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  • Writer's pictureKathleen Knapp

Guarding Your Mind: The Battle for Your Thoughts.

The tension in my temples begins to slowly squeeze my head as I feel a headache building.  My breathing becomes shallow and tight. My shoulders rise as my muscles tense. Anxiety. Worry. Fear. 

Sometimes our brains become overwhelmed with the day's thoughts, the stress of our schedules, and the worry about finances or family. We become focused inward instead of offering these worries to God and releasing our minds and bodies of stress.

I love this saying: “You cannot keep birds from landing on your head. But you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.” (Martin Luther) We can’t control a thought entering our minds but we can decide whether it is welcomed and takes residence there.

As followers of Jesus, we can find ourselves in a spiritual battle. As the enemy attacks our minds and tries to consume our thoughts. Our thoughts control our feelings. Then our feelings often control our actions. When we are distracted from our day-to-day connection with God, we can be rendered ineffective for the kingdom because our minds are not centred on God’s plans for us. 

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” … “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew  6: 25-34 NIV

God's plan for us is to be healthy and whole, which includes our minds. If our thoughts are centered on God then it is harder for the enemy to control our attitudes and actions. 

“And the peace of god which surpasses all understanding

 will guard our hearts and your minds”  Philippians 4:7 

“You shall love the Lord your God 

with all your heart and with all your mind” Matthew 22:37

The main defensive equipment we have to protect our minds against the enemy is to focus our thoughts on scripture. Dwelling on scripture and the promises of God helps protect us from our negative intentions. 

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 NIV

As warriors in a spiritual battle, we need to be armed and ready to fight against the enemy. Part of the armour of God is a helmet. Helmets are used to protect our brains from injury. A head injury can severely incapacitate or kill someone in an accident or a battle. We need to guard our minds in the same way. Our salvation protects us and the battle weapon is the word, or scripture, of God. 

“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit 

which is the word of God” Ephesians 6:17

When our minds are fixed on God, using scripture and prayer, we can turn our thoughts to things of heaven and guard our minds against attacks of the enemy. 

So do not fear, for I am with you; 

do not be dismayed, for I am your God. 

I will strengthen you and help you; 

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. 

Isaiah 41:10 NIV

I take a deep breath and let it out slowly to guide my breath back into a normal rhythm. I relax my muscles and feel my shoulders loosen. As the tension in my head weakens, I thank God that he is in control of all my circumstances and I need not worry. I breathe a sigh of relief as I shake the bird's nest from my mind, clearing the cobwebs of fear and doubt, to direct my mind and thoughts to the battle at hand. I am confident I am not fighting alone. God is with me and the battle belongs to the Lord. 

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