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  • Becky Carriker

Sunday, 6/9/2024

Winning the Battle for Your Mind

Romans 12:1-2 (ESV) I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect

A violent battle is raging around us twenty-four seven

Your greatest asset is your mind.

Whatever gets your mind gets you

The battle against sin always starts in the mind.

2 Corinthians 10:3–5 (ESV) For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 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,

Galatians 5:16-24 (ESV) But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 

A stronghold can be one of two things: a worldview and/or a personal attitude

Take captive: “to control, to conquer, to bring into submission.” 

1) Don’t Believe Everything You Think

Confused: 1 Corinthians 14:33 (ESV)For God is not a God of confusion but of peace. 

Anxious: Matthew 6:25a (ESV) “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life,…

Philippians 4:6a (ESV) do not be anxious about anything,…

Evil and hostile: Ezekiel 38:10 (ESV) “Thus says the Lord GOD: On that day, thoughts will come into your mind, and you will devise an evil scheme. Colossians 1:21 (ESV) And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 

Our minds are broken by sin.

Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” 

All sin begins with a lie

1 John 1:8 “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

2) Guard Your Mind from Garbage

Proverbs 15:14: “A wise person is hungry for knowledge, while the fool feeds on trash”

Psalm 101:3 says, “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.” 

Philippians 4:6–8Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 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.”

The first way you guard your heart and mind is “in everything” to pray

Second, we should fix our thoughts. 

Don’t merely resist it; replace it

3) Never Let Up on Learning

Matthew 11:28–29Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me”. 

But if you are going to really learn, you need one quality in particular: humility. Why does God resist the proud and give grace to the humble (1 Peter 5:5)? Because the humble are teachable. I would rather admit that I don’t know it all than to pretend that I know it all and not learn. You can learn from anybody.

Proverbs 18:15 “The mind of a smart person is eager to get knowledge and the wise person listens to learn more.” 

Proverbs 10:14 “Wise men store up knowledge”.

1) Knowledge 2) Wisdom 3) Conviction 4) Character 5) Skill

Hosea 4:6, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” 

You don’t really know something until you apply it

Mark 12:24 (ESV) Jesus said to them, “Is this not the reason you are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God?”.

2) Wisdom: Wisdom is perspective. It is seeing from God’s perspective. 

Isaiah 55:8-9 (ESV) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. 9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

Psalm 103:7 (KJV) He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

In knowledge, the goal is to know the Word of God; but in perspective, the goal is to have the mind of God as much as possible

1 Corinthians 2:14-15 But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. 15  Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.

3) Conviction

Conviction is not opinion. Opinion is something you argue about; conviction is something you die for. 

“[Nothing] . . . will be able to separate us from the love of God” (Romans 8:39).

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Romans 8:28–29).

“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). 

“I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day” (2 Timothy 1:12 KJV). 

4) Character: the sum total of our habits is what we can call “character.” 

5) Skill

Ecclesiastes 10:10 says, “If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success”

James 1:22 “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only”

Isaiah 26:3 “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” 

4) Let God Stretch Your Imagination

Proverbs 29:18 Without vision people run wild, but one who follows divine instruction will be happy. 

Ephesians 3:20 “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,” 


“T” stands for test every thought. Psalm 139:23–24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” 

“H” stands for helmet your head. “Take the helmet of salvation” (Ephesians 6:17). 

I” stands for imagine great thoughts

“N” stands for nourish a godly mind. Psalm 119:15 says, “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.” 

“K” stands for keep on learning. “Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress” (1 Timothy 4:15). 

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