The spiritual battle, the loss of victory, is always in the thought-world -
Encounter: Do a reflective reading on Romans 12:2 in the Amplified Version taking time to underline words or phrases that seem to stand-out. Do the same with Proverbs 4:23, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5
This week a ransomware gang began to reveal their corporate victims in the latest of “hi-jackings” exploiting security flaws in software used by certain corporate giants like Shell and British Airways. Among these companies were banks, universities and investment companies who all used a software program that could move giant data files within their systems. Ransomware gangs typically tell their victims they have downloaded a lot of your data and then demand a payment to erase stolen files. To put it simply, the company's systems were compromised because the hackers attacked where their victims were most vulnerable.
We can see our thought life as the software needed to live life with God and therefore it is also the most vulnerable part of us. In the midst of life’s battles there are “hackers” trying to steal important data that tells us who God is, who we are and the purposes we have been created. Our mind holds more data than the most complex computers and software ever created. Even AI has its limitations when compared to the way human beings have been created uniquely with our psychological, spiritual/soul and physical collaborating to trust, live and co-create with God. So we can see why it is essential as Chip Ingram writes in The Invisible Battle, your thought life “will have to be protected very, very well.”
Proverbs 4:23 says we should guard our heart/thoughts/mind with all diligence because from out of it flows the issues of life. Jesus teaches it will go well with us when we love God with all of our heart, soul and mind. These scriptures imply that whatever we allow to enter our hearts and minds, if not examined and evaluated in light of God’s Word, will be expressed in our lives and the way we live in relationship with God and others – in positive or negative ways.
Romans 12:2 shows that we live out God's will when we change our thoughts to God's thoughts, rather than living like the world dictates. The world will always pressure us to live sinfully and selfishly, but to live the good life God wants for us requires changing how we live our lives—by changing our thoughts.
Growing in our faith requires being infused with the Word of God and the Way of Jesus. Christians who are not filling their minds with Scripture are like warriors going out to battle without a helmet and those not asking themselves what Jesus would do have already been hacked in their most vulnerable place. Their faith.
Let your mind be immersed in such truths and absorb them into your soul and life. And then when you find yourself in the battle, Whether you turn to the right or to the left, you will hear a voice saying, “This is the road! Now follow it.” (Isaiah 30:21) What are you thinking?
Renewing My Mind with You, & Happy Father's Day!
Reflect: Take a notebook or journal and write down what you are thinking at the moment. Think about the last few days, what were your worries, problems you were trying to solve and the down. Where are you most vulnerable? What do you think about yourself? About God? About others? What are your doubts, regrets and fears and ask the question, “What would Jesus do with these?”
Encourage: Why is God so concerned about your mind? Why is Satan so concerned about it? With what you listed above, take time to counteract what may be “wrong data” Do a google search for more scriptures about the mind, your thought life. What does Paul tells us our mind should focus on in Philippians 4:8? Now overlay these words over your worries, etc above.
Gather: Discuss together a game plan that we can put into practice in order to fill our minds with the truth. Think of two or three people you know who have borne much fruit in God's kingdom. How would you describe their faith? Do they take any risks in their walk with God? Do they more often seem encourage or defeated? What do their characteristics tell you about their helmet of salvation?