The Battlefield of the Mind – A Perspective
By James Goll
Taking An Aggressive Posture
(II Corinthians 10:2-6) As I read this set of scriptures, I envision this “battlefield of the mind” in a specific way. I see these strongholds or fortresses (verse 4) as being the ancient wall around our mind. These strongholds are our overall mental attitude. Next, I envision the arguments or speculations (verse 5) as being the guards on the wall of human reasoning. The high or lofty things (verse 5) are the high towers on the wall called pride. Lastly, the thoughts (verse 5) are the individuals of military might poised for battle with devices of the power of suggestion.
Taking the Initiative
Our weapons are not carnal but they are mighty in God for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down of arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ. Through the “Battering Ram” of the name of Jesus, the blood (Revelation 12:11), and God’s written and spoken Word (Matthew 4:3-10), we can bring every thought into obedience to Christ Jesus.
Before we can think on whatsoever things are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, full of virtue and praise (Philippians 4:7-8), we must first cleanse our minds. This does not happen over night. But for the Christian, it is a part of their destiny.
Some steps to having the mind of Christ might include:
- Confession – I John 1:7-9
- Forgiving – Proverbs 14:10
- Forgetting – Philippians 3:13
- Removing – Hebrews 12:1; II Corinthians 6:17
- Combating & Withstanding – II Corinthians 10:2-6
- Building up – I Peter 1:13; James 1:21; Isaiah 28:10; Jude 1:20
- Putting On – I Thessalonians 5:8; Proverbs 16:3; Ephesians 4:17-24
The Practice of Listening Prayer
Dallas Willard is a professor and past director of the School of Philosophy at the University of Southern California. Dallas is the author of the penetrating book, The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives, of which the following is taken:
A discipline for the spiritual life is, when the dust of history is blown away, nothing but an activity undertaken to bring us into more effective cooperation with Christ and His Kingdom. As with all disciplines, we should approach the practice of silence in a prayerful, experimental attitude, confident that we shall be led into its right use for us. It is a powerful and essential discipline. Only silence will allow us life-transforming concentration upon God. It allows us to hear the gentle God, whose only Son shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear His voice above the street noise (Matthew 12:19). It is this God who tells us that in quietness and trust is your strength (Isaiah 30:15).
Sit Back And Enjoy God’s Presence
Mary Swope, author of Are You Sick and Tired of Feeling Sick and Tired: A Nutrition Sourcebook , turns her attention to helping people understand how to hear and discern God’s voice. The following phrases are from her book, Listening Prayer:
At the beginning of each period of listening prayer, submit yourself to God and invite the Holy Spirit to be in control. Learn to “put your mind on the shelf.” If your thoughts begin to seep through, you will block the Holy Spirit’s willingness to speak through your mind.
In addition, Satan will try to distract you. Cast out any interfering thoughts from the enemy. The clamoring images and mindset of the world will drown out the quiet inner promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Rest in Him
Sit back and enjoy God’s presence. Meditate on His power, His wisdom, His goodness, His meekness, and His generosity. Let His peace flow through you and feel the serenity of mind and heart that illuminates and invigorates. His Spirit gives strength to any task that needs to be accomplished.
Learn to relax and release all tension. Anxiety and strain will evoke only silence from God. Learn to let go, and let God speak to you. Only those who retreat to the quietness of heart, mind, and spirit can hear God’s voice and receive direct inspiration.
The Words of Jesus in Matthew 6:5-6 are:
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”
A Closing Prayer of Application
Father, make these old ways new. Teach me The Lost Art of Practicing Your Presence. Quiet my Soul that I might know you and your precious Son Jesus better. Holy Spirit, calm the inner storm that rages. Bring me in to proper alignment with your Word, Will and Ways. I call forth the Spirit of Revelation in Jesus name. Lord, I want to know You! Teach me for Your Kingdom’s Sake. Amen!
I trust that this message on Quietness has helped you to move forward into greater communion with the Love of Your Soul. It has truly helped me. After all–Quietness is the Incubation Bed of Revelation!