The Battle for the mind

By David Collins

The enemy knows full well the power the mind has over an individual, for this has been the area where he has concentrated most of his effort. The numerous philosophies and religions in the world today attest to his success. Another example is in the area of the media. TV, cinema, music--and, in fact, every means of mass communication today--have tremendous impact on the minds of young and old alike. They are continually:

1. Remoulding the moral and ethical structure of our society - Satan has so used the mass media as a means of broadcasting the culture of his kingdom that the standards now in force are considered "the norm".

2. Conditioning people's minds to godlessness - the constant use of bad language and foul topics introduce to the viewer's mind a destructive way of thinking that is almost impossible to erase.

3. Imprinting information on susceptible minds that would lead to the breakdown of family and community relationships - new outlooks, "morals" and philosophies that would seek to enhance selfishness and sponsor a spirit of rebellion.

"Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior" Col. 1:21(see also Rom. 8:5-8).
From the time of man's fall, the human mind has been one of the greatest battlefields of all time. It was to the logic of Eve's mind that Satan appealed in the first temptation (Gen. 3: 1-6; 2 Cor. 11:3), and today the mind is still the area where Satan has the most influence.
"The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" 2 Corinthians 4:4
The mind of the unbeliever has come under attack by Satan and has been darkened by:


"Although they claimed to be wise they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles." Romans 1:22-23; Isaiah 44:17-20.

A wrong concept of God

"He boasts of the cravings of his heart; he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord. In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God." Psalm 10:3-4; 11;58:1-3.

Sin and evil desires

"They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more." Eph. 4:18-19; Romans 1:24-32; Tim.3:6,8.

A seared conscience

"To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and conscience are corrupted." Titus 1:15; 1 Timothy 4:2.


"Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things." Philippians 3:19; Matthew 23:28; Romans 16:18; James 3:14-16.


"The terror you inspire and the pride of your heart have deceived you, you who live in the clefts of the rocks, who occupy the heights of the hill. Though you build your nest as high as the eagle's, from there I will bring you down," declares the Lord." Jererniah 49:16; 2 Timothy 3:2-4,8.

Self justification

"But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" Luke 10:29; 16:18; Genesis 3:9-13.

A material, unspiritual attitude

"...and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain." 1 Timothy 6:8; Philippians 3:18-19.

The enemy's veil

" When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is the seed sown along the path." Matthew 13:19; Luke 24:25; 2 Cor. 3:14-16.

God's solution to the unbeliever's blinded intellect came in three steps:

1. Bypass the Mind

Though God is far wiser and more knowledgeable than we can even dare to imagine (Psalm 139:1-12, 17-18; Romans 11:33-36; Hebrews 4:13), He did not even try to appeal to the clouded logic of sinful man. Instead, God bypassed the mind altogether. Following 2 Corinthians 4:4, verse 6 reveals God's marvellous wisdom:
"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our HEARTS to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ".
What God could not do in the mind of man, He did by reaching even deeper into man's being - He touched his heart, or spirit - that part of man that was originally created to be in contact with God.

2. Place His Spirit within Man

"You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts" 2 Corinthians 3:3 (see also Hebrews 8:10).
There was no way that we, in our own strength, could fight against our own nature and thought patterns; instead, God sent His own Spirit into our hearts to do the work by HIS power (2 Corinthians 4:7). Through Him, we are in connection with the "Head" of the Body (Colossians 2:18-19), and therefore have been given the "mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 8:10-16), as well as the power to "Love the Lord your God... with all your mind" (Matthew 22:84-38; Mark 18:28-30; Luke 10:25-28).
"Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the spirit is life and peace" Roman 8:5-6 (see also verses 7-9).

3. Restructure the Mind

"Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God remould your minds from within..." Romans 12:2 (Phillips) (see also Ephesians 4:22-24).
This is now the aim of the Holy Spirit in dwelling us (Titus 3:5-6), but can only begin to happen when we allow our minds to be controlled and harnessed by Him (Romans 8:6). Using the circumstances around us, the Spirit:

a. Reveals, often through His Word, the way He thinks about that situation. (1 Corinthians 2:10-16; Hebrews 4:12-13; Isaiah 55:8-9).

b. Remoulds the way we think, so that we begin to think like He does. (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:26; Phil. 2:5-8).

Now, in the light of the Holy Spirit's work in our lives, we are encouraged to make an active response in a number of areas:

1. Don't conform to the world's thinking (Romans 12:2; 1 Peter 1:14).

2. Accept the Word of God Implanted (1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18-21; Phil. 2:16; Col. 3:16).

3. Put on the new self (Ephesians 4:22-24; Colossians 3:5-10).

4. Keep the right perspective (Colossians 3:1-3; 2 Cor. 4:16-18; Phil. 3:19-20).

5. Feed your mind on the right things (Phil. 4:8; 1 Tim. 6:11; 2 Tim. 2:22-23; 2 Cor. 10:5).

6. Don't let your mind become idle (1 Peter 1:13, Colossians 8:18; 1 Thessalonians 6:14; 2 Thessalonians 3:6,11; 1 Timothy 5:13).

7. Be alert in prayer (Matt. 26:41; Luke 22:46; Col. 4:2, 1 Thes. 5:13).

"...the battle we are fighting is on the spiritual level. The very weapons we use are not those of human warfare but powerful in God's warfare for the destruction of the enemy's strongholds. Our battle is to bring down every deceptive fantasy and every imposing defence that men erect against the true knowledge of God. We even fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ" 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (Phillips), (see also Hebrews 4:18).


The salvation won for us through Christ's work is a protection around our minds (Ephesians 6:17), for the enemy now has no ownership-rights to us. There are only two ways he can reach us to do any real damage:

1. Deceive us

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpents cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:3.
2. Gain a foothold in our lives
... and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:27
By both these means, Satan's aim is to entice a believer out of the boundaries of victory set out by the Lord. In stepping beyond these parameters, a Christian's mind is operating outside of the protection found in Christ, and the enemy can have a heyday in attacking the believer with guilt, accusation, condemnation, depression, defeat and all the results that came through the Fall. Paul spent much time in his letters dealing with the practical - as well as legal protection we have against the enemy's attack on our lives, as in Ephesians 4:18-5:10; Phillipians 4:7-9; and Colossians (see also 1 Peter 1:13-2:3).
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" Philippians 4:7 (see also Romans 8:6, Colossians 3:15).


Copyright & copy: 1991, 1997 David Collins. All rights reserved. This study may be freely used and reproduced, wholly or in part, by the Christian Church for the non-profit purposes of study and training only, provided copyright and contact information is included.

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