(Below are Jessica's thoughts on Chapter 14, A Passive Mind, 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 and/or scripture in the comment section below this post. Let's dig deep and join together to fight this battle.)
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. -1 Peter 5:8
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. -1 Peter 1:13
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:2
We've heard the expression, "An idle mind is the devil's playground". This chapter takes this a step further and reminds us that a "passive mind" can lead to trouble in the same way. With all that each of us have going on trying to manage the needs of a child with autism, I think it is safe to assume that none of us has an "empty" mind. Speaking from my own example, if anything I find I need to fight not to have an overwhelmed mind.
It takes a great deal of discipline to be able to direct and then filter the thoughts we dwell and ultimately act on. Joyce gives a great example by sharing her husband Dave's struggle with passivity. She reveals that he was very disciplined in areas of work, fitness and leisure but difficult to motivate in other areas. It was an eye-opener to me to learn that the devil can create strongholds as a result of long-term passivity. Over time, with alot of practice, little by little, he began to study the Word regularly and diligently. As the Holy Spirit showed him the truth, he was much more active, motivated and eager in other areas of his life.
This made me think about myself. On page 150, Joyce writes: "A passive person thinks he is doing nothing wrong because he is doing nothing." The difference between sins of omission (not doing what you should have) and sins of commission (doing something you shouldn't) struck me here. Being afraid to act and follow God's leading keeps us from missing out on what God wants us to do. If that isn't bad enough, it also opens a door for the enemy to make it harder for us to follow God next time around. I thought of all the times I had a great idea (from God) and didn't act on it right away. Procrastinating has been something throughout my life that made many things much more difficult than they needed to be. From school assignments to cleaning my room, exercising, etc., I always had trouble getting started, which led to inactivity. Beyond that, I now see that as procrastination becomes a pattern, it develops into a stronghold-an area where the enemy has gained some footing against my walk with God.
The good news is that strongholds can be broken! Every time I am tempted to procrastinate or not obey God right away, I have these insights to help me do what I need to do-right away. Whenever I feel the "I can't do this" welling up inside of me, I can boldly declare that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13) I now can add this to my prayer life and meditate on what scripture says and pray against this. I can think about the right things on purpose so that my mind is not available for the enemy to attack.
Heavenly Father, Thank you so much for hearing and answering all of our prayers. Give us the grace and strength we need to stay alert and vigilant about our thought lives. In the name of your son, Jesus and by the power of His blood, we come against any evil spirits behind the passivity and inaction that may be attacking our minds and keeping us from Your purpose. Fill us with your Holy Spirit, renew our minds and help us to develop godly self-discipline in any areas where we need it most. Open our minds and give us understanding so that we can hear from you and follow where You will lead us. We give all of the glory to You and ask this in your son Jesus' holy name. Amen.