THOUGHTS: WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
By: Bodé Adeboyejo
Often times when Christians think or talk about spiritual warfare, they usually think about demons, evil spirits, principalities and powers, rulers of darkness, etc. That’s true. The Bible does say that we do not “war against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness, and spiritual host of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
However, there is another type of spiritual warfare. Maybe even more lethal than what most Christians are aware of, or hardly pay attention to, which as a result is wiping out many like a powerful Tsunami. The warfare is that of the mind – the battle of the mind! Unlike spiritual warfare, (which I don’t think every Christian faces, for the reason I’ll explain later), the battle of the mind is a battle everyone faces, Christians and non-Christians alike; even more so Christians.
I believe that the most lethal spiritual warfare a person can face, especially a Christian, is not with demons and principalities, but in the mind! And sadly this is a battle most Christians lose, even though they have the weapon in their arsenal to win this battle.
In order not to be ignorant of this type of warfare and how to fight it, apostle Paul alerts us of it, and how to deal with it. Paul, writing to the Corinthians, says, “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (natural), but mighty through God, for the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.
In explaining or paraphrasing this passage, this is what Paul is saying:
· Though we live in the flesh (natural), our real struggles or challenges are not in the flesh, but in the mind.
· Therefore, our weapons (how we deal with these struggles) are not natural, but spiritual because they are established in God (not in our strength or ability).
· Since our weapons are not in our strength or ability, they can enable us to tear down fortresses or vaults of past hurtful feelings, emotions, all kinds of bitterness, angers, etc.
· Once we tear down the fortresses (with the Word of God), we should then examine and challenge every thought (good or evil).
· As a result of our examination and challenge of every thought, we can arrest every thought – put it in a holding cell to line up with the Word of God.
· Every arrested, errant or ungodly thought that does not line up with God’s Word should be subjected (forced to obey the Word of God) or “punished” with the Word of God.
In a sense, what this passage is saying is that our thoughts can be used as weapons against us. That is, we can be our own worst enemies! And if we don’t challenge our thoughts with the Word of God, they can wipe us out, even while we go about using cute phrases like, “I’m blessed and highly favored,” “I am more than a conqueror,” “No weapon formed against me shall prosper,” “I am the top not the bottom,” etc.
Our thoughts are weapons that can be used for good or evil; i.e., as weapons against us or for us. Therefore, by weapons of mass destruction, I’m talking about instances when we allow our thoughts to be used as weapons against us rather than for us. And when our thoughts are used as weapons against us they can destroy us absolutely -- mind, body and spirit! Thus they are weapons of mass destruction!
A weapon is not in and of itself evil. It is how it’s used that determines whether it’s used for good or evil. Therefore, a weapon can be either good or evil. So, our thoughts, like a weapon, can be used to destroy ourselves and others. Or we can use it for our own good, for the good of others, and to the glory of God. When our thoughts are used for good, they are weapons of mass construction.
Often times we regard the tongue as the weapon of mass destruction; and it is. The Bible is replete with verses warning us about the danger of the tongue; how great a fire it kindles. But guess what, the tongue only speaks what has been brewing and fermenting in the mind! If good is what is in the mind, good is what the tongue speaks, and vice versa. “…Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,” Jesus says in Matthew 12:34. Jesus continues in verse 35: “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.
As Christians, as much as we want to think about spiritual warfare, in terms of demonic harassments, we ought to be concerned about the battle of the mind. Matter of fact, I believe that very, very few Christians face demonic harassments. Rather, what we consider as demonic harassments are often self-inflicted harassments, through the ungodly thoughts we allow to roam, unchallenged, freely in our minds.
Many of us Christians don’t qualify to be demonically harassed by demons, because we’ve allowed our ungodly thoughts and unrenewed minds to wipe us out before we can become a threat to Satan to want to assign us a demon! I believe that demonic harassment only happens to those who have perfected the art of mind renewal; people who have learned how to control their thoughts, not permitting ungodly thoughts to roam or linger in their minds; people who are a threat to Satan and his kingdom.
Think about it. Why would the devil demonically harass a Christian when he knows that we are often defeated by our own ungodly thoughts? Why would he waste a demon on a person already defeated by his or her own ungodly thoughts? That would be a waste of needed resource, because the devil has limited resources at his disposal. That is, he does not have a whole lot of demons. The Bible says Satan only corrupted a third of the angels in heaven when he fell from glory. Therefore, the devil does not have enough demons to assign to everyone to harass.
Notice I keep using the word “ungodly” thoughts rather than “sinful” thoughts. There is a difference. An ungodly thought is any thought that exalts itself against the knowledge of God’s Word; or any thought that is contrary to God’s Word. A sinful thought is an illicit, sensual thought. Therefore, an ungodly thought is not sinful, in a general sense. But in a spiritual sense, it is sinful, simply because it’s contrary to God’s Word.
For instance, having low-self esteem, insecurity, arrogance, malice, anger, unforgiveness, hatred, prejudice, depression, etc. will qualify as “ungodly” thoughts. Whenever I hear that a Christian is suffering from depression, I often wonder if the depression is as a result of an unhealthy pattern of unchecked, ungodly thoughts left to roam around the person’s mind long enough to cause depression.
A National Institute of Health (NIH) booklet on depression states that “A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things.”
But contrary to what psychologists or psychiatrists want us to believe, I believe that many of those depressive “disorders” can be corrected with the Word of God, if properly and consistently applied to renew the mind. A lot of cases of depression are as a result of incorrect thinking; and as such self induced! No Christian should suffer from depression; especially if it’s as a result of incorrect thinking. Many depressive disorders, I believe, are simply as a result of incorrect, over evaluation of past or current feelings, emotions, situations or circumstances.
So, what should a Christian do to fight and win this battle? To win the battle of the mind there are three key scriptures every Christian should memorize, and meditate upon daily, if not hourly or however frequently ungodly thoughts come up in our minds. These are Romans 12:1-2; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, and Philippians 4:8; especially 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 and Philippians 4:8.
To win this battle of the mind, a Christian should follow these simple but not easy (very achievable) steps:
To avoid thinking ungodly thoughts, one should practice thinking on whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8)