Renewing the Mind. Overcoming Satan’s mind games

If salvation is spiritual, why does the Bible talk about the renewing of the mind? A key reason is that our minds are a battle field in which Satan tries to plant lies and deception, to limit us from experiencing the freedom we have in Christ.


The Battlefield of the mind

As a Christian, your spirit is saved, but the mind (and by extension the body) can be deceived into corrupt conduct if it is not renewed and refocused on spiritual things. When you have an unrenewed mindset, your thinking is shaped by experiences, perceptions or desires of the past. Your mind is often bound by guilt, fear, anxiety, condemnation, or wrong thinking.
The problem with having a mind that is not renewed is that your spiritual growth becomes stunted. You will struggle to translate the spiritual blessing of salvation into day to day victory in your life. Spiritual regeneration (salvation) that is not coupled with the renewing of the mind leads to stagnation and frustration. Satan’s strategy is to try and convince you that God has not set you free. Satan will try to get you to doubt what you have in Christ. He wants to hinder your transformation and doesn’t want you to think and act like a new creature in Christ.
As a Christian, God has blessed you with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3) and given you all things pertaining to life and to godliness (2 Peter 1:3). This is your spiritual reality and heritage in Christ, and you must see yourself that way. Realize that the mind is a battlefield of strongholds, and your mind needs to be renewed (by the word of God) so you can walk in the freedom that God has already given you.

The Power of the Mind

The mind comprises the faculties of perceiving, understanding, feeling, judging, and determining. The mind is where our will is. As free moral agents, God respects our will and gives us the power of choice. This makes the mind a very powerful asset. The mind is so powerful, the Bible says:
  • We serve the Lord with the mind (Rom 7:25).
  • We love the Lord with all our being; including the mind (Luke 10:27).
  • We are transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2).
  • We are renewed in the spirit of our mind (Ephesians 4:23).
  • Being spiritually minded brings life and peace (Romans 8:6).
Given how powerful and influential our minds are, Satan makes our minds his prime target. Some of the greatest strongholds in a believer’s life are in the mind! We must realize that the mind is a battle field! There are many ways through which Satan perpetrates his agenda of destruction in the world, but some of his most destructive warfare is waged in our minds. Although Satan is a defeated foe, he knows the power of the mind. He knows that if he can control our minds, he can control our lives. Unfortunately, when we don’t know who we are in Christ, Satan’s agenda prevails. This is why the Bible says we must resist the devil’s lies. James 4:7 says “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

Casting down Imaginations

It is interesting how the Bible speaks of spiritual strongholds in the context of the mind.
2 Corinthians 10:4-6 says: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments (imaginations) and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
This scripture mentions arguments, imaginations, and thoughts. These are operations of the mind that can work against the will of God for our lives. Satan brings arguments, imaginations, and thoughts that are contrary to the knowledge of God. He plants thoughts of fear, anxiety, condemnation, trauma, wrong thinking, etc., in our minds, and these become strongholds. The longer we dwell in that kind of negative mindset, the less convinced we are of God’s love and God’s saving power. We fall into doubt and unbelief, and therefore handover authority to Satan. Believers are sometimes overly focused on “casting out” the devil. We need to realize that sometimes there is no devil to cast out; we just need to “cast down” imaginations. That is to say, our minds need to be renewed so we know who we are in Christ.
There are many ways through which Satan perpetrates his agenda of destruction in the world—but some of his most destructive warfare is waged in our minds. Satan wants us to be carnally minded (which is death) instead of being spiritually minded (which is life and peace) (see Romans 8:6). Fear thrives in a carnal mind and Satan can build up strongholds in such an environment. Faith, on the other hand, thrives in a spiritual mind, and Satan loses his grip in such an environment.

Overcoming Satan’s mind games

Ephesians 6:11 says “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
The word “wiles” in this scripture, is the Greek word methodeia. This word means “cunning arts,” “tricks and schemes,” or “mind games”. Satan likes to play with our minds! We need to put on the whole armor of God and fight him off! Verse 17 of the same chapter in Ephesians says, “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
To guard against Satan’s mind games, you need the helmet of salvation—which is our identity in Christ; and the sword of the spirit— which is the Word of God. You are covered by the blood of Jesus and you have the Word of God; therefore you have authority to stand your ground against the devil. Verse 18 reveals another weapon you have. It says, “praying always with all manner of prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” Continual prayer is your heavy weaponry for standing against Satan and fending off his attacks and lies. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God. Every stronghold in your minds must come down, can come down, and will come down, in Jesus name!
It’s time to change your thinking! See yourself the way God sees you. You are a new creature in Christ. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. You are blessed. You are not cursed. You are redeemed by the blood of Jesus. Rise up and live your life to the fullest. You can do it! In Jesus’ name.
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