A fundamental battle in the spiritual life

By Dave Henning / June 24, 2017

“But there is a fundamental battle in the spiritual life being waged by the Evil One over the nature of the thoughts the run through your mind.  The ultimate freedom that you have, the freedom no one can take away . . . is the freedom to decide what your mind will dwell on.”- John Ortberg

“Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”- Romans 8:5

John Ortberg concludes Chapter 8 of The Me I Want to Be with the second way we open ourselves to the Spirit’s work.

2.  Learn to set your mind.  Although trying harder not to think wrong thoughts fails, you do possess the power to choose what you pay attention to.  As John Milton wrote in his epic poem Paradise Lost: “The mind is it’s own place, and it itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.”

Furthermore, Pastor Ortberg compares setting your mind to setting a thermostat.  Setting a thermostat creates a target for the climate.  Creating a life-giving climate represents the goal for such a system.

Similarly, in setting your mind, you want to create a life-giving climate.  Telling yourself to stop thinking negative thoughts is like the elephant in the room.

In conclusion, John cites researchers who’ve  discovered, in the last twenty years, that the brain has neuroplasticity.  John explains:

“Neurons that wire together fire together.  In other words, when you practice hope, love, or joy, your mind is actually, literally, rewiring your brain.”

Thus, your feelings change in the flow of the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit constantly wants to renew your mind.

Today’s question: What fundamental battle wages in your spiritual life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The reason to read the Bible”

About the author

Dave Henning

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