24 May The Battlefield of the Mind
Today I’m going to be sharing some insights from the book Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind by Joyce Meyer. If you haven’t read that book, just click the image below to check it out on Amazon.
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If you haven’t read this book, I would definitely recommend it, because getting your mindset right is so important if you want to reach new heights in Christ. To be honest, I own in paperback, ebook, and audiobook form. IT’S. THAT. GOOD.
If you want to grow closer to the Lord, if you want to break free from the rut that your spiritual life is in, then it starts by getting your mindset right.
Throughout this post, I’m going to share some quotes from the book, and then I’m going to expand on them a little bit more, and share what they mean to me in this post.
If you’d rather listen to this post instead of read it, just click here to listen to the podcast version!
All actions start in the mind.
Sometimes we work so hard to make changes in our lives, and we make plans, and we have action steps, but nothing ever seems to change. The reason is because we’re not being proactive about changing our mindset, and changing the way that we think.
Recently, I talked about how to stop procrastinating, you can start making the changes I shared, but one thing I love about that One Day Method is that as you start taking action, your mind starts changing. Really, it’s a mindset change first, because you say, “I can do this. I can make these changes,” and then you start acting on that.
Once we start to change the way we think, that’s when our actions start changing. It will be really difficult if you try to make changes without changing your thought processes.
Say you are wanting to get healthy, and you come up with all the meal plans, and you have all these action steps, but in the back of your mind, you’re thinking, “There’s no way I’m ever going to get healthy. I’m never going to lose weight.” If that is your mindset, then you’re not going to take the action because everything starts in the mind.
You can’t have a positive life and a negative mind.
If you want to have a joy-filled, positive life, then it needs to start in your mind.
We all know those kinds of people, the kind of people that are just pessimistic by nature.
They’re the ones that always see the negetative side of life. If someone gives them $100, they complain that it’s all in ones.
It’s easy to think of someone else, but what about you? Are you quick to think the worst about somebody, or do you always respond with impatience toward your children? I want you to think about your day-to-day life.
There’s no judgment here. We’re all on the road toward becoming more like Jesus. We’re all working on different issues and struggles, but it’s really easy to think of someone else’s faults.
Remember I was saying that some people are pessimistic by nature? I was definitely thinking of people in my life that are like that, but it’s a lot more difficult to start looking inward and saying, “Okay, how is my negative mindset effecting my life?”
If you and I want to have a joy-filled life, if we want to have this positive life, then we need to start thinking that way.
Realizing that our thinking is negative is one of the first steps towards changing our lives. You can’t have a positive life if you are always thinking negatively.
Our past may explain why we’re suffering, but we must not use it as an excuse to stay in bondage.
Everyone has baggage. Everyone. I don’t care if you’ve grown up in the most beautiful home, with the greatest parents, and you’re always in church. Everyone has a past. Even Adam and Eve who literally lived in paradise, and walked physically with God every day, even they had a past.
Our past and our choices might explain why we’re suffering, but we can’t use it as an excuse to stay in that suffering.
You are more than the mistakes of your past, and to be completely honest, you’re more than the mistakes of other people.
Maybe you didn’t grow up in that perfect home that I mentioned.
Maybe you’re using that as an excuse not to change, and not to be better. Maybe you didn’t have a mom that really modeled being a good mother for you, and so you say, “Well, that’s all I know, so that’s what I’m going to do.”
All that is doing is making an excuse to stay in the place that you’re in.
Even though we all have different pasts, and we all have different stories, we also all have a heavenly Father who enables us to keep reaching higher, to keep getting up every morning, and keep making something of ourselves.
You can take your mindset away from this idea that, “I’m just this way because of my past” and start thinking differently and say, “I can be different because of my past, because I know what it’s like maybe to grow up in a broken home, then that gives me the tools to build up a healthy marriage, and to support my husband.”
There’s no excuse. We can always change the way that we’re thinking. We can always say, “That’s what happened to me, but that’s not who I am now.”
I think that sometimes we try to have a healthy mindset and we think back to the past, and decide that we need to fix that in order to be healthy today.
Many times we need to just say, “I’m more than my past, I’m more than my mistakes, I’m more than the mistakes of other people, and so I can choose to move forward in the grace of God knowing that He will enable me to live out my best life, and to be able to reach new heights in Him.”
It’s not that we don’t have faith, it is just that Satan is trying to destroy our faith with lies.
Now, this is definitely something that I feel so strongly about. You need to get really good at knowing the difference between the truth and a lie.
I just want to put this out there, Satan doesn’t like you.
Satan is trying to destroy your faith, and the way that he does it is with lies. So the only way that you can have a fighting chance is by knowing the difference between the truth and a lie.
Now, that is not always as easy as it sounds. As we’re growing up, it’s easy to know the difference between something that’s true and something that’s a lie.
But as you get older and wiser, the enemy gets more deceitful. Satan isn’t going to tell you some extreme, out-there lie, because you’ll be able to tell the difference. Instead, he’s going to try and make the lie look as much like the truth as possible.
So what do I mean by that? Let’s go back to the Adam and Eve scenario that we talked about earlier.
In Genesis 3, we know that Satan came to tempt Adam and Eve. Originally (in Genesis 2:16), God told them, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you cannot eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. If you do, then you’ll die.'”
Now we’re in Genesis 3, the serpent’s here. The very first verse says, “The serpent was more crafty than any of the other animals the Lord had made.” (Genesis 3:1)
This is what he says to Eve. He says, “Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We can eat fruit from the trees of the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it or you will die.'”
Satan didn’t tell Eve a lie that was extremely out there. He said a lie that was close to the truth. Satan asked, “God did really say you can’t eat from a specific tree in the garden?”
It was a lie, but it wasn’t extremely out there.
The problem came when Eve didn’t know enough about God’s Word to know the real truth.
She responded with “we can eat from all the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden,'” (which is true) but she went on to say “and you must not touch it.”
God never said that. God never said, “You must not touch it,” he said, “Don’t eat it.”
Now, once she said, “You must not touch it or you will die,” then Satan says back to her, “You will not surely die.”
Right then, after he already knows that she doesn’t know the whole truth, he starts to put seeds of doubt into her mind.
“You will not surely die,” he said, “for the Lord knows that when you eat, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The name of the tree was the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. So that part sounded similar to the truth. That’s how the enemy chooses to trick us. He wants to make a lie look as much like the truth as possible.
That’s why we MUST know the truth of God’s Word for ourselves.
We are not walking in the Word if our thoughts are opposite of what it says.
One of the quotes I love from Joyce Meyer is “We are not walking in the Word if our thoughts are opposite of what it says. We’re not walking in the Word if we’re not thinking in the Word.”
I love that, because what that says is that we have a responsibility. We have God’s Word right in our hands. We have a responsibility to start thinking that way. If we want to walk in the Word, and we want to walk as children of the light, then we need to be able to think that way.
In order to think in the Word, you have to know the Word.
The only way to know the Word is to study it, to read it, to know it inside and out. Once you do that, you’re going to know it.
If Eve had paid closer attention to what God said, she would have known from that first conversation with the serpent that he was lying. She would have responded with, “That’s not true. God didn’t say that,” then she could have been able to stand up a little bit stronger in her faith.
Now, it doesn’t mean that we don’t have faith whenever we’re struggling with our mindset, but we have to realize that we have an enemy, and that Satan is trying to destroy our faith.
If we think in the Word, we’re going to be able to walk in the Word. We’re going to be able to take actions that line up with the Word of God. The only way that you can do that is by studying it, by reading it, by knowing it.
There’s really no other way to know the truth for yourself than to do that.
**And I just want to add that there are pastors and bloggers out there that may not be sharing the complete truth of God’s Word. They may just be sharing what you want to hear and not the entire truth. So you can’t just listen or read without knowing God’s Word for yourself. There’s no substitute.***
If you only do what is easy, you will always remain weak.
Another quote from Joyce Meyer is “if you only do what is easy, you will always remain weak.”
When you hear stories about strong Christians, or you see these stories about the heroes of the bible, you have to realize that they became that way for a reason.
They became strong, they became heroes, because they did the hard things.
Let’s consider Daniel:
We all know the story of Daniel in the lion’s den.
But if he had taken the easy way out, it wouldn’t have ever happened. It would have been easy for him to avoid getting thrown in there. All he would have to do is just pray in hiding.
But if we only do what’s easy, we’ll always remain weak.
Daniel knew that so he opened his windows up wide. He prayed at the same time and in the same place that he always did. Sometimes we want to be strong Christians without ever having to go through anything hard.
You know, there are times when God leaves these question marks in our lives as tools to stretch our faith. Question marks like a child who quits breathing for minutes after being born. That happened to me. Question marks like not being able to find a house to purchase. Question marks like deaths that don’t make sense, or a cancer diagnosis that shatters your heart.
The truth is that God leaves those question marks as tools to strengthen our faith and to make us strong.
When we start believing the truth that God does everything for our good, it becomes a little easier to live it out. We start the realize the result of it. It’s not just that we’re going through these hard things for nothing.
My faith grew so much when my second son was born. He had a collapsed lung, and he quit breathing for a short time.
I have to tell you that during that time, my faith grew. We had people across the United States praying for him. We had doctors who just happened to be in the hospital at that time, and knew exactly what was going on, and the Lord saved my child’s life. That was a question mark that was a scary time, but that strengthened my faith.
If I had to go through that again, I would probably choose to go through it again.
The same thing with my husband and I had some difficulty conceiving our first child, (check out my free ebook Surviving the Failed Pregnancy Test if you are struggling with this).
Now when I look back, it was a stressful time for sure. It was a hard time, it was an emotional time, and if I hadn’t gone through that time, my faith wouldn’t be where it is today, because my faith grew so much during that time of waiting to have a baby.
Once you begin see those things happen, you start to see God’s hand at work. Now I can look back to both of those situations and say, “Okay, the next time that I’m going through something difficult, it’s not for nothing. It’s to strengthen my faith, it’s to show God’s glory.”
It becomes easier to get stronger, because you know there’s a reason for the struggle.
If we want to be strong Christians, if we want to be like those heroes of the Bible, then we have to say, “I’m not just going to do what’s easy, I’m going to do what’s going to strengthen my faith.”
You become what you think.
I saved this quote for last because it’s so powerful. “You become what you think.”
If you think discouraging thoughts, then you’re going to be discouraged.
If you think joyful thoughts, you’re going to be joyful.
If you think hopeless thoughts about a situation in your life, then I guarantee you that you’re going to feel trapped.
If you start to think hopeful thoughts about that same situation, you’re going to find a renewed sense of joy.
Why? Because our thoughts shape the way that we see the world, and then the way that we react in the world.
If you want to win the battlefield of your mind, because that’s where it all plays out, then you need to start filling your mind with God’s Word. You need to start filling your mind with the truth of who He is, and what He does, and what His Word says.
That’s the only way you can win that battle.
It’s not a battle that you just win once and it’s done, it’s a battle that you have to fight every single day.
You have to fight it with every single thought that comes in, you have to take that thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. If this is something that you want help in, I want to encourage you to be a part of the Girl of Grace Facebook group, if you’re not already.
It’s completely free. I share devotions on there on a regular basis. Other ladies are sharing on there, we have a prayer time each week, and you can just join in and really experience encouragement and joy through that group. And that’s probably not what you see in your regular Facebook feed.