I couldn’t shake the yucky oppression that clung to me like a giant spider web. I’d confessed every known sin. I’d thrown in some possible ones for good measure. Nothing helped. That evening as I turned onto a back road the purity of unspoiled fresh snow arrested me, and Isaiah 1:18 filled my mind.
Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. (NIV)
Peace soothed my battered soul. God didn’t see me as icky. He’d washed me in His Son’s blood and wrapped me in His robe of righteousness.
That day marked my introduction to the battle in our minds. But it would be years before I learned to promptly recognize spiritual warfare and resist those attacks.
Do you realize your thoughts and feelings can and do lie to you? Do you know how to identify the source of your thoughts and what to do when they attack you?
Not all thoughts in our minds are ours. God, other people, and even Satan can plant thoughts in our minds. We must carefully choose which ones we accept.
Recognize the Battle in Your Mind
Remember Peter? After asking His disciples who the people say He is, Jesus asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being.” (Matt. 16:16-18 NLT)
Wow! God the Father had provided Peter with that special insight and thought. Surely, we could trust Peter’s future insights and words after that. Nope.
In the following paragraphs Jesus began to prepare His disciples for the suffering and death that awaited Him in Jerusalem, and Peter responds.
But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!”
Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” (Matt. 16:22-23 NLT)
One minute Peter speaks God’s thoughts and the next he shares Satan’s. That’s why Paul wrote:
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. (2 Cor. 10:3-5 NASB 1995)
Warning: You Can’t Trust Your Thoughts
We can’t trust our thoughts. We must learn to edit every thought. Those that argue against God’s Word and character must be captured and made to bow before King Jesus. I say both the Word and character of God because Satan misused Scriptures when he tempted Jesus.
Last week I talked with Linda Goldfarb and Heather Greer on their podcast about how to recognize and resist spiritual warfare. We discussed the acronym DARTS to help us identify and resist the destructive thoughts that attack us. You can listen to the interview here.
Don’t be discouraged or intimidated by spiritual warfare. We fight our battles in the mighty strength of the Lord.One minute Peter speaks God’s thoughts and the next he shares Satan’s. Win the battle in your mind. #SpiritualWarfare, #Faith Click To Tweet
Go to our resource page for a handout on DARTS called 5 Tips for Dealing with Doubt and Identifying Destructive Thoughts.