Battle of the Mind and Emotions
Here is a play by play battle that is going on for this mind and the fade that I have been writing about. I’m at the brink of fading and spiraling downward, but He says “Endure!” I’m at the moment of all moments – Choice. Either I’m going to sink in the water or continue walking on the water with Jesus Christ. This is a personal witnessing of this mind, emotions, and the battle. It is ultimately my choice to believe in the things of this world or believe in Him. Thoughts are coming in from 2 different angles: One is of the world (deception, which is resulting in negative emotions) and the other is the Sword of the Spirit (Truth, which is in-line with the Word of God, resulting in joy, peace and contentment).
Whichever one I succumb to will determine if my next step will be on the water or if I sink into the water. To give myself and any readers a good understanding, I’m first going to dig into the Word and see what God says about this intellect. I’m feeling led to research the issue of heart. I know I have journaled about this in the past, but it is so important in the midst of a battle to get into the Word. I pray this helps anyone else that may experience this as well. In Jesus name, amen.
The Mind and Thoughts
Proverbs 23:7 – As a man thinks in his heart, so he is. (23:7a)
This Proverb is powerful. If I accept thoughts from the enemy, my temple is filled with things of the enemy. If I accept the mind of Christ (the Word of God), my temple is filled with Christ. It’s really that simple – As a man thinks, so he is.
But, let me back it up one more step in the mind. How do I come about a thought? What I find is that my mind always has 2 choices pertaining to each individual topic that comes into my mind (the battle). One choice lines up with the Word of God and His character. The other lines-up with my ideas, the world, what I think God says, what I determine, etc. I find that the latter is rooted from societal influences, from upbringing, advice from friends, siblings, and/or the current ways of the world through the media, tv, music, etc. Or, to be real about the root of it all – It’s Satan’s battle weapons.
The end result I find is that I am left with a choice of which realm of thought I will serve with this temple. Whichever realm I choose to dwell on, I will be filled with. If I serve the enemy’s thoughts and accept them, I will be cursed. If I serve God’s thoughts and accept them, I will be blessed. Pertaining to this specific topic of choice and the battle, this is probably one of the top powerful messages from God –
Deuteronomy 30:14-20 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it. See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it. But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it. I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
I’m going to learn the biblical terms used to define heart. The term heart in the passage from Proverbs is Strong’s Hebrew word #5315 –
from 5314; properly, a breathing creature, i.e. animal of (abstractly) vitality; used very widely in a literal, accommodated or figurative sense (bodily or mental):–any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, X dead(-ly), desire, X (dis-)contented, X fish, ghost, + greedy, he, heart(-y), (hath, X jeopardy of) life (X in jeopardy), lust, man, me, mind, mortally, one, own, person, pleasure, (her-, him-, my-, thy-)self, them (your)-selves, + slay, soul, + tablet, they, thing, (X she) will, X would have it.
#5314: a primitive root; to breathe; passively, to be breathed upon, i.e. (figuratively) refreshed (as if by a current of air):–(be) refresh selves (-ed).
Then we have the term heart with one other definition in Hebrew, which is the one used in the beginning of the Deuteronomy scripture. #3820, and #3824, respectively:
used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the centre of anything:–+ care for, comfortably, consent, X considered, courag(-eous), friend(-ly), ((broken-), (hard-), (merry-), (stiff-), (stout-), double) heart((-ed)), X heed, X I, kindly, midst, mind(-ed), X regard((-ed)), X themselves, X unawares, understanding, X well, willingly, wisdom.
from 3823; the heart (as the most interior organ); used also like 3820:–+ bethink themselves, breast, comfortably, courage, ((faint), (tender-)heart((-ed)), midst, mind, X unawares, understanding.
We understand from the definitions that heart mainly refers to soul, mind, the breathing being, a creature, feelings, will, life, etc. Without posting all kinds of scripture, I went through around a couple hundred scriptures where the Hebrew words above were used, and the English translated words were: life, soul, mind, heart, being, creature, and it had some words of emotions and feelings too.
This is why scripture must be read in context. For instance, one said “..and he didn’t consider her in his heart.” Note the word “consider”. This speaks of intellect. So he wasn’t mindful of her. But then other scriptures showed an obvious emotion: “Therefore my heart was glad..” As we can see, context, context, context..
The majority of the usages were: heart, soul, mind, and pertained to feelings. So when we re-read Proverbs 23:7, we could translate this as – As a man thinks in his mind, so he is. Because that’s the “context” of the scripture – “As a man thinks..”. If it said – As a man is glad in his heart, so he is. Then we could translate the word heart as feelings.
By far, the greatest usage for the term heart was the word soul. After many studies on this topic, I have concluded that the soul consists of: the mind, the will, and emotions. The soul is our being, our character, etc. Thus, my definition of heart is that it is the soul of man. The center and the pit of man. The soul can be identified via the mind, intellect, etc., our will, and our emotions. It is very important that we understand the battle that is waging on for our soul.
The Soul and Emotions
Genesis 1:26, 27 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (1:26a)
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
When God breathed in the breath of life, He breathed into us a Spirit. Then, man became a living soul. The soul lined-up perfectly with the Spirit that God breathed into us. Our souls were formed via the Spirit. In other words, our soul only knew one thing – the Spirit that came from God, which lined-up perfectly with God.
There was nothing else to be known in our mind or emotions, only the Word’s coming from God, our Creator and Teacher. Prior to the fall of Adam and Eve, our mind and emotions were in full agreement with God, His Word, God’s character, etc. There was no knowledge of good and evil. We only knew good (God). There wasn’t a choice between good and evil. The only choice was to listen to our Creator..
Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
Adam and Eve originally obeyed. They heard what God said, and followed His Words. This was until the wicked one started giving additional words into their mind – The battle of the mind and emotions. Afterward, Adam and Eve had 2 sets of thoughts in their mind. One of good and one of evil. Watch how the wicked one used their mind to reason things out so that they could disobey God –
Genesis 3:1-5 And he said unto the woman, “Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” And the woman said unto the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” And the serpent said unto the woman, “Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen 3:1b)
So basically, we now come full circle into an emotion after a choice is made. Watch the switch of emotions here. This is before the knowledge of good and evil –
Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
After the knowledge of good and evil, seems pretty evident some shame came in eh? The battle of the mind and emotions –
Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
And then, instead of walking with God in harmony, talking with Him, being taught by Him, etc. they are now afraid of God and are hiding, just like I can do by escaping reading the Word, prayer, etc. –
Genesis 3:8-10 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
We sometimes only define heart as with emotions, and as far as I’m concerned, this is the greatest deception when I am trying to understand how I function internally. Emotions can be a trap or a blessing. This is what I have found within myself, very simple and straight forward – If I feel bad because of an ungodly reasons, I chose to dwell on the thoughts of the enemy. This is a battle of the mind and emotions, for our soul. Basically, I ended up becoming what I chose to dwell on – “life or death/blessing or curses”. If I feel anxious, depressed, sad, worried, hurt, pain, etc. these are curses and I’m dead inside.
Of course, we have to be wise. These emotions are created by God and they have a purpose. Even God was full of anguish at times. God has gotten angry, etc. But, the anger was towards the wickedness. He was anguished in His heart because of His love for His people that have turned from Him. Our emotions were created from God. Then the battle of the mind and emotions kick in from the evil one and we can end up with emotions that are rooted in ungodliness.
I do have to say that I find no where in scripture that the emotions of anxiousness, worry, depression and stress are in-line with the character of God. I believe that these are fully of the enemy, every time, and are meant to remove us from our faith and trust in God. The battle is always on. Even good feelings can be deceptive. I heard a friend once discuss some actions that were definitely sinful. She said something like, “These things make me happy! I find a lot of joy in them. Surely God wants me to be happy.” Whew… that was pure deception. The actions were sinful, but the thoughts of the enemy helped to fulfill the desires of the flesh. At that time, Satan won that battle for that topic in her mind. He won her soul. The outward words by this person were contrary to God. She was deceived and never knew it. See, I just got sad and anguished as I typed that. It was a feeling pertaining to this person’s soul. Almost brings me to tears. Lord, I pray for her that you continue to reveal your truth in her life through your resources. In Jesus name, amen.
Is there a time for sadness, hurt, and pain? There sure is. When a loved one passes on. God’s Word speaks of periods of mourning. I believe God mourned too. He was anguished at times. God was angry at times. I get angry towards unrighteousness, wickedness, etc. too. I’m very angry towards Satan for his deceptive ways in my life and in the lives of others. God created our emotions, but there is a wrong time to be angry. Is it righteous for me to get angry at an old lady who cut me off in the road? Or shall I thank God for the lesson of learning about my unrighteous anger? I once got angry at being slowed down on the highway by a semi. Around 2-3 minutes later, I come around a bend at 70mph and watched a tanker truck tipping over and flattening an SUV. It happened literally seconds in front of me. I now thank God for slowing me down with that semi. I originally cursed his blessing of protection, forgive me Lord.
What I am getting out of all of this is that for each individual thought and emotion that my soul is addressed with, there are 2 realities – God’s perfect thoughts and emotions or man’s imperfect thoughts/emotions. There is always a thought/emotion that lines-up with God, His character and His Word, and then another that lines-up with man, selfishness, the world, flesh, Satan, etc. This is truly the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Whichever my soul chooses to accept is what I am. Satan wants our choice, he wants our souls. This battle of the mind and emotions is very important as my mind and emotions are my soul. Now, when I am slowed down on the road, I smile. “Thank you Lord. I do not see what is going on out there, but I know you are with me. Thank you.”
The battle of the mind and emotions is a great deception, and I will reveal this battle inside this body. God wants us to choose Him, His ways, His Word, etc. Satan wants us to choose him, his ways, his words, etc. Whomever we choose, is who we surrender the soul to.
The Battle for the Soul
This battle of the mind and emotions took place when I decided to sin over the weekend. I willingly partook in excessive drinking. There was a moment during drinking when I felt my body and thoughts being affected. I thought to myself, “Ok, stop for a bit. You’re going to get drunk.” That was what lined up with God. I quenched the Sword of the Spirit (God’s Word, His righteousness) and chose the selfish thoughts – “It’s ok, I’m just having fun with friends.” I chose to separate myself from God. No different than my friend mentioned above. Justifying my sin because it felt good and right to the flesh. Ugh, this makes me sick to my stomach and I want to spew my flesh out of my mouth.
Afterward, I looked for that internal joy, peace and contentment – I found it not. Separation from God is an empty, alone, and completely drained feeling The Spirit is quenched and grieved. There was an initial battle of the mind and emotions, and my choice between the 2 caused the sin. But then, the slippery slope of fading – The battle of the mind and emotions are now in full force. This is the very moment of choice. Either 1) Choosing the slow fade down the slippery slope – sinking into depression, worry, sadness, hurt, pain, anxiety, and other emotions of the enemy. This will result in further separation from God, His Word, fellowship, etc. Or, 2) With my mind, loving God by self-sacrificing those thoughts which feed the emotions. Letting the mind of Christ be in me – The Word. I believe in the promises of God, that I am justified in-Christ.
This is how the battle of mind and emotions work in my member –
Flesh’s Thoughts – Result Spiritual Thoughts – Result
“You’re not worthy” – Empty, depression “Confess and repent. You are justified” – Joy
“God is not with you now” – worry, stress “I will never leave you or forsake you” – Joy
“I can’t face Him.” – Ashamed “You are cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb” – Joy
“My life sucks.” – hurt, sad, depressed “You are My Child.” – Joy
I have to be clear here. This does not mean via my own works, actions, efforts, etc. that I am made right with God and can walk in His joy and peace. This too is deception. I’m not saying “because I choose to dwell upon the Word of God, I am made right with God.” Only the blood of the Lamb justifies us. I sinned against God. It separated me from Him and indeed the Spirit was quenched (but He was not gone as He will never leave us orphaned). Before there is power to overcome the enemy in the above examples of thought, confession and repentance is necessary. We must be washed cleaned, and purified by the blood of the Lamb. This is a careful line here, because we cannot sin because we know we will be forgiven. This can also be a battle of the mind and emotions if we’re not careful.
This is the “danger zone”. The very moment of fading down the slope or enduring. As soon as I separate myself from God with sin, I have stepped out from under His umbrella of protection. I have left God. I am now hiding in the bushes, naked. The enemy is now in full force as my power, strength, joy, protection, etc (in-Christ) are now quenched. Too many times we may think (at least I have), “After feeling bad for __ days, then God will take me back.” Many Christians have went days in being hidden from God. This is a very dangerous place to be. We must hold on to the promises of God, and immediately get up –
1 John 1:8-10 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
Here is a great example of “feeling bad”. This scripture shows the 2 sides of 1 emotion, sorrow –
2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
The Godly sorrow is one of grieving God. Feeling bad for sinning against His righteousness and shutting Him out. It results in repentance because we love God (a living sacrifice). A worldly sorrow is more like being sorrowful over the lost of worldly objects, loss of fortune, fame, friends, etc. Such thoughts, which work with the sorrowful emotion, are not in alignment with God – Deception.
As we can see, my state of being will depend on my choice of what to set my mind upon. The lies of the enemy, or the truth of God’s Word. And that is the battle of the mind and emotions – The Word of God or the word of Satan. Spiritual warfare…
So now what do I say to the enemy trying to pull me down that slope? Once I confess and repent, then – “I’m cleansed and this is the home of Jesus Christ, be gone in the name of Jesus!” I say this immediately and I pick up my mat and walk. Onward Christian soldier! See, my first reaction was to not pray (ashamed), not read the word (ashamed), I almost skipped a bible study last night (ashamed). My sin rightfully causes a feeling of separation from God. But we also cannot let go of our faith in His promises..
Without His mercy, grace, His Son, and His love, I should be hiding. But, we cannot let the battle of thoughts trump over the promises of God that He has spoken. And also, we cannot use the promises of God as a scapegoat to feel better about our sin. Remember, the righteousness of man is but filthy rags to God. No works, actions, words, feel bad feelings, good deeds, great prayers, etc. can make us right with God. It is only through Jesus Christ (the veil) that we can come to the Father. I believe in Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior.
I think this can be summed up with this – Whichever we choose to dwell on, we become a servant of, and the results will impact us spiritually and physically –
John 8:34-36 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Romans 6:16-19 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
Romans 6:20-23 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Because I fade, this does not mean that God’s promises fade. Jesus is truly the way, the truth, and the life, and no one shall come to the father except through Him. And actually, there is nothing more than this for me to really understand. Lord, I thank you for forgiving me and helping me endure in your lessons. I’m sorry that I fall. Lord, please remember that I am mere flesh and bone. I have habits, influences, and selfish ways that I am battling up against. Ultimately, I have the truth, I am without excuse. I have selfishly sinned against you and you alone. I thank you for teaching me and I pray this lesson is written on my heart as a memorial for future use. Thank you Lord –
Matthew 22:36-37 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.