Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer

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Joyce Meyer wrote, “Battlefield of the Mind” to teach how changing our thinking habits can change our life.  Thoughts lead to actions.

If we have negative thoughts we will have a negative life.  However, if we have positive thoughts we will have a positive life.

We should pay attention to our thoughts and think about what we are thinking.  We should also spend time discovering the root cause of our negative thoughts.

Sings of a negative or out of control mind:

  • Your mind is always busy
  • Your mind is always wandering
  • You mind is frequently confused
  • Your mind is full of doubts
  • Your mind is anxious or worried
  • Your mind is full of judgmental or critical thoughts

Strategies to improve thinking patterns and control the mind:

  • Think positive thoughts
  • Spend time praising God
  • Ask for help
  • Meditate on God’s word
  • Encourage those around you
  • Be thankful
  • Do things for others to show your appreciation

There are a few theological points in the book that I don’t agree with; however, the book is excellent.  I would recommend this book, even if you don’t like some of the things Joyce Meyer teaches.

Biblical Advice for Dealing with Anxiety

I suffer from an anxiety disorder and panic attacks, which can be debilitating at times.  I was reading Matthew 6:25-34, and I noticed three main points that can help me deal with my anxiety.

 1.  How can you overcome an anxiety attack once it happens?  

Matthew 6:26, 28-29

Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. (ESV)

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. (ESV)

I reviewed these verses several times.  I realized this is practical advice, and this is advice that requires action.  When I go out to a field and look at the flowers and watch the birds or listen to them sing, I feel more at peace.  If I take the time to pray and meditate on the scriptures, I start to defeat the anxiety attack that is plaguing me.

2.  Anxiety will not help you solve any of your problems.  Anxiety only increases your problems.

Matthew 6:27,34

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? (ESV)

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (ESV)

Dealing with the root cause of my anxiety problems and learning to overcome it will help me solve the problems I face today.  It will also allow me to live a happier life, because I will not feel anxious over the past or the future.

3.  Pay attention to your priorities if you want to decrease your anxiety.  

Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (ESV)

When my spiritual life becomes a priority, I am better prepared to deal with the issues I face in life.

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Matthew 6:25-34, has a lot of great advice for dealing with anxiety and I found it to be beneficial in my own life.

 

Make Rest a Priority

In Matthew 11:20-12:21, we learn Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath and he wants to offer rest for our weary souls.  All we need to do is follow Jesus.

Rest is often undervalued in our society.  There is so much to do at work, at school, and our options for entertainment are phenomenal.  Granted entertainment is fun, but it can also prevent us from getting the rest we need.

Jesus offers us spiritual rest.  We can trust in his acceptance and forgiveness.  He invites us to destress our souls and spend quite time with him in worship, prayer and meditation.  He wants to help us overcome our anxieties and our fears.

We know rest is important and we know the consequences of not getting enough rest.

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Increased risk of disease
  • Decreased ability to function
  • Decreased ability to focus
  • Anxiety
  • Increased aggression

Make rest a priority in your life and you will notice the difference.

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When Faith Fails Us (Matthew 11:1-19)

John the Baptist was a prophet.  He proclaimed the coming of Christ.  He preached boldly and with great conviction.  He baptized Jesus and witnessed the miracle of God’s blessing on Jesus.

In Matthew 11, John the Baptist is in prison for preaching the truth.  His spirt is broken and he is no longer positive Jesus is the Christ.  John sent messengers to Jesus to ask if he was the Christ.

Jesus answered the messengers by pointing to the evidence.  Jesus didn’t condemn John for his lack of faith.  Instead, Jesus told the crowd John the Baptist was a great prophet.

We may find our faith failing us.  We may find worry and anxiety taking over our life.  We may wonder if God cares about us.  We may even feel guilty for our lack of faith.  However, the way Jesus answered John the Baptist shows us that God will not condemn us.  God stands by his people even when our faith fails.

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Peace, Be Still (Matthew 8:23-27)

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Jesus and his disciples were in a boat.  A massive storm started to toss the boat about and the waves were crashing onto the boat.

The disciples were terrified and frantic.  They called out to Jesus, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” (ESV)

Jesus asked the disciples, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” (ESV)

Jesus calmed the storm and the disciples were amazed by his power.  In Mark 4:39, we learn Jesus calmed the storm and said, “Peace!  Be Still!” (ESV)

I wonder if those words were said not just to calm the storm, but also to calm the disciples.  Whenever you feel like you are about to drown and anxiety is overwhelming you, remember the words of Jesus, “Peace!  Be Still!” (ESV)