Battle for the Mind

            Oswald Sanders writes: “The mind of man is the battleground on which every moral and spiritual battle is fought.” And Vance Havner says about this battle, “Our defeat or victory begins with what we think, and if we guard our thoughts we shall not have much trouble anywhere else along the line.” We are fighting an invisible battle, and the battlefield is in our minds. Our mind is where the seed of sin sprouts. As Leslie Flynn writes, “Every kidnapping was once a thought. Every extramarital affair was first a fantasy.

            Have you ever seen one of those honeybee hives that’s behind a pane of glass? Thousands of bees are hustling and bustling in frantic activity beneath the pane of glass. The bees are busy doing their work while they’re completely oblivious to the fact that we are watching them.

            In the same way, our heads are like glass hives. God sees everything that’s buzzing around in our brains. None of our thoughts are hidden from Him.

            Thomas Hobbes writes, “The secret thoughts of a man run over all things, holy, profane, clean, obscene, grave and light, without shame or blame.” Why is it that we seldom feel shame for the things we think? I believe it’s because we don’t think anyone can see them. But I’ll bet we’d be embarrassed if our friends and associates knew what went on inside our minds. We have this secret thought life that’s invisible to others, but the reality is – our thought life is actually who we are. That’s who we are on the inside, and eventually what’s on the inside makes its way to the outside for others to see. As Gary R. Collins writes: “It doubtless is true that people become what they think about.” C. S. Lewis echoes those thoughts when he writes: “All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be.” Proverbs 23:7 says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”

            The Bible often uses the metaphor of a ship looking for a harbor when referring to a person’s thoughts.

  • Jeremiah 4:14 – “How long will you harbor your evil thoughts?” (NLT)
  • Deuteronomy 15:9 – “Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought.”
  • Job talks about those who harbor resentment in their hearts.
  • James talks about those who allow bitter envy and selfish ambition to harbor within them.
  • Jesus conveyed the same basic idea when asking, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your minds?” (Matthew 9-4, NIV)

            To win the battle for the mind we must replace evil thoughts with godly thoughts. That’s why God, through the apostle Paul says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)