In spiritual warfare, the enemy’s point of attack is our hearts, or the hidden man of the heart referred to in 1 Peter 3:4. When the Bible speaks of our hearts, it is not just referring to our spirits, but all of the eternal parts of our being, the mind, spirit, and soul. These are parts of our being that live on after our physical bodies die. It is the heart of who we are, the core of our being. This heart is the soil where the seed of God’s word is planted, and the Holy Spirit resides.
Satan wants to keep that seed from growing by planting tares and weeds to choke it and keep it from receiving water and light. It is the heart he wants to corrupt because from our heart springs forth the life of God.
When life springs from our hearts, God’s seed gets planted in other people’s hearts. The energy of God that flows from our relationship with Him waters and shines a light on other men’s hearts, making them stronger, causing growth, multiplying God’s army, and growing His influence.
Satan is after our hearts to corrupt what God has planted there. We must be vigilant to guard ourselves against the many deceptions that the enemy throws at our minds and deny him entrance.
Proverbs 4:23 (ESV) Keep your heart with all vigilance for from it flow the springs of life.
Satan will bombard our minds with negative thoughts and sensual ideas to stir our emotions to the point of reaction. Emotional warfare is spiritual warfare. Thoughts and words are spiritual, so he pressures us with ungodly thoughts in the hope of us reacting with words and actions. It is our own words that defile us and allow Satan an entrance into our hearts.
Our words tell him where we are weak, where to focus his attacks, and whom he may devour. The devil roars in our minds like a lion, seeking whom he may devour. He is looking for those that open their mouth to show him where he can plant his seed. Once he gets seed into our hearts, he waters that seed with more thoughts until it produces the fruit of more words and actions. It is a devious and highly effective plan.
1 Peter 5:8 (ESV) Be sober minded, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
How do we guard our hearts and minds against his relentless attacks on our minds and emotions? Philippians 4 holds a vital key.
Philippians 4:6-9 (ESV) do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Being prayerful and thankful defends us against many of these attacks, but that is not enough. We must choose what we think. Satan will take us captive in our minds if we do not take negative thoughts captive and bring them into obedience to our revelation of Jesus Christ. Once our minds are captive, he has access to our hearts.
When the enemy roars the loudest in our minds, we must force ourselves to think about pure, praise-worthy, positive, and life-giving things. We can’t just think good thoughts; We then must give voice to those thoughts. This is the practice of “taking every thought captive to obey Christ.”
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