As a man thinks in his heart, so does he become. Proverbs 23:7 KJV
For years I have worked on my actions and tried to change the way I react to things. I have worked on not saying things before I think. I have tried to treat people as I want to be treated. I have struggled every step of the way. I couldn’t figure out why it was so difficult for me to be soft-spoken, habitually positive, and have a genuine loving demeanor. Thank goodness the Lord placed the right book in the right place at the right time. My Mom and one of my sisters have a habit of giving me books quite often and I just stash them with the others I have been given. Usually in a bottom drawer somewhere and I tell myself I will get around to reading them one day. When I feel like I am ready to make the commitment to sit down and read a book in its entirety I open the bottom drawer and shuffle through the selection until God speaks to me and points one out. My Mom gave me “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer close to two years ago. I am just now getting around to reading it and I truly believe it was the right time. I only got through chapter 1 last night before I fell asleep, but if everything I learned from the first chapter is any indication of the rest of the book, I needed it!
I have been praying day after day for God to soften my heart and release some of the bitterness and anger I have been holding onto for years for so many different things. Not just one experience. Many many many different experiences throughout my life. I have previously talked about Satan attempting to defeat us with strategy and deceit, through well-laid plans and deliberate deception. I talked about that here: https://moderndayproverbswife.wordpress.com/2012/11/17/when-the-devil-is-not-fishing-he-is-mending-his-nets/ . But what I did not realize was how early in our lives he starts planting seeds.
He [Satan] begins by bombarding our mind with a cleverly devised pattern of little nagging thoughts, suspicions, doubts, fears, wonderings, reasonings, and theories. He has studied us for a long time. He knows our insecurities, our weaknesses, and our fears. he knows what bothers us most. Through careful strategy and cunning deceit, Satan attempts to set up ‘strongholds’ in our mind. A stronghold is an area in which we are held in bondage (in prison) due to a certain way of thinking. Satan begins to initiate his well-laid plans and to sow his deliberate deception at a very young age. ~Joyce Meyer “Battlefield of the Mind”
She goes on to use an example of a woman who had a very gruff Father who always had a bad attitude and had to control every situation. He spanked her just because he was in a bad mood. Satan manipulated her into having the attitude that she would NEVER let another man control her again. He made her believe all men were the same and she had to be tough and not take crap from anybody. It was ruining her marriage. Joyce Meyer completely changed my way of thinking in this chapter.
I had no idea that Satan started working on me at such an early age. He has been in my ear since middle school and I never even knew it! It is a painful process to face our faults and deal with them. Generally speaking, people justify misbehavior. They allow their past and how they were raised to negatively affect the rest of their lives. Our past may explain why we’re suffering, but we must not use it as an excuse to stay in bondage.
Satan knows well that if he can control our thoughts, he can control our actions. Our actions are a direct result of our thoughts. If we have a negative mind, we will have a negative life. If I can begin to think about what I am thinking about, my actions will change too. I had forgotten just because I wasn’t saying it out loud did not mean God couldn’t hear me. Touche, God. Touche.
The more you change your mind for the better, the more your life will also change for the better. When you begin to see God’s good plan for you in your thinking, you will begin to walk in it.