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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Battle Of The Minds

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Battle Of The Minds -  Lisa U Maki


Have you ever wondered why there are times when your thoughts bring you peace and times when it brings you chaos? Have you ever asked yourself why certain thoughts trigger positive and negative emotions from you? Well, that's because you have two minds. Yes, you have two minds inside of you: the mind of your flesh, and the mind of your spirit. Of course this will only apply to those who have been reborn, meaning, those who have surrendered their lives to Jesus.
When you get born-again, your spirit gets regenerated. What was once dead becomes alive. In effect, your regenerated spirit brings with it its own mind. This mind of your spirit is aligned with God's perfect will. It desires to follow everything that God wants. It is obedient and subjected to God. But then you have another mind that is present in you. This is the mind of your flesh. It came with you when you were born. And until you are here on earth, trapped in your mortal body, you will continue to have this mind of the flesh, which is also referred to as your carnal mind.
The Amplified Bible explained the nature of both these minds in Romans 8:6.
Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter].
But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever].
The mind of the flesh is sense and reason. This is how we know that we are operating on our carnal mind. Each time we try to explain things using our own understanding, each time we try to reason with ourselves or with others, each time we try to use our senses to explain things, we are using the mind of our flesh. This kind of thinking leads to death, as Paul said, consisting of miseries.
I have proven this to be true over and over again in my own life. There were times when I tried to explain things using my own understanding - trying to answer some questions, asking myself why this person hurt me, trying to figure out why certain things happened - and those were times when I felt so sick in my heart, like I was going to explode.
On the other hand, the mind of the spirit is life and peace. Each time I go back to God and His Word... each time I submit to His perfect will... each time I put my trust fully in Him, I experience total peace.
These two minds are in constant battle with each other. Paul said in the next verse that the mind of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God's Law; indeed it cannot. This means that the mind of the flesh will always be at war with the mind of the spirit. This is the reason for our constant battles and our daily struggles. This explains why we go up and down the scales of our emotions. This is why we sometimes feel that our minds are playing tricks with us.
As I've said earlier, for as long as we are here on earth, we will continue to experience this battle. The choice is ours: Are we going to allow the mind of our flesh to take over, or are we going to make the mind of our spirit rule over?
The key is in your hands. You are the one controlling your mind. You can either use the mind of your flesh or the mind of your spirit. And remember, your thoughts control your emotions, which means that when you activate the mind of the flesh, it will also produce worldly emotions.
So how do we take control of our carnal mind? How do we operate using the mind of our spirit?
Let's look at Romans 8:5 for the answer.
For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit (Romans 8:5).
It is a matter of where we set our minds on. If we set our minds on the things of the flesh, then we are activating the mind of the flesh.
Each day, we are exposed to these "things of the flesh" - lustful images, love for money, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. They may appear in very subtle forms which you may not even see as bad. TV shows... commercials... music... movies... billboards - all these carry with them suggestive messages that are very worldly in nature. You may be watching a romantic movie, a beautiful love story, but it is about an unmarried man and woman falling in love and having sex before marriage. The world sees nothing wrong with this... for as long as they are two consenting adults, more so if they love each other. Yet, the Word of God says clearly that fornicators will not inherit the Kingdom of God. Other than this, watching a love story can trigger something in you that will make you desire to be with someone, before its time. Song of Solomon 8:4 says: "Do not awaken love before it pleases". This is the very reason why I avoided and refused to watch any love story before I was married.
Proverbs 4:23 says: "Guard your heart for out of it springs the issues of life". God commanded us to guard our hearts. It is our responsibility. Guarding our hearts is guarding our minds. With all these "things of the flesh" that we are exposed to everyday, it is our responsibility to guard our mind and heart from them. Stay away from watching TV shows and movies that have suggestive messages. Be careful of the music you listen to. Be cautious of the people around you. Always examine yourself and use God's Word as a standard to compare yourself with.
You will surely know if you are operating on your carnal mind. It will produce the fruits of the flesh such as jealousy, envy, selfish ambitions, contentions, anger outbursts, sexual immorality, etc. Think about a most recent incident when you found yourself "in the flesh", or having any of these fruits. Then look back and trace where it came from. You will be surprised to find out that it all started from a simple thought, a glimpse of something, a little taste, a hurtful feeling that you entertained, or a small gossip. It all began by allowing something of the flesh to penetrate through and linger in your mind. Then the mind of your flesh took over.
It takes practice and discipline to operate in the mind of our spirit. As Paul said in Hebrews 5:14... those whose senses and mental faculties are trained to practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary to divine or human law.
I love the phrase I underlined above: trained to practice. We have to train our minds to practice to discern what is of the flesh and what is of the spirit, what is of God and what is of the devil, what is good and what is evil. And as I've said earlier, the Word of God should be our sole standard for what is of the Lord.
Train your minds to practice today. In everything you do, ask yourself, "Is this what God wants me to do? Is this in accordance to His Word?"
For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them]. (Philippians 4:8)
Lisa Maki is the founder of God'z Gurlz, a Bible-based online magazine for women whose mission is to is to provide a place where women can learn to manage their emotions, experience healing, receive love and acceptance, be free to be who God made them to be, and be the best they can be in their homes, schools, professions, relationships, and calling, through sharing of insights and experiences, counseling, prayer, and devotionals, thereby learning from and supporting each other. For more of Lisa's articles, visit http://godzgurlz.com/ Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lisa_U_Maki Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/7366422

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