The Overflow

living in the overflow of God's goodness through every season

Winning the Battle for Your Mind

FaithCarrie-Grace McConkey6 Comments
Photo Credit: Julianna Otero

Photo Credit: Julianna Otero

Back in September, I attended a conference with over 6,000 other women. The subject was on prayer, and Dannah Gresh was the Teen Track speaker. I had never heard her before, but her words during the morning session were some of the most important words I’ve ever heard. She talked about lies our minds create, lies like “I have to earn God’s favor,” “I can never overcome this character flaw,” and “Christ does not have enough power to hold me fast.” Dannah explained how we could replace lies with truth.

Since the day Dannah spoke, I’ve realized how important and intense the battle of the mind really is. I wanted to share here some of the points she made, as well as some ideas on how we can fight for truth in our minds.

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” - Ephesians 6:12

Dannah defined “wrestling” as a “struggle on the ground in hand-to-hand combat.” Apparently, wrestling is the hardest form of combat there is. It’s intense and painful. The devil has step-by-step strategies he likes to use to try to overcome us in this hand-to-hand combat. One of his favorite strategies is to lie.

Dannah also explained something very revealing. A Spanish lady named Betsy Gomez was helping with Teen Track, and Dannah commented, “Betsy speaks in English, but I bet you when she thinks she thinks in Spanish. I think in English. The devil thinks in lies.”

John 8:44 reminds us:

“You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

Satan will show up in our thoughts about ourselves and about others unless they are programmed to Jesus.

Photo Credit: Julianna Otero

Photo Credit: Julianna Otero

Dannah went on to make another very interesting point. She said that it takes five positive truths to combat one negative one. “Hear your Savior’s voice five times for every lie,” Dannah said. “So, if you hear the lie 10 times, hear your Savior 50 times.”

Matthew 22:37:

"And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’” (emphasis added).

Thinking lies immobilizes us. Thinking truth and love leads to action and victorious living. So how do we fight the battle of our minds?

1. Worship

In an Old Testament battle (2 Chronicles 20:20-22), Jehoshaphat appointed men to “sing to the LORD and praise him for the splendor of his holiness” (verse 21). These men went before the army, and when they began to praise Him, the LORD set the enemy against one another so that they were defeated. In the New Testament, when Paul and Silas sang praises in prison, an earthquake occurred, and the doors of the prison were thrown open (Acts 16:25-26).

Praise is powerful. It sets our minds on things above. One great way to praise is to sing along with Christian music videos. If you play an instrument, that’s another perfect opportunity to praise the Lord.

Charles Spurgeon declared: “Many of our doubts and fears would fly away if we praised God more. And many of our trials and troubles would altogether vanish if we began to sing of our mercies. Oftentimes, depression of spirit that will not yield to a whole night of wrestling, would yield to ten minutes of thanksgiving before God!”[1]

Photo Credit: Julianna Otero

Photo Credit: Julianna Otero

2. Gratitude

Remember the good things God has given you. Remember the little gifts: the letter someone sent the other day, the hot fudge sundae you got from McDonalds, the pretty jewelry you’re wearing with your outfit today. Remember the bigger gifts: clothes and food and salvation and abundant love. God has given us all these benefits, and when we train our minds to focus on what is lovely, we see how He is working in our lives. I’ve fallen out of this habit, but one way I’ve found helpful in focusing on God’s blessings is to have a thankful list. Writing down these gifts each day or even at the end of each week helps me to see how kind God is and what a beautiful life He has given me.

3. Scripture Meditation

One idea I’ve been using lately is to take a phrase of Scripture and repeat it to myself whenever a lie comes to mind. I’m also trying to pick verses that specifically apply to what I’m struggling with. Even something as simple as “Jesus is Lord!” can make an immense difference. If you don’t remember much Scripture off the top of your head, then you can listen to it from various Bible websites[2] while you’re working. Reciting Scripture has also proved to be immensely helpful for going to sleep at night--it’s the only thing I’ve found that will calm my overactive brain.  

An interesting article[3] published in June of this year talked about the scientific side of the thinking process. There were a lot of technical details, but the simple facts were these: if you’re worrying about a broken relationship in your life, your brain streamlines your thought process to enable you to think more efficiently about that worry. If you’re not thinking about the school project you need to finish, your brain will mark that thought as one that needs to be recycled or destroyed. This makes the project harder to remember and think about. Our brain follows our thought processes, helping us think more efficiently on what is at the forefront of our minds.

If you think lies about yourself and others, that is what your mind will dwell on. But if you fill your mind with the truth, your brain will help you remember and learn it more efficiently. When we continually fill our minds with praise, gratitude, and Scripture, our minds are transformed and we win the battle against Satan and his demons.

What truths would combat the lies I mentioned earlier?

Lie: “I have to earn God’s favor.”

Truth: God’s favor is a free gift, given to me in Christ (Romans 3:24).

Lie: “I can never overcome this character flaw.”

Truth: God will complete His good work in me (Philippians 1:6).

Lie: “God does not have enough power to hold me fast.”

Truth: God is able to keep me from falling (Jude 1:24-25).

Photo Credit: Julianna Otero

Photo Credit: Julianna Otero

When we cultivate a healthy thought life, healthy action will follow. We will have more power to love others, more power to discern good from evil, more power to speak gracious words, and more power to seek God. And the best part? It’s found in Philippians 4:8-9.

“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. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” Philippians 4:8-9, emphasis added

Overflowing, abundant peace. That is worth fighting for.

What do you think? Are there any other tools that have helped you fight lies in your mind?


[1] “Christ’s Indwelling Word.” Sermon #2679, published June 17, 1900.

[2] www.biblegateway.com is my favorite website to use for listening to Scripture.

[3] https://www.fastcompany.com/3059634/your-most-productive-self/your-brain-has-a-delete-button-heres-how-to-use-it