In our “Battle of the Mind” series, we have spoken about the importance of paying attention to what we are thinking, because our thoughts are a vital part of forming who we are every day. We also saw how thoughts we agree with and meditate on, become constructed thoughts called strongholds. These strongholds determine what we believe to be true, and influence our emotions and choices in life.
That’s why it’s so very necessary to recognise the source of our thoughts. Thoughts that are contrary to the truth of God’s Word should be given no place in our lives, while those that align with the Word are keepers!
Today I want to speak about the process of renewing our minds to the truth of God’s Word and how it can fortify our minds, protecting us from the devil’s attempts to destroy us. This leads to a lifestyle where we are influenced, dominated and controlled by the Holy Spirit, instead of by the devil.
Remember, the devil uses thoughts to influence our emotions and manipulate our free will, but a mind renewed to the Word of God doesn’t give him a chance to get a foothold in our lives. Once again - this is a lifestyle choice that results in lasting life and peace in every area of our lives, and it has everything to do with who has control of our minds!
Let’s take another look at 2 Corinthians 10:4,5, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” NKJ
We have already established that the strongholds Paul is referring to here, are established thoughts or mindsets we’ve chosen to accept and agree upon. Before we take a look at the negative strongholds he was referring to, let’s focus on the strongholds that are good and healthy for us. Both are constructed in the very same way.
Interestingly, the Greek word for stronghold in 2 Corinthians 10:4,5, means fortress or castle. We can see why Paul chose this word to describe thoughts that have become established in our minds.
In ancient times, fortresses were often built on top of high hills with exceptionally thick and high walls, making it impossible for invaders to penetrate. They were designed to keep outsiders out!
Now, when we agree with a particular scripture or principle found in God’s Word, and meditate on it, it becomes a constructed thought. The more we meditate on this thought, the more convinced we become of it being the ultimate truth. This is called a biblical stronghold within our minds that the devil cannot penetrate.
In other words, we are so convinced of this truth, that any thought that comes into our minds that opposes it, we immediately disregard and refuse to give it the time of day. Why? Because we know it’s nonsense and doesn’t warrant an ounce of our attention. That fiery dart the enemy just hurled our way was extinguished before it even hit its mark against our safely, fortified minds.
Let me give you a personal example of this. When I first gave my life to the Lord, there were times I would really battle with condemnation. I didn’t understand that there was a difference between the conviction of the Holy Spirit and condemnation of the devil. If I did something wrong, I would immediately feel remorse and repent, but it would take so long to shrug off that heavy feeling of guilt and shame.
It seemed to take forever to get past that feeling of self-loathing so that I could boldly and confidently speak to the Lord again. Then, the day I heard and understood Romans 8:1, which says, “THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.” my relationship with Jesus took a revolutionary change!
Suddenly the truth hit me like a giant, cannon ball of joy exploding inside my heart and mind! I understood that God’s forgiveness carries no regret or heaviness. Once we’ve repented, He doesn’t hold that sin against us. I could see that whenever I made a sinful choice, because I had His nature, I would immediately be convicted in my spirit about it, recognising it as wrong.
Then, going straight to the Lord with that shame and laying it at His feet, completely freed my mind from having to carry the weight of that guilt. The moment I released it to the Lord, I was free from it!
Any heaviness of heart or condemnation over it was not from God, it was the devil trying to make me feel unworthy. This truth became an established stronghold in my mind that after one or two more failed attempts on the devil’s part, to try put that condemnation on me, he just gave up trying.
This biblical stronghold will constantly protect me from the devil’s lie of condemnation, and he won’t get access into my life where it’s concerned.
Now the word of God is full of truth, just like the one I’ve shared, that is able to protect our minds and keep us free from the devil’s lies and tactics to destroy us.
I mentioned how in ancient times those fortresses were built to keep intruders out. Did you know that later on, many fortresses became modified to hold prisoners within their walls. They had dungeons that were designed to keep their captives in! When we believe the devils lies – due to an ignorance of God’s word, we create negative strongholds or constructed thoughts that hold us captive and in bondage.
If we just took the time to renew our minds to God’s Word, we would be able to pull down every negative stronghold that we allowed into our minds from the past. We can detoxify those poisonous lies of the devil and cause them to have no effect, the moment we replace them with the truth of God’s Word.
Next week we’ll take a look at what the Word says the enemies strategy is against us, preventing us from being caught off guard, ever again!