by Allison Martin
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
I Peter 5:8
Does anyone else ever ask yourself the most ridiculous “what if” questions? I’m adept at creating scenarios in my head that will probably never happen, and then worrying about: What if I walk outside and my car’s been stolen? What if I drop my phone down the curb drainage grate? What if this crazy cat that always tries to get in my house actually succeeds, and I can’t catch him? Okay, so the cat situation isn’t that far fetched. Me and that cat really don’t get along.
But I’ve got another “what if” that I want you to consider. I’ll paint the setting for you: You’ve just rolled out of bed, and stopped in the kitchen long enough to make your morning coffee. As you open up your Bible to start your devotions, you hear it. Rustling. Around the doorway, your peripheral vision catches a glimpse of something that looks like an animal. A big one. What if you woke up to a lion in your house?
Even though it’s a ridiculous question, we can imagine our response. Our senses would immediately be on high alert. We would be searching for a weapon, or protection of some kind. Most of us would be calling for help, and I doubt we would be waiting around inside for help to come.
We would never be content to just try and survive while living with such a dangerous predator. Who can predict the destruction that could result from a lion roaming free in your house? It may leave you to live your peaceful life for a while, but rest assured that the wild will eventually come out. You, and everyone around you, is at risk when there’s a lion on the loose. I don’t know of anyone who would continue their daily routine as usual if they awoke to realize they were keeping company with a lion - at least, a physical one.
We know our enemy sometimes terrorizes “as a roaring lion”. (1 Peter 5:8) His craft is not always subtle. At times his roar is both deafening and intimidating. Satan’s most brazen lies and boldest attacks are in the hidden battlefield of our thoughts.
We stay on guard over areas of our lives like what we watch, read, and listen to because we realize the real possibility of Satan using those things against us. Yet we often ignore the hidden battlefield of our thoughts, where a life and death battle is raging.
When we neglect to fight the war for our mind, we have usually believed one of two lies: either that our thought life is not a spiritual battle, or that we are powerless to fight it.
A search into Scripture will shed light on the truth. It matters how you think, because your thoughts affect who you will become.
God wouldn’t give us an arsenal of weapons we didn’t need, and He definitely wouldn’t give us any that didn’t work.
Satan’s attacks on our mind are destructive and debilitating. They crush faith, breed doubt, and create despair. He tells us we can’t do anything, or that it wouldn’t matter if we did. These lies paint a bleak picture of our future, telling us that things will never get better, and they just might get worse. He rehearses our past hurts again and again, while never reminding us of the blessing that came from them or the lessons we learned. We are left feeling not enough, and at the same time too much. Not pretty enough, talented enough, or spiritual enough. Too broken, too needy, too much baggage. Sound familiar?
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that these thoughts are every bit as dangerous to your work for God as a lion roaming loose in your house.
For too long we have allowed the enemy’s voice to run us ragged and discourage us from reaching our potential.
I think we would be surprised how many of our friends live in captivity to the lies they have believed about themselves. It’s time we fought back.
My goal today isn’t to provide all the answers. There are experienced women of faith, pastors and pastor’s wives, counselors and teachers who have much more wisdom in this than I do. My prayer is simply that you would realize the need to win this battle. My goal is to spark inspiration for you to study the Word and find out what God has to say about the war for our mind, and how to live in victory.
For those held captive, I want to give you hope that it doesn’t have to be this way.
You aren’t resigned to a life of failure and defeat.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul gives us a plan of action: “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ”. Every thought. That’s a tall order. Anything that doesn’t reflect truth has to go. Be as vigilant with what you allow your thought to dwell on as you would walking through a dark parking lot. Will it be easy? Never. Can we do it? Not in ourselves. But His Spirit can. Don’t settle for living a life dominated by the roar of the enemy. Fight the battles to win the war for your mind. Freedom is always worth the fight.