Controlling one’s thought life rests at the center of a happy and contented life. As believers, we are encouraged to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and it can be a daunting task.
One has to dig a little, but the bible does lay out the framework of how we are made and how different minds indwell us and fight for dominance.
- Unbelievers possess two minds: their soulish mind and the unrenewed spirit mind. They can also have demon spirits inside of them (which also have minds) and be influenced by external demons and the Holy Spirit. Do the math: that’s five minds at work; two, maybe three indwelling and two (or more) external that can implant thoughts in the soulish mind. The internal ones are the source of greater torment, which demands deliverance so that freedom can come.
- Born again man receives a new spirit, with a new, renewed spirit mind, and the person of the Holy Spirit comes and lives inside of us. Unfortunately, born again believers can still have demon spirits inside of them (they do not necessarily leave automatically; see this short video) and also be influenced by external demons. That’s still five minds minimally at work. Still, the new spirit mind and the mind of Christ inside of us (Holy Spirit) provide new avenues for transformation and winning the spiritual mind battles that were hopeless before salvation.
During our counseling sessions with clients, I am frequently amazed at how confused people are about the nature and progress of their “born again” experience. In this article, I want to clarify the issue and hopefully give hope to many who are struggling to understand why they cannot get a victory!
Let’ look at struggles the believer can face. The battle is in the soulish part of man.
The mind of Christ in us and the spirit mind are in one accord. The new spirit man wants to obey and be led by the Holy Spirit.
The soul (or carnal) mind is not born again but can be renewed and progressively become more like the spirit mind. It contains all of our memories and is the source of carnal thinking. The term “carnal” simply refers to the soul mind that is not subject to the law nor Spirit of God; it is not inherently evil or has to focus on evil thoughts.
The spirit mind will speak to this carnal mind if we are willing to listen.
Holy Spirit speaks to us to teach, comfort, encourage, exhort, and convict as necessary, always for our good.
Demon spirits can also put thoughts into the carnal mind. Their directive is to kill, steal, and destroy, so the thoughts stirred will be condemning, sin-focused, and backward-looking. Effective deliverance ministry offers the best option, so these negative and lying voices are now outside of us, and the volume will not be as intense.
That’s a lot of input to process, and we are directed and encouraged to get control of our thought life:
Phil 4:8 (NIV): 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.
Battlefield of the Mind
I had a client recently who had a history of being abused spiritually by several church leaders. Before the deliverance ministry session, I asked him an important question: “Have you forgiven them?” His response was, “I have, but when I see them or hear their name, I feel turmoil inside of me, so I don’t know if I have.”
We teach that forgiveness is a choice, a decision of your will, and when you do it, it is done. Therefore, the spirit mind, which has the mind of Christ, must continually remind the physical (soul) mind of this truth going forward, or else the merry go round may not stop!
After deliverance, we tell people they must be prepared for past memories and abuses to be stirred up. That is the time to step up and let the spirit man lead by having the spirit mind tell the soul mind to take all ungodly thoughts captive (2 Cor 10:5)! The physical mind in the soul is bombarded by thoughts, which then impacts the emotions.
The Bottom Line
We must choose to subject our soulish/carnal mind to the leading of the spirit mind, which is entirely in tune with the Holy Spirit within us. The spirit mind grows in knowledge and understanding of the things of God as we feed on the written Word.
We live in a world that wants us to be led by our carnal mind and emotions. If we subject our physical mind to the will of the spirit mind and are willing to be led by it, then good fruit will result! It is a lifelong process, this battle in the mind, of allowing our spirit mind to win in every situation.
When we are free from demonic strongholds and purposed to live according to the Spirit and not the flesh, then we will see more significant victories and blessings in our lives.
Now that you better understand the sources of thoughts, you should be better equipped to deal with them. If you are tormented, seek out deliverance.
After that, prepare and expect to engage in warfare when the demons seek to return to the house and stir up old memories about past abuses, betrayals, and failures.
Listen to, read, and watch solid teachings on how to more successfully wage and win the battles in your mind. God will not do it for you. He will not take away your thoughts. It’s up to you to take them captive by the grace and help of Holy Spirit.
There are plenty of excellent resources, and we recommend two classics:
- Battlefield of the Mind – Joyce Meyers
- Power Thoughts – Joyce Meyers
I hope this background might help you sort out what’s happening with your thought life so you can chart the best path forward to gain victory.