All About Spiritual Warfare: The Mind is the Battlefield

I just want to take a few moments to review what was covered in the last article, All About Spiritual Warfare. I addressed the fact that we were all All Abut Spiritual Warfareborn with a sinful nature, contrary to God—separated from God; that because of God’s mercy and grace, he established a way for us to be rejoined with Him, through His son Jesus, therefore making a way for us to have a spiritual renewal, or rebirth—for us to be born again. I also established the fact that as a result of our spiritual rebirth, we have been placed in a war—a spiritual war; a war that is ongoing, and fierce. Also, we need to be aware of this war, who is at the helm of this opposing force, how to fight, and win, this battle.

So moving on into today’s segment, we’re going to look at a specific aspect of this battle. We’re going to address the mind. So the fact of the matter is: The Mind is the battlefield. Now the last article (part one) was foundational to the series on All About Spiritual Warfare. This article is foundational on our addressing the mind because; I’ll be spending a substantial amount of  time on the mind.All About Spiritual Warfare - The Mind is the Battlefield

I just want to mention that you absolutely may leave any questions or comments at the end of this article.

To begin, what is the mind? First of all, the mind is contained in the brain, which is the portion of the central nervous system contained within the skull. The brain is the control center for movement, sleep, hunger, thirst, and virtually every other vital activity necessary to survival. Therefore, I deem it accurate to state, that the brain is the most important organ in the body. All human emotions—including love, hate, fear, anger, elation, and sadness—are all controlled by the brain. It also receives and interprets the countless signals that are sent to it from other parts of the body, and from the external environment. The brain is the supervisor (if you will) of the body. Nothing gets done—nothing gets processed, without passing across the desk of the brain. The brain makes us conscious, emotional, and intelligent; and tucked away in the brain, is the mind.

So what is the mind? According to the secular dictionary, the mind is that which thinks, perceives, feels, and wills; the seat or subject of

The Mind is the Battlefield
The mind is the battlefield

consciousness b) the thinking and perceiving part of consciousness; intellect or intelligence c) attention; notice d) all of an individual‘s conscious experiences e) the conscious and the unconscious together as a unit. So in other words, the mind is the part of a person that thinks and reasons.

The brain controls two types of functions: Voluntary and involuntary. For example: the brain regulates, breathing and the heartbeat. These are involuntary actions—we normally don’t have to think about these functions; they occur automatically. Other actions such as walking, talking, and thinking are voluntary. We perform these functions as we will. Therefore, the mind for the most part falls under the voluntary category. Our thinking and our reasoning is voluntary. We basically chose what we think about, and what we reason, or rationalize. God has given us free will, and we exercise our will through our minds.

Your mind is often your greatest tool, but as anyone who has been taken over by fear, frustration, or worry, knows all too well that it can also be your greatest enemy. 

Now what is the spiritual or biblical application of the mind? As for the Old Testament: although the Hebrew language had no specific word for mind, several Hebrew words are sometimes translated as “mind.” For example: The word for heart frequently means “mind”; as is true for the word for soul which is sometimes used similarly, as is also the word for spirit. Let’s look at some usages of the mind in the Scriptures:

Deuteronomy 30:1

1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to [mind] among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee,

So here Moses, bringing forth prophesy was reminding the Israelites that when they were among the pagan nations, and when they committed apostasies which caused the curses among them, that they should, call to mind, or remember the blessings and the curses that were set before them.

Let’s now look at Jer 19:5

5 They have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind:

Here God is addressing Israel’s apostasy, and He mentions that they had committed acts that He’d never commanded, nor had it even crossed His mind to command such a thing! He would never consider such detestable actions.

Let’s look at one more Ezekiel 11:5

5 And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and said unto me, Speak; Thus saith the LORD; Thus have ye said, O house of Israel: for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them.

God was letting Israel know through His prophet, that He knew exactly what was going on in their minds—what they were thinking.

So here in the scriptures, we see that the usage of the word mind was to indicate voluntary thinking

Moving into the New Testament, four separate Greek words account for nearly all references of “mind”. They all mean much the same thing. They are: understanding, thought, mind, reason. While today we think of a person’s mind in a morally neutral way, in the New Testament the mind was clearly thought of as either good or evil. Now in the negative sense, the mind may be “hardened.”

Let’s look at this in Heb 3:13

13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

The mind can also be blinded. Let’s look at this in

2 Corinthians 3:14

14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

Moving on, the mind can be corrupt and debased 2 Timothy 3:8

8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

Now on the positive side, humans may have minds which are renewed

Let’s look at the familiar scripture Romans 12:2

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

In addition to having renewed minds, they can also be pure. Let’ look at this in

2 Peter 3:1

1 This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:

And after having renewed and pure minds, they may love God with all their minds. Let’s look at Matthew 22:37

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

And in addition, they can have God’s laws implanted in their minds Hebrews 8:10

10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

And lastly since Christians have “the mind of Christ,” [1 Cor 2:16] they are instructed to be united in mind. 1 Peter 3:8

8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

Now just to note: No Hebrew word is translated as brain in English versions of the Bible.

So we’ve look at the natural and the spiritual application of the mind.

Now what we’ve covered so far is that it is the mind is the part of a person that thinks and reasons. It is a voluntary function of the brain, controlled by the individual; and it can operate in the positive or negative.

Now because our thinking and our reasoning is voluntary, we basically chose what we think about, and what we rationalize. One of the most important things for us as Christian to realize is the importance of our thoughts. Now as I mentioned in the beginning, the brain is the most important organ in the body, simply because, it controls the whole body—all of the bodily functions. The mind is located in the brain, and therefore plays an extremely important role of the body as well. Since it is a voluntary function of the brain, we can voluntarily control its actions. Therefore our thoughts are powerful. We can become imprisoned with our own thoughts. So much so that they can even control the involuntary functions of the brain: and it’s scriptural. Let’s look at this in Proverbs 23:7

7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Now remember I mentioned previously, that the word for heart in the Scriptures frequently means mind: and the word thinketh means think, which applies to the mind. So as a man thinks, so is he. Regardless of what he may say. Therefore our actions are the results of our thoughts. So if we think positively or have a positive mind, we will have a positive life. But if we think negatively or have a negative mind, we will have a negative life. All this means is: that, we must control our thoughts:

Let’s look at what it reads in Matthew 12:33

33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

Now here Jesus says: that a tree is known by its fruit. The same is true in our lives. Thoughts bear fruit. Think good thoughts, and the fruit in your life will be good. Think bad-negative thoughts and the fruit of your life will be bad. Bottom line: as we think, so are we. Now this is powerful as are our thoughts.

When I say that our voluntary mind affects our   involuntarily functions, one example is illness. We can make ourselves sick, simply by thinking sick.

The Inspired Word of God

If we think heart attack long enough, we’ll have one (I have personal knowledge of this). A large percentage of illnesses are self inflected. Not by stabbing ourselves, or shooting ourselves: not by taking poison, or overdosing on some drug. But simply because of our thoughts: the thoughts that we allow to enter and dwell in our minds. For example: worry. We can worry ourselves into a host of various illnesses; and that’s just one example. [Anger, grief, loneliness, jealously] But Jesus specifically warned us against worry. [Matt. 6:25-31] But moving on, if we want to die bad enough, we’ll die. We can literally think ourselves—right off of the face of the earth.

Now as I mentioned in the previous article, we were born with a sinful nature—in the flesh, satisfying the lusts of the flesh, until we were reborn spiritually. But that’s not all.

Let’s look at Ephesians 2: 3

3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

So not only were we fulfilling the lusts of the flesh, but also of the mind. So once we are born again, if we renew our minds according to the scriptures, (namely Romans 12:2), we will have a positive life. Because as the scripture says: “…that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Once we find the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God for our lives, we can’t help but have a positive life.

Now, think not that Satan doesn’t know this. He knows this better than we’ll ever know. Now as I mentioned in the previous article, Satan’s main tool is deception. Satan is crafty. He is the greatest salesmen in the universe. If we aren’t sober and vigilant, he’ll convince Christians, that because we’re Christians, not following the course of the world, that we are just good for nothing individuals, forcing us into a state of self condemnation, and self pity, placing us on a downward spiral that will deem us absolutely useless to ourselves and anyone else, and worse of all to God.

Now again I want to emphasize, that the activity that we dwell on in our minds is voluntary. But Satan has Christian believing that it’s not. That we can’t control what we think on, therefore have us also believing that we can’t control our actions. But nothing could be further from the truth. Now as we know from the previous article, there is a war—a spiritual war going on. But what this article is about—is where this war takes place. Because this war is spiritual, we can’t see it with the natural eyes. Neither can we see where it takes place. You see, it’s not Desert Storm in the desert. It’s not in the mountains of Afghanistan, Viet Nam, or any other battlefield in the natural; that place is in our very own minds. So the fact of the matter is—the mind is the battlefield.

All About Spiritual Warfare - The Mind is the Battlefield
The Mind is the Battlefield

It is in the mind where Satan unleashes his fiery darts. The mind is his playground.

Now let’s look at this in the scriptures: 2 Corinthians 11:

In this scripture, Paul expresses his concern regarding the Corinthians faithfulness with a warning that if another teaching—a false teaching came along, that they would be corrupted. And in verse 3 it reads:

3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Paul was concerned that their minds would be corrupted by Satan as he corrupted Eve’s in the Garden. Satan’s operation functions in the mind. He invites us (which is all he can do) to think about desires, evil thoughts, and evil deeds. He takes our natural curiosity and carries it beyond God’s intentions, until we cross His line of disobedience.

He operates in our minds, by injecting his thoughts into us. It’s up to us to accept or reject these thoughts. Again I want to emphasize, that Satan uses the mind as his playground. Therefore, we must keep our thoughts under control. The bible says that we are to cast evil thoughts down.

Let’s look at this in 2 Corinthians 10: 3-5:

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5 [Casting down] imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Verse 5 is regarding the control of negative thoughts in our minds. We are to cast down any: thought, argument, theory, reasoning, or anything,
that is contrary to God. We are simply to flush them out. Christians are to bring their thoughts into submission, so that they fall under the laws of Christ. We as Christians must often take an inventory of our thoughts. In other words: we must think about what we’re thinking about.

Now the insertion of these negative thoughts is a very subtle, but effective, trick of Satan, causing us to have strongholds. So we have to be sober and vigilant.

Now what is a stronghold? A strong hold properly means a fastness, a fortress, or strong fortification. The bible refers to David’s hiding places as strongholds [1 Sam 22:4-5; 24:22] It is used in this scripture however, to symbolize the various obstacles resembling a fortress that exists in our minds. A stronghold is an area in which we are held in bondage, due to a certain way of thinking. These are caused by mind binding spirits. Satan establishes these to interrupt our destiny as Christians. Now we’ll get back to the weaponry later.

Let’s go back to positive and negative thinking. Remember what I mentioned earlier about this? That if we think positive thoughts, we’ll have a positive life; and if we think negative thoughts, we’ll have a negative life? As true as this is, it’s a statement in the natural. But remember, we’re talking about Spiritual warfare, so let’s take this spiritually. You see, we can set our minds on one of two paths: in the natural realm, it’s either positive or negative; or in the spiritual realm, it’s either on the flesh, or on the spirit. Now in the natural, we know that we can’t have both a positive mind and a negative mind. But we must remember that the same principals that apply in the natural apply in the spiritual. Therefore, we can’t have a spiritual mind, and a fleshly mind, we either have one or the other. So let’s look at a couple of passages of scripture that deals with this issue of: the mind of the flesh, verses the mind of the spirit. Turn if you will to Romans 8:1

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Let’s go down to verse 5

5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

So if we allow fleshly thoughts to enter and dwell
in our minds, we will have a mind of the flesh: saved or unsaved.
The scripture doesn’t differentiate. We very often feed our minds with the wrong material. Some Christians think, that they can receive fleshly—negative material into their minds, and that it doesn’t have an effect on them, because they’re saved (born again). That’s merely another form of Satan’s deception at work. We simply can’t fed our minds with negativity, and expect to have a positive life. It won’t work. Again, Scripture says: “for as a he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” So if we’re feeding on negativity, how can we think positively, and if we can’t think positively, how can we live a positive life? But we’ll get to that later on in the series. On the other hand, if we feed our minds with spiritual things, we’ll have the mind of the spirit. Let’s look at another passage regarding this: Galatians 5: 16-17

All About Spiritual Warfare-the mind is the battlefield
“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other:” These two forces battle for the mind.

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

In verse 16, Paul writes the prescription: “walk in the spirit” and we will have the mind of the spirit.

In verse 17, he addresses the warring of the two forces: the spirit and the flesh. Again—spiritual warfare.

Let’s look at another scripture regarding our minds and their thoughts. Let’s take a look at Philippians 4: 8

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

So as Paul begins to close his letter to the Philippians, he encourages them to think positive, to focus on good things. He says””if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” In other words think about anything:
that’s good!

As the well known advertising slogan says: the mind is a terrible thing to waste.”  To fill our minds with negativity is simply a waste. We need to think positive things. We need to visualize ourselves, obeying God and being blessed by Him.

To summarize this point, if we think fleshly thoughts, wrong and negative thoughts, we cannot walk in the spirit. It deems it safe to say therefore, that God-like thinking is a vital necessity to a successful God-like Christian life. For the Christian believer, right thinking is a vital necessity. A vital necessity is something that is so important, that one simply cannot live without it. It’s the same as breathing air is vital, and eating wholesome food is vital; for without these things, there is no life. So the goal is to keep our minds clear of negative and evil thoughts.

Now you may have noticed earlier, that several times, I incorporated the phrase dwell
in our minds,”
regarding negative-evil thoughts. The reason for that is the fact that we can’t stop negative-evil thoughts from entering our minds. That’s just Satan doing his work—his job. Nor should we fell bad, or guilty, when these thoughts come upon us. Again—that’s Satan doing his job. The problem is, and the damage is done, when we allow them to dwell in our minds. How do we do this? By reasoning with them.

Remember the function of our minds is to think and reason. Once a thought enters our minds, and we begin to reason with it, ponder it, and entertain it with visualization, it will manifest itself. That’s how powerful the mind is. Remember what I just suggested: what we need to visualize is obeying God and being richly blessed by Him.

We just don’t realize what power we’re walking around with. This is to the point that we are using this power against ourselves. Our thoughts can become a cancer, which is: when basically, the body turns on itself. So we can’t stop the thoughts—just get ready, because they’re coming, and will continue. We can however, control the volume of the thoughts—we can minimize them. But that’s all (perhaps a future article). So don’t try to stop them, just let them enter in one side, and send them out the other. You see, we can’t stop birds from flying, but we can certainly, without a doubt, keep them from nesting on our heads!

The Inspired Word of God

Now I’m no Paul by any means, but I encourage you today Christians: if you haven’t done so already, watch your thoughts. Be careful what you allow yourselves to contain in your minds. Follow the scriptures: one in particular; Romans 12:2. Now I know that most of us know this by heart, but I want to close with our physically looking at this scripture again. It reads:

2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

As long as we entertain the thoughts and thinking of this world, we will always be conformed, or fit the mold of the world; and we will never be renewed in our minds, but will remain carnal minded. And if our minds aren’t renewed, neither will the rest of our bodies be. Also we will never know the perfect will of God, because we will remain in the flesh.

We’re going to look at another passage: let’s go back to Romans 8: 6-8

6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

So, therefore, we must renew our minds, and our thinking in order to win: the battle of the mind.

Now how to we renew our minds? Let’s go back to 2 Corinthians 10:4

4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to All About Spiritual Warfarethe pulling down of strong holds;)

Now let’s look at these weapons: let’s now look at John 8:31-32

31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Here Jesus tells us how we are to win the victory over the lies of Satan. We must get the knowledge of God’s truth in us and renew our minds with His Word to tear down strongholds. These weapons are the Word received through preaching, teaching, books, tapes, seminars and private Bible study. But we must abide or continue in the Word, until it becomes revelation given by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Now continuing is important. Remember what Jesus said in Mark 4:24: “And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given.” I’m going to repeat this in another translation: “Then he added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more.

So Again I say, we must continue using the weapon of the Word.

Two other spiritual weapons available to us are praise and prayer. Praise

Christians and Prayer
Pray diligently!

defeats the devil quicker than any other battle plan, but it must be genuine heart praise, not just lip service. Also prayer and praise both involve the Word. We praise God according to His word, and His goodness.

Prayer is relationship with the Godhead. It is coming and asking for help or talking to God about something that bothers us.

If we are to have an effective prayer life, we must develop a good personal relationship with the Father. Know that he loves us, that He is full of mercy, that He will help us—in a word: faith. Get to know Jesus. He is our friend. He died for us. Get to know the Holy Spirit. He is with us all the time to help us. So we must let Him help us.

We must learn to full our prayers with the Word of God. God’s word and our need is the basis on which we come to Him.

One of the best aids to freedom is asking God for a lot of help, and to ask often. Prayer is not a life jacket, it’s a lifestyle. And always remember what Zechariah 4:6 says: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.” It is only by the spirit of God that we are able to win: The Battle of the Mind.  AMEN.

Please feel free to leave any question, comment or concern below.






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8 thoughts on “All About Spiritual Warfare: The Mind is the Battlefield”

  1. While reading I know that Verse 5 is regarding the control of negative thoughts in our minds. We are to cast down any: thought, argument, theory, reasoning, or anything,that is contrary to God. In verse 17, he addresses the warring of the two forces: the spirit and the flesh. Again spiritual warfare. Thanks for giving your light on it.

  2. I agree that the mind is the center of stimuli for the body to act accordingly. When coupled with emotion the body can enjoy or suffer whatever good or evil acts. It is therefore important to seek the wisdom of the Lord to guide us in our thinking. 

    In Galatians 5:22-23 it says; “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

    All of these fruit of the Spirit is in the mind that is expressed in actions. If we think bad we act bad and if we think good we act good.

    1. Yes Sir – It all begins in the mind both the works of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit. These two are in conflict with one another according to Galatians 5:17 and this conflict occurs in the mind. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  3. Yes we cast down wrong thoughts etc. but how do we actually do that, do we use words ” I cast you down” Paul talks about taking these thoughts captive does that mean we substitute a positive thought for a negative thought? Pastor John Piper says the bringing down of strongholds and taking thoughts captive is not something we do for ourselves but for others, what does that mean?I really want to under stand this teaching and put it into practice but I don’t know what it is I actually do.

    1. Hello Peter – These are great questions. This is something that we must do for ourselves with help from the Holy Spirit.
      The Greek word (kathaireo (kath-ahee-reh’-o) that is translated as “casting down” means to lower or demolish. Therefore we are to put out thoughts in our minds that are against God and His will. We must demolish them. We accomplish this by not allowing them to dwell in our minds and replace them with other thoughts that are godly.
      Let’s look at what Scripture says in Phil 4:7-8:
      7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
      8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
      This Scripture is an encouragement to focus on the things we need to think about in order to have peace and win the battle of Spiritual Warfare. We must replace the negative unholy thoughts with positive ones. Therefore we must be careful of what we allow in our circles and enter into our minds. This includes what we watch, listen to, and how we speak. These are known as the gates of the mind (eyes, ears, and mouths).
      Simply put, a person’s thoughts determine who that person is, his or her attitudes, and how he or she acts toward others. As the scripture reads in Prov 23:7, For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…
      So the question becomes, what do spend your time thinking about? What do you fill your mind with?
      Our thoughts and what we allow to dwell in our minds are so crucially important and we must control them. The negative and evil thoughts will come but as I wrote in the article, we can’t stop birds from flying, but we can certainly, without a doubt, keep them from nesting on our heads! So it is with our thoughts!
      Thinks positive and godly at all times, keep the faith and you will prevail in the battlefield of the mind.
      I hope this helps you and if not, please feel free to carry the discussion further!

  4. Thanks for the article.
    In the battle, I try to “catch” my thoughts, holding them captive, and expose them to God’s truth. I ask Him to help me do this and practice to get better at it. It is a
    Conscious choice to make. I also listen to the words that I say, especially when hurt or angry, because sometimes they escape w/o being held, if I hear negativity (sometimes it takes a couple of times before I hear the “vomit” proceeding out of my mouth), I stop and ask God to reveal what is holding me in such negativity; I repent of it and let Him lead me to pray for the person or situation that was hurtful. We
    Must listen to our minds and our hearts and our mouths. Also being careful to not easily accept what others say, but hold those to Gods truth also!
    Great article.

    1. Penny, – Your actions to take control of your thoughts is one of the most important steps to righteousness. Keep praying and allowing the Holy Spirit empower you.

      God bless and thanks for commenting!

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