The Discipline of the Mind.

((from Bridget))

It was the spring of 1995.  I was entering my senior year of undergrad and I was applying to medical school.  Back in the day, we were given a blank sheet of white paper and on it we were to write our “personal statement.”  This page was our opportunity to appeal to the medical school admissions committee as to why we were their best choice for the incoming class of medical students.

One page of persuasion.  One page of explanation.  One page of compelling evidence.  One page and I opened with this:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.  Romans 12:1-2

My academic advisor was against it.  He thought it was risky, unnecessary, and a “waste of space on the page.”  I did it anyways, as I knew it was right for me, and I got in!

I am convicted as I reread these verses that I am still working on this issue of renewing my mind even today.  God Help!  The passage of scripture that I am currently wrestling through is found in 2 Corinthians:

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.  2 Corn 10: 3-6

This week we were asked to share about an area of discipline in our life.  Discipline is any act of training that corrects, molds, or perfects one’s mental faculties or moral character.  Discipline is synonymous with the spiritual fruit of self-control.  Discipline can be hard for me friends.  The struggle is REAL.

I intentionally asked to write about the discipline of one’s mind or one’s thinking.  Here’s the thing though, I have not arrived in this department.  I am a disheveled construction site, but I believe the self-control of our minds is critical to our growth in Christ and to the spiritual warfare we are engaged in everyday in the here and now.  I am not an expert in this but the LORD is and I would love to share with you some of His insight I’ve gleaned in my journey to improve in the discipline of my mind.

Recently, I started reading a book by Beth Moore titled “Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds.”  The LORD was asking me to “take captive every thought” and I honestly wasn’t sure where to begin.  In 2 Corinthians, His Word promised that I had access to weapons that have divine power and are able to demolish strongholds.  Demolish strongholds?  Divine power?  Yes please, where could I sign up?

Since early marriage, my husband and I have routinely prayed Ephesians 6 over our marriage, family, life, and ministry.  

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:10-18

It wasn’t until I was recently reading Beth Moore’s book that I realized something: the sword of the Spirit is the only offensive listed in the whole armor of God.  The sword, “which is the word of God” is clearly a weapon that 2 Corinthians was referring to.  So cool right?  But it is also clear in 2 Corinthians 10 that the noun is plural, weapons.  We had one weapon identified but I needed to know what else was available to us.  I kept reading Beth Moore’s introduction:

“The next verse says, ‘And pray in the Spirit on all occasions.’  I {Beth Moore} am utterly convinced that the two major weapons with divine power in our warfare are the Word of God and Spirit-empowered prayer.”

I think she is on to something friends.  What does the LORD ask of us in Ephesians 6?  To be strong, put on the full armor of God, stand firm, and pray.  With this supernatural, other worldly defense, what does God’s Word promise in 2 Corinthians?  We WILL demolish strongholds, demolish arguments, and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God! Amen!

I still have work to do on this friends.  Lots of work in fact.

  • I need to stop my self-demoting inner dialogue.
  • I have to daily denounce the enemy’s lies.
  • I must choose to reject the critiques of this world’s haters.

Maybe you have work to do as well?  The great news is – we are on the winning side!  We are extravagantly loved by the maker of heaven and Earth.  Let us dwell richly in the truth of His Word and adamantly pray through the power and authority of His indwelling Spirit.  Then maybe, just maybe, the discipline of our minds will be where battles are won, amen!?

I long for this friends.  Will you pray this over me and I will pray it for you?

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.  James 5:16

One Comment Add yours

  1. Lynne Vander Ploeg says:

    Love this Bridget!


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