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The Mind is the Battleground

by Peter Wade

The mind of the believer and its place in a Christian’s daily life is a subject of great importance. It is important because it is the key to power, and because the Word of God gives so much emphasis to it. In the world today there is a tremendous battle for the mind of man: political parties, advertising, the media in general are all clamouring for our attention. It is not surprising, perhaps, to realize that there is nothing new about this situation. For example, in II Corinthians we read:

The god of this age [that is, Satan] has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God (II Corinthians 4:4 NIV).

    Here we are told clearly and distinctly that the way Satan stops people from becoming believers is by blinding their minds.

The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus (John 13:2).

The devil had “put into the heart” (KJV), that is, the seat of the personal life, the mind, of Judas Iscariot that now was the time to betray Jesus. Satan works on the minds of men and women to get his work done, to achieve his purposes. Let us notice also the parable of the sower and the seed:

Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved (Luke 8:12).

Here again the teaching is very clear: it is Satan who takes away the Word of God out of the minds of people to stop them believing. The word “heart” is again used here of the seat of the personal life, the mind. So we see that Satan works on the minds of the unbelievers, either to confuse them or to place in their minds wrong thoughts, or to get their minds into a passive state so that they do not will to believe God’s Word. Even in the Garden of Eden, the mind of Eve was attacked by Satan.

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ (II Corinthians 11:3)

Satan was able to influence Eve, first by suggesting she question the integrity of the Word of God, then to doubt it, and finally to twist it around completely to the opposite meaning. Satan deceived Eve; he did not attack her physically but he worked on her mind. God reminds believers of this incident to warn us that Satan will attack us in the very same manner, that is, he will attack our minds. Our minds do play a vital part in our Christian life! God also warns us here that the area of attack will be that of “the simplicity that is in Christ” (KJV). It logically follows then that Satan will attempt to complicate and confuse the truth of the Word regarding who we are and what God has done for us in Christ. There is ample evidence today that Satan is succeeding in his endeavours, for most Christians are bound in a works consciousness rather than a grace consciousness. Few believe in the reality that Christ is their life, that they are blessed with all spiritual blessings, and are absolutely complete in Him. Satan continues to attack “the simplicity that is in Christ”.
     In Ephesians, God gives a similar warning:

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming (Ephesians 4:14).

God’s plan is for us to be mature, not to be minors in understanding. One of the signs of being a child is to be tossed to and fro by every outward circumstance, not having that firm rock or solid understanding of who we are in Christ Jesus. This verse speaks of being “blown here and there by every wind of teaching”. Some believers are like this. When one evangelist comes to town they are convinced that their salvation is sure, but later when they hear another evangelist they believe they will retain their salvation only as long as they stay in fellowship. One time they are sure that God has provided for their every need and later they have half nights of prayer for needs that God has already been provided.
     This tossing back and forth is not the normal Christian life. God tells us how Satan works in this situation. He uses the “cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming”. Deception originates in the mind. Thus we see that Satan’s attack on the believer is almost identical to his attack on the unbeliever, for with both classes of people he works on their minds. If he can get the unbeliever to think about something else apart from the Word of God, he has accomplished his purpose. And if he can deceive the believer into not walking on the basis of God’s Word, then God’s kingdom is hindered in its advance and the believer does not enjoy his liberty in Christ nor the more than abundant life. Obviously it is time that believers get an understanding of what God’s Word declares about the mind of a Christian.
     In Matthew we have this record of Jesus speaking to Satan:

Jesus answered, “It is written: `Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4).

The physical life must be sustained by appropriate feeding, and so too the spiritual life. The food is stated to be “every word that comes from the mouth of God”. We must feed our minds with God’s Word.

The five senses

Natural man, the man of body and soul, receives into his mind information via the five senses: hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and touching. Everything that man has learnt about the world around him has come by this process. These avenues of information are not necessarily perfect — they may be damaged by accident, they may become impaired through age, or they may not be accurate enough to distinguish one thing from another. The five senses, therefore, are not a reliable means of information.
     God knew this, and so He gave believers His Word, a sure foundation, an accurate source of information. As we work the Word of God we find that so often the information of the senses contradicts what we have read in the Word. Then there is a battle between the Word and the backlog of information that we have gained throughout our earthly life. The believer should know that the only way to success in the Christian life is to follow the Word, not the five senses. I do not doubt that your senses are probably sharp and normal, but when they contradict the clear teaching of the Word of God, your senses are wrong. The Word is always right; the senses are often wrong.
     It is therefore obvious that if a person can only take in information through his five senses, then sooner or later he gets to the place where he has to guess. This is called philosophy, the science of man’s wisdom. So much of philosophy is a series of what might be termed educated guesses. Throughout the centuries, guessing man has come up with some great philosophies, and even today people wander to and fro in their thinking and allegiance to the philosophers. However, God knew that man would do this, and so He gave believers His eternal Word — sure, steadfast, unchanging. Now it is a matter of choosing between the revelation of God and the reason of man. For the believer, only one choice is logical: the revelation of God.

This page Copyright © 2000 Peter Wade. The Bible text in this publication, except where otherwise indicated, is from the King James Version. This article appears on the site: https://www.peterwade.com/. Check out our Bookstore.

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