THE BATTLE IN THE MIND
The Enemy’s Strategy… Satan, the “deceiver.”
Our Accuser. Satan targets our mind—intent to bullseye our emotions with fiery darts of doubt, fear, discouragement, anger, jealousy, hatred and lust—He shoots it all. We must extinguish the darts and throw them back.
Resist the devil and he will flee…come near to God, He will come near to you. (James 4:8)
Master of Magnification. Satan feeds on our fear. Molehills look like mountains. Pray for faith.
The Opportunist. Satan is like a wolf who attacks the lone, the weak and the young sheep. Stay connected to others, and close to Jesus.
“Our discipleship should remind people that what God most cherishes, the devil most hates. We shouldn’t be surprised by the schemes of the evil one. If sex is as profound, powerful, pleasurable, and protected as God’s word says it is, it’s no wonder that Satan would want to destroy it and make it the very opposite--meaningless, painful, alienating, and full of regret.”
Evangelizing in a World Drowning in Sexual Problems, by Randy Newman https://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs/randy-newman/evangelizing-in-a-world-drowning-in-sexual-problems.html
Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free….” (John 8:32)
• Human beings are comprised of the Body, Soul, and Spirit. The Spirit is where we commune with God. Our body helps us relate to the physical world. Our Soul (heart) is our distinct nature and personality. It’s composed of 4 parts—our mind (thoughts), will (ambitions), emotion (feelings) and conscience (moral compass) ~ Priscilla Shirer, Armor of God, p 71
• Good guilt is specific. We act or think against our conscience and we are prompted by the Holy Spirit to ask forgiveness for an identified sin and take the right path. God is faithful and just to forgive our sins. Our relationship with God is restored and our Spirit, where we commune with Him, is free again. Guilt in Greek means, “Bound by, to owe, to be indebted.”
If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 KJV)
• False guilt is a vague sense we’ve missed something. “We take responsibility for people or things outside of our control and suffer self-condemnation because we can’t change the outcome. The self-condemnation interrupts our walk with God. We always feel judged"’ (Charles Stanley) Enemy lies rip through our heart and “guilt feelings” plague us—even with confession…the answer is to recognize the lie and let go.
And let the peace of Christ rule in your heart. (Colossian 3:15 RSV)
What is one way to meet the goal of sexual purity according to 2 Timothy 2:22 below?
Run from anything that gives you the evil thoughts young men often have, but stay close to anything that makes you want to do right. Have faith and love, and enjoy the companionship of those who love the Lord and have pure hearts… (TLB)
Where can you go this week to find those like-minded peers? What place is best to avoid?
There was a time I felt particularly vulnerable to lust. It seemed all day long I battled sudden lewd images that slid into my thoughts. I resisted the enemy by deflecting the ideas he hurled my direction while asking God for a clean mind and heart.
By the end of the day I felt guilty, even though most of the time I didn’t let the birds land so to speak. When I lingered on a thought, I immediately asked God’s forgiveness.
Yet, I felt defeated until an older Christian warned me not to trust unstable feelings. “Our Accuser exploits them,” she said. “When we fight temptation it is wearing. Even when we conquer the temptation, just the fact we’ve dealt with it repeatedly contributes to guilty feelings.”
"You cannot keep birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair." Martin Luther
How does the verse below set us free from unrelenting feelings of failure and guilt?
This, then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything. (1 Jn 3:19–20)
Talking—we can work it out.
Talk to God and spill your heart, emotions and secrets. He hears and counsels what is right.
Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. (Psalm 62:8)
Find a safe/wise person, pastor, counselor to confess your deed or thoughts to pray with and seek counsel.
He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. (Pr. 28:13)
Write a brief prayer to God asking for his help.