Bible Study: War in the Mind/Walking in the Spirit:
Subject: Walk in the Spirit
Scripture Reading: (Romans 8:2-4)
The mind is the battlefield between you and the devil.
1. We are engaged in a war, our enemy is Satan, and our mind is the battlefield.
2. The devil works diligently to set up strongholds in our mind.
3. He does it through strategy and deceit (well-laid plans & deliberate deception). He is in no hurry; he takes no time and works out his plan.
4. Thank God we have weapons to tear down strongholds. God is on our side. God is fighting for us.
a). The Mind is a Battlefield:
A war is raging, and your mind is the battlefield. Worry, doubt, confusion, depression, anger, and feelings of condemnation … all of these are attacks on the mind. If you suffer from negative thoughts, take heart! For 20 years Joyce’s book Battlefield of the Mind has helped millions win these battles and over the next 20 days, we are going to encourage you to learn to choose your own thoughts rather than letting the enemy fill your mind full of things that will destroy you. We must be responsible for our own thoughts and words because they produce our actions.
For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who
are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Ephesians 6:12
There is a war going on, and your mind is the battlefield. But the good news is, God is fighting on your side.
The Devil knows what we like and what we don’t like. He knows our insecurities, our weakness, and our fears. He is willing to invest any amount of time it takes to defeat us. One of the devil’s strong points is patience.
Through careful strategy and cunning deceit, Satan attempts to setup “strongholds” in our mind.
STRONGHOLDS are REAL!
A stronghold is an area in which we are held in bondage due to a certain way of thinking. The devil argues with us; he offers us theories and reasonings. All of this activity goes on in the mind.
b). Do you have the mind of Christ?
The process of renewing our minds can take time, and we will certainly make mistakes along the way. But the Bible tells us that we are a “new creation” and that we have the “mind of Christ.” So be confident that God will help you as we continue to learn how to think what He wants us to think.
For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart. [Isa. 40: 13] Corinthians 2:16
You are in a battle, but you are not alone – for all God’s people fight this same fight. We are all in it together.
c). Think Positive:
Positive minds produce positive lives. Negative minds produce negative lives. Positive thoughts are always full of faith and hope. Negative thoughts are always full of fear and doubt. Each, and every day you have a choice to make … choose to be positive.
Then to the centurion Jesus said, Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed. And the servant boy was restored to health at that moment. Matthew 8:13
Whatever happens – trust in the Lord and be positive!
You Can Enjoy Your Life – Every Day!
THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT:
Have you ever taken an inventory of your thought life? It can be a very valuable exercise. In Ephesians 4, we’re told to put off our old nature and put on the new nature. But how do we do that? The answer is in verse 23: And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind … That’s why it’s so important that we learn how to think things on purpose.
I will meditate on Your precepts and have respect to Your ways [the paths of life marked out by Your law]. Psalm 119:15
Let’s Walk in the Spirit:
If you want to be a success and to prosper in all your dealings, the Bible says you must meditate on God’s Word Day and night. Living with Hope that Never Disappoints
Do you have hope for your future? Or do you generally expect negative or disappointing things to happen? Learn to become a prisoner of hope!
We need a new life to walk in the Spirit of God. We need a new life, new birth, because we cannot walk a holy life without God’s Holy Spirit. We must be born-again as Jesus explained to Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews (John 3:1-2). This new life is the new birth, born of God. We are new creatures in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior, (2 Corinthians 5:17). We gain a new heart when we are born-again of God’s Spirit. How are we born-again? We are born-again byGod’s Holy Spirit. Jesus also explained this to Nicodemus in (John 3:4-6), as stated by Jesus himself.
All kinds of people come to faith in Christ. Some are rich, some poor. Some are attractive, others not. Some are athletes, others nonathletic. The family of God is very diverse . . . a mosaic of different nationalities, personality types, and talents. Yet each one of us is special to God. Even if we don’t feel very special, we are. To God, we are. No matter what earthly things we bring with us when we come to Christ (whether good or bad), God has a plan to change us for the better. We must understand, however, that this is primarily an inward change at the heart level. While all of us might wish to be more attractive or more athletic (or any one of several other things we might wish for), that is not what matters the most to God. He is primarily concerned about our character. It may turn out that in the course of time, God makes us more talented or develops our skills in a certain area. But the change that He is most interested in concerns our inner person. God’s desire is to make us more like Jesus Christ. Colossians 3:9-14 tells us that we now have a “new self” which is being renewed: “. . . to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him . . .. So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” When we come to God, we come just as we are . . . warts and all. We may have been a very moral person (by humans 9 standards) or we may have been on a very sinful path leading to self-destruction, but we are no longer that person we used to be. In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we are told, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” Regardless of what our morality may have looked like beforehand, the truth is that all of us were sinners who needed a Savior. We stood condemned before a Holy God, and it is only because of His grace that we were shown mercy. Now God is pleased to call us His “beloved.” Having come to God through faith in Christ, He is now ready to begin an overhaul project with us. He will work in our life (and it will be a lifelong process!) to chip away at the rough places as He conforms us into the image of Christ. This means God is going to make us holy. We cannot make ourselves holy, but God works to make us more Christ-like, and in doing so He makes us more holy. This is not something we can do for ourselves (we don’t have the power in ourselves to do that). Rather it is a growth process. Let me illustrate. When we were born physically, we needed good nourishment and exercise to grow physically and develop a healthy body. Similarly, our spiritual new birth should result in spiritual growth. Once again, we need good nourishment (through reading the Bible and listening to good Bible teachers), and we need exercise (opportunities to exercise our faith and act upon what God is teaching us). In addition, God gives us a new source of power to respond to Him in obedience. This power comes from the Holy Spirit (discussed in Topic 5). As we believe God and cooperate with His Holy Spirit, we grow spiritually. To sum up, as a new Christian you are already clean in God’s sight. Because you have exercised faith in Christ, God has done two very important things for you. First, He has forgiven all your sin for all time. Second, He has given you the righteousness of Christ. In Philippians 3:9 the Apostle Paul spoke about this gift of righteousness when he described His joy in being “found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith.” Paul was describing in this verse His positional righteousness, how God viewed him. Even though we are forgiven and possess a righteous standing in God’s eyes, He desires to transform us practically into the image of Christ. So, my new image is Christ: I now have His righteousness and God is at work in my life to transform me by making me more Christ-like.
I Renewed Heart:
Ezekiel 36:26: Birth of a new spirit
John 1:13: Of Divine origin
John 3:3: Essential to spiritual vision
2 Corinthians 5:17: A new creation
Titus 3:5: Necessary to Salvation
I Peter 1:23: By the Word of God
I John 5:1: Obtained by Faith
Ezekiel 11:9: New man
Ephesians 2:15, 4:24
II Raised from Spiritual Death
III Strengthened and Renewed by the Holy Spirit
2 Corinthians 4:16:
An Essential Means of Transformation: The Renewal of Your Mind
And in Romans 12:2 Paul now focuses on one essential means of transformation — “the renewal of your mind.” “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” Oh, how crucial this is!
If you long to break loose from conformity to the world, if you long to be transformed and new from the inside out, if you long to be free from mere duty-driven Christianity and do what you love to do because what you love to do is what you ought to do, if you long to offer up your body as a living sacrifice so that your whole life becomes a spiritual act of worship and displays the worth of Christ above the worth of the world, then give yourself with all your might to pursuing this — the renewal of your mind. Because the Bible says, this is the key to transformation. “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind.”
2 Corinthians 5:7, 10:3-6, Romans 8:4-5, Ephesians 4:23, 6:10-18, 1 Corinthians 2:16,
Isaiah 40:13-14, Psalm 119:15-16, John 3:1-2, 4-6, Colossians 3:9-14-16,
Philippians 3:9 Galatians 6:15-16.
QUESTIONS: Week # 1
1). Explain the mind is a battlefield.
2). Name of the emotions that comes with this battle in the mind.
3). Look up the word stronghold and explain.
4). Read Philippians 2:5, Isaiah 40:13, I Corinthians 2:16.
5). How can we train our minds to think positive?
6). Have you ever taken an inventory of your thinking? Explain.to
7). We are told to put off the old nature and put on the new nature, how do we do this?
8). Read Psalm 119:15
9). What is walking in the Spirit?
10). Read John 3:1-2, II Corinthians 5:17, John 3:4-6, Colossians 3:9-16.
11). Have you ever taken an inventory of your thought life?
12). Read again the Scripture references.
13). What is a satanic attack?
14). What are Satan’s objectives?
15). What are Satan’s strategies?
16). What is our greatest defense against the devil?
Weekly Reading: Lesson # 1 (Romans 1-3) Monday-Wednesday-Friday