HOW TO FORTIFY YOUR MIND
Intro: As each of us knows, man is a tripartite being. That is, every man is
made up of body, soul and spirit. The body allows us to interact with the
physical world. The soul allows us to respond to the intellectual and
emotional world. The spirit allows us to relate to the spiritual world. Each
part of this system is extremely important! Without the body, we would have
no contact with the world. Without the soul, we would have no ability to
think or feel. Without the spirit, we would not have the ability to commune
Of course, when we leave this world, the body ceases to be a part of
who we are. Even when the body is raised, it will be a different manner of
body than the one we wear today, 1 Cor. 15:42-44. If you are saved, your
spirit has already been made alive in Jesus and is sealed by Him until the
"day of redemption", Eph. 4:30. In other words, the body will drop away
and be changed. The Spirit has already been changed. What we are left
with is the soul.
The soul can also be called the mind. It is the seat of the intellect, the
will and the emotions. It is where we think, feel and decide. It is also the
place where all of the conflicts we face in this life begin! You see, the mind
is the ultimate battlefield of life. The Lord, the flesh and the devil are all
battling for control of our minds. Why does the battle rage there? Because
the Bible says, "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he...", Pro. 23:7.
We need to understand that this battle that is raging in the mind is a
spiritual battle. Ultimately, it is a battle between good and evil for the control
of our lives. Since this is a spiritual battle, we must fight it with spiritual
resources, 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Eph. 6:10-18. Today, I want to let you know that
you do not have to lose the battle for your mind! You do not have to be
defeated in your walk with the Lord. You do not have to be a slave to worry
and fear. You do not have to live a life controlled by the lusts and desires
fo the flesh! You can live your life under the control of the Spirit of God.
You can win the battle.
How, you might ask? First, it doesn't happen automatically! You have
to take certain steps that will allow it to come to pass, Rom. 12:2; Eph.
4:23; 1 Pet. 1:13. (Note: As we take the step in 1 Peter to "get a grip on
the mind", we put ourselves in a position to receive the ministry of the Lord
as He renews the mind. The word "transform" in Rom. 12:2 and the word
"renewed" in Eph. 4:23 are both passive voice. They are something to and
in the child of God.) Second, we need to know that we do not have to do
this alone. We have the Lord's promise in the matter, 2 Tim. 1:7.
Therefore, today, I want to take these verses we have read and show you
Paul's plan for victory in the battlefield of the mind. I want to share with you
four simple steps that teach us all How To Fortify The Mind. If followed,
these steps will help us to build a wall of protection around our minds. They
will help us to achieve victory in the daily struggle we all face.
I. V. 4 BUILD THE WALL OF PRAISE
A. Paul commands the believer to "rejoice". This word means "to be
glad" (Note: It is in the present tense, active voice and imperative
mood. This means that the believer is commanded to "go on being
glad in the Lord.")
B. Now, let's face it, much of life does not lend itself to our happiness!
In fact, when Paul penned these words, he was bound between two
soldiers in a Roman prison. Still, Paul knew that regardless of the
circumstances of life, God never changes. That is why we are told
to "rejoice in the Lord." You see, people will change,
circumstances will change and life constantly changes, but the Lord
C. Since this is true, we can learn to rejoice in Who He is, what He has
done for us, and what He is doing in our lives. Even if the road is
hard, remember that He has planned your path, Psa. 37:23. He has
promised to make all things work for good, Rom. 8:28. He has
promised to go with you through everything in life, Heb. 13:5. He
has promised you abiding victory, 1 Cor. 15:57; Rom. 8:37. He has
promised us that the destination will be worth every mile of the trip, Rom. 8:18; 2 Cor. 4:17. Therefore, even when you can't be happy
about your life, learn to be happy in the Lord! Built the wall of praise!
II. V. 5a BUILD THE WALL OF PATIENCE
A. The word "moderation" literally means "gentle or gracious spirit".
It has the idea of being patient with others. Of giving way to the
rights and wishes of others in this life. It does not mean a
compromise in doctrine. It does mean that you have a willingness
to take the back seat in favor of other people. This is the idea of Phil. 2:4.
B. Paul is saying that the reality of our faith should be demonstrated in
how we deal with other people. If the focus of our lives is on
ourselves, then when people hurt us, slight us, cross us, etc, there
will be a desire to retaliate and get vengeance. Paul wants us to get
the focus off of ourselves, and get it on others. When we are
focused on those around us, we will be less likely to hurt by what
other people do. What they say won't sting us so bad. How they act
can be passed over more easily.
C. When we adopt the mentality of self-love that is all around us, we will
always look at the things people do and say as a personal attack.
It will cause us to wear our feelings on our sleeves and to be more
easily hurt by the words and actions of others. This will cause us
problems in the mind as we dwell on what was done or what was
said. If we can learn to accept others just as they are and overlook
how they act and what they do, it will protect the mind from dwelling
in negative areas. It will build a wall of protection around the mind
that others cannot penetrate!
The bottom line is this, if we can learn to live in genuine
contentment, Phil. 4:11, then it will not matter what anyone says or
does. The mind will be protected from the evil it likes to find in
others. (Note: The devil loves nothing better than to get your eyes
off Jesus and on the faults of others! The flesh loves nothing better
than to go along with the devil in this matter. When this happens,
the mind is in danger!)
III. V. 5b-7 BUILD THE WALL OF PRAYER
A. Verse 6 warns us against the dangers of worry. The word "careful"
has the idea of "anxiety". It refers to a state of mind that is agitated
over the events and circumstances of life. Now, there is nothing
wrong with having concern. We all have our concerns about certain
things. It is when your concerns have you that the problems begin
Worry is so dangerous because it allows the mind to conceive
false notions about God. Worry says "God is dead!". Or, "If there
is a God, He obviously doesn't care about me and my
situation." Both of those statements are false! God is alive, Heb.
7:25, and God does care, Heb. 4:15; 1 Pet. 5:7.
B. When the problems of life come our way, we are given some
precious help in the verses.
1. V. 5b - The Lord is near - Not just His second coming, but He is
always near to His children - Heb. 13:5-6.
2. V. 6 - Exercise the tool of prayer - Paul speaks of prayer, supplication and requests. These might be thought of a
general praying, specific praying and detailed praying. The main
thrust of this verse is that instead of worrying, the believer is to
demonstrate his faith in the power and will of God by seeking the
Lord in prayer!
3. V. 6 - Develop a thankful heart - Regardless of the situations
you face in life, learn to praise the Lord through them all.
Nothing brings Him nearer or drives the devil away any faster
than a genuinely thankful heart!
C. The Lord's promise to us is that He will replace our worries with His
peace when we come before Him in trusting, humble prayer. The
word "keep" in verse 7 means "to garrison, or build a fort around,
to post a guard". The Lord promises to post a guard around the
heart and mind of the person who trusts Him with the needs of life.
Instead of worrying yourself sick about things you can't change,
learn to lean on the Lord in prayer! Build the wall of prayer!
IV. V. 8 BUILD THE WALL OF PURITY
A. All of these words Paul uses in this verse are a picture of the Word
of God. It is true - John 17:17. Since the Bible is true, everything it
says fits within the categories mentioned by Paul. It is honest
(honorable), it is just (right), it is pure (holy, clean), it is lovely
(beautiful), it is of a good report (good reputation), it is full of virtue
(excellence) and praise (that which tends toward worship).
B. What we have here is a call to fix our minds upon the things of God.
The source for finding our about those things in the Word of God.
In other words, if we will fill our minds with the Words of God, there
will be no room for evil, no room for worry, no room for fear, no room
for vengeance, no room for confusion and trouble. A mind filled with
and led by the Word of God is a stable mind!
C. If you want a stable, fixed mind, the only place to get it is in the Word
of God. We are to take the initiative and force the mind to dwell on
the Bible and what it says, instead of allowing the mind to run to evil,
or gossip, or others and what they are doing, or our problems, etc.
A mind saturated with and fixed upon the Word of God is a stable
mind. (Note: This is something that you must do for yourself! We
wonder why we don't get much out of preaching and church
sometimes. The answer lies in the fact that everyday, we allow our
minds to feed on the filth of the world and to dwell on the problems
and problem people of life. If we would give as much energy to
dwelling on the Word of God day by day, it would transform our time
in the Lord's house!)
Conc: Your mind is a precious gift from God. It can be used for good or for
evil and all the forces of good and evil are battling for your mind all the time.
Who wins the battle is always determined by you! No one can control your
mind, but you. We are told in the Bible that we need to fortify the mind, it is
our job, individually, and it cannot be passed off the another.
This is a very critical matter, because how you think determines how you
will live your life, Pro. 4:23 (READ!!). We are to see that our minds are in
love with Jesus - Matt. 22:37. Until the mind is settled, all of life is out of
control - James 1:8. I challenge you to fortify your mind!