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Winning the Battle of the Mind

By Dr. Z

winning-the-battle-of-the-mind

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

2 Corinthians 10:5

If there is one area of the Abundant Life that is most overlooked and neglected, it’s the battle of the mind. And understandably so. We can see whether or not we’re gaining weight. We can see our bank account balance. We can see whether or not our job or work is thriving. On the contrary, we cannot see, touch or even feel our thoughts. They are completely in our head. Literally. And this poses a problem for many people because, when push comes to shove, they lose sight of the fact that they are in control of their thoughts and lose the battle in their mind.

It is important to remember that the mind is the battlefield that is under attack on two fronts: 1) by satan and 2) by our own carnal nature. Few people can boast what Paul did when he proclaimed, “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”

He was truly a man who learned how to “cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Unfortunately, many people are victims of their mind – not only slaves to old carnal nature passed down from Adam and Eve (the “flesh”), but also to the mind of “sin and death.” They know nothing of all of the “mind of Christ.”

There is much to be said in the Bible about having the mind of Christ, and keeping a positive mental outlook on life. These are absolutely vital to enjoying mental abundance. And when it counts most, it would be wise to draw from 4 key action steps found in the story of Christ’s Transfiguration. If we follow our Lord’s footsteps, we will gain the necessary deposit to draw out when we need it most. And winning the battle of our minds becomes a choice!

1. Travel up the Mountain

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After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.

Matthew 17:1-2

Next to having the dove land on Jesus during His baptism signifying being filled with the Holy Spirit, this mountaintop experience was probably the most important moment of His Life. We’re talking absolutely life-changing for anyone, let alone the Son of God! Yet, it wasn’t a “gimme.” It was something Christ determined in his heart to do, and He was willing to take to the time and energy to go up the mountain.

Here’s how it all played out:

  • Just a few days before going up the mountain, Peter declares Jesus as the Messiah.
  • Jesus then emphasizes to His disciples that He needs to die at the hands of the Jews, be buried and in 3 days be raised from the dead.
  • This seems to take Jesus’ ministry in a different direction, to a greater level of determination even.
  • Next, the scripture tells us that He takes Peter, James and John up a mountain for what turns out to be arguably the most momentous moment in His earthly life.
  • While He was transfigured, the two greatest prophets from the original covenant appeared to Jesus; Moses and Elijah.
  • Peter, overjoyed and overwhelmed by the moment tried to convince Jesus to stay up there up a while.

“Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

  • As Peter was speaking, God Almighty revealed Himself in a bright cloud, covered them all, and spoke.

“This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

  • Terrified, the disciples fell on their faces, but Jesus reassured them and touched them.

“Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.”

  • When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

Then, after talking a bit with His disciples while walking down the mountain, the next verse tells us that Jesus was met with a demon-possessed child. Back to work in the demon-possesed valley, just like that…

2. Be Transformed by the Mountain

We know for sure that this mountaintop experience left an indelible mark on Peter, James and John as evident by Peter using it to prove the truth behind his testimony!

“For we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased”— and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.

But what about Jesus? How did the mount of transfiguration affect Him?

I cannot prove my suspicion, but I am highly of the opinion that this life-changing event not only fed the disciples what they needed during the spiritually lean times, but also Christ. In fact, I believe that Jesus referred back to that moment to help Him through some of the more difficult challenges that laid ahead.

Why?

Because of the agony in the garden.

3. Remember the Mountaintop

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

~ Luke 22:39-46

You gotta wonder what the angel did to “strengthen” our Lord. It must have been powerful because it ultimately helped Him accept His God-given purpose to let the weight of the world’s sin fall on His shoulders through one of the most heinous and cruel acts imaginable. I won’t be surprised if Christ tells me, when I ask Him in Heaven, that the angel encouraged Him with words of life to help Him win the battle in His mind.

How else would He be able to “Cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ?”

As a man, Jesus was subject to all that men and women endure on Earth. I’m sure that the angel could could have done some Jedi mind trick in the garden to help Him overcome the mental anguish that He was enduring, but that’s not how Jesus did things.

  • Remember the 40 days in the wilderness? No food, no water and His only weapon against the devil was the Word of God and His unwillingness to disobey.
  • Remember His conversation with Pilot, “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?”

In addition to telling us Jesus had to learn obedience through what He suffered, scripture tells us that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.”

And this means that Jesus dealt with and perfectly overcame the battle of the mind!

How?

Again, I cannot prove this, but I just wonder if the angel in the garden reminded Jesus of some of His mountaintop experiences like overcoming the 40 days in the wilderness or being transfigured on the mountain or healing all of the sick people that came to Him during the previous 3 years. He didn’t need food or water or sleep to “strengthen” Him.

  • He needed hope!
  • He needed encouragement!
  • He needed a boost in His faith!

And that’s exactly what He got! Hallelujah!

4. Live in the Moment

We must make a intentional effort to not get addicted to the mountaintop “high.” For sure, these experiences are exhilarating and are absolutely Abundant Life-changing events, but they are typically few and far between and are given to us for a purpose. In other words, they are NOT an end to themselves, but a means to an end. We are not meant to live on the mountain.

Why?

What good would Jesus have been to the world if He would have taken Peter’s suggestion and stayed up there? Same with us! We have a mission on Earth to fulfill. We have all of eternity to enjoy the “mountain,” and we need to keep busy down in the valley to help bring as many people as we can with us! If that weren’t important enough, God gives us mountaintop experiences to fuel and fan the flame of faith to empower us to endure the inevitable “agonies in the garden” that lies ahead for us as well.

  • Remember them.
  • Catalogue them.
  • Thank God for them.

But don’t let them define you. Stay content with what you have and if our Heavenly Father sees fit that you need another mountaintop experience, so hallelujah! If not, hallelujah anyhow!

What mountaintop experiences have YOU enjoyed and how have they helped YOU get through some of the valleys in life?

Scripture quoted:

  • Romans 7:25
  • Romans 8:6
  • Matthew 17
  • II Peter 1:16-18
  • Luke 22:39-46
  • II Corinthians 10:5
  • Matthew 26:53
  • Hebrews 4:15


This post currently has 25 comments.

  1. Joseph
    March 16, 2017

    My 8yr old grandson Michael spends the weekend with me and we had a talk about the mind… I explained how his thoughts, emotions and God Spirit comes and goes like the wind… I blew in his face as an illustration that he couldn’t see it, but he could tell it was there! He got the point and I got blessed once again for being his Papa!

    Eric I also message your links to a host others I’m discipling!

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      March 26, 2017

      Many thanks! Shalom!

        Reply
  2. Mary
    October 11, 2016

    I am a full time caregiver and don’t often have enough time to get on here and read all of your words, but I so love them.
    Being that I spend much time with just my mom, who is a few weeks shy of 93 and has late stage Alzheimers, conversation isn’t something I get enough of… therefore I spend a lot of time in my head, conversing with myself. My self talk must be guarded, I must hold every thought captive so that I stay in the right place. I am very aware of the constant battle for my mind.
    I love that you pointed out our need to remember, especially our own mountaintop experiences. I’ve had many, and I pull them up when I start to feel weak in the battle.
    Funniest thing ever to me right now is that I actually live on a mountaintop, where we live on a Christian camp and help others find that mountaintop experience literally.
    God has been teaching me to live in the moment as I’ve cared for someone who has no other choice.
    I look forward to the next lesson from you, and appreciate your words, your thoughts, and your devotion to God.

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      October 11, 2016

      That’s precious, Mary, thank you so much for sharing. <3

        Reply
  3. marlene
    October 2, 2016

    God bless you Dr Z for great articles on the battle of the mind etc.. Please can I recommend to readers, books by a wonderful Christian neuroscientist, Dr Caroline Leaf, who proves we can rewire our own brain from negative thoughts just by the power of God’s word! Specific info on 21day brain detox etc in her book Switch On Your Brain.Dr Leaf has amazing knowledge and impressive testimonies to share. This is much more than simply positive thinking. God’s word is POWERFUL.

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      October 3, 2016

      Thanks for sharing, Marlene!

        Reply
  4. SheilaSSSheila
    June 12, 2016

    Dr Z. What an inspiration that a doctor would be willing to acknowledge our Savior from whom all healing comes. What a blessing you are to me and I share you with others. Thank you for your devotional and your heart for Jesus. The Lord led me to essential oils just over a year ago and our home is now basically chemical free in all areas including skin! My 92 year old mom (unsaved so please pray for her) has bone cancer and I started her on Frankincense using it several ways and the doctors are amazed thinking she should be gone by now BUT GOD! I pray blessings over you, your ministry and your family. Thank you dear brother in the Lord! What a blessing you are to me!

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      July 9, 2016

      Wow! Praise God and I pray for COMPLETE healing and restoration in Jesus’ Name!!

        Reply
  5. Dawn
    June 12, 2016

    Awesome Devo Dr. Z, so encouraged to take time to reflect on the mountain top experiences I’ve had this morning; so that I can minister to those needing hope and encouragement. I went through a great loss the last year when my husband left me after a long battle of drugs and infidelity. God has shown me who He is as my bridegroom and faithful husband that will be loving and faithful to me the rest of my life. He has also revealed Himself in tangible ways as my Provider, Protector and Healer, this strengthening my trust in Him through all circumstances. He has called me to minister to the broken-hearted, bring freedom to those held in bondage by the enemy and hope to the hurting. I am forever grateful that I can give Him glory out of the experiences I’ve been through, though painful have led to a testimony of His goodness and love. Please pray for me, tomorrow night I’m giving a message on Wounds to Witness for a women’s group and will be sharing a Word of encouragement. This Devo helped confirm some things He has shown me for it. Blessings to you and your family!

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      July 9, 2016

      Wow, thanks for sharing Dawn. You’re so sweet! 🙂

        Reply
  6. April
    February 27, 2016

    Wow, Thank you Dr. Z. as this is just what I needed. I’ve finally gotten off 25 years of anti-depressants and some days are not the greatest…and I KNOW it is the battle of my mind that I’ve battled for years. Getting off grains and sugar has been the greatest help (addictions!!) and I’m trying all kinds of natural things for healing, including experimenting with some essential oils. I’m not sure about what they are doing yet, but I’m not giving up on this new life.

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      February 27, 2016

      That’s awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!!

        Reply
  7. anna
    February 7, 2016

    5/5/10 From YahuShua HaMashiach, He Who Is Called Jesus The Christ, Our Lord and Savior –
    Sing for Me, beloved! Sing! Yea, ascend the hill of The Lord, with pure hearts and clean hands, offering up praises to He who is true! For now is the time for great glory to be revealed, in the heavens above and upon the earth beneath!… The mighty and awesome power of The Lord!
    From the beginning of time, creation has waited eagerly for the sons of God to be revealed! Therefore hear the Word of The Lord, perk up your ears and listen to the voice of your Redeemer, for assuredly I say to you, it shall wait no longer!… Behold, through the sons of men shall The Son of Man be glorified, in these last days! And with all power and righteous judgment, in great signs and wonders, shall The Father be revealed! Behold, His name shall resound in all the earth! For He shall set up an end sign to the nations, and I shall be glorified! In all the heavens and in all the earth shall it be made known!… For there is but One Salvation, and I AM HE!
    Most assuredly I say to you, My fullness is coming, and every eye shall behold My countenance! Lo, every knee shall bow to Me, calling Me, Lord! Yea, every tongue will confess that He who is called Jesus and Christ is Lord of Heaven and Earth, that YahuShua is The Only Messiah! Behold, they shall confess it aloud, and in the heavens shall it resound, “YahuShua is YAHUWAH!”

    For I am coming quickly to establish My kingdom,
    And to make an end of all this wickedness,
    To wipe away every tear in My love…

    For My reward is with Me!

    Yes, I am coming to establish the faithful in life,
    For they are the elect of My heart, My Body, My Bride…

    Behold, everlasting righteousness shall come in!
    And every eye shall behold the face of God, and give Him glory!…

    For I am He, the brightness of His glory, the express image of His person,
    Upholding all things by the word of His power!…

    The Father and The Son are One!

    Therefore, let the redeemed of The Lord come running!…

    For their time has come, says The Lord.
    http://trumpetcallofgodonline.com/index.php5?title=Let_the_Redeemed_of_The_Lord_Come_Running

      Reply
  8. Penny
    February 7, 2016

    Wow. What a deep dive into the scripture and such meaning. I myself needed this post. I have been wrestling with this mind body thing. It has definitely been a mountain top and valley experience. It has been in the valley where I have learned and feel closer to my Lord. The mountain top I’m so grateful for as well as the valleys.Thank you for not being ashamed of the gospel of Christ and being such a help to me and many of your followers

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      February 7, 2016

      Amen, be blessed Penny! 🙂

        Reply
  9. Rhonda E
    February 7, 2016

    Dr.Eric,
    Giving thanks to God the Father and His Son who ever lived to make intercession for His saints. This exhortation came just in time encouraging me to strengthen myself in Him who is true. It empowers me with hinds feet. Gonna read it again to soothe and ensure my digestion. The word of God satisfying food for every soul.

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      February 7, 2016

      Amen, praying for victory and blessing Rhonda!

        Reply
  10. Mary
    February 7, 2016

    Thank you for your insight –

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      February 7, 2016

      You’re super welcome Mary. Praise God!

        Reply
  11. April
    February 7, 2016

    I equate my “mountain-top experience” with just a big A-HA moment. I have 2 autoimmune diseases which I have been suffering with for over 3 years now. I have been to over a dozen doctors who have not been able to help. Recently when I visited with a local chiropractor she stated that I had been given a gift (the diseases) at which when I first heard it was completely OVERWHELMED with a peaceful feeling. The reason that God gave me this gift was he knew in my pain and suffering that I would search out alternative ways to heal and that I would share this information with others so they could heal themselves and PRAISE GOD in the process. My suffering is solely to help others…otherwise known as GOD’s service. And it is a gift that he chose me to do it! He knows that I am capable but it is up to me to be obedient! Even as I type this I am overcome with emotion! PRAISE GOD! I would never have thought that I was worthy enough to serve him in this way! Our heavenly father works in mysterious ways! Jesus is our savior and our healer. All answer are found in holy scriptures…all we have to do is “seek and ye shall find”!

      Reply
    • anna
      February 7, 2016

      april, im confident this diet is essential to healing your autoimmune disease. i healed my migraine headaches, eczema, and acne. http://scdlifestyle.com/
      it is similar to GAPS diet
      the main enemy here is gluten, leaky gut causes autoimmune disease

      feel free to email me as i am also passionate about such things
      annacorinne692@gmail.com

        Reply
  12. Tim
    February 7, 2016

    Wow! Dr Z. Today was “Covenant Sunday” at Westview Methodist Church in South Africa. We renewed our covenant with Jesus. The sermon was on the Transfiguration, but the approach was somewhat different to yours. That’s great, because I have had two different ‘looks’ at this momentous event. TODAY. Thank you for your inspired words. I have kept a copy of your sermon because I am sure I will refer to it again!

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      February 7, 2016

      Thanks Tim! And please share with your friends and family. So glad you found benefit in my post. 🙂

        Reply
  13. MaryAnn
    February 7, 2016

    My mountain top experience was finding the right doctor who listen to my needs of wanting to feel better. She then lead me to all of you. With all of your inspirational talks which lead me to wanting to help myself through natural remedies and most of all God. It is so wonderful to see the faith and trust you all put in God. We need more physicians like all of you. Thanks for all your wonderful support!

      Reply
    • Dr. Z
      February 7, 2016

      Wow, MaryAnn. I’m humbled by your words. Many blessings and praying for complete healing!

        Reply

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