. Are your thoughts jealous? Are your thoughts filled with anger? Are your thoughts constantly critical of what you are doing?
Journal your thoughts.
2. Surrender afresh.
To remember that Jesus is Lord is to remember that our thoughts should not lord over Him. The second we let go of our will and exchange it for His will is the second that peace comes back. The second we let go of our doubt-filled words and choose to accept His Word as our words is the moment our heart gets back on track. Our Lord Jesus Christ does have a good plan for our life. He is The Way, so He does have the best way. He is the King and our submission to His leading and Word brings us back into alignment under His rule, lordship, and dominion. The power of surrender can never be overstated.
3. Make the Word of God be your words.
There is no higher word than the Word of God. To fill our mind with the fullness of His Word and to readily, continually, and regularly dwell on it is to free our mind. We are people who tend to get infatuated. This is why people get so caught up in the “cult” of “cult”ure.
We are meant to be consumed, overtaken, and filled up by something. As Christians, in our case, it should be the fullness of the Word of God, the Holy Spirit, and the awe of grace.
When His Word becomes our very words, then, we know that we have a renewed mind. Speak the Word of God over your life to remember the Word of God in your mind. The more we dwell on something, the more it becomes a part of us. If you begin to worry, that worry will tend to fill and control you. Yet, if you think upon the Word of God and the fullness of Spirit-led thoughts, you will be led by the Spirit.
Our mind can only give attention to one thing at a time.
Where is your mind dwelling? Are you practicing taking every thought captive or are you wavering around, in confusion, like a boat on the sea? The journey back to solid thoughts is not far-off. Getting back on course again is easy in Christ Jesus.
Kelly Balarie, author (Battle Ready, Rest Now, Take Every Thought Captive), speaker, and blogger, delights in joining hands with women as they go through life’s ups and downs. To see God move to revive hearts, to restore relationships, and to bring hope to weary souls highlight moments for Kelly. Beyond this, Kelly has led spiritual growth Bible study groups and has been seen on TODAY, The 700 Club, Crosswalk.com, iBelieve.com, and (in)courage. Her work has also been featured by Relevant and Today’s Christian Woman. She lives with her husband and two kiddos on the East Coast.
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