“The temper of the mind is tremendous in its effects; it is the enemy that penetrates right into the soul and distracts the mind from God.”—Oswald Chambers
To be grounded in thinking is to be grounded in our identity. The question we must ask ourselves is whose identity are we grounded in—the identity that comes from the mind of Christ within or the identity the comes from the world, the flesh, and the devil? The only way to function from the identity of Christ is to have the Life of Christ within you, but just because Christ is within us does not mean we are grounded in His thinking and therefore releasing His Life.
The mind is the action center of thought, which releases either Life (Mind of Christ) or death (mind of self). Whose life are you releasing?
Proverbs 23:7 tells us that “As he thinks within himself, so he is.” To put it another way—where the mind goes, one is sure to follow. And we know that “The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6).
Fear is the enemy of Faith penetrating our souls and distracting us from our faith in Christ Jesus, and feelings are what the enemy uses to produce fear in us to keep us from walking in and after our Faith. If we do not learn to “take every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 10:5), then those very thoughts will take us captive and become what we obey.
The Word of God tells us that we are to “present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice to God,” and “be not conformed to this world but transformed by the renewing of our minds” (Romans 12:1-2). When we present our bodies and renew our minds after the enticements of the world, the flesh, or the devil, we are quickly carried away to do their bidding birthing sin and death.
“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” (James 1:14-15)
Conformity, whether to the world, the flesh, and the devil, or to Christ within, transpires with the renewing of the mind. We can renew our minds around the mind of Christ within or around “everything that raises itself against the knowledge of God.” When we renew or adjust our minds to the mind of Christ within, true transformation takes place. So then taking every thought captive unto the obedience of Christ Jesus, and renewing the mind is something we do daily—all day long.
“And He was saying to them all, ‘If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily [every day, all day long] and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). If we desire to come after Jesus, we must deny our fleshly thoughts as well as the thoughts and feelings that come from the enemy, take up our cross (suffering the flesh by putting it to death) and follow the mind of Christ within all day long.
If you look at each one of the temptations that Jesus faced in the wilderness (Matthew 4), you will find that He always responded to the temptation and the tempter (Satan) with the Word of God—“It is written…” He submitted to His Father, resisted the temptation of the enemy with the Sword of the Spirit (Word of God), and the enemy fled from His presence just as he will flee ours when we wield our Spiritual weapon (James 4:7).
Hebrews 4:12 tells us “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” The Word of God is powerful, and when it goes out from Christ it does not return to Him empty but accomplishes His will (Isaiah 55:11), but we must always be alert and ready, for the enemy is always on the prowl seeking whom he may devour with his own words—powerful words that can penetrate the soul when allowed to enter.
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3 NJKV)
Peter is a great example of what Perfect Peace can accomplish in the life of a man when his mind is stayed on Christ within. By keeping his eyes and mind stayed on Jesus, Peter was able to do the impossible—walk on water. That is the Power within each born-again, indwelt believer. But as soon we set our minds on the cares of this world, we walk out from under the Shield of Faith, and like Peter, we sink.
“Be aware of ‘the cares of this world,’ because they are the things that produce a wrong temper of soul.”—Oswald Chambers
The Shield of Faith, which covers the child of Faith, is the Faith of Jesus Christ. Under the Shield of Faith, we are fully protected from the arrows of our enemies. If, while under the Shield an arrow penetrates, it is permitted by our Loving Father to accomplish His good in and through us (Romans 8:28). But when we temporarily walk out from under the Shield of Faith, we become vulnerable to all the enemy’s arrows, including the ones the Lord never intended to touch us, for His Shield would surely have extinguished them.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, AND HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:10-17).
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV).
Victory in our thinking comes by choosing Jesus. “For we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16), therefore we can operate from the mind of Christ, provided Christ is within us, and release His life to do the Living through us every day all day long. Choose Life and Live!