We’ve done this thing to separate our mind/thoughts and our spiritual selves. We’ve put logic and thought patterns in one box, and put our spiritual life in another. When we think of the spiritual battle, we picture it going on around us, or at best in our ‘hearts’.
My friends and I have been having conversations about doubt lately. Doubting our capabilities. Doubting our worthiness. Doubting our work. Doubting the future. And though a doubt-free life ins’t a reality on this side of heaven - there is an origin to our doubts, especially the ones that chip away at our identity in Jesus.
Satan’s first words were, “Did God really say….?” (Gen 3) His first ploy was to stir up doubt about the truth God had already laid down. His playbook hasn’t changed. Same tactics, new topics.
You know when the battle starts. It’s the thoughts that nag and won’t leave. It’s the “I know better than to think _____, but I can’t stop thinking about it.” It’s the ruminating ideas that won’t let you sleep at night.
The thought battle is a spiritual one. Battling it in the flesh (logic only) isn’t the way to win. When Paul talks about taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ (2 Cor 10) - he isn’t suggesting that you ramp up your debating capabilities. He’s saying “capture the thought and submit it to Jesus”. He’s not saying “you’re able to win the war of your mind.” But he is saying that Jesus can.
The battle isn’t one of flesh and blood; it’s of spiritual forces. (Some might say the battle of your mind does have a flesh and blood element and want to talk about medication. There isn’t a medication that eradicates doubt. But that’s a talk for another day.) So what’s available for the war in our minds?
Take the helmet of salvation (Eph 6) and put it on. Our head is our most vulnerable place. A shot to the leg…crippling. A shot to the head…deadly. And the helmet of salvation is so much more than remembering your ticket to heaven.
The helmet of salvation is hope. Hope in eternity, but also God’s salvation hope for you today. Jesus is not only our future savior but our present moment savior. The helmet is the confidence that God is working in us and through us everyday. The helmet is rooted in the promises of God, the author and perfecter of our faith.
My encouragement to you today is to submit your thought life to Jesus. When the narrative in your head turns left, recognize it. When the negativity starts to take root, call it out. And then, in prayer, give those thoughts and words to Jesus. And ask for His truth…and He will supply hope.
The only way to tune out the father of lies is to strike up communion with the God of salvation. He’s our hope today and everyday. The battle isn’t one you have to grit your teeth through - it’s also subject to an all powerful God if you’ll engage Him in it.