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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

January 23, 2013 - The Battle for the Mind

By Kenneth D. Barney

To move a man to action you have to influence his thinking. Sometimes you must change it. Every deed has its origin in the mind, which explains the fierce struggle raging today for the control of men's thoughts.

When I was a prisoner of war in Romania during World War II, we used to laugh at some of the foolish things the local people told us about the war. We knew they were wrong, but they had only the Nazi version of events in their news media, and they were quite convinced it was true.

Make no mistake about it, Christian; the devil is forever trying to change your way of thinking. In a multitude of ways he seeks to bombard your thought processes and make an opening for his message. He uses everything — literature, music, people, anything or anybody that might serve as a suitable instrument.

Even as a little leaven changes the whole character of the dough into which it is placed, so a little thought or attitude can start changes in motion that will affect one's entire destiny. I would like to mention a few of the kinds of "mind" against which God's children must constantly be on guard.

The Agitated Mind
"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind" (2 Thessalonians 2:1,2, KJV).

With all of our alertness to the signs of the times, we must not allow ourselves to become so upset by world events that we lose our spiritual composure. It is not wholesome to dwell on the world's evils until our minds become paralyzed with fear. We must recognize that what is happening is under God's control and is indeed anticipated by His wise plan. We must hold to the blessed promise of Isaiah 26:3: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."

The Undiscriminating Mind
Call it the "gullible mind" if you wish. It lets in every thought without examining it to see whether it is wholesome or deadly. How powerful are the words of Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; it there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."

The Lazy Mind
Paul went from Thessalonica to Berea, and it is said that the Bereans "were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind" (Acts 17:11). The word "readiness" means "alacrity or liveliness." This is the kind of mind Christians must develop.

We do not learn the ways of God by coasting along and taking the path of least resistance. We must put in the effort to hide the Word of God in our hearts. Peter urged God's people to "gird up" the loins of their minds (1 Peter 1:13), which means the same as, "Roll up the sleeves of your mind." We do not progress spiritually by putting our brain in neutral and letting our thoughts coast wherever they will.

The Tolerant Mind
The tolerant mind considers nothing to be bad. It does not know the word "evil." It has no convictions and takes no stand against anything — or for anything. Paul spoke of such people when he wrote, "And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind" (Romans 1:28).

In 1 Timothy 4:2, Paul speaks of those whose conscience is "seared with a hot iron." When flesh is seared, it becomes insensitive. When spiritual and moral sensitivity are gone, there is no limit to the distance the individual may travel downhill.

The Secret of Victory
We are not to submit meekly to the devil's overtures, and we need not have our minds corrupted by the poisonous moral atmosphere of these days. If there is one passage of Scripture that gives us the antidote in a few words, it is Matthew 22:37: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."

A mind occupied with God and full of love for Him will offer no shelter to the unseen vultures of hell that carry the enemy's filth for deposit in human brains. As powerful as the enemy's thought-control machinery is, never forget that you, and you alone, make the final decision about your thoughts. You are the discriminator, the arbiter, the watchman at the mental gate. The question is, "How much do you want to please God?" When that question is answered with affirmation, the main battle is over.

— Adapted from "The Battle for the Mind" by Kenneth D. Barney, originally published in the July 6, 1969, Pentecostal Evangel.



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