For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
When either God or Satan wants to influence us for good or evil, the primary conduit of their influence is through our minds. For example, the Bible says when God wants to give us His supernatural peace, He does it through our minds. Philippians 4:8-9 says, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” It is by what you think about that you receive the supernatural peace of God. Our thoughts are the conduit through which God pours His thoughts into our lives. It only makes sense that if God influences you and me through our thoughts, then Satan is also going to influence us through our thoughts.
I would like to suggest to you four channels through which Satan tries to influence our thoughts and ultimately control our destiny.
First of all, sometimes Satan influences our thoughts through our desires. Every morning I turn on my Apple computer. When I took that computer out of the box for the first time, it already had an operating system that determined what it could and could not do. There is not some engineer out in Silicon Valley who is telling my computer what to do and what not to do in real time–my computer has already been hardwired with an operating system. When you and I came out of the box, so to speak, we were also hardwired with an operating system that tells us what to do and what not to do. Here is the problem: Our operating system is defective. A virus has invaded it. When Adam and Eve sinned, that sin virus infected every one of us, so whenever God says, “You shall,” our default position is, “I shall not.” We already have that defective operating system, that sin nature, within us, which means Satan does not have to directly communicate to us in order to influence us.
But when you become a Christian, when you trust in Christ as Savior, God puts in you a brand-new operating system called the Holy Spirit of God. And the Holy Spirit gives you a whole new set of desires: when God says yes, you want to say yes; when God says no, you want to say no. According to Galatians 5:17, those two operating systems are constantly battling for control of our lives. Our minds are a battlefield of opposing thoughts and desires.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Winning The Mind Games” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2010.
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.