This week, Pastor Chris continued in our series Freedom in Christ. We learned about the battle of the mind and how our thoughts directly affect our lives and our ability to walk in the freedom God has for us. We must pay close attention to our thoughts, holding fast to God’s truth and quickly rejecting the enemy’s lies.

John 11:41–44 (ESV)
41 So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44 The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Created for Abundance

John 10:10 (AMP)
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows].

• Zoe ~ exceeding, extraordinary, uncommon, superior, more excellent life.

Any nutritionist will tell you that there are three kinds of food for your physical body.

• Brain food
• Junk food
• Toxic food

Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

1. You are only as free as your mind is.

Genesis 3:1 (ESV)
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

What is a Spiritual Stronghold?

2 Corinthians 10:3–5 (ESV)
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,

Ephesians 4:26–27 (ESV)
26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil.

• “topos” ~ place, opportunity, or foothold.

2. The mind is the main battlefield of good and evil.

Any thought you don’t take captive will take you captive.

3. We are the gate keepers of our minds.

James 4:7 (ESV)
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

4. Truth will set you free.

John 8:32 (ESV)
32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Matthew 4:4–6 (ESV)
4 But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ” 5 Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “ ‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “ ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’ ”

Colossians 3:2 (ESV)
2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

5. To win the war of your mind, you must fight back.

1 Peter 1:13 (ESV)
13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Discussion Questions:

  1. You are only as free as your mind. Are there lies you have been believing about yourself, God, or other people?
  2. You don’t have to accept every thought; how can you be more proactive in taking your thoughts captive and choosing not to accept lies?
  3. What you meditate on, so you will become; are there thoughts that would be considered “junk food” (not necessarily bad, but also not the best)? Read Philippians 4:8 again. With the verse in mind, how can you begin to have more “good food” and less “junk food” in your thought life?

Application Questions:

  1. You need a far superior thought to come in and flush out the far inferior thought. Take time this week to evaluate your thoughts; are there lies you are believing about yourself or your life? Are there sinful thoughts? Do you replay past offense in your mind? Write out these thoughts and write out specific scripture to replace these thoughts with truth that aligns with God’s Word.