In spiritual warfare, the enemy attacks us in our minds to gain entrance to our hearts. It is the heart he wants to corrupt because from our heart spring forth the life of God.
Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all vigilance for from it flow the springs of life.
Satan will bombard our minds with negative thoughts and carnal ideas to stir our emotions to the point of reaction. Make no mistake, emotional warfare is spiritual warfare. Thoughts are spiritual. Words are spiritual. His plan is to pressures us with thoughts to the point of reacting with our words. It is our own words that plant his corrupt seeds in our hearts and the hearts of others.
Our words tell him where we are weak, where to focus his attacks, and whom he may devour. As the devil roars in our minds like a lion, he is seeking whom he may devour. He is looking for those that open their mouth to 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 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 from his relentless attacks on our minds an emotions? Philippians holds the key.
Philippians 4:6-9 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 these attacks, but that is not enough. We must choose what we think about. If we do not take negative thoughts captive and bring them into obedience to our revelation of Jesus Christ, Satan will take us captive.
When the enemy is roaring the loudest, we must force ourselves to think on things that are pure, praiseworthy, positive and life giving, and give voice to those thoughts. This is the practice of “taking every thought captive to obey Christ.”
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
When we practice this, we have a promise that God will be present with us to guard our hearts and minds with His peace.
It is interesting that the part of God’s armor that protects our hearts is worn on our feet.
Ephesians 6:15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
I asked the Lord years ago, “why is peace on our feet?” He then asked me a question. “Why do you put shoes on Jack?” I said, “to protect my feet.” The Lord said, “peace is to protect your walk.”
One of the main things the army teaches you in boot camp is that you must be diligent to protect your feet. If your feet are not in good shape, your ability to fight is limited, your mobility is compromised, your effectiveness is limited, and often you require help from other soldiers to transport you and protect you, taking them away from their assignment.
It is much worse in spiritual warfare. When our heart is wounded, hardened, jealous, bitter, resentful, or self-seeking. We not only become prey for the enemy, but a weapon he can use to hurt others. James 3 tells us how serious this is.
James 3:13-17 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.
When selfishness, bitterness, and jealousy gain entrance to our hearts, it will come out in our words and actions. When that happens, we become a landing strip for demonic activity.
Guarding our mouth is a huge part of guarding our hearts. Words have creative or destructive power. Words can minister grace, peace and life, or they can minister death and invite demonic activity. When we give voice to thoughts that the enemy is attacking our minds with, we take that evil seed and plant it in our hearts.
The entire Bible is replete with passages warning us and encouraging us about the power of our words. Here are just a few.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Whatever we give ourselves to talking about, we will eat the fruit of.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
We can minister God’s grace with our words.
Matthew 12:37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.
Proverbs 13:3 Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
James 1:26 If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.
If we don’t take thoughts captive, we won’t be able to keep a bridle on our tongues, and we deceive our own hearts. It does not say “the devil deceived our hearts.” WE are responsible for the deception we are in if we don’t keep a reign on our tongue. This is the devil’s ultimate goal, to get us to willingly use our own words to bring about the corruption and defilement of our own hearts. When this happens, our religion is worthless.
Matthew 15:16-20 And he said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled? 18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. 20 These are what defile a person. But to eat with unwashed hands does not defile anyone.”
Words are what defiles us and words come from the heart. Our hearts must be protected at all costs. We must be prayerful, thankful, peaceful, and careful with words. If our heart is at peace, we can easily fend off the enemy’s demonic attacks against our minds.
“Words are seeds that do more than blow around.
They land in our hearts and not on the ground.
Be careful what you plant and be careful what you say.
You might have to eat what you planted one day.” -Unknown
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