Our minds are the battlefield. They are the places where our battles are won or lost. If we can take control of them, we will take control of our lives. Our minds are the key to victory.
They are the places that satan attacks. He cannot read our thoughts. He is not a god. He is not omnipresent like our Heavenly Father. However he will talk to our minds and tell us things, such as we are worthless, we aren't pretty, we aren't good enough. The more we hear those lies, the more we will believe them.
When we feel bad about ourselves, we become critical and judgmental toward others. We pick on their faults to make us feel better.
No amount of criticizing others is going to make us feel better about ourselves. If we have a functioning conscience, we will feel worse.
What do we do about our minds? We need to understand that if satan is going to attack us anywhere, it is going to be in our minds. Our job is to take control of what is going through them.
What are we thinking? Whatever we focus on is what is going to happen in our lives. What are we focused on? Is it being sick? Our job? Who our husband or wife is hanging out with? Our lives will follow the direction of our focus.
For example, let's say we are racing a car on the racetrack and our car is about to hit a wall. If we turn our focus from the wall to where we want to go, our car will move in that direction.
The same is true in our lives. If we focus on where we want to go, our lives will move in that direction.
Where do we want to be in five years? In ten? What is our goal? What do we want to do with our lives? If we don't have a goal, that's the first order of business-to get a goal. Our minds are filled with words people have said to us, especially those in authority, such as our parents, teachers, preachers. Good or bad.
From these words, our minds are programmed, and that programming is what determines how we talk, act and feel. It is this programming that will determine how far we will go in lives. We will never rise above our programming.
Now that isn't to say that our programming cannot be changed. It can be. It must be if we are ever going to break out of the routine of our lives.
How do we change our programming? Every day we have thoughts that go through our minds. Most of the time we have no idea where they came from.. If we allow them to stay, we will start to believe those things. Instead we need to do the following:
Stop. Once a thought that is contrary to the Word of God enters our minds, that is not true, lovely or of good report, we must stop whatever we are doing and deal with it. Don't wait until a minute later or an hour or a day. By that time, the thought will take root.
Rebuke it. After we stop, we need to rebuke the thought. If we are parents, we know that if we don't correct a child's behavior on the onset, the problem will only become worse. We must do as Barney Fife used to say on the Andy Griffith Show, "Nip it in the bud."
When we have a thought that is contrary to the Word of God, we need to correct it. Another word for correct is to rebuke.
How do we rebuke a thought? Some would have us believe that we have to recite or pray a long, fancy prayer but saying, "Thought, I rebuke you in the Name of Jesus because the Word says..." works just as effectively. This leads us into the next step.
Replace it. Immediately replace the thought with the Word of God. This is why it is so important to know the Word, to be continually studying the Word. It might be helpful for us if we take a pad of paper and jot down all the bad thoughts we have for a week. Write down replacement Scriptures for each. Then we will be able to refer back to our notes every time a bad thought comes. We can also add new negative thoughts to our list as they occur. This is what the writer of II Corinthians 10:5 refers to as casting down imaginations. We cast them down with the Word of God. The Bible is the God-inspired (II Timothy 3:16) will of God. It is our best weapon against the fiery darts of the wicked one--satan.
Now that we have stopped, rebuked the thought and replaced it, there is one more step we must take.
Be consistent. This is one of the most important steps. If we only cast down imaginations once in a while, when a blue moon comes, it won't take us anywhere. However, if we are consistent, if we go through these steps every time a negative thought comes, we will be taking back our minds from satan one thought at a time. We are also re-programming our minds. The more we do this, the more we are developing a habit of thinking positive, godly thoughts instead of those negative ones that will bring us down.
The writer of Romans 12:1-2 tells us not to conform to the world's way of thinking. Instead we should renew our minds. That is what we are doing every time we follow these steps.
We should make a list of confessions that reflect who God says we are and speak them over our lives everyday.
The writer of Proverbs 4:22 advises us to put the Word before our eyes, in our ears and out our mouths. This is what we do when we confess the Word over our lives.
It's essential that we renew our minds because when we do, we open our lives up to God and His possibilities.
Annagail Lynes is a published author, pharmacy technician and starting her business as a life coach. Her work has been published in 21st Century, SeaLetter, Christian Home and School, You! and many more online and offline publications.
To learn more about her, go to facebook.com/coachannagail