The BattlefieldBro. Tony Chancellor
5/15/2005 6:00 PM
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
We have heard several messages recently on battles and overcoming. The battlefield is our mind. The battlefield becomes our "home field advantage" because it is our mind and we can choose what to let in it.
Our mind was carnal. What we thought about when we were in sin will come back to trouble us after we have been saved. We have to, now, fight against those things.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Without Christ reigning in our lives, we won’t be thinking as he thinks. What are you allowing in your thoughts? Are you focusing on things other than God, to the point where you are neglecting him? Just ignoring a problem won’t make it better.
Numbers 13:26-33; 14:1-5
And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and showed them the fruit of the land. And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there. The Amalekites dwell in the land of the south: and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, dwell in the mountains: and the Canaanites dwell by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan. And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it. But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night. And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness! And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.
The spies went as they were told and brought back good things. They said, "It’s all that God said it would be, but…" All but two of them had a negative attitude. Caleb and Joshua were convinced that God would give them the victory. They said, "Come on; let’s go! We can win." The other 10 influenced the minds of all Israel. They planted a seed of doubt and fear. The devil took over the battlefield of their minds. They forgot all that God had done for them.
When David fought Goliath, he ignored the doubts that others put before him. He trusted God and gained the victory. The devil would bring trials and battles by putting a thought in your mind. If you dwell on the thoughts he brings to your mind, or if you let down your guard, he will take over the battlefield of your mind. What thoughts are you letting yourself dwell on? Are you focusing on things that God would be pleased with? Are you focusing on your relationship with Christ? If you focus, over much, on other things, they will take away from the time you have with Christ.
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
The desires of the mind will compel you to do things. Most people think about something before they do it – even if only for a split second. This is why what you think about is so important. When you are talking to someone, slow down and think about what you are saying. We don’t want to say something that would turn someone away from God. Be careful what you say and how you treat others. The devil would love to use something you say or do to keep someone else from finding God.
2 Timothy 2:4
No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
If your focus is anywhere but on the battle at hand, you won’t make a very good soldier. When you are in a battle, are you aware of the situation, or are you caught up in the cares of life? Keep your focus on God. Everything has to be second to God. God won’t take second place, and he won’t share first place. People who focus on the cares of life try to fill the holes in their lives with things. They "have to have" something that shortly loses its appeal.
If you sit and let your mind drift long enough, it will come to the important topics, such as, "Is this all there is to life?" The devil would have you believe that you are the only one who has to deal with whatever. Other people have to deal with problems, too, but they deal with the problem with God at their side.
The devil would suggest all kinds of things. Teenagers do many things because the thought comes to mind. The thoughts come because the devil would make your life a disorderly mess. If you keep your focus on Christ, you’ll be able to discern the difference between the thoughts from the devil and from God.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
If the devil can get in long enough to plant doubt and confusion, you’ll lose. Love God with all your mind. Giving place to the devil even a little bit can cause trouble. One thought can change the course of your entire life. If you let the devil in, he’ll take over.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The renewing of your mind is how you love God with all your mind. If you don’t stop and renew, you’ll get tired and give up. If you get tired, and don’t get refreshing from God, the devil will work on getting you to give up. Consider what Christ focused on when he was on the cross. With all the physical pain he had, he had a deeper pain in his heart. He was rejected by those he loved. They rejected him because he listened to the devil. Stop thinking and seek God’s will. Listen for what God would have you to do.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Focus on what lies ahead and press for that. We have to realize that the past is past and not let it haunt us anymore. If we get discouraged and let those kind of thoughts work on us, it can bring us down. Our thoughts are ours to control. We can dwell on a thought, or we can let it go.
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, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
If you want a good life, follow this admonition – think on good, encouraging, and edifying things. If you would please God, think on these things. What are you thinking about? Keep your mind on the things of God.