(Below are Nicole's thoughts for the Introduction and Chapter 1 of Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. We'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter as well. Feel free to leave a comment, question or even scripture on the comment section below this post. Let's dig deep and join to together to fight this battle!)
Joyce Meyer begins Battlefield of the Mind with this scripture in the Introduction....
For the weapons of our warfare are not physical (weapons of flesh and blood), but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds. (Inasmuch as we) refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the (true) knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). -2 Corinthians 10:4,5
Chapter 1 begins with...
For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood (contending only with physical opponents), but against the despotisms, against the powers, against (the master spirits who are) the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. -Ephesians 6:12
Both of these scriptures prove that Joyce Meyer is 100% correct. Our mind is a battlefield and we need to find our weapons quickly. We really don't understand how powerful our thoughts are.
"For as he (a person) thinks in his heart, so is he." -Proverbs 23:7
So, what are you thinking? What thoughts hold you captive all throughout the day, every day? Sometimes at night? For me, it's my children, my family. Usually it pertains to worrying about something. Mainly, autism. Sure, I can easily jump on the band wagon of having positive thoughts and not worrying. But like Joyce tells us in Chapter 1, Satan is patient. He knows my weaknesses and how to get me. Now I need my spiritual weapons.
Our three strongest weapons are the Word of God, prayer and praise. These three weapons can destroy Satan's plans. Here's the key...we need to spend as much time as possible in God's Word. Joyce encourages us to do this through "preaching, teaching, books, tapes, seminars, and private Bible study. But we must "abide" (continue) in the Word until it becomes revelation given by inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Continuing is important." She then reminds us of Mark 4:24..."The measure (of thoughts and study) you give (to the truth you hear) will be the measure (of virtue and knowledge) that comes back to you." The more time we spend knowing his Word the quicker we are to praise him and to pray to him.
Joyce also tells us about how Jesus used his spiritual weapons to fight the devil's temptations in the wilderness for 40 days. I remember hearing about this in church when I was little. (Luke 4:1-13) I remember thinking how important it was that I memorized scripture so that when I die if Satan tries to trick me I can fight him off and go straight to Heaven. What I didn't realize then that Joyce has shown me now is that we are in our wilderness now. Now is the time for us to know God's Word so that we know when a thought is from the devil and when it's the Holy Spirit nudging us. We need to pray to God asking for his help and praise Him for all of the wonderful things that are happening in our lives. We need to use our spiritual weapons to defeat Satan.
One of the biggest strongholds that Satan has on me is my family, particularly my children. He knows how to whisper my deepest fears at just the right moment to keep me from doing what God needs for me to do. I homeschool my son who has autism. Every Sunday night, I plan my entire week of schooling and usually come Monday morning I'm motivated and ready to go. Little by little, different thoughts slowly come in to my mind....he's not really learning anything from you, you're not that great of a teacher, he's totally blocking you out of his world...why are you even trying, you're tired...take the day off. Little by little he takes over my thoughts until finally I've given up. I have no patience. I'm frustrated. I question whether I should be homeschooling my child in the first place. (Enter the spiritual weapons here.) I pray. I ask God to show me if I'm doing the right thing. I praise him and thank him for giving me the ability to stay home and homeschool him. I ask him for help to reach my son. I pick up my Bible, read a devotion online or talk to a fellow believer friend and I'm ready. I'm ready for this war in my mind. I can't let Satan take over my thoughts, my mood and who I am. It's at this point I truly see the blessings in my son. I see him make gains in his academics that he's been struggling to do. Sure it may not be the gains I wanted to see by now but it's a gain and he's moving forward.
We have to remember that Satan knows us. He knows our weaknesses and when it's best to attack us. However, we also have to remember how mighty our God is and that he's fighting this war with us. It is so important that we do not let Satan win this battle in our minds. He's tricky and he can make anything look good even when it's not. The longer we let it continue, the stronger his hold gets on us.
Remember what Joyce writes on page 23..."...Jesus always stands ready to fulfill His promise to set the captives free. He will walk us across the finish line of victory in any area if we are willing to go all the way through it with Him."
Thank you for giving us a heart to want to know more about you and what we can do for you. We know that our minds are subjected to Satan on a daily, hourly and by the second basis and we ask that you help us continue to dive into your Word so that Satan may not have any hold of our minds.
We ask this in Your Name,