Here to share some incredibly helpful insights about the mind and how it functions within the spiritual realm. If you’ve ever struggled to understand or to implement “taking every thought captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5) or “being transformed by the renewal of our mind” (Romans 12:2), this is for you! Also, don’t miss the last few posts on the same subject.
| The following are excerpts from “The Spiritual Man”, by Watchman Nee. Volume III, Part Eight, “The Mind a Battlefield”, pages 13-17) |
The bible declares emphatically that we must “be transformed by the renewal of our mind.” (Romans 12:2)
If we carefully examine the mental experiences of a Christian we shall see that not merely is he narrow-minded but that he contains many other defects too. His head, for instance, may be teeming with all kinds of uncontrollable thoughts, imaginations, impure pictures, wanderings and confused ideas. His memory may suddenly fail; his power of concentration may be weakened; he may be obsessed by prejudices which arise from unknown sources; his thoughts may be retarded as if his mind was being chained; of he may be flushed with wild thoughts which revolve unceasingly in his head. The Christian may find he is powerless to regulate his mental life and make it obey the intent of his will.
The Christian may find he is powerless to regulate his mental life and make it obey the intent of his will.
…He need ask himself a few questions: Who controls my mind? Myself? And if so, why can I not control it now? Is it God who manages my mind? But according to scriptural principle God never governs the mind for man… If it is neither I nor God who regulates the mental life, who then is in control? It obviously is the powers of darkness who foment these mental symptoms. So whenever a child of God denotes that he is no longer able to govern the mind, he ought to perceive at once that it is the enemy managing it.
One fact that we must always bear in mind is this: man possess free will. God’s intention for man is to control himself. Man has the authority to regulate his every natural endowment; hence his mental processes should be subject to the power of his will.
A Christian ought to inquire of himself: Are these my thoughts? …If it is not I thinking, it must then be the evil spirit who is able to work in man’s mind. Since I will not to think (and my mind usually follows my will) then the thoughts which presently arise in my head cannot be mine but rather emanate from another “person” who uses the ability of my mind against my own will.
…Oftentimes also one’s brain is abounding with sundry ideas which he is helpless to stop. His head is like a thought machine, operated by external force; it continues to think but is impotent to desist. The believer may shake his head repeatedly, yet he cannot shake off the thoughts in his mind. They come to him in waves, rolling unceasingly day and night. There is no way to terminate them. He is not aware that this is but the activity of the evil spirit. He ought to understand what a “thought” is. It is something which his mind grasps at. But in the case of these unmanageable thoughts it is not that his mind is grasping at something but rather that something is grasping at his mind.
…Frequently a person wishes to set aside a matter but some external power keeps reminding him of it, not permitting him to forget and forcing him to think on further.
Frequently a person wishes to set aside a matter but some external power keeps reminding him of it, not permitting him to forget and forcing him to think on further.
…In his letter to the Ephesians Paul is found writing about “the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (2:2). It is very important to know that the powers of darkness work not only outside but inside the man as well.
…The manner by which these enemy spirits operate is to plant covertly in mans head notions which they enjoy so as to accomplish their aim, or, conversely, they block thoughts which they do not relish so that man can not think them through. The Bible distinctly indicates that the powers of darkness are able both to impart ideas to man and to steal them from him.
The Bible distinctly indicates that the powers of darkness are able both to impart ideas to man and to steal them from him.
“The devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him” (John 13:2). This shows that Satan can put his thoughts into man’s mind. “Then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts” (Luke 8:12). This attests that Satan removes whatever word man ought to remember and causes him to forget everything. These two verses reveal the two-fold operation of the evil spirits upon the mind of man, either to add something to, or subtract something from, his mind.
God wishes to restore our thought life to the excellent state it had when He created it so that we may not only glorify God in our walk but may glorify Him in our thinking as well (p.13).