The great battlefield for Christians is in the mind. As Christians connected to Christ, we are blessed with a new life called in Ephesians the “new self” and in Galatians “the spirit.” However, as humans we are still connected to Adam from whom we inherited the sin nature which again in Ephesians was called the “old self” and in Galatians “the flesh.” These two war within our minds desiring preeminence over our life.
Ephesians 4:21-24 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,
and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Our job, most definitely, with the help of God is to lay aside the old self that is rooted in deceitful lusts and put on the new self, that God created within us through the new birth, rooted in His righteousness and true holiness.
Galatians 5:16-17 - But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.
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.
The new life comes with the spirit, and the old life remains with the flesh. They are constantly in opposition to each other. Who wins out and has supremacy in our lives is solely determined by our choice, again with the help of God. When the new man is on the throne of our mind, we enjoy love, peace, and joy, and when the old man is on the throne, we must endure the miserableness of self-centeredness, strife, and sadness. The choice seems obvious doesn’t it? However, the struggle is enormous and constant.
Herein we see the importance of simple prayer. Mirroring what is communicated in Ephesians 4:25-32, bear with me as I illustrate. You find yourself in a situation when lying would be an easy way out. Stop before you speak; pray, “Father, help me to speak the truth,” then speak truth. Someone wrongs you, and the rush of anger floods your soul. Stop, pray, “God, please take away this feeling, remove the anger.” When you are tempted to steal, stop, ask God for help. “Father, help me to do Your will and turn away from this evil.” When bitterness’ clouds your mind, stop, ask for help. “God, I cannot handle this on my own. Remove these bad feelings, help me to be kind.” You get the point! Each time you seek the help of God and receive that help, it strengthens your relationship with Him. This simple procedure is one of the most fundamental ways to receive help from God and develop your relationship with Him. Certainly, there will be times when one simple request is not enough to change what is happening in your mind. At such a time, keep on keeping on. Do not give up; keep asking for God’s help.
When Yahweh dealt with Israel, He put the following that is to the point.
Deuteronomy 30:19 - I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants.
When we feel discomfort such as anxiety, depression, sadness, boredom, or insignificance, it is a signal to act out. We decide if we act in way that brings cursing and death or blessing and life. Many times, in lieu of these negative feelings, people drink, overeat, take drugs, sleep excessively, watch TV…. The proper response to such feelings is to acknowledge our powerlessness and ask God for help. “Father, please remove these feelings from me and help me to focus on You.” As God responds to you, pray you gain more confidence and trust in Him enhancing your relationship with Him.
Simple prayer is a normal part of everyday life that opens the door to a growing
love relationship with your heavenly Father!