Winning the Battle for Your Mind

Winning the Battle for Your Mind

Sermon preached by Donald J. Galade at Faith Church Hazleton on 1/29/23. Adapted from “Winning the Battle for Your Mind” by Brandon A Cox
Today we are talking about the battle that happens in your mind, and I am very excited to get to share with you on this topic today because I have had a terrible week. Seriously, I spent the first half of it sick and practically unable to think, and then I have had nightmares almost every night on top of what seems like an increased amount of negative thinking.

 But that excites me because I can’t help but think the enemy is terrified for us to talk about this topic today. I believe some of you are about to experience a new level of freedom and victory in your walk with God today. And it all starts in the mind.

 Last week Pastor Rodney spoke about the armor of God. He talked about how we can prepare for those spiritual battles. About the kind of equipment, we are given to make us victorious. Today we are going to talk about the front line of that battle. You see, the battle Begins in Your Mind.

You cannot have a negative mind and live a positive life.
You cannot have a lustful mind and live a pure life.
You cannot have a prideful mind and live a humble life.

Your life will follow your thoughts. Your mind is the battlefield! Last week, we talked about the “helmet of salvation.” Today, we’re expanding on that. Our main verse is 2 Corinthians 10:4-5. The armor of God tells us how to prepare, but this verse lays out how we are to fight.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

In other words, the first place Satan fights is in the mind, in your thought life. To understand this and fight well, I want to expand on three big truths:


John 8:44 Amplified
When he (Satan) speaks a falsehood, he speaks what is natural to him, for he is a liar [himself] and the father of lies and of all that is false.

Satan is the author of lies, and all his forces are expert whisperers of lies. And you know what the best lies are? The ones that have a little bit of truth in them.

Do you know the first lie Satan ever told?

In Genesis 3:1 he said, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

But that’s not what God said. What did He say?

You can eat any tree except one.

Satan is smart. He doesn’t come to Eve with a bald-faced lie. He sneaks in. His statement has a little truth in it; there was something they weren’t allowed to eat. But he mixes truth with deceit, and the rest is history.

Or what about when Satan tries to tempt Jesus in the wilderness?

Satan tries to use the Bible itself to trick Jesus. He tries to twist the truth to deceive. Friends, we need to be aware of the devil and his schemes.

This doesn’t mean that every sin we commit can be directly blamed on Satan. But it ultimately means that all sin, directly or indirectly, traces its origin back to the lies Satan has sown into humanity, from the garden of Eden and onward.

And most of the time, when we sin or fail morally, it’s because we’ve believed something false that came, directly or indirectly, from Satan’s influence.

Our actions start as thoughts. Even right now, some of you are planning where you will go to lunch. It all starts up here. Even our reactions, or actions we take without thinking, come from our subconscious, resulting from years of habitual thinking a certain way about something.
It all comes back to what we think and what we believe.

Some of you are believing lies right now that have wreaked havoc on your life…

 But that’s where the good news comes in:


John 8:31-32 NLT
You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

All of God’s truth is a powerful weapon in our hands. The Gospel itself is something hidden to the minds of unbelievers. But when we embrace the truth and grace of the Gospel, it changes everything.

We are set free when we know we’re truly loved.
We are set free when we understand the message of the cross.
We are set free when we tap into God’s power.
We are set free when we know our destination.
We are set free when we find our worth and identity in Christ alone.

God’s truth is the affirmation, the confirmation, the weapon we need. But for the truth to help us, we need to know it. And not only know it, we need to choose to believe it.


Romans 12:2 NLT
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

The transformation from what we once were into the Christlike saints God intends for us to be is a matter of renewing our thinking. It’s a matter of replacing all the errors and all the lies with the truth of the Gospel

Earl Nightingale once described the human mind as a farmer’s field:

Imagine you are a farmer and have a freshly tiled field before you. The dirt is all turned over; the land is fertile. You can plant any kinds of seed you want, and it will grow in abundance.
You can produce something valuable to eat or plant nightshade, a deadly poison.
The land doesn’t care. It will return food or poison in equal abundance. It will return what you plant, but it doesn’t care what you plant.
Galatians 6:7 tells us that we reap what we sow. The choice is up to you.

Will we think God’s thoughts, as revealed in scripture, or the enemy’s lies?

Renew our minds
Take captive every thought
Reap what you sow

The Bible has taught these truths for thousands of years, and recently, science confirmed it. I think it’s interesting that people believe the Bible is outdated by modern science when time and time again, science is just playing catch up to what the Bible has already made known.

In 1948 something called neuroplasticity was discovered:

Neuroplasticity is a process that happens in your brain whenever you learn. Whether you learn something new, try something for the first time or practice a skill for the 1000s time, it’s happening.
Whenever we have habitual thoughts or do routine tasks, the neurons in our brains send signals to each other. If these same pathways are used repeatedly, our brain physically changes.

Check out this video for a great explanation of neuroplasticity:

Whenever we have habitual thoughts or do routine tasks, the neurons in our brains send signals to each other. If these same pathways are used repeatedly, our brain physically changes.

Repeated activities or thoughts can literally carve pathways in our brains to make those tasks more accessible and readily repeatable. This is why breaking a habit is hard- they are physical paths in our brains.

 The good news is that our brains can change even after habits are formed because of neuroplasticity. By developing new habits and not using old ones, new pathways are made, and old ones shrink.

  • What do you turn to when you are stressed?
  • What is your reaction when you get angry?
  • Do you have a negative or positive outlook on life?
  • Do you think about yourself according to scripture, or are you filled with anxiety?

These are all learned habits that can be unlearned and replaced.

What science is just now telling us the Bible said 2000 years ago- we need to renew our minds. But how do we do that?


Look at the life of Jesus and follow his example. This isn’t just positive thinking- it’s choosing to align your thinking with God’s. It was God’s words that created and sustain reality- and there is power when we use them.

Jesus didn’t rely on His own words, but even He used scripture:

When Satan whispered, “Isn’t it written?…” Jesus responded with, “Yes, and it is written….” He knew the source and context of God’s Word.

It’s not just “what would Jesus do? ” because it’s often too late at the point of decision. It’s “how would Jesus think?”

If you want to live the life God wants you to, you have to think the kinds of thoughts God thinks.

 And to do that, you have to know the Word. Begin to memorize life verses. There is a website called where you can enter any topic and see Bible verses about that topic. The enemy has all kinds of ammo to throw at us. We need to be prepared with God’s Ammunition of the Word.


Fill your mind with better thoughts. It’s not enough to just know God’s Word; we must use it. God gives us salvation for free, by grace alone. But we have to renew our minds daily by faith. It isn’t always easy. Somedays, it will be hard.

 If we have habits or repeated thought patterns that have gone on for years, it may take longer to renew those things. But God is faithful. It’s His Word that has the power to accomplish that renewal.

In my experience, renewing your mind isn’t a linear process. We want it to be like this graph. We get saved, memorize a Bible verse, and want all our problems to disappear.
More often, it looks like this:

Renewing our minds is a process. It means we will regularly have to notice when our thinking becomes negative and then choose to quote scripture instead.

Notice I didn’t say stop being negative and be positive. That’s useless advice. Has anyone ever said that to you? You’re in a bad mood, and someone says, “cheer up.” Like, gee, thanks, I hadn’t thought of that.

No, as I said, this isn’t about positive thinking. It’s about using God’s Word.

It means when I feel depressed, I say: The joy of the Lord is my strength.
It means when I am stuck in shame, I say
Romans 8:1; therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ.
When I am sick, I remind myself
God is my healer.
When I am afraid, He is my
When I am in need, He is my

That’s how you do this.

That’s how you renew your mind. Every time your brain begins to go down one of those old pathways of negative thinking, you stop and chart a new course with God’s Word. You might have to do it 10 times a day or 60 times an hour, but the more you do, the more those new pathways will form, and things will change.

The book of Psalms is great for this. Almost every Psalm starts with the author saying how bad their life is.

“Oh God, everyone hates me.”
 “Oh God, I’m starving.”
 “Oh God, my friends are trying to kill me.”

They start pretty dark. But you will notice they have a huge BUT. And the author will shift and say, this is bad, BUT my God is faithful. Even though things are dark, I know He is the light.

They don’t deny or ignore their situation but decide that God’s Word is more powerful. They speak it out and replace the negative with God’s Word.

I am not saying negative thoughts, emotions, and habits aren’t real. But I am saying God’s Word is even more real.
Let me ask you something:
  • Have you ever seen birds?
  • Can you stop them from flying over your head?
  • But can you stop them from making a nest in your hair?
Martin Luther once said:
“You cannot keep birds from flying over your head
but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”

You may be unable to stop every thought that passes through your mind. But you can decide which ones get to stay there.
Philippians 4:8 NIV
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.


Start making one better decision at a time. Make the next right choice. Take the next right step.

It would be daunting to try eliminating all negative thinking and habits overnight. Pick one, and work on it for a month. For 30 days, resolve to tackle one thought pattern.

  • Maybe it’s anxiety over a situation.
  • Maybe it’s depression.
  • Maybe it is fear.
  • Maybe there is a physical habit you want to address. Perhaps it is a dependency on drugs, alcohol, porn, or other addiction.

 I heard Pastor Joseph Prince one time give this advice to someone trying to quit smoking:

He said every time you go to smoke, say 2 Corinthians 5:21– “Through Christ, I am the righteousness of God.” Even if you still smoke. In between every puff, say that.

Because if you believe in Jesus, it’s true. And there more you say it, the more you will believe it, and eventually, your reality will line up with your belief in the Word, and you won’t need to smoke anymore because you are the righteousness of God.

Find scripture that addresses your circumstance, and go to war. Cause it is a war, the enemy wants to destroy you.

John Bunyan, the author of the Pilgrim’s Progress, makes this observation about the armor of God: There is no armor for the back. All the armor is forward facing. You have a shield and the breastplate but nothing for your back.

There is no retreating in a spiritual war. We are more than overcomers through Jesus. The outcome is not uncertain. God’s Word does not fail. The battle may be rough, but victory is coming.

Make a goal.

Find a scripture and for 30 days, commit to fighting. See if your life does not change.

I encourage you to find an index card or slip of paper. On one side of the card, write down the habit or thought pattern you want Jesus to free you from.

 On the other, write a scripture that you can cling to for that promise. Keep this card somewhere visible for the next 30 days to remind you to keep fighting the fight. Maybe keep it in your pocket and look at it several times a day.

Commit to a change. Don’t stay stuck where you’ve been; go where God is calling you. Into freedom. Jesus will meet with you right where you are. Jesus wants to free you. Will you meet with Jesus?
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