The Power of a Sound Mind
The Christian mind is a right mind:
Mark 5:15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
A right mind is one that is coherent (capable of logical, intelligible thought); rational (able to reason- sane); able to exercise right, moral judgment. A right mind is especially one that knows Christ, which perceives and understands spiritual things.
The Christian mind is a sound mind:
2 Tim. 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
A sound mind is one which shows itself in prudent conduct and behavior; in sobriety; in moderation and temperance; and in purity and honesty. These are dispositions and qualities given to us of God in regeneration.
1. The mind as a battlefield:
Though we have a right mind and a sound mind when we are saved, yet our minds are still a battlefield, where we fight against the many enemies that desire to have control of our minds.
2 Cor. 10:
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
The implication here is that the Christian warfare is in the mind, the greatest battleground this world has ever known. Our day to day victory in this battle for the mind determines our personal peace and happiness as Christians; and the effectiveness of our Christian testimony in this world, and our service to the Lord.
It is therefore imperative that we as God's people strive for victory over the powers that war against our minds.
The purpose of this message is to help us as God's people to win the victory in the battles that we fight in our minds each and every day.
2. The enemies of our minds:
Depression; discouragement (defeated attitude); discontentment (very displeasing to the Lord- murmuring and complaining); lustful, sinful thoughts; doubts; fears; guilt due to personal failures and sins whether past or present; strong temptations; anxiety (worry); anger; bitterness; hate; envy; jealousy; laziness and slothfulness; etc.
Any one of these enemies of our minds can ruin our happiness, and our Christian testimonies. All of these enemies can be brought under control; or as 2 Cor. 10:5 says "unto the obedience of Christ". None of these enemies is too difficult to be conquered by any child of God!!!!!!!!!!
3. How we can battle against the enemies of our minds?
1. Having our minds stayed on the Lord.
Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
#1 The Lord will keep us in peace. That is, peace from the attacks of our enemies by giving us perpetual victory; and this victory and peace by the power of God. The key to winning the battle for the mind is the power of God working in our lives, but we notice that having this power is conditional upon our faithful obedience and devotion to Him.
#2 To have one's mind stayed on the Lord is to have his mind fixed and focused on the Lord- to concentrate and meditate upon the Lord continually (all day long, as David said in the Psalms)
#3 To have one's mind stayed on the Lord is to place our absolute trust in the Lord- not only for our salvation, but more so with our lives in the here and now.
#4 To have one's mind stayed on the Lord is to believe in all of His works of old; and to trust His promises for now and in the future. This, of course, involves reading and studying God's Word, and learning about all His former works, and about His promises.
#5 To have one's mind stayed on the Lord is to hide God's Word in our hearts, so that the Holy Spirit of God will recall His Word to our minds when we're under enemy attack. (Example: when Satan tempted the Lord).
#6 To have one's mind stayed on the Lord is to devote ourselves and commit ourselves to Him with our lives. That is every day, from the time we awake until we go to sleep at night. To be faithful and obedient to Him in all things.
2. Rejoicing in the Lord.
Phil. 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
The joy of the Lord is our strength! (Neh. 8:10). We will not have victory over the enemies of our minds if we go around cast down. The obedient child of God can whip most enemies with the power of a joyful spirit. Its amazing what joy can do for your mind! Joy must be "in the Lord"; not in the world or in sin; but in the Lord and His wonderful works and provisions, and promises.
3. Praying to the Lord.
6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Rather than being anxious and worrying about things, pray to God. Don't waist energy on faithless worrying; but spend the energy in prayer, from which we actually draw strength from the Lord!
Our prayers should include:
Supplication- that is, asking God for what we need. The Lord wants us to ask Him for our wants and needs; we don't have to be backwards about it- but rather come boldly to His throne! Sometimes we bare our own burdens to our own hurt, because we don't want to bother the Lord with them. But the Bible says to "cast all our cares upon Him, for He careth for you"! (1 Pet. 5:7).
Thanksgiving- again, many of our enemies would be defeated by the power of the grace of thanksgiving alone, if only we would exercise this grace more often!
The promise in verse 7 is that the "peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep (or guard or garrison) your hearts and minds through Christ". The promise to God's people is that if we will quit our worrying about things we cannot change or do anything about, and rather spend our time in prayer, the Lord will give us the victory over our enemies, and give us peace of mind!
4. Thinking good thoughts.
8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
One of our biggest problems is wrong thinking. So to combat this natural tendency, we need to think good, positive thoughts. The countenance of a person and the disposition of his heart is much affected by the nature of his thoughts. Example: we are down in the dumps when something or someone comes along and diverts our thoughts onto something positive and spiritual, and low and behold, our countenance changes to joy and happiness.
Paul gives us some good things to think about: things that are true (the truth will make you free, Jesus said); honest (denotes grave, respectable thoughts, worthy of thinking); just (towards God and our fellow man, so as not to be an offense to any); pure (chaste, holy); lovely (of a friendly, loving nature, which promote peace and brotherly love among men, particularly the saints of God; designing to do others good- in opposition to contention, strife, wrath, and hatred); good report (things to be well spoken of, so as to promote a good name and a godly testimony among men); things that have virtue (things that are right, moral, and good); things that are worthy of praise (that is of God and of godly men)---think of these things!!!!
5. Doing the right things.
9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Following through with actions and works that support and confirm our thoughts- thinking without doing is like saying without doing; true change in sanctification is made complete by the doing or performance of right thoughts.
Notice the promise of God's peace and presence is conditional on our doing- or working out those good things that begin in our minds and thoughts.
6. Making a conscientious effort to control our minds.
1Pe 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
It takes a conscientious effort and discipline win the battle for the mind; it doesn't just happen!
The power of the Christian life begins with a sound mind. If we will practice the things discussed this morning, I believe we will see a great change in ourselves, and in our influence in this world.
The natural mind is enmity with God; that is, it is at war with God! To have a sound mind as the Bible speaks of, you must repent- lay down your arms of rebellion to God, and surrender to Him by faith in Jesus Christ- trusting in Him as your Lord and Savior.