As we continue our lessons about the Battlefields of the soul, it’s important to realize they all take place in our mind. The brain is the most complex organ we have. It makes everything we do possible. It interprets our senses. It monitors parts of our bodies without conscious thought. It can reason. It is home to our awareness, our ability to think, and our ability to decide. It stores and processes data every minute of the day.
The battle for our mind is a struggle for our focus and our attention. We have so much asking for our attention at all times, and our minds can be easily distracted. Just think about the number of car accidents related to distracted driving. Some of us might have even caused an accident because we were distracted, and it all starts with the same rationale: “I can handle it.”
Fighting for Our Attention
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, television, sports, work, current events, politics, financial concerns — these things and more battle for our attention. And none of these things are inherently bad, so where is the line? These things become bad when they distract us to the point where we lose our focus on God and Heaven, and the world becomes more important to our daily routines and decisions than God.
In Mark 4:1 – 9, Jesus tells a parable of a man sowing seeds, and some of those seeds fell on thorny ground where the seeds are choked out and never reach maturity. Jesus breaks the parable down in the following verses. Those seeds among the thorns are those who got distracted by the world, for whom the cares and distractions of this world erased the influence of God’s word.
If being Christ-like is the victory, then what does defeat look like? In Mark 7:14, Jesus points out that it’s not the influences of the world that defeat our spirituality. Instead, it’s what we do with those things. The things we say and do testify to how the battle for our minds is going. Of course, this means we should be mindful about what we allow into our minds so as to not give our adversary the upper hand through what gets our attention.
Tending to a Garden
Christ likens our souls to a garden in Mark 4. If you’ve ever gardened, you know that it takes effort and work to make your plants grow and thrive. The same is true within ourselves. Are we tending to our souls by putting good things into that garden? Are we watering that garden with the refreshing waters of Christ’s word? Do we weed the garden through discernment and obedience? If not, we may be allowing the weeds of worldly distraction grow in our minds.
It requires endurance to then maintain the garden. It’s an unending task. You can’t weed your garden once and be done for all time. You can’t feed the garden once and be done. With what are you and I feeding our minds? We are surrounded by negative influences every day. We can’t always control what goes in, but we have total control over what comes out. I have to make a conscious effort to not allow the distractions and negativity of this world to define me in my heart, my mind, and my speech.
What are you feeding your families’ souls with? How do we overcome the battle of our own minds as well as choose how we influence those we care about? It might mean we step back from allowing background noise in our homes. It might mean we make a conscious decision to avoid certain activities and friends. Just like feeding our bodies, we have to make healthy choices about how we feed our minds.
The battle for our minds will control how we fare when facing those other battlefields we’re studying about. It starts there. We cannot live without our minds, and we must guard it so it can defend us when the time comes. Our minds are precious. They are God’s gift that give us life and consciousness. They are what are formed in His image. Let’s keep that mind focused on being like Him, so we can overcome in the face of the distractions from a loud and attention-needy world.
lesson by Aaron Kadel