Did I get the meat out of the freezer to thaw for dinner? Is my daughter’s sniffle turning into something serious? Did I remember to clean the toilets for our company? What in the world is happening to our country? Is my friend irritated at me? Did I remember to fill the gas tank so we can make it to the city tomorrow? Is there enough money in the budget to eat out tonight? From the second my feet hit the floor in the morning there is a constant battle going on in my head and it only gets worse if the first thing I do during the day is reach for my phone and open social media. It is so easy to let my mind run away with itself and absolutely consume my day, and when that happens Satan rejoices. Satan rejoices because I am distracted from the people around me who I should be focused on. Satan rejoices because I am devoured with worry. Satan rejoices because the last thing on my mind is giving the limited waking hours of my day to God.
From the second my feet hit the floor in the morning there is a constant battle going on in my head. It is so easy to let my mind run away with itself and consume my day, and when that happens Satan rejoices.
On those distracted days, I am easy prey. I am often irritable and short tempered with those I love. When consumed by distraction, I frequently lose track of the day and find myself wondering why my day felt so full of activity but void of meaning. In 1 Peter 5:8, Peter instructs us, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” Imagine being out there on the Serengeti, being told by the locals that there is a man-eating lion wandering around near your camp. What precautions would you take? One thing is for sure, you would not mindlessly wander around unaware of your surroundings. Yet, we have been warned and this is often exactly how we approach our days.
We must realize that we are in a battle for our hearts and minds. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” This battle does not require the fiercest warriors or the bravest men, it only requires those who are willing to acknowledge that Satan is vying for our attention at every turn. We must take each thought captive.
What does that look like? Just like in any battle, good communication and awareness are keys. Starting the day off with fervent, focused prayer is a game changer. Not only is God listening to our cares and concerns, prayer helps focus our minds and prioritize the tasks laid before us. The second act of communication that must take place is meditation on God’s word. This isn’t simply pushing your eyeballs through a passage so you can check off your daily Bible reading. There are so many ways to spend focused time in God’s word: reading, listening, copying, diagraming, memorizing. The result of this time should be an effort to conform to God’s will. Awareness begins when we understand and apply God’s word to our lives. Suddenly we see the pitfalls that we would have otherwise missed.
Having a heart steeped in Scripture allows us to combat Satan at every turn, while remembering the promise in James 4:7, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” This is an easily winnable battle, but it is one that takes focus. Am I wandering aimlessly through my day while Satan crouches ready to pounce, or am I preparing my mind for battle, aware of my surroundings? Let us fix our gaze firmly on Christ and regain command of our minds.