The Mind of the Spirit vs. the Temptation of the Flesh
Essentially the mind is the central intelligence system for the body. The activity of your brain includes consciousness, intellect, emotions, and self-will. The conscious mind is responsible for rationalizing and logical thinking, whereas the subconscious mind is responsible for involuntary action.- Pediaa.com/ diffen.com
Though separate entities, the mind works through the brain, yet they are inseparable. The mind prompts the brain, and the brain responds. We generate energy through thinking, feeling, and choosing; we build our thoughts. – Mindbodygreen.com
Where you set your mind determines the direction you will go. You will either flow with the Spirit or follow your flesh. It’s a spiritual battle!
“Where the mind goes, the man follows” – Joyce Meyer
The Greek word for “flesh” is “sarx,“ referring to the physical body in the New Testament. The Apostle Paul explains, “All body parts constitute the flesh, which is dominated by sin to a certain degree. Therefore, wherever the flesh is, all forms of sin are likewise present, and no good thing can live.”
We feel the effects of the desires of the flesh by way of anxiety, discomfort, restlessness, and eagerness to satisfy its cravings. The flesh cannot stand to be denied its desires. It wants the best, the largest, and full cooperation from the mind. If you’re unaware of these things, you’ll likely find yourself in bondage and acting out the desires of your flesh.
To live according to the flesh is to have your mindset on the things of the flesh. Romans 8:6-7 reads, “For the mindset on the flesh is death, but the mindset on the Spirit is life and peace. The mindset on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is unable to do so.” The Christian life consists of mortifying the flesh of its earthly desires and bringing the flesh into subjection.
“Whatever thought is dominant dominates.” – Bishop Derek Grier
Managing Your Thoughts
Everything begins with a thought. Our thoughts go before our actions, and what we think, usually, we say out loud. The way we think about ourselves determines how we live. Right thoughts produce a righteous lifestyle. Wrong thoughts result in erroneous living. Knowing who we are spiritually aids us in measuring our thoughts against the ways of the world.
“You sow a thought and reap an action. You sow an action and reap a habit. You sow a habit and reap a character. You sow a character and reap a destiny.” -Dr. Charles Stanley
I.D. the Voices
Not sure who’s talking in your head?
“God, is that you? Is that me? or is it the devil?
Well, let’s talk about it. There are three audible voices that we’re able to hear without choice. They speak randomly from our minds without invitation.
However, if you listen intently, you can distinguish between the three voices. Is it the voice of God, the devil, or your inner voice? Most of the time, we listen to our inner voice, commonly known as our conscious or intuition.
When God Speaks…
First Kings 19:12 identifies God’s voice as still and quiet. On Mount Horeb, God spoke to Elijah with a gentle voice. Often, He speaks to us from the inner prompting of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is our helper; he leads and guides us, and he never contradicts God’s written word. God’s mode of communication isn’t limited by any circumstance. He speaks vividly according to his will and purpose for our lives.
satan deception …
We can quickly identify satan’s voice because he speaks with a forked tongue, a serpent’s tongue. He is a liar, and the truth isn’t in him. Jesus shared a testimony identifying satan as the father of lies (John 8:44). So, rebuke him immediately.
- Beware! satan’s purpose is to deceive anyone who will listen to his lies. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy, and his actions quickly follow his lies.
- Be wise! Do not give him a toe hold in your life, or he will have his way.
- Be proactive! We must familiarize ourselves with the voices and act accordingly.
Managing Your Emotions
For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).
How you think determines how you feel. So beware of what and who you’re entertaining. If you entertain wrong thoughts, you’re headed in the wrong direction.
Psalms 23:3 reads, “He (Jesus) leads us on the path of righteousness for His namesake.” The word “path” refers to the course of conduct. “Righteous” means adhering to moral standards like honesty, uprightness, and justice. God effectively leads us on the correct path via the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth. So ponder your path, and pray for wisdom along the way.
The Spirit of Rejection
What about rejection causes the mind to search for answers for acceptance? Why do we need public approval when God approves of us? These questions plague our thoughts when we face the Spirit of rejection.
To me, rejection is one of the most hurtful emotions. It creates self-doubt and feelings of unworthiness; we feel unloved and abused. Rejection was the cup that I had to drink. I didn’t know that the devil was abusing me daily with his lies. He made sure that I felt terrible about myself at the start of each morning by telling me that I wasn’t loved by anyone and that people didn’t like me. What satan knew that I didn’t realize was I had a hole in my heart because my dad was gone. He and my mom divorced before I was a teenager, and I didn’t have daddy’s love anymore. So there was a massive void inside my heart that caused me to feel unloved when people rejected me.
Early one morning, I woke up, I mean, “I really WOKE UP!” and I started thinking about the voice. I wondered why this voice always spoke the moment I opened my eyes? Sometimes I would wake up and memories of something painful that happened long ago would fill my mind. I thought about it and I began to recognize a pattern, and I realized that those thoughts were not my thoughts.
The Apostle Paul spoke of fiery darts warning us with these words, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked (Eph. 6:10-11, 16 KJV).” *Take time and read the entire chapter.
The Mender of Broken Hearts
There is a remedy for every broken heart. Jesus, the son of God, was the missing link in my life. Just knowing of Jesus and not having a personal relationship with him separates us from him. That’s where I fell short. I didn’t know how much Jesus loved me.
As a young adult, I began reading my Bible every day, and I studied the love of God first. I learned how and why Jesus chose to sacrifice his sinless life for the sins of the world. That’s when I fully surrendered my life to Jesus, and now I live my life for him every day.
The most horrendous lesson I’ve learned was how satan operates to destroy the children of God. He was definitely working overtime to destroy my life. But he couldn’t because of the Blood Covenant that is made available to the children of God. Every time satan turned up the heat, there was a presence there at the time of trouble. By no means was this a coincidence; it was God protecting me.
The Apostle Paul shared a way of escape from the abusive thinking that satan uses to confuse our minds. Philippians 4:8-9 reveals this secret, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
We are not defined by those who reject us. We are accepted by God, born into the newness of life, and endowed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm. We are kingdom citizens and children of God. We are accepted in Jesus. God has supplied us with spiritual armor designed to protect our mind, body, and soul (Eph. 6:11-18).
For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life – John 3:16.
God loved you so much that he thought you were worth dying for.
*If you don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, click here.
*Please note that none of the photos belong to Jeanie Martin Ministries.
*Sources: Holy Bible; Bible Hub; Dr. Charles Stanley, intouch.org; Joyce Meyer Ministries, joycemeyer.org; Bishop Derek Grier, Gracechurch; Mindbodygreen.com; Pediaa.com/ diffen.com
5 thoughts on “Controlling Your Thoughts”
Thanks Jeanie for sharing your testimony. I often tell my children that the voices in your head don’t control you. You can choose what you want to think about. Memorizing and Meditating on God’s Word will always cast that accuser’s voice out of our heads.
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Thanks for your comment. I totally agree, It’s mandatory that we teach our children about spiritual battles because they are real.
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Similar to the tongue the mind is very difficult to control. But we must be determined to live by the Spirit. Thanks for sharing with us.
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Thank you for your comment. The difference is the tongue is unruly, there is no disciplining it It speaks and we can’t get those words back. But the mind can be conditioned. We have the ability to monitor what it takes in and what we won’t allow to enter. It’s a personal choice.
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