Your brain stores a lot of data. Ten to 100 terabytes to be exact. To my knowledge, no external hard drive stores that much information. So, what’s taking up space inside your head? Should you start restricting access?
My pastor addressed those questions several weeks ago as part of a sermon series based on the book, Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table.
“Satan is fighting for that space, every single neuron,” Pastor Pacer Hepperly said that Sunday morning. “Your mind is a high-value target. He understands the mind is the control board.” If he can control your thoughts, he will control you. He will dictate your actions, decisions, and behaviors.
Pacer’s words resonated with me.
They may resonate with you as well—especially today, just a few days before the start of the New Year when many of us resolve to do life differently. We vow to kick one habit or another, mend a broken relationship, find a new job, lose weight, or worry less. The list goes on and on.
But we know the drill.
Within weeks, it seems we’re back to the same old habits. The self-recrimination begins, as do the doubts and negative self-talk. It’s like the enemy—who wants nothing more than to steal, kill, and destroy—has selected one bad habit, rotten attitude, or weakness. So, he slithers in and builds a stronghold.
Furthermore, he’s going to work like the devil to keep you in that well-worn mental rut too. He wants you to think you’ll never succeed, be happy, or at peace. He whispers a myriad of lies.
Be content with your lot in life, he might say.
Your dad was a drunk and that’s why you’re one too.
You’ll never amount to anything. Look at the mistakes you’ve made.
It is he who fills your head with False Evidence Appearing Real. Ahh, yes, FEAR. His favorite debilitating emotion.
Should you start restricting access?
“Your mind isn’t a dumpster,” Pacer continued in his talk. “But the enemy wants to dump, dump, dump. It’s all a lie from the enemy … Christians have bad thoughts, but we have the power to accept or deny them based on the word of God.”
Maybe you’re a Christian, maybe not. But perhaps these scriptural rebuttals will help you identify your stinking thinking and convince you that maybe you should start restricting access to your mind (all scriptural verses come from the New International Version):
Lie: “You have no purpose in life.”
Truth: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”—Jeremiah 29:11
Lie: “You’re nothing special.”
Truth: I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well.”— Psalm 139:14
Lie: “Your life is a mess. You’ll never find peace.”
Truth: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” —John 14:27
Who Are You Listening To?
What happens in the battlefield of our minds ultimately writes the story of who we are, according to Pastor Louie Giglio, who authored Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table. It’s true that we might not have power to change our circumstances or situations, but we do have the power to change our minds.
“It is about thinking right—what God says is true about us—and then believing that in our hearts,” Louie wrote in his study guide. “That is where we win the battle of the mind.”
What do you store inside your head? Should you start restricting access?
This really hit home. This past week I’ve been noticing how easy it is to get hooked by negative thoughts and memories. I can be reading a sentence in a story and it will trigger a memory. Next I realize I’ve “read” several paragraphs but don’t remember a thing because I’ve been reliving the memory. I wish there were a way to purge some of these thoughts. They don’t improve your outlook, and they don’t remind you to be grateful. It’s a struggle – one I’ve started to pray about.
We can all fall into that trap. For me, it’s refusing to let go of past hurts that happened years ago. It does absolutely no good, and I can feel myself tensing up and getting angry all over again. For whatever reason, I have trouble letting go and forgiving. Thanks for writing.