With this article I am going to continue with the series on Spiritual Warfare. This is the fourth article in the series. In the last article I began to address the conditions of the mind that are often manifested because of spiritual warfare. The conditions covered were the wandering mind, the wondering mind, and the confused mind. So now I’m going to move on and cover more of these conditions of the mind as is the title: Spiritual Warfare: the conditions of the Mind 2. This is the second article on the conditions of the mind.
The first condition is, the doubtful and unbelieving mind. Doubt and unbelief are two words that can be connected, but mean different things. To doubt is to waiver between two opinions, to stand in two ways with uncertainty, as to which one to accept. The result in a believer is small faith. As Jesus said to Peter in Matthew 14:31 “O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
Unbelief on the other hand is not little faith, but none at all, and the result is always disobedience. But the connection is: doubt can often lead to unbelief.
Let’s go back and take a look at doubt. Doubt is not something that God puts in us. The bible says that God gives every man a … “measure of faith.” [Rom 12:3]
God has placed faith in our hearts, but Satan tries to negate our faith, by attacking us with doubt. But once again I say: it’s very subtle!
Doubt comes in the form of thoughts that are in opposition to the Word of God. That is why it is so important for us to know the Word of God. If we know the Word, then we can recognize when the devil is lying to us. Be assured that he lies to us in order to steal what Jesus purchased for us on the cross.
You see, when God tells us something, or asks us to do something, the faith to believe it, or to obey it comes with the Word from God. God wouldn’t expect us to do something, and not give us the ability to believe that we can do it. Satan knows how dangerous we will be with absolute faith, so he attacks us with doubt and unbelief. So it’s not that we don’t have faith, it’s simply Satan trying to destroy our faith with deception and lies.
Faith is a product of the spirit; it is a spiritual force. Satan doesn’t want us to get our mind in agreement with the spirit. He knows that if God places faith in us and we start to consistently exercise that faith, we would do considerable damage to his kingdom.
Satan brings storms into our lives to intimidate us. But we must hold on to the fact, that all storms blow over, they don’t last forever. So we must dig in with both heels, and be determined in the Holy Spirit.
We must remember during a storm that the mind is the battlefield. We can’t make our decisions based on our thoughts or feelings, but tune into our spirits, which are led by the Holy Spirit (or at least supposed to be [Eph 3:16]). When we do this, we will find that the same vision that God has given us, is still there after the storm.
One very important thing for us to remember is: doubt is a choice. I’ve already mentioned that faith is the gift of God, so we know that we have faith, but let’s look at this in scripture so that you may refer to it later. Romans 12:3
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
So again, doubt is a choice. It is Satan’s spiritual warfare tactic against our minds. Now I’ve covered in an earlier article of this series, how we are in control of our thoughts, so we must learn to recognize it for what it is, cast it (doubt) out in the name of Jesus, and keep on believing. The choice is ours
Now to look at unbelief: Unbelief as I said earlier, leads to disobedience. Let’s look at this in Matthew 17:14-20
14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Now apparently Jesus had taught them certain things to do in these cases, but because of their unbelief, they weren’t able to obey Him. Their unbelief caused them to disobey. Therefore they were unsuccessful in carrying out God’s will.
Unbelief can also keep us from doing what God has called, and anointed us to accomplish in life. It will also keep us from experiencing the sense of peace that He wants us to enjoy, as we find rest for our souls in Him. Let’s look at this in Matthew 11:28-29
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
Jesus commands all to have faith in Him, to trust Him, to believe in Him. But if we have unbelief, we cannot follow this command in a word—disobedience.
The fourth chapter of Hebrews deals with the Sabbath rest that is available to God’s people. Under the old covenant, the Sabbath was observed as a day of rest. Under the New Covenant, this Sabbath spoken of is a spiritual place of rest. It is the privilege of every Christian believer to refuse to worry, or have anxiety. As Christians, all of us can enter the rest of the Lord. But it doesn’t happen by accident. For example in verse 11 of Hebrews 4 [amplified] it reads: “Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell]
Now those in the wilderness refer to the Israelites. They fell because they disobeyed God, and refused to go into Canaan why? Because of their unbelief. So verse 11 of Hebrew 4 brings out the point that we will never enter our privileged rest unless we believe—diligently, laboriously. Not only that, but we will forfeit our rest through unbelief and disobedience just as Israel did. This is no game! Unbelief will keep us living in the wilderness. But Jesus has provided a permanent place of rest, one that can be inhabited only through living by faith.
Let’s look at what it says in Romans 1:17
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Now faith to faith means, that faith is at the beginning of the salvation process; we receive Christ by faith; and faith is the goal as well. When a person first exercises faith in Christ, that person is saved from the penalty of sin, and declared righteous. (But) also, as the believer lives by faith, God continues to save him or her from the power of sin, to live righteously. Now how does God do this? Let’s look at the answer in Romans 15:13
13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
As we believe by faith and begin to exercise faith—living righteous lives, we receive the power of the Holy Spirit.
It is by the power of the Holy Spirit that God accomplishes his care for his people–giving us endurance, encouragement, unity (15:5), hope, joy, and peace. Hope comes as a by-product of the Holy Spirit’s work. It does not come from our own senses or experiences.
Now to wrap up this segment, the whole problem is doubt and unbelief—even for us Christians. We make ourselves unhappy by believing the Devil’s lies; and we become negative because we have no peace, and no joy,
and end up living in unbelief. Instead of living faith to faith as the scripture says, many of us are on a see saw. We live a life of going from faith, to doubt, to disbelief. Then back to faith, only to later go back to doubt and unbelief. We end up being miserable roller-coaster Christians, allowing our faith to take swells and dips. Many of us are double minded in our faith. One day, we’re a child of God and a disciple of Christ, and the next day, we’re cursing people out. The Scripture says: “from faith to faith.” “that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” But if we have doubt and unbelief, we will quench the Holy Ghost, and will not receive from God. The bible tell us in Hebrews 11:6: “but without faith it is impossible to please Him.” If God is not pleased, we can’t receive from Him. Now we’ve look at this in scripture from the front side—faith and hope, let’s now look at it with scripture from the back side—with wavering faith—doubt.. James 1:6-8
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
We simply can’t receive from God when we approach him with doubt and unbelief. Verse 8 goes on to say:
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
Now remember what Elijah asked Israel in 1 Kings 18:21: “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.
The point, we need to make up our minds that we will not live in a state of double mindedness. We will not live in
disbelief and doubt; we will not walk in disobedience. God has a plan for each and every one of us, and we can’t let the Devil steal it away from us with his lies. We must rebuke him! The bible says that we are to: cast down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
[2 Cor. 10:5] The high things are in the spiritual realm where the battle of the mind is ongoing.
Now to move into our next condition, we’re going to look at the anxious and worried mind.
Anxiety and worry are both attacks on the mind, intended to distract us from serving the Lord. Satan uses both of these torments to press our faith down, so that it cannot rise up, and help us live in victory.
Peace and worry are opposites of each other. It is absolutely impossible to worry, and live in peace at the same time. Peace is an ingredient of the fruit of the spirit, and fruit is the result of abiding in the vine(which in our case is Jesus).
Worry is definitely an attack from Satan upon the mind. There are certain things the Christian is instructed to do with his or her mind, and the enemy wants to make certain that they are never accomplished. So the devil attempts to keep the mental arena busy enough, with the wrong kinds of thinking, so that the mind never gets around to being used for the purpose for which God designed it. There’s an expression that sums this up which states: “the devil enters an empty mind.”
In the Sermon on the Mount, there is a passage that we should read when we feel a spell of worry coming upon us. Let’s look at Matthew 6:
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
We are to enjoy life. Jesus said in John 10:10: “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” But old Satan (the thief) attempts to steal that life from us in many ways—one of them being worry. Back to Matthew 6:25, Jesus is teaching that there is nothing in life that we are to worry about—not any aspect of it. The quality of life that God has provided for us, is great enough to include all of these other things, so we aren’t to worry about them. But if we do, then we lose the life that He intended us to have. Let’s look at verse 26:
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Jesus used the birds as an example of His provision. They don’t plant, so they don’t harvest. Nor do they store any food. They literally don’t know where there next meal is coming from. But you never see them worrying, and God feeds them. We are God’s highest creation; so Jesus asks: aren’t we much better than they are? Of course we are. So if He provides for the birds, He will certainly provide for us! So for those of us who may be suffering from a poor self-image, can read this verse, and know just how valuable to God we are. Looking at verse 27:
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
Taking thought means worrying and Jesus is asking: What do you gain by worrying? The point: worry is useless! It does not accomplish anything. If that is so, then why worry and why be anxious. Let’s move to verses 28-30:
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
Jesus asks: why worry about raiment or clothing, and again refers to one of His creations. He makes the point that if a flower which does nothing, can look better than the great king Solomon in all of his splendor, surely we will be provided for as well. Now the job of Satan and His demons, is to continuously pump into our minds the question: what are you going to do? What’s going to happen to me or any other difficult question pertaining to our present circumstances. And we spend and waste precious time trying to answer them; in a word—worry. Satan is constantly waging war on the battlefield—our minds, with the hopes of engaging us in a long drawn out, and costly combat. It’s costly because it takes our minds off of God, and onto our circumstances. Now the rest of the passage contains Jesus’ solution. Verse 31 reads:
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Now in this verse, Jesus again instructs us not to worry or be anxious about these things. Let’s look at verses 32 & 33
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Now we know that God’s children are not to be like the world! The world seeks after things,
but we are to seek the Lord. He has promised that if we will do that, He will add to us all these things He knows we need. We must learn to seek God’s face, and not His hand! Our father delights in giving His children good things, but we must seek Him, and not them.
The bible tells us in Philippians 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.” God knows what we need before we ask. If we will simply make our requests known to Him, He will bring them to pass in His own good timing. Worry will not help our cause at all, but it will in fact hinder our progress. Looking at verse 34
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Now one way to describe worry or anxiety is: spending today trying to figure out tomorrow. Let’s learn to use the time God has given us, for what He intended: to Give glory and honor to Him!
When Satan attacks and temp us with worry, anxiety, doubt or unbelief, we must remember what Jesus did. He didn’t have a conversation with him, he countered his attack with scripture. We must do the same: speak scripture out of our mouths. Hebrews 4:12 says: “ For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword,” and Paul addressing spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6:17 wrote: “And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” But take note, a sword is no good in its sheath during an attack! God has given us His word—use it! Just like Jesus did. Remember when Jesus finished throwing God’s Word at Satan, he left him alone. But it also says for only a season. So we must be vigilant and ready to use the Word of God in an instant.
Now we went through the passage in Matthew 6. That’s good to meditate on when needed. But let’s look at some more scriptures that you may want to remember and keep on hand for attack.
Now we’ve already gone through Philippians 4:6. Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 10:5
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;
Let’s now look at 1 Peter 5:6-7
6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
When Satan tries to give us a problem, we have the privilege of casting it upon God. The word cast actually means to pitch or throw. So we can pitch or throw our problems to God, and He will know what to do with them.
This passage lets us know that to humble ourselves is not to worry. A person who worries still thinks that in some way, he can solve his own problem. Worry is the mind racing around trying to find a solution to its situation. The proud man is full of himself, while the humble man is full of God. The proud man worries; the humble man waits.
Only God can deliver us, and he wants us to know that, so that in every situation our first response is to lean on Him and to enter His rest.
Speaking of rest: There is a passage that clearly illustrates the principle of resting on God. Let’s look at one final passage: 2 Chronicles 20: This chapter contains the battle against Jehoshaphat and Moab. This situation tested Jehoshaphat’s faith. In verse 5 he begins to pray to God when confronted by the enemy, and in verse 12 it reads:
12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.
Now in this passage, we see that Jehoshaphat realized three things:
- The he and his army had no might against this enemy.
- He did not know what to do.
- That they needed to have their eyes focused on God.
Now in verses 15-17, we see what the Lord said to them, once they came to this realization, and freely acknowledged it to Him.
15 And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.
16 To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.
17 Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.
So what is our position? It is one of abiding in Jesus and entering the rest of God. It is one of waiting on the Lord continually with our eyes focused on Him, doing what He directs us to do, and otherwise having a reverent fear of moving in the flesh.
So we are not to doubt, not believe or be anxious and worry. We are to rest in the Lord, to trust Him, and as the scripture reads: “be still and know that I am God.” [Ps. 46:10] Amen!
The next article will address more conditions of the mind resulting from Spiritual Warfare.
Please leave any question, comment, or concern regarding spiritual warfare below.