How do we overcome the battles of the mind?
Mind battles are a struggle that is common to man, however I don’t think that as Children of the Most High, we are to be slaves to anything except righteousness. Be encouraged that whatever mind battle you are facing right now, you have the victory because Christ has set you free.
In the past, I struggled immensely with letting my past go, I found it hard to forgive myself and completely believe that I had been made new in Christ. This caused me to stay stagnant in my walk as I was unable to move into my new identity in Christ. It stole my joy and peace, and I even considered going back to my former life!
However glory be to God, because He helped me through and equipped me to overcome. I hope these 5 tips will help you to claim your freedom in Christ and teach you how to submit your mind to the Spirit of God.
Firstly, we must understand that the mind is a powerful tool given to each and every one of us by God. It’s where we reason, make decisions and also where we meditate. So, if our minds and the meditations of our hearts are not rooted solely in the truth revealed to us through the word of God, we will become susceptible to attack by the enemy.
We are told by the apostle Paul in Romans 12:2 to “be transformed by the renewing of the mind”. The renewing of the mind is a continuous discipline that we must adopt daily to truly walk in victory. So how do we go about renewing our minds? This brings us to Tip Number 1.
1. Use the word of God (Holy Scripture)
The word of God is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17) and with His word we are able to attack the enemy. It is a very important part of our armor as Christians fighting in a daily battle, and so we must possess it and be able to USE it.
You may have on your shield of faith, your breastplate of righteousness, and your belt of truth, but if you do not possess the word of God, how will you attack? How will you TAKE DOWN the lies and deception of the enemy at close range? (in short – you won’t)..
You’ve got to CONSTANTLY be in the word of God.
What does this look like practically? Find bible verses pertaining to the subject or mind battle you are struggling with and renew your mind with these verses.
For example; If you struggle with fear, do a topical study on “Fear” and find out what the Bible has to say about it. Select key scriptures that the Holy Spirit reveal to you as relevant and hide these verses in your heart by memorizing them. Now, whenever a thought arises, you have a weapon that you can use to take it down immediately.
2 Corinthians 10:5 (AMP) – “We are destroying sophisticated arguments and every exalted and proud thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought and purpose captive to the obedience of Christ,“
Questions to ask yourself to help you discern the nature of your thoughts:
- is this thought from God, or is it from the evil one?’
- is this thought true or is it a lie?
- is this thought in line with the word, or is it in opposition to the word?
Taking thoughts captive is something that you must practice. The more you do it, the more naturally it will come to you, and the stronger you will become when dealing with battles in the mind.
2. Believe God’s word to be true
This point sounds trivial but it is extremely important. Many of us know the word but do not completely believe it is true and holds power to liberate us. This is where we fall down.
Hebrews 3:12 (AMP) “Take care, brothers and sisters, that there not be in any one of you a wicked, unbelieving heart [which refuses to trust and rely on the Lord, a heart] that turns away from the living God.”
An unbelieving heart is evil in the sight of God, so we have to be SINGLE-MINDED about His word. Do not only know what it says, but believe it to be true and act upon it!
To be able to hold onto God’s word as truth, regardless of what your thoughts are saying and regardless of what is going on around you takes faith. Faith is a gift that God has bestowed onto us as his children (Romans 12:3), walk in it!
3. Keep your focus on God and who HE is.
Where is your focus? On your struggles, your pain, your feelings? time to RESET.
During the battle, your focus needs to remain on your captain, the person of God revealed in Christ. When you set your focus back on how great our God is, it becomes less and less important about what or who you aren’t. Say this declaration:
Declaration: Every area that I am weak and lacking, Christ’s grace is enough (2 Corinthians 12:9). Every area that I fall short or fail in, He has succeeded (1 Corinthians 15:57). Because of His victory, I can keep on fighting and because of His strength I can keep on running my race (Isaiah 40:31).
Resting in His awesome character and goodness will restore your joy and tear down thoughts of suicide, depression, hopelessness and unworthiness. Find a reason to praise your Creator in the midst of your battle.
4. Pray without ceasing
Ephesians 6:18 “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”
This is a lesson that we can learn from our Lord Jesus Christ. He was GROUNDED in prayer. Prayer kept him aligned with the will of the Father and made him a victor in all aspects of his ministry.
Whenever Christ did feel troubled in the spirit or as though he could not handle his present circumstances, he went to go and pray. He would always seek God’s face and receive strength to continue walking in obedience.
Matthew 26 (NKJV)
36 Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” 37 And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38 Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.”
39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.”
Get back into your prayer closet. Get quiet before God because when you call upon the name of the Lord, He will answer. You don’t have to fight this battle in your own strength! Lean on God’s infinite power by staying close to him in prayer and he will give you direction and encouragement to keep you going!
5. Choose to receive Christ’s peace
Before Christ ascended into heaven, He left with us an amazing gift. One which can’t be bought by us or stolen from us. One which is given freely by our Savior and found only in Him. His peace.
John 14:27 (NKJV) – “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
Remember that Christ is The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Regardless of how turbulent the storm gets, you possess the One that is able to calm all storms. So choose to take hold of this peace, knowing that you are already a conquerer through Christ!
A final word of encouragement for you:
Mind battles and negative thoughts will come to us as long as we are in the flesh. I still battle through really tough ones at times. This isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s an opportunity to exercise strength. The way you choose to deal with these mind battles will testify to who you really trust in. Place your trust in God and you will never be put to shame, even thought you may fall, He will help you to get back up.