Advertisers know that the way to your pocketbook is through your mind. They spend millions on advertising to get you interested in their products. Likewise, Satan wants to interest you in sin without telling you the end result. But the Holy Spirit is given to us to deliver us from the power of sin. To help us, He often reminds us of Scripture and the lessons taught in the Scripture, but we must listen.
As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:4, 5, this is a war for our minds. A key word in this verse is “argument.” Our minds are capable of all kinds of arguments, sophistries, and imaginations. Let’s look at some of them.
I. DOUBTFUL MIND (Luke 12:29)
When Satan questioned Eve in the Garden of Eden, he caused her to doubt. We read that God said to Eve, “You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die” (Gen. 3:3). But the serpent tempted Eve, saying, “You will not surely die” (verse 4).
Satan is the master liar, and he will wreck your mind if you let him. He will distort your thought patterns and destroy your confidence in God. He will try to make you think that God is against you and that all your troubles are coming from God. He wants you to think that God has let you down, that God is blessing others but not blessing you. He wants you to be unhappy with your lot in life and blame God for your problems. Basically, he wants you to doubt God’s love for you. We must guard against a doubtful mind!
In Matthew 14, we read about Peter walking on the water. When he took his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink. Jesus said to him “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” Keeping your eyes on Jesus and being thankful for His blessings will help you to “keep the faith.”
II. BLINDED MIND (2 Cor. 4:3, 4)
Satan blinds us with all kinds of lies—evolution, situational ethics, cults, world religions, and so on. College-age young people are often susceptible to these lies because they have relatively little life experience and are often not very knowledgeable about the Bible. This makes them easy prey for the intellectualism offered by many secular teachers.
Sometimes people experience horrible things. Satan will suggest to them that God is to blame for not stopping these tragedies. Sin can also blind our minds to the truth of God’s Word. Each sin is like a brick in the wall between you and God. Your mind becomes blocked off from God’s truth. The key to victory is to be willing to come to the light. Let yourself be exposed to the light of the Word of God. Then the image of God will shine on you, and faith will be given to you.
III. CLOSED MIND (2 Tim. 3:7)
Some people spend years in school learning many unimportant things, none of which will bring lasting happiness. Because of sin, their minds are closed to the truth (John 3:20). Sadly, the picture we see is of Christ standing outside trying to offer life and grace to closed minds (Rev. 3:20).
To fully understand the truth of spiritual things, we must first come to the Savior, confessing our sins and inviting Jesus into our hearts. Then the Spirit of God will become our Teacher.
IV. RENEWED MIND (Eph. 4:23)
Because of our sinful nature and the choices we made before we became Christians, our minds need to be renewed after we are saved. We need to surrender our minds to Christ.
On occasion I have heard it said that someone “brought a lot of baggage” into a relationship. Similarly, all of us bring baggage to our Christian walk with the Lord. The Bible says, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2). We need a transformation, something only God can do. How does He do it? Paul gives us the answer: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Rom. 10:17).
V. REPROBATE MIND (Rom. 1:28)
What is a reprobate mind? A reprobate mind has a vanishing conscience. A reprobate mind feels no regret over committed sins. A reprobate mind resents Christ and His Church. A reprobate mind lacks sensitivity to the conviction of the Holy Spirit. In other words, a reprobate mind willfully rejects the claims of Christ and the good news of the Gospel. It is apathetic and indifferent to the witness of the Church. A reprobate mind is in great danger. Such people may imagine new religions or theories that explain away the God they do not want to acknowledge. These people are not only headed for hell, but they will bring others with them if they do not repent.
VI. SPIRITUAL MIND (1 Cor. 2:14-16)
What is Christ’s mind like? It loves lost souls (Luke 19:10). It directs one to do things that please the Father (John 8:29). It wants to do the Father’s will (John 5:30). It is humble (John. 13:3- 5; 12-17). It is loving (1 John 3:16).
VII. HEALTHY MIND (2 Tim. 1:7; Isa. 26:3)
If we look carefully at these verses, we see that a sound, healthy mind has inward peace. Inner peace comes from having a right relationship with God. To have a right relationship with God, we must guard against impure thoughts.
We need minds that are guarded against doubt, discouragement, pride, and impure thoughts.
General Conference Ministerial Association