Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, the were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.""Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:25-30)
Satan’s number one strategy is to get us to lose focus. If we get our eyes on the world around us and off Jesus, as happened to Peter, then it can easily happen to us.
The way this happens is in our thought life. Our mind is the battlefield in a cosmic war. What do we fill our heads with? Many of us have very little spare time. So in that spare time, do we fill it with “God things,” or things of this world? Essential nourishment or empty calories? If we are not spending quality time with God in that rare spare time, but choosing earthly pursuits instead, we are basically starving our souls. It’s the same as if, in bodily terms, we ate only candy bars. A candy bar here and there tastes really good and doesn’t hurt anything, but they are empty calories and will eventually kill our bodies if we don’t get back to real nutrition. Empty calories of the spiritual variety will do the same thing with our minds and our souls. If this goes on too long, we cease hearing from God, and then after a time, we come to doubt His reality. I’ve been through all this myself, so I’m not speaking theoretically. This world looked very good to me, so I tried living with one foot in each world until I finally lost sight of God. I had drifted away from Him so slowly that I never even realized I was drifting. I made it easy for Satan to put counterfeit thoughts into my consciousness by starving myself spiritually. It only became apparent to me in hindsight, after twenty-eight years of wasted living.
The Bible tells us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2) This is a supernatural process that God works in us as we make the choice to surrender to Him.
In Chip Ingram’s book The Invisible War, he says, “Human thinking is ground zero in this war; and if we haven’t been diligent to fill our minds with God’s truth and operate out of what He teaches us, we lose.”
A.W. Tozer spoke of “our uncorrected thinking…” in reference to many problems that Christians face.
Francis Schaeffer said, “The spiritual battle, the loss of victory, is always in the thought-world.”
Ephesians 4:17 - …you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.
Ephesians 4:22-23 - …put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds…
2 Corinthians 10:5 - …and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
Philippians 4:8 - …whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Colossians 3:2 - Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
Romans 8:6 - For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. (NASB)
Matthew 16:23 - But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
©2017 by Darvis McCoy
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978,
1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights
reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International
Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and
Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™
Scripture quotations marked (NASB) taken from the NASB.