The Battle in Your Mind
When people describe how COVID affected them, they often mention how it impacted their relationships and, in turn, their emotions. The physical isolation of the pandemic created or fed into mental isolation for many. You may have never had COVID yourself, but the residue from COVID has affected us all in some way—depression, fear, anxiety, frustration, or a whole host of other emotions. Sometimes you don’t know what to feel or don’t have any energy, and you want to know why. I call that the COVID blues. But one thing is true: we can’t allow our emotions to control us. If we do, then the devil has already won. The greatest battlefield for any challenge or circumstance is in your mind.
I sat with Pastor George Matthews from Bessemer, Alabama, to discuss how he overcame his cancer diagnosis. He was the picture of perfect health before hearing the word “cancer.” When he asked God why this was happening, God told him two things: “You’re going to learn some things about Me that you didn’t know before,” and “The battle is in the space between your ears. If you can win there, you can win this thing.”
Pastor Matthews explained it this way, “People often modify First Corinthians 10:13 to say, ‘God won’t put more on you than you can bear,’ when the Scripture really teaches this, ‘No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.’ So, there’s a cross in the road. You’re either going to go with that temptation, that pain, and that problem, or you’re going to go with God and allow Him to show you how to get through the situation.”
It’s natural to want to avoid pain at all costs, but pain has a purpose. On the other side of pain is promotion that we wouldn’t have experienced without going through the situation. Satan’s goal is to get us to become so consumed with the pain of the experience that we stand still and refuse to grow. How do we grow? We learn to become more in tune with the Holy Spirit and exercise our faith in new ways.
Satan first attacks your mind because that’s where your body processes what to do. You must counter his mind attacks with your own through the Word of God. The more intensely you have the enemy’s attention, remember that he’s red-flagging you for a reason. He’s trying to prevent you from going to that promotable position of wisdom and a new level of understanding.
Pastor Matthews described the process of transformation as illustrated in Romans. “The Lord never gave us wooden furniture, but He did give a tree. All the wooden furniture is in the tree; if the tree is processed, you get wooden furniture. He never gave any leather furniture, but He did give a cow. All the leather you need is in the cow. When you transform the cow, you get the leather, and that’s what He means when He says in Romans 12:2, ‘And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.’”
You are stronger than you think you are! The devil believes it; that’s why he fights you. But you must believe it for yourself and choose to use the Word of God to win the battle between your ears. If you can allow the Lord to renew your mind, you can overcome any obstacle you face.