This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Battlefield of the Mind" by Joyce Meyer. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.
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What scriptures does Joyce Meyer reference in her book Battlefield of the Mind? How do they instruct and encourage us in spiritual warfare?
Meyer writes that the written word of God provides us with an arsenal of positive messages that we can use when our mind is under attack from the devil. When we know scripture well, we can easily recall helpful passages from the Bible to apply to any situation where Satan tries to corrupt our thoughts.
Continue reading for several Battlefield of the Mind scriptures that encourage and inspire.
Battlefield of the Mind Scriptures
Meyer proposes that when we can apply the meaning of scripture to our lives, our protection from negativity becomes more powerful. She explains that there are “treasures” and “secrets” hidden in the written word that we can reveal only by taking the time to think deeply about its meaning.
Here are eleven meditation-worthy Battlefield of the Mind scriptures, along with brief explanations of how Meyer uses them in her book.
“A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall heed My ordinances and do them.” (Ezekiel 36:26-27)
For Meyer, a close relationship with God is the driving force behind a positive mind and life. To reap the full benefits of our relationship with God, both our rational mind and our spirit must be attuned to and focused on His wisdom, teachings, and love. She explains that God invites Christians to share His love and wisdom through the power of the Holy Spirit, which provides a link between our own spirit and our mind. Since our rational mind is susceptible to becoming confused and discouraged, the Holy Spirit can help us feel the right thing to do.
With the Holy Spirit as our guide, God’s positivity will inform how we see the world, and we’ll be able to interpret and contextualize His teachings and messages and apply them to our lives.
“As he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)
Meyer uses an analogy from the Bible to describe the relationship between our thoughts, words, actions, and ultimately, how other people think about us. She explains that in the Bible, a tree is known for and judged by the fruit it produces. In this analogy, we’re the tree, and our words and actions are our fruit. People will judge us based on our words and actions (the “fruits” we produce), but not the thoughts that produced them, because they can only tangibly experience our words and actions.
“Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4)
Satan tries to keep our minds and lives negative by keeping us focused on ourselves.In short, Satan tries to make us selfish. If he can keep us focused on our physical bodies, our cravings, our desires, and so on, Satan can prevent us from focusing on God. Meyer describes Satan’s strategy as keeping our minds focused on the “flesh.” Since thinking about ourselves and our immediate surroundings is human nature, Satan uses our natural tendencies to defeat us.
“The weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4)
Meyer explains that the only way to rid ourselves of Satan and his negativity is to cultivate a God-centered mind. Once our minds are focused on God rather than on all of the things Satan tries to make us focus on, we can enjoy a happier, more fulfilling life. God’s word is our most effective weapon in this fight. Meyer explains that we use the word of God in three forms: scripture, praise, and prayer.
“I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you]. And when He comes, He will convict and convince the world and bring demonstration to it about sin and about righteousness (uprightness of heart and right standing with God) and about judgment.” (John 16:7-8)
Meyer explains that when we accept God into our lives, the Holy Spirit comes to live within us and share God’s mind with us. The Holy Spirit provides a link between our own spirit, which helps us feel what the right thing is, and our mind, which is susceptible to becoming confused and discouraged. Meyer describes a mind that works in partnership with the Holy Spirit as being “normal” for a Christian (we’ll call it “balanced”). When our mind is balanced, God’s positivity will inform how we see the world. Through the Holy Spirit, we’ll interpret and contextualize God’s teachings and messages, and recognize and reject Satan’s negativity.
“Those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.” (Romans 8:5)
Meyer stresses the importance of training our minds away from “fleshly” thoughts throughout the book, framing them as inherently wrong or selfish. She cites passages of scripture from Romans 8 to support her interpretation.
“Stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?” (Matthew 6:25)
Meyer suggests engaging with the natural world to help manage our worry and anxiety. She explains that, if we observe nature, we’ll see how well God cares for His creation. For example, she notes that birds don’t know where their next meal is coming from, but they don’t seem to be filled with worry about it. Like the birds, she says we should not be consumed with worry about what our future holds or what we have or don’t have because God will provide everything we need to live the life that He intends for us.
“Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name.” (Hebrews 13:15)
Meyer writes that the quickest way to defeat the devil is with praise for God that comes from the heart. Praise is the expression of gratitude and appreciation for all God has done for us. It’s powerful because it represents true thankfulness for God’s blessings in our life, given without reservation, and coming from a place of peace and contentment. If we’re truly thankful and content regardless of our circumstances, there will be no place where the devil can penetrate our minds.
”The Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!” (Isaiah 30:18)
The biggest problem with listening to Satan’s attacks on our self-worth is that we can convince ourselves that we’re unworthy of God’s love and forgiveness. Meyer explains that feelings of disgrace, blame, and shame make us unable to forgive ourselves for our flaws and mistakes. If we cannot forgive ourselves, we may feel like we’re so terrible that God won’t forgive us either.
Contrary to what Satan tries to tell us, Meyer reminds us that we don’t need to earn God’s forgiveness, because God’s forgiveness is unconditional, as long as we ask for it with our whole mind and spirit. She argues that if we wait until we’re “good enough” to be forgiven by God, we’ll never get there, because we’ll always be imperfect. Instead, we should accept that God loves us in our imperfect state and move forward.
“Who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.” (1 Corinthians 2:16)
Meyer explains that Jesus is the paragon of maintaining a positive mind in the face of suffering. Therefore, as we try to live a positive life ourselves, we should try to emulate his mindset. While this may seem like an impossible task, Meyer reminds us that God invites all Christians to share the mind of Christ through the Holy Spirit. She outlines steps that can help us think like Jesus. Following these steps will keep our minds positive no matter the circumstances: be positive, keep your mind on God, and trust in God’s love.
“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.” (Isaiah 26:3)
To think like Jesus, we need to make our relationship with God part of our daily lives. Meyer reminds us that we cannot have a strong relationship with someone when they are not on our minds. Jesus, she notes, was in constant communion with God. Since He is our example for leading a positive life, we should strive to do the same.
Meyer suggests finding places throughout the day to focus our thoughts on God. Taking opportunities to think about and appreciate God every day will strengthen our relationship with Him and help our minds stay positive.
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Here's what you'll find in our full Battlefield of the Mind summary :
- How the Devil makes it his mission to corrupt our minds with negative thoughts
- How to recognize the signs that Satan is attacking your mind
- How to thwart Satan’s attacks and find happiness and fulfillment