Battlefield of the Mind
“Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind” Author: Joyce Meyer Reviewer: Lisa Hutson I believe many times in the Christian and especially in the Pentecostal realm, we tend to do things in the name of Christ because we “felt” like it was from the Holy Spirit and instead of determining that by lining it up with the Bible, the living word of God, we tend to trust that our “feelings” are correct. But what happens when those feelings steam from negative, confused, judgemental or passive thinking?I never realized until I read this book that the majority of the bad decisions I have made in my life were decisions I made based on present feelings and that those feelings came from faulty or negative thinking. After I read this book, I understood that it is the things that I think about constantly that are the things that soak up my life.
If those thoughts are positive, I will reap positive benefits. If those thoughts are negative, I will reap negativity but it is all in how I think. There are three life lessons that I have learned to incorporate into my daily life in order to live a Christ filled life.When I tend to go through those “wilderness mentalities”, I have learned to always do my best to be positive, to regularly meditate on the Word of God, and to be thankful at all times. Explaining the importance of being positive, Meyer tells us the mind is a battlefield. After reading 2 Corinthians 10;4,5, Meyer says that we are engaged in a war, our enemy is Satan and that our minds are the battlefield. The devil works diligently to set up strongholds in our mind and he does it through strategy and deceit and that he takes his time to work out his plan (16-17).In order to prevent the devil’s lies from penetrating our minds, we must defend them. You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind. Your life will not get straightened out until your mind does (27-28). 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 (41). What really struck me about this concept is how Meyer tells us that thinking positive isn’t ignoring the negative, but it is believing that God is bigger than you and your situation and that all things will work together for good as His word promises.I am generally a happy person. I laugh at everything, I like making other people laugh and having good conversations. However, when negative things do arise, I tend to get angry or seclude myself. If I am having a disagreement with a co-worker or an argument with my parents, I will just refuse to talk to them. When the Holy Spirit brings them to my memory, I let negative thoughts produce even more feelings of strife and it takes a long time to get over it. I remember one time last semester when I was so upset with my mother that I refused to talk to her for almost four months!Learning to be positive does not mean that the negative situation did not happen but it simply means that we believe that God will heal it or bring good from it. It means forgiving even if we don’t forget but allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our attitudes so that we do not become weighed down by our situations. Meditating on God’s word is another huge lesson I have learned from this book. I believe that my biggest mistake early on in my walk with the Lord was not reading His word for myself. I became a christian at the age of fourteen and filled with the Holy Spirit by the age of sixteen.However, I would rather go on Wednesday nights and hear my youth pastor tell me what the Bible said instead of reading it myself. When I tried to read on my own, I often became very confused and frustrated and gave up. I let other people tell me how to live instead of searching it out myself. I continued this all through high school and finally during my senior year I had a very hurtful situation occur between myself and another family in the church. Since I wasn’t solid in my faith and relationship with the Lord, I let it tear me down significantly and I stayed out the church for about a year and a half.I let another’s faith become my own and when they failed me, I equated that with God failing me. “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. ” Joshua 1:8 The Bible tells us that if we want to be a success and prosper in all of our dealings, we must meditate on the Word of God day and night.The Word of God teaches us what we should spend our time thinking about (57). Meditation in this context means to spend a lot of time pondering and thinking on the ways of God, His instructions and His teachings (57). In my situation, I had let sermons, Sunday school, and people in the church mold my faith and thought process instead of spending time myself thinking about the Word. I thought about the Word while I was sitting in church but outside of that, I had not really let it sink in. Now, I am making a significant effort to seek the scriptures myself.Of course, I am involved in church again but I am also making an effort during my own time to spend quality time with the Lord, in prayer and in His word, allowing Him to mold me into what He has created me to be. The last thing that “The Battlefield of the Mind” has taught me is to be thankful at all times. How can the devil control us if we are going to be joyful and thankful no matter what our circumstances are? “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. ” Psalm 34:1We can be a blessing to the Lord by letting His praise continually be in our thoughts and mouths (162). Be a grateful person, one filled with gratitude not only toward God, but also toward people (163). Expressing appreciation is not only good for the other person but it is good for us, because it releases joy in us. Meditate daily on all the things you have to be thankful for. Rehearse them to the Lord in prayer, and as you do you will find your heart filling up with life and light (163). During my teenage years, my family went through a financial crisis. We lost our home and our vehicles.I spent my junior year of high school with my parents living out of a garage that we made into a make-shift home. I remembered crying myself to sleep many nights in that garage. I was embarrassed about our situation, angry at my parents for getting us in this mess, and confused that the Lord could let this happen to us. After about fifteen months in that garage, things finally began to turn around. We were able to sell our property and the garage, move into a rental property and get decent vehicles to drive instead of the old sixties model truck my dad had bought for three hundred dollars during the crisis.I remember being so grateful for that new rental property. It was an old yellow brick home, but it was wonderful to me. I had a room with real walls! I spent all of my savings on making my own bedroom beautiful with new paint, picture frames and curtains. It was through that situation that I truly learned how to be grateful. My parents and I have come a long way from that old garage but I still have a picture of that old garage in a frame in my room at home. Sometimes even now, I find myself being selfish and ungrateful for my many blessings.I think everyone does. However, that memory always shows me how far the Lord has brought me and how much farther He can take me as long as I stay faithful. “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer has many solid lessons that have taught me a lot about how to live victorious in Christ. As a young Pentecostal believer, I always thought everything was spiritually supernatural. If God wanted me to think a certain way, He would just zap it into my head. However, as I grow in my relationship with Him, I realize He is not going to spoon feed me forever.He wants me to seek Him. If I put His lessons and teachings into practice, I will live victoriously. Being positive, meditating on His word and always being thankful to Him and to the people around me are just a few ways I can make my life a living sacrifice to Him. However, its really not even a sacrifice, for the blessings and benefits I receive from these practices far out weight the negatives. I learn more and more about myself and about my Heavenly father as I delve deeper into His word.His word is what empowers my positive attitude and reminds me to be grateful not only for His sacrifice but also for the many blessings He bestows on my life daily. I loved this book. I’m sure I will keep it around to read occasionally and remind myself to get my mind in order! Thinking produces feelings and feelings behaviors and if I’m not happy with any certain behaviors, I must stem it back to what I spend my time thinking about. My mind is the battlefield and when it is renewed in Christ, I will be able to battle the enemy with confidence, perseverance, and power.