“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
I touched on this subject in my last devotional but I think it’s important, so I want to write about it in more detail. Yesterday I compared our minds to a battlefield and I quoted Paul in 2 Corinthians about taking our thoughts captive.
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Why is this so important? Because you live with your mind 24/7. It is a battlefield that you must always protect. It’s also a battlefield that’s constantly under attack. Rarely does a day go by that the messages of the world aren’t influencing our thoughts in some way. Whether we realize it or not, we are daily faced with many choices of what to put in our mind; choices of how we process our thoughts.
What happens when we leave our minds wide open and vulnerable? What happens to this battlefield when it is not properly secured? I should know. I have lived this mistake over and over. You would think I’d learn, but oh how easy it is to become distracted or deceived. When left unchecked, the mind becomes overrun with all sorts thoughts. From past hurtful memories that dredge up unforgiveness and bitterness to tempting thoughts of wanting what we don’t have and everything in between.
When we fail to renew our minds and take our thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, we leave our minds vulnerable to all kinds of evil. And the enemy is all too happy to take advantage of this weakness. Although, sometimes Satan doesn’t have to do much. We can be our own worst enemies. James speaks perfectly to this.
“…but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James [1:14]-15
Notice that James says each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire. We have a responsibility as Christians for what goes in our mind.
Proverbs [4:23] says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” The “heart” in this verse includes the mind and everything that goes out from it.
Even Job who lived thousands of years ago recognized his need to guard his heart and protect what goes in his mind.
“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.” Job 31:1
I’ve learned that God tells us to stay away from certain things (like idolatry, jealousy, malice, sexual immorality, gossip, etc.) because He loves us and it’s what’s best for us. It’s not about following the rules of a “religion”. It’s about keeping our hearts pure and ultimately that is what is most healthy for us. A pure heart and mind protect us from all kinds of suffering.
I encourage you today to be aware of your thoughts. Are your thoughts leading you closer to Christ or towards sin? Are you protecting the battlefield of your mind? I am praying for you friend, that the peace of God will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.