Part One: Battlefield of the Mind

Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt

Psa 5:12 says, “For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.”

For many people, life can be like a daily battlefield of relational conflict. That’s sad but true. We can’t always control the situations that come at us but we can learn to control how we respond to them. When a person doesn’t learn how to manage the conflicts that come at them, I believe the warfare increases and intensives beyond what is reality. What do I mean by this? I mean that not only are they experiencing the real problems within their daily relational encounters, but they might also be creating artificial ones in their mind. They may begin to imagine problems that might happen before they ever really do that leads them to playing out an entire battle in their mind that has really never even happened.

I’ve know many men and women who because of continuous problems, have created the habit of forming negative expectations about how there spouse is going to respond to a situation. For example, a husband has been guilty of coming home late from work without giving his wife warning. He has done it over and over again. He gets home late, the meal she cooked is cold, and the wife feels like once again she has been treated without love and respect for the role she plays. It’s bad enough that he’s late, but on top of that he never calls to let her know. It’s led to multiple fights between then. Instead of correcting this inconsiderate habit, he instead often mentally walks out fight he is expecting on his way home late from work. He begins to play out an entire imaginary battle that prepares him to be even more reactionary and defensive than rational and apologetic. He is now fighting two battles instead of one – one in his mind and one with his wife (heightened by the one he had in his mind.)

Repeated relational schism puts one in the mode where they begin to have imaginary mind battles. They are unhealthy. Not only does one deal with the relational situation, but they‘ve now added a layer of mind battles. You can feel all the same negatives through a mind battle – an imaginary fight that never really happened, as you can a real one. Now you have doubled the amount of warfare you are having.

Both need to be stopped. If others perceive you or have accused you of being defensive, or if you just know that you are, then that means you are probably offended easily. You are one that struggles with mind-battles. How can you slow them down and eventually eliminate them? I’ll give you some answers but it will take a few writings. You’ll have to string these together so I don’t have to review.

First the real battles. Control your thought life. Quit being offended and thinking everyone is out to get you. It’s not true. Sometimes paranoia is a mental health issue but most often it’s self-inflicted. You’ve learned to yield to your own pity parties and jealousies. As a child of God you have the promise from God of supernatural favor. God promises you favor – people liking you and you don’t even know why. It’s a covenant promise. It’s the opposite of negative expectation. You have to put your faith in this promise for it to become real in your life. Psa 5:12 says, “For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” You look in the mirror and say, “Thank you Lord that people like and love me today. I expect it because it is your promise to me. I have favor as though it were a shield.” Combine the expectation of favor with a directive from the Lord concerning love.

1 Cor 13:7 says, “Love always protects, always trusts, always believes the best in others, always perseveres.” Begin to combine your expectation of having favor with others – people liking and loving you because God’s favor is upon you, with you treating others in love – you believing the best in them and their motives, not the worst. Purpose to believe they are for you not against you. That is a mental and spiritual exercise that will help you have a godly mind-set and thought-life. Over time as this takes root and becomes how you truly think, it will change how people respond to you. It will help unwind your defensive nature. Just like a dog gets nervous around a person that is afraid of it, so do people who think you are angry or defensive with them. They will avoid you. Instead think and act like people love you. You love and believe the best about them. As you carry this out, how life comes at you completely changes. This is just a godly method to begin reducing daily schisms in your life.

Knowing I would print this, I did a fun experiment this week. It’s not abnormal for me to put my arm around someone’s shoulder and give them a side hug and a big smile and hello. Like anyone I do that with people I know well. This week I decided to do it with anyone I knew at all, just like they were my best friend. The reaction was fabulous and fun. They responded like we were great friends. People just lit up and treated me back even kinder than they already do. I myself am purposely ramping up my revelation of favor and love to others. It is so much more fun than expecting something negative!

More about defeating mind battles to come… Keep reading!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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