Volume 50 | Number 4 | October–December 2022

Inglés Español

God’s Protection for the Mind

By Dr. H. T. Spence

The older I get, being an observer of both the age and myself, it seems that the most powerful entity we possess is our mind. The mind is the constant, natural voice that is a controlling factor of what we say and do. As noted in these articles, over a process of time, without the guardianship of God and His Word, the mind potentially can enter into overpowering realms of darkness. Such realms of depression and despair can eventually lead to a world where the “kingdom of darkness” is the lord over our thoughts and imaginations. Our thoughts can potentially cause us to drift away from God; step by step we can enter a mental land where the quagmire of thoughts could possibly open the floodgates of demonic powers to come within. Even our emotions are controlled by the thoughts of the mind. Then there is the realm of the mind affecting the body.

The Powers of the Mind over the Body

In the 1800s, psychology and psychiatry were born in the womb of evolution. The secularists took the term for soul, pseuche, and divorced it from theology, placing it in a new “science” called psychology. This action destroyed its original meaning as well as identification with theology. This redefining placed the study of the soul outside the spiritual context. The soul became associated singularly with the mind, and the mind is now viewed as merely part of the physical body. One of the terms that emerged in the genre of psychology was psychosomatic. It is defined as the ability of the mind and thought to affect the body. It is the ability of the mind to convince us that we have a problem in the soma (the body). However, the problem really is our thoughts about the body; there is no real physical problem. Physical pain and suffering can arise from a wrong thought life. Oh, how powerful the mind can be in its thoughts about the body; it literally can think pain into existence! We must be careful about what we think concerning a physical problem; the mind could create its own symptoms not truly related to the physical problem. Thought can create an apparent reality that does not exist!

God and the Mind of Man

The Bible reveals the Creator’s blueprint of the mind, how it functions, and the way we are to properly think once we become a Christian. It even reveals how we are to control the mind. If we do not come to this knowledge from God’s Word, we become a slave to our runaway thoughts. In the light of our thoughts, let us first consider what God had to do when He came to us and changed our thought life. Then, let us consider what we must do to maintain our thought life from returning to its past paths and power over us.

How was our mind before God came to us? In Ephesians 2, the apostle Paul speaks of the course (the “age”) of this world. He reveals that the age had a profound effect on us: “Among whom also we all had our conversation [manner of living] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind” (v. 3). Oh, the accumulated mess that God had to wade through to even reach us in our thinking! Truly, the New Birth is the greatest miracle that has happened to us. Apart from the enabling power of God, it would have been impossible for us even to come to Him. Indeed, we “walked” according to the “course” of the world system (our contemporary age), which is controlled by the Devil, the god of this world (this age’s system). The Devil (the prince power of the air) was working in us, as he continually does in all children of disobedience. We observe from this passage two things. First, we were a product of this age. Second, this age shaped our thinking. We literally inhaled into our souls, our minds, our emotions, and our wills the outflowings of thought from an age that “lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19).

In addition to the powerful influence of this age, we were strongly influenced by the Devil himself. Second Corinthians 4:4 reveals that the Devil was able to manipulate and control our minds as unbelievers, empowering our rejection of God in unbelief. Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 4:3, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost.” And why is the Gospel hidden? Because we walked according to the present influential generation of this world, and the god of this world fed into our minds thoughts of blindness concerning the Gospel. The Devil constantly threw lying thoughts into our minds against the Gospel, “lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Across the vastness of the world, the Devil in his unique, dark power is literally maintaining this “not believing.” He aids and abets the thoughts of men, constantly slandering God, truth, and righteousness. While the Devil cannot read a person’s mind, he can throw fiery darts of doubt and unbelief into the minds of humanity.

With great clarity Ephesians 2:2 sets forth the two controlling powers of the sinner: the power of the age in which he lives, and the power of the prince of the air working in the children of disobedience. And what is that working? It is a working within the mind and the very thought life of the individual. A life lived is the product of thoughts, including the prompting to fulfill the intense desires of the flesh and of the mind. Therefore, the mind was an integral part of my sinning, and it became the inspiration naturally to perpetuate sin in my life.

Colossians 1:21 also unveils what our lives were before the Lord found us: “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.” We were enemies in our mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled us unto Himself! What was it within us that produced this alienation from God? It was both our mind and how we lived away from God. In Romans 8:7, the problem in the carnal believer is that the mind still may be an enemy to the things of God. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” Immediately after a person becomes a Christian, an awareness will arise concerning his mind and his thoughts. The mind’s propensity is fleshly, carnal, and often away from God. The Christian knows his sins are forgiven; but there is another governing principle, alongside of Christ, that seems to be present within. Thoughts arise at times that seem to hate God, a drawing within to the old way, the old man, and the old thought life. Paul declares this to be the carnal mind, the fleshly mind; and such a mind cannot be brought under the law of God.

God, after forgiving the believer of his sins, now calls for the Christian to give Him his total life. More specifically, God wants the entirety of the heart. What is the heart? It is the fountain of the human being’s existence. It is the root of the Christian’s very being. It is the core of his inner man. It is here that the sin principle resides. It is here that his mind is constantly feeding the heart. This is where the old man is located. The old man is not located in the mind or the will of the Christian per se; this old man, the sin principle, is located in the spiritual heart of the soul. And when Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit comes into the life of the believer, it is within the spiritual heart that He comes. Yes, right in the mixture of the mess of one’s life the Saviour makes His dwelling. For this is what He wants to lay hold of. But how does God get to the heart? He cannot simply invade the heart. Everything that comes into the heart must come through the mind. The Lord must come through the avenue of the thoughts. He first talks to us, sending conviction; He sends the voice of the Holy Spirit to speak to us about our life and living. Through this conviction to the mind, He speaks to our hearts, our consciences. Through thoughts of conviction, thoughts prompted by His Word (in preaching or through a witness), the individual will either listen to this conviction or reject it.

Yet, while this thought process is taking place, the Devil knows what is happening. He will try through projected thoughts to combat the thoughts that God is sending. And that adversary of our soul the Devil will do all he can to cause us to believe not, to mistrust what God is saying. He will try to cause us to question or doubt that Word. So, the avenue of the mind is where it all begins: both the conviction from God and the doubting thoughts from the Devil. This is also true concerning all forms of temptation to disobey God; the only way a temptation can come to the Christian is through the mind, the thoughts. Though, according to James 1:14, temptation comes from the enticement of a desire within, the temptation cannot come to us without going through the avenue of thoughts. There may be the ear gate in hearing or the eye gate in seeing, but it must be immediately transformed into thoughts to enter the heart.

Remember, God desires to take full possession of the heart! To reach it He must deal with the mind. This dealing seeks to bring one to “repentance.”We are not born again first. We first must experience repentance; we must be introduced to the gift of metanoia. This word is a combination of two Greek words: meta [“to change”] and noia [“mind”]. Although the word for mind is nous, noia is the “process of the thinking in my mind.” Thus, God must somehow deal with the mind through which all of my thinking takes place. Before coming to God, how did we think about God? How did we think about sin? How did we think about our past in sin? Did we view ourselves as sinners, without God, without hope? Our thinking must somehow be changed, and only God can grant repentance (Acts 11:18).

Repentance is a miracle! How can the process of our thinking radically change in a moment of time? God must grant it! Although in a moment of time God can grant this repentance, He will not repent for us. We either will willfully lay hold of the gift and repent, or will reject the gift and not repent. Once a change has come in the way we have been thinking, then the Holy Spirit through that change comes into the heart and births the Christ within.

Once Christ has entered the heart through repentance and believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, what happens to the principle of 2 Corinthians 4:4? This passage is certainly dealing with the unbeliever. But what effect does the Devil now have upon the Christian and his thinking?

The Christian and His Mind

Through the New Birth salvation has come to the believer, the Christian, including his mind. Does the Devil leave the believer alone? No, the Devil now changes tactics. His ploy is to stagnate that Christian’s heart to keep it in carnality (the carnal mind). To achieve this, he calls upon a mighty weapon from his arsenal that has been a tried and proved weapon: deception. To the sinner, his ploy is to create doubt, denial, and questioning. But once we have accepted Christ as our Saviour, and once Christ has come into the life, and once salvation comes to the mind, we have a sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7), a saved mind. Satan’s strategy now is to create deception, not doubt!

Knowing this biblical principle, the Christian must come to see the great importance of meditation. Meditation truly is an integral part of the protection for our saved minds. Meditation is the maintaining of God’s Word within the mind; it is a constancy that must be a present tense reality throughout the life. I cannot permit my mind to be by itself for a long period of time. If I do, my mind could be profoundly influenced from many directions. Meditation is not only for the maintenance of communion and fellowship with God but also is imperatively needed to protect my mind from the constant bombardment of the Devil’s deceptive thoughts. Once repentance has come to change the process of my thinking, I now must lay hold of the protective power of God’s Word in the constancy of meditation; I must maintain the change of mind that has come to me.

One of the concerns Christians face in the End Time is lukewarmness. This concern is true not only for the living of the Christian life but also for the thought life of the mind. We live in the worst generation for keeping a consistent biblical thought life. Seventy-five or one hundred years ago, even those who did not attend college or even finish high school had greater capacities for natural, morally sound thinking than our generation.

In contrast, today insanity saturates our politics; there are no statesmen in the present government. The elite leaders of our country are incompetent; their lifestyle is found among the scum of the bottom of humanity. There is no sound thinking. Such human beings are the products of an insane hour, controlled by insane thinking. And this is the way leadership will continue until the time of the coming of Antichrist. Such a man will be the product of this insanity; yea, he will be the embodiment of the thoughts of the Devil in human form.

The Mind Must Love God

With all the technology and science at our disposal, our generation has produced a society that dwells in another dimension of thinking. Our society increasingly grows in passivity of thinking. A passive mind is what opens the door to all kinds of powers easily entering the thought life. The Christian cannot afford to have a passive mind; it will destroy his walk with God.

Note Ezekiel 11:5:

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.

As a Christian, I must ever be conscious of this fact that God knows every thought that enters my mind. Psalm 139 declares that God knows my thoughts even before I think them; yea, He knew our thoughts from the foundation of the world! What words we read at the end of this psalm: “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (139:23, 24). As Christians, we must have a consciousness and sensitivity that our thoughts are ever before the Lord. We must pray for the cleansing of our mind as well as the cleansing of our heart. As we have noted, God knows every thought that we have; so, what is the pleading of Scripture concerning this?

There is first the Great Commandment, which is the superlative command that we must live by. It is the definition of Christian perfection. The great commandment is a singular declaration covering everything we will ever face in life. Oh, if we would only keep clear our understanding of our relationship with God in this great commandment, it would prove to be of immense benefit to us. And what is the great commandment? We have read that the mind (the carnal mind) of the Christian is at enmity (or hatred) with God. Remember that God placed this hatred between the good seed and the bad seed of humanity all the way back in Genesis 3:15—God placed the hatred between the godly and ungodly. It was to be a protection for us by maintaining a separation in our living. It will be tied into what we hate and what we love! We must hate the world, even in our thinking, but we must love God.

But what is this great commandment?

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might (Deut. 6:4, 5).

In Matthew 22:37, when Jesus answered the lawyer’s question of what “is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” As a Christian I must find in Christ the fulfilling power of this great commandment. This commandment is tied up in loving God with everything that is within me. Endeavoring to keep this commandment will be my protection in this wicked and evil world in which we live. Because God is a Spirit, the word body is not mentioned in the Great Commandment. The Commandment calls upon us to love God with everything of the inward man. It begins with loving God “with all thy heart.” It starts at the root. It then proceeds to the soul, which encompasses everything of that inward man. But then it turns to my might, which is the manifestation of the inward man in all that I do. And finally Christ included the “mind.” My mind is to be the manifestation of love to God in my thought life. I prove my love to God by what I think upon, the meditations of heart and mind. My mind cannot be given to passivity, wandering thoughts, apathetic thoughts, indifferent thoughts. Love must be active from each of these spheres of the inner man.

Warnings to Gird Up the Mind

The apostle Peter gives us a warning in his first epistle (1:13) that becomes an important need at this crucial hour in history: “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” This passage reveals an insight concerning the mind’s power, which demands the need of “girding up the loins of the mind.” There must be a sobriety to the mind, a saneness in its thinking; it is to be serious about itself and not to be taken lightly. We must not think we can handle this power alone for the mind is capable of flitting and flying in a moment of time. The mind can change course of thought in a moment. Thoughts may race from one to another like the buzzing of many bees swarming around in our head. Thoughts can be projected into the mind so quickly that we may wonder, “Where did that thought come from?” And then there are thoughts projected by the Devil, which come so quickly that they are in the mind before we realize it.

Therefore, this passage in Peter’s first epistle reveals that the mind is capable of being girded up. The mind has a concept of loins (the center strength of that mind) that must be girded up. The Christian must learn to tighten up the thoughts. The mind cannot be permitted to simply be loose and free to go into any realm of thinking. There must ever be a maintenance, or a tightening of the mind in what it is permitted to think upon. The mind cannot be like it was before it came to Christ. The apostle Paul brings forth another principle in 2 Corinthians 10:5 concerning this girding up:

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.

The Word of God gives us several warnings concerning the principle of controlling the mind. Consider the fall of King Solomon who was wrapped in the environment of God in worship. What happened to this wise king? It seems that he lost, yea, he forfeited his sensitivity toward God. We are shown in his Book of Ecclesiastes the trains of thought he took away from God. When it comes to our thoughts about God, we must take them seriously. No matter how long we have been a Christian, we can never lose a sensitivity concerning God, His Word, and the principles found in that Word. We can never become so accustomed to God that we take Him or His Word for granted. We must take His warnings seriously; yes, we must be sober about our thoughts of God and His Word. As Peter continues: “Be sober and hope to the end,” to the end of our days, or until the coming of Christ! We must never relax in this “girding up” of the loins of our mind!

For the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation [or the public unveiling] of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance (1 Pet. 1:13, 14).

In our past living we were ignorant of those former lusts and their power of devastation against us. Therefore, we must ever be girding up our thoughts, being sober!

Safeguards for the Christian Mind

In Romans 12 the apostle Paul brings us to the apex of the Christian life, the life to which justification by faith (chapters 4 and 5), sanctification (chapters 6 and 7), and the infilling of the Spirit (chapter 8) have been the mercies bringing us to the great truth of the chapter. Entering Romans 12, we now read why the Lord wanted to bring us through all of these workings of grace. It was to bring us to the apex of living the Christian life: consecration. Paul declares,

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies [your full human nature and body, which have now been delivered from the power and propensity to sin] a living sacrifice.

The workings of sanctification are to be a precious part of this sacrifice, which is holy, acceptable to God, and which becomes the reasonable service of the Christian life. This is the normality of Christian living, the reasonable service. But Paul goes on to state,

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.

This word conformed is the Greek word sunskeima. Paul now reveals that the Christian must no longer look to the world and imitate it. This is what brought Neo-Christianity into existence. Neo-Christianity continues to look at the world and conform to it, rather than looking to Christ and being conformed to Him (Rom. 8:29). Modern Christianity lives like the world, dresses like the world, acts like the world, and attends the places of the world. This is becoming more and more the commentary of Christian colleges and the vast majority of churches. At one time in some of these “Christian” schools, there may have been a greater sensitivity to God and the truths of His Word. But conservative Christianity has been so absorbed in minding the world that it has become the world with a Christian label. Their countenances, their dress standards, their music, their conversations, their generic preaching all give witness to the falling away of the heart and the enlarging of the thought life to include the world. Paul warns the Christian that instead of imitating the world (the age), let us be transformed by the present tense continual renewing of our mind.

Dear reader, this is going to be a key part of keeping the mind! The mind must (in the present tense) continually be renewed. It must be renewed because there is ever the danger of the mind becoming stagnant. And a stagnant mind tends to possess truth without power. Yes, we could have the truth, but that truth may not have the power within us as it did in the past (2 Tim. 3:5). This lukewarmness can happen in the best of churches. The truth in a creed and on a website could be held in sterility while the power of that truth is absent in the life. We know the doctrine, the outward form; but our lives could be denying the power of the truth in our living. We may have the truth of the doctrine in our mind, but are we sensitive to the living of that truth?

What is now an imperative need? The need is for our mind, yea, our thinking to be constantly renewed! But what is the renewing of the mind? It is the constant renewing of the mind in the faith of the Word of God so that you may be able to prove, or continue to prove (present tense), what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. This passage reveals that something must be daily happening in my mind and heart. The mind must constantly be renewed in its thinking and meditation accompanied by the Holy Spirit.

This renewal happens through meditation. Although we may read the Bible, we must also be meditating throughout the day on that Word. It must become a part of our thinking. If we are not careful, what we have in memory may be stale manna, or manna breeding worms. What a thought! Truth could breed worms of destruction if it is not kept fresh in the mind and heart. This is why there must be constant renewing of the mind in Christ for that manna of His Word ever to be fresh within. It is the manna kept in the golden pot in the ark of the covenant, in the Holy of Holies, which becomes a type of the fullness of the Spirit ever witnessing in the Christian life.

Another principle steps forward in the New Testament calling us to protection of the mind. Note 1 Peter 4:1, 2:

Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.

What do these verses reveal to us? Again, it is coming back to a mindset. The mind must be set in a certain perspective of thinking. We are told that Christ suffered for us in the flesh (this was His crucifixion). Then, Peter calls upon the Christian to “arm yourselves likewise with the same mind,” or the thinking that Christ had when He went to the cross. When this crucifixion is known in the Christian life, “he that suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin.” The Christian knowing Christ’s cross and crucifixion in his own life will cease from the principle of sin controlling his life and mind.

This “ceasing from sin” is not referring to Christ, for Christ never knew sin to cease from. “For he…hath ceased from sin [from the principle of sin]; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh [the physical body] to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.” Christ went to the cross with a certain mindset. Christ was willing to go to that cross and did not view it as a shame against Himself. If I too have this mind (the true thought perspective of the Romans 6 crucifixion), it will be a protection to the mind. It is the crucified life in Christ.

Yet we read in Philippians 2:5 another view of this crucifixion. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Let this process of thinking that was in Christ be in us. This is the way Christ thought about Himself in the light of His humiliation in coming to earth to do the will of His Father, which included the cross. How does the Christian think about crucifixion? Do we think it to be a protective need for our lives, including our crucifixion of the world, to the desires of the world, and to the will of the world? What do we think of humbling ourselves in our submission to Christ, even to the death of the cross?

There is an accompanying principle to be seen in Romans 14:5:

One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

What is the principle revealed in this verse? We must be fully persuaded of that which we say we believe. One person may declare a passage of Scripture and may give a commentary of that passage, and another person may agree to what the other says about it. However, it has no meaning until each individual is fully persuaded in his own mind about that truth. We truly must have conviction on that declared principle of truth. If one personally believes it to be true, the world may try to lay hold of his thinking and endeavor to shake him away from that principle or truth. The Christian must come to a full persuasion in his mind and heart. If that truth is established firmly within his mind and heart, nothing the world brings can shake him away from it. No fear, doubt, darkness, or despair can rob him of its truth. A sanctified mind will help in sealing the mind about that truth. One of the poisonous characteristics of carnality is “doubt.” Carnality of the mind tends to bring doubt and question, but a sanctified mind brings the Christian to a conclusion. It brings him to a rest about that Word.

So, when thoughts are hurled into the mind by the Devil, we are not there to debate him! We need not begin questioning the Word of God. Why? Because we have come to a rest in our thinking about God’s eternal truth for us.

The Danger of a Passive Mind

Beware of passivity taking over the mind. A passive mind is a mind that is capable of being controlled by something rather than the self. It is when the Christian yields to thoughts that are not of God. As such thoughts “talk” to us, we fail to retaliate; we simply yield to the thoughts.

Thus far we have seen what will keep us from a passive mind. But once a passive mind begins its invasion, there will be insightful characteristics that reveal that passive mind within. Note 2 Timothy 4:3, 4:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

One of the signs that a passive mind is taking over the Christian mind is when the Christian leaves the “active voice” to make intentional decisions. All of a sudden, the individual goes so far in those decisions that it places him in a context in which another power takes control of him, and there is nothing he can do about it. We see this characteristic in this passage of 2 Timothy. In a previous passage (1 Tim. 4:1) Paul stated, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times [or the last days] some shall depart from the faith.” How will they depart from the faith? It will be a departure as a result of “giving heed to seducing spirits.” How this takes place will be through the thoughts of the mind. How often the Christian has permitted thoughts coming from demons or the Devil to be cast into his mind. The Christian then takes heed to those thoughts and doctrines; the demons now teach the individual how to live and what to think. This influence will increase more and more in the End Time. The Christian must be ready to resist these thoughts. If he does not resist such thoughts, the kingdom of darkness will oppress and control the mood and spirit of his thinking.

But what are signs of a passive mind? The first sign is when certain thoughts come into the mind that the individual cannot seem to do anything about. He cannot stop such thoughts; there seems to be no power in the will to stop them. Once these thoughts are able to make inroads into the mind and are not resisted, they will intensify through the continued manipulation by the prince of darkness and his advocates. Over a period of time, with the mind permitting these thoughts to continue, the individual will enter a realm where they no longer can be controlled in the mind. It is one thing for thoughts to be given to us, but it is another thing when we will not do anything about controlling them. We must resist the Devil’s thoughts to us. That resistance will be in the mind through prayer and refusing to yield to those thoughts. The mind is now entering passivity when it does nothing about such thoughts against God and against the individual’s life in Him.

A second sign of a passive mind is the constant and unstoppable flow of pictures or images upon the mind. It is one thing to “fight” against the images by crying out to God. But a passive mind will not prohibit them from residing in the mind. They now control the imagination, and the individual seems not to have the power to stop the visual images within the mind. We are not stating that in receiving such images upon the mind we are in sin; however, great problems arise when we no longer cry out to God to help us resist these images taking up residence in our thought life. The Christian must pray, seek the Lord, cry out to heaven for the deliverance. When the mind becomes passive to these images, they will flourish in the mind and they will increase.

A student or child could become passive in learning. Sometimes we meet a child who is unable to concentrate. His mind is bombarded with all kinds of thoughts, and because of this he is unable to concentrate when being taught. This is part of the biblical definition of double-mindedness. The child does not have the ability to concentrate on that which is given to his mind. There is a reason: the child has been permitted to go so long in his life without the discipline of the mind. His attention has never been arrested; his mind wanders here and there. He rarely looks at the parent or the teacher when spoken to. This leads to a mind given to vacillation. This may also be seen in adults who cannot concentrate.

Another subtle sign of a passive mind is found in individuals who are overly talkative in order to keep a conversation going. When something is said to them, they are not listening. Or when prayer is given by another individual, the mind is constantly wandering. Prayer concentrates thoughts. Can we keep our mind on prayer? Sometimes we may be so tired, we will have to help ourselves in concentration: either by standing up or praying audibly rather than silently in the mind. But if there is lack of concentration in prayer, most of the time it is a sign of a passive mind. For example, after prayer, do we immediately enter into conversations of the secular? Where did the spirit of prayer go? There are many fast talkers, but must they be talking all the time? Certain individuals may control the conversation, but their minds may not be listening when others speak. This may be a sign of a passive mind. There is a torrent of words without thinking, without choosing, without maintaining the stability of the conversation.

Obstinacy is another sign of a passive mind. Obstinacy is a refusal to listen. This can be true of children and teenagers towards their parents. How often decisions are made to leave a good Christian home, and church, and the things of God. And once the mind is set, they will not listen. Even when God is calling to the individual, obstinacy of heart can cause the mind to become passive. He just refuses to listen to the Lord or to those who are being used by God to call him back to the right path. Stubbornness of heart can lead to a passive mind in listening to God.

A final sign of a passive mind is worklessness. Just as a person can get lazy and have no longer a desire to work (and this is becoming a prominent characteristic in society today), a person can enter a mental laziness in which they no longer “work” the mind. They do not keep the mind active with the right thoughts. Because of this the mind could enter into a lull. Dear Christian, keep your mind active in prayer, in Bible reading, in conversations with God’s people, and in your own thought life of meditation. Keep your mind active in the thoughts that will cultivate your life in God.


In these days the Christian must be careful to guard and protect his mind. This will become more important as the age is given over to the Lie, and we no longer know who or what to trust. The Devil is working at a greater pace to claim as many of God’s people back to his camp as he can. He has had six thousand years to experiment with humanity, and he is at his greatest hour in reclaiming his own. Fewer are ready for Christ’s coming today than fifty years ago. Truly the Devil is hunting for the precious life. We must be careful in our thought life. Some right thought must be controlling our minds at every given moment. Otherwise, we will be given over to laziness; whatever comes into the mind will become the controller. The Devil will send thoughts, and at times shocking thoughts. But these sent thoughts are not my thoughts until my will unites with them. Therefore, I must stand as a sentinel, guarding and protecting my mind, waging a war against any stronghold that rises against my Lord and against my thoughts away from Him. The mind (as a gateway to the heart) is where we face the battle with the Devil. Whoever controls the mind will eventually control the heart. May the Lord help us in this crucial hour— in the battle for the mind!