A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
- Ephesians 6:10-11
Last weekend, I accompanied my boyfriend on a hike in the mountains so that I could watch him and some of his buddies go rock climbing. It was a beautiful afternoon, so there were several other groups of people at the particular rock face where we were who also wanted to take full advantage of a cool August Sunday. While they were climbing, I witnessed a girl falling from about 10 feet up onto the rocks below. If the girl had not been wearing her helmet, I can only imagine what would have happened when her head smacked the rocks on the ground. Thankfully she was okay, and thankfully she had on her helmet.
So in a spiritual sense, when we have times when we might slip up and fall, or the enemy is tempting us into sinful habits, what is protecting our own mind in Christ?
In Ephesians 6:10-17, Paul is writing to the believers in a place called Ephesus, asking them to put on the full armor of God. Paul is warning the Christians that every day, there is a battle to be fought in the world. It is the battle of good vs. evil. And the only way the Ephesians can be prepared is to be dressed fully in the armor of God. Paul writes of the “belt of truth” and the “shoes of peace” that Christians should wear in order to resist the ploys of the enemy. He also writes of the helmet of salvation.
We all know that a helmet is the piece of armor that protects one’s head, and I think what we can deduce from this extended metaphor Paul writes of is that the helmet is to protect the mind. The Ephesians’ minds must be guarded by the knowledge of their salvation. If they are saved, they CAN stand against the things in the world that will distract them from goodness and holiness and pursuing a life following Christ. Spiritual battle rages on around believers, but with knowledge of our salvation and Whose we are, what evil thought could possibly penetrate through our helmet to our mind?
Paul means serious business when it comes to guarding the minds of believers. In another letter that Paul writes to the Philippians, he instructs them to think of only “true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable things...that are excellent and worthy of praise" (Philippians 4:8-9). He wants Christians to put on their helmet and have only these types of things in their minds!
So today, I have the option of giving in to anxiety and anger. But those things are not pure and holy. I have the option of surrounding myself with people who lead me into gossip and drama. But those things are not worthy of praise. I have the option of tuning into TV shows and listening to music that encourages a lifestyle of sin. But those things are not honorable nor admirable.
Should all of my time be stewarded to renewing my mind, or just some of it? Should I give God 50% of the space in my thoughts or 100%? Which is more honorable to Him? Does He want all of me or just some of me? I don’t believe I am now in Christ so that I can continue to distract myself from truth. I believe He wants me to find all of my rest and all of my peace and all of my sustenance in Him! He loves me too much to only have a piece of me. He wants every single bit of me.
To free my mind from the ploys of the enemy, I must guard it. I must bind myself to Christ and pray at all times. I must renew my mind with truth that comes from Scripture. Those things are not found in the world or without God.
1. What things do you need to remove from your life that do not encourage thoughts of purity, loveliness, or holiness? Maybe it’s a TV show, partying, or even habits of negativity.
2. Who do you have in your life that can help encourage you to grow in these areas? We can’t do it alone!
Papa I need You. I need You to show me where I have let my thoughts stray from You and I need You to give my mind peace as I renew my thoughts through Your Word and Your Spirit. I pray against all attacks from the enemy and that today You would bind my mind and my heart to You. In Your precious Son’s name I can pray, Amen.