The Problem of the Battle for the Mind Many people are seeking for peace of mind. The fact that this is a pressing problem is shown by the demand for every book written on this subject. That the problem is very real is also shown by statistics concerning mental illness. Today there are hundreds of thousands of patients in mental hospitals or who are considered to have mental illness. Many of the patients in the hospitals are suffering from some form of mental illness according to many specialists. Whether this is accurate or not, it is still evident that many lack "healing" for the mind because of the lack of "healing for the soul." Back of the problem is the battle for the mind. The basis of the problem for the many who suffer today is the problem of wrong thinking. Someone has cleverly stated", "You are not what you think you are; but what you think, you are." Emerson said, " A man is what he thinks about all day long." This fact is also clearly set forth in the Scriptures where it is written that a man is as he thinks in his heart. (Proverbs 23:7) It becomes evident that a person's thoughts will control his life. One of the famous books used by some who labor in counseling today is the book titled... "Telling Yourself The Truth" and the companion book... "Telling Others the Truth". We do not readily tell ourselves the truth. It is easy to deceive ourselves in manipulation in the mind. We play many mental games by which we side-track the truth about ourselves. This is one of the reasons why many people find it so difficult to change, or to face the truth about sin in the life. Many of our members of fundamental churches across the U.S. have become spiritual dropouts. Many did not lose out because of a return to secularism or necessarily because of becoming a victim to sensualism, but they simply became bitter in the battle. They lost the battle for the mind. The mind has been likened to the room of a house where visitors are entertained. All the visitors to one's three-fold being come in through the mind. They first enter the mind, then drop down into the spirit and get root, then possess the whole man. Thoughts are bold and daring things, and strong and persistent. Like armed men they force themselves into the mind. They come enticingly, insinuatingly; them come threateningly. And they come in a thousand different ways. The come singly, they come in droves; some times they keep up a din and chatter and strain the nerves and chill the heart. A thought knocks at the door of the mind. It is admitted and entertained, then passion enter the mind, and soon possesses the whole being and leads it to sin and shame. I. The General Condition: The natural state of the mind of man is contrary to the will of God. He cannot accept the things of the Spirit of God unless God works in His heart and life. It is the things of the Spirit of God which bring peace of mind and heart. Therefore the inability of man's mind to grasp that which brings his healing makes it necessary for the person to be saved, or regenerated. The mind must be changed for it is contrary and only obeys the things of sin. (Romans 8:5-7) The result of the natural state of the mind is that man becomes occupied with earthly things. He is unable to lift his thoughts above the troublesome matters of everyday life. It is well to note that this is one of the factors which make a man in his natural state unfit for heaven. His mind is entirely taken up with material concepts and this would cause him to be extremely unhappy were he to be in heaven in his natural state. People who are Christians are often derided by those who are not saved, and are accused of not being "right in the head." But just the opposite is true. The Prodigal son when he came to himself, decided, "I will go back to my father and home." In other word it is the person who is out of right relationship with God who is beside himself. An interesting story is told of a girl who became the butt of criticism by her friends after she had trusted Christ as her Savior. Among other things, they told her that she was "cracked in the head." Her swift rejoinder was, "If I am cracked in the head, that must be where the light got in." We must be "born from above" for the mind is naturally in darkness and obeys the path of sin. II. The Glorious Facts: 1. The Mind must be Controlled:In the healing for the mind, in the battle for the mind there must of necessity be a controlled mind. The Bible is very clear about this. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of a sound mind. (II Tim. 1:7) When we "gird up the mind" we have here an Oriental figure. (I Pet. 1:13) It is that of a man with a long flowing garment which would impeded any swift progress if he did not gather it up, and tie the loose ends about his waist. The application to the mind is that person is to gather up the loose ends of his thinking. Instead of allowing his thoughts to run thither and yon he is to gather them in and keep them under his control. If the Christians does not control his thoughts he will find the enemy of the soul, Satan, encroaching upon him to insert thoughts which bring unrest, sin and despair. Many people, through lack of control of the mind, leave themselves open for the "broken record" experience. You have heard of a phonograph record on which the needle remains in the same groove, resulting in the continuous repetition of just a few words or thoughts, Nothing is more distressing than to have in the mind the constant repetition of some thought or some idea and be unable to dismiss it from the thinking. In the text of II Cor. 10:3-5 the Word of God warns us about "imaginations, and thoughts." It is so easy to have negative thought patterns of 1). Evil thoughts, Matt 15:19 (later we will have a lesson just dealing with evil thoughts.) 2) anxious thoughts , Phil. 4:6,7; and 3) unfounded imaginations. Many Christians are unaware and unarmed for this area of battle. 2. The Mind Must Be Renewed: Daily the mind can be renewed only to the extent that we saturate it with the Word of God. Most of have heard volumes of sermons, yet the knowledge of spiritual truth can be so meager. Is it because we have a mind renewed daily to retain the things of the world and we do not work to retain spiritual truths? Could it be that we have not surrendered the mind to the Holy Spirit to control. Could it be that we have clarity of mind with regard to things of the Word, but little interest in the things of God? Romans 12:1,2 must be a reality of the life. A deliberate choice must be made to remove the mind from the realm of the natural and from the control of Satan and bring it into the realm of the spiritual and under the influence of God and the Word of God. (Rom. 8:5-16) This correction of the renewing of the mind is not one which can be performed once for all, however, but it is a continuing daily process. It must be continued action with a determination to daily seek to walk in close fellowship with the Lord as we study and mediate upon His Word. 3. The Mind Must be Disciplined:Again I Peter 1:13 comes into play here, maybe even more so here than in the earlier point. To gird up the mind takes determination, discipline and desire. It takes effort. For this to take place the mind must be occupied with the right things. "Want of occupation is not rest. A mind quite vacant is a mind distressed!!" In Phil. 4:8 we are told of the things upon which we ought to think. Such practice will help us bring about a disciplined mind. We live in a very undisciplined age, so none of us find it easy to have "every thought brought unto obedience" to our Lord. And this cannot take place without the heart and mind becoming totally saturated with the Scriptures. 4. The Mind Can Be At Peace: The peace and tranquility of the mind depends upon all the foregoing factors. If we are to be set free from worldly, sinful obsessions and from the oppression that sin brings and Satan would work in our lives, it depends upon victory in the mental areas of our lives. In Him is peace, for Christ is our peace. But this will never be a reality without the mind being under HIS control. "Thou will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is staid on Thee." CONCLUSIONS: 1. We need the "mind of Christ", which means to think His thoughts. (Phil 2:5) When we determine to allow the Word of God to permeate our lives, and life becomes the "outliving of the in living" WORD, (James 1:19) then we will have victory in the area of the mind. 2. As Christ suffered for us in the flesh, we are to "arm ourselves likewise with the same mind". (I Pet. 4:1) We must think through the importance of our life being totally yielded to Christ. It is in the mind that the resolves of dedication and surrender must begin. This will bring result in the actions of the will.