Battlefield of the Mind – Worry, doubt, confusion, depression, anger and feelings of condemnation: all these are attacks on the mind. If readers suffer from negative thoughts, they can take heart! Joyce Meyer has helped millions win these all-important battles. In her most popular bestseller ever, the beloved author and minister shows readers how to change their lives by changing their minds.
She teaches how to deal with thousands of thoughts that people think every day and how to focus the mind the way God thinks. And she shares the trials, tragedies, and ultimate victories from her own marriage, family, and ministry that led her to wondrous, life-transforming truth–and reveals her thoughts and feelings every step of the way.
This special updated edition includes an additional introduction and updated content throughout the book.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Chapter 1 in the Battlefield of the Mind starts of with the passage from the bible written above, telling us that our mind is always being controlled by the powers of evil who determines to undermine our thoughts and deceive us into believing that we are condemned before God. Joyce wrote that in our darkest moments, Satan strives to set up strongholds in our minds in which we are imprisoned to our certain way of thinking that is often negative and condemning.
I could remember the first time I battled with the negativity of my thoughts, I was literally thrown into self-destruction. For years I have battled with the thoughts that nobody actually likes me nor accepts me for who I am. For years I have thought my life was a worthless piece of thrash that is not worthy of anyone’s love and acceptance, which you could read from the many accounts of how I fought this negativity in my mind and how defeated I am by my own condemnation. This “stronghold” has been set in my mind have held me “imprisoned” for many years. Changing my way of thinking was difficult and almost unattainable. It was like I thought that I would be doomed to be in this condition forever. This condemnation has also taken away my confidence that I am made perfect in God’s eyes, in a way that I would think that I am unlovable because I am useless, poor and utterly stupid in everyone’s eyes.
In Joyce’s book, she revealed that the apostle Paul has weapons that can help us overcome this stronghold and that weapon is God’s words. I remembered reading this passage from the bible with truths that truly set me free:
Romans 8:1 – Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
I am not useless, poor and stupid as my mind perceived me to be. God has made me perfect in His eyes and therefore I will walk bravely and confidently in His presence in this present life.
God’s words are powerful weapons that cannot be underestimated by those who read them. It is the beacon of hope that we can rely on to tear down this “stronghold” in our minds. Joyce also quoted two verses from the bible which I held dearly to my heart and to hold it as my only weapon to protect me from stumbling further in my faith.
John 8: 31-32
…. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching [which means the words that God breathed], you are really my disciple. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
There is also one sentence in this chapter that hits me in my heart which says “Our past may explain why we’re suffering, but we must not use it as an excuse to stay in bondage”. It is without a doubt that my past sufferings of misery and nonacceptance by the people whom I had been seeking approval from has rendered me hopeless. I am not going to let that happen to me anymore this year as I resolved for it to be. God accepting me for who I am is sufficient for His grace is sufficient as He has promised in his word:
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
The verse above tells us that God’s power and love shine in the darkest moments of our lives and the way out of darkness is truly to rely on God’s words and His strength to help us pull through:
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
To end this chapter, Joyce wrote a reminder to us that God “will walk us across the finish line of victory in any area if we are willing to go all the way through it with Him” and quoted from a verse in the bible:
1 Corinthians 10:13
13 No temptation[a] has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted[b] beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted,[c] he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
This is another verse that bears hope in me and it reminds me of the fact that I am never alone in my walk with God. No matter what sins may come my way, God will always be there to set me free with His abiding love and words. Thank you Joyce for the reminder once again.
Chapter 2 in Joyce’s book “Battlefield of the Mind” talks about how vital it is to stay on track with God through prayers, worships and reading his Word (not just reading, but focusing and internalizing every word that is read). How do we stay on track? Joyce introduced a verse that speaks loudly of the life that we live and how we live it from:
Proverbs 23:7 (KJ version)
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
The verse above defines how we live our lives – whether positively or negatively. As Joyce puts it “You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind”. And so it seems. Many times we tend to look into our own humanly minds and efforts to set things right from wrong. And there were times where we stumbled and panicked over our wrongdoings. In my case for example, I used to panic whenever things don’t work the way I have planned it out or wanted it to be. My minds would swirl and my heart would beat so fast that I could hardly breathe. The chaotic mind of mine would just tell me that everything is doomed. The world has collapsed before my very eyes. However, I have learned over the years that there is nothing much I can do in cases of emergency but to just collapse into prayer and seek God’s divine intervention to set my paths straight again. As much as I want to believe that God is the ultimate solutions to all my problems, the stronghold that I have set in my mind all these years is still holding on to my thoughts whenever crises arises.
For this, Joyce reminded in this chapter of her book that “your [or my] life will not get straightened out until your [or my] mind does”. I need to be serious about tearing my stronghold and to let myself submit to God’s grace and power to help me move forward. With that, Joyce quoted a verse from the bible that says:
“…‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.
The Holy Spirit that I receive is the ultimate gift from God who prompts me whenever I am not in line with God’s words, and sadly, I have taken it for granted.
After reading Joyce’s book, I am reminded again that right thinking (which is thoughts that are in tuned or in line with God’s leading and words) is a vital necessity of a Christian’s life. Just like Joyce, I too had (and still having) a difficult time disciplining myself especially when I have set up myself a stronghold that will not let me move out of my comfort zone. However, I am not going to let this stronghold get the better of me. I think Joyce for reminding us as Christians that we need to give it our priority to fellowship with God and to allow God in our lives to help us lead our own lives and not to take the prompting of the Holy Spirit for granted. I want to put in the right thoughts in my mind and to tear down this stronghold of mine as much as I can with God’s mighty strength and power in me.
I hope you can pray for me in this journey of mine to put God as my priority. As I typed this, I am feeling fearful that I will fail God, but I want to know that God is always there, never leaving me nor forsaking me. Thank you and God bless.
In the previous chapter of the book (A Vital Necessity), I’ve blogged about how easy is it for us to just fall back into our comfort zones although we are determined to change our way of life and thoughts that are in line with God’s words. Well, I can attest to that. My career has been on an up and down roller coaster ride and many times I felt like I am going nowhere and everywhere seems like the ends of the road I have taken. I wish I could turn the clock around, but will it make any difference? I started doubting God, wandering if I am ever in His wonderful plans He claimed he has for me. But you know what, although I feel doubtful, but at the same time I am also hopeful. I am just so glad that in the midst of my doubts, I could switch my thoughts into prayers and to reading God’s words. How? Through the prompting of the Holy Spirit of course. God’s message to me yesterday was so profoundly hopeful that I could just rest on them and continue on the rest of my life’s journey:
14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
God holds the future in His Hands
With grace sufficient day by day
Through good or ill He gently leads
If we but let Him have His way
Instead of relying on my own strength to search for my destined career path, I’ve decided to rest on God’s words and let Him take the lead instead. And to my amaze, upon reading the verse above and through prayers, I received a surprise email from my university professor (which I have been waiting for almost a year) with a positive note saying that she has vetted my journal article and that she has gotten the help of another author to co-author the journal article with me. Also, my journal will be published in no time! Amen, hallelujah to that. I am very new to journal writing and with both their expert advice and help, I could see a bright light shining at the end of a dark tunnel, which indicates that there is hope of me becoming an educator once more – something I love doing. Before this, I have prayed fervently to God to let me continue educating, coaching, counseling and helping young minds with their studies and God has been good, although the journey hasn’t been smooth. Being a Christian and having read Joyce’s book, particularly Chapter 2, I have learned the importance of changing my mindset towards the positivity of life and to know that God is great and graceful. He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Chapter 3 of Battlefield of the Mind poses as a strong reminder to me once again telling me NOT TO GIVE UP on God. The verse that came flashing at the start of this chapter shows:
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Doing good in this context (based on my understanding) simply means resting on God’s words and to follow in faith His leading. Weeks after I’ve read this chapter, and in my quiet time, God showed me a verse from 2 Corinthians 4:16-17 that says:
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
My thoughts were before I read the verse above, that everything seemed to have shut itself before me. I don’t know when will I get myself out of this career turmoil for it seems like it is never-ending. I read the verse together with a story presented in the Daily Bread (a small booklet I read in order to stay in touch with God daily) which speaks clearly to my heart and mind, about a young man (Jerry) who has lost his job due to his company being downsized, and this situation has rendered him jobless for 15 months. Through the long agonizing wait for a new job to be opened to him, Jerry applied for jobs, prayed, asked others to pray for him and trusted God (though his emotions fluctuated with worries and fear), and through this period too, he and his family saw how God has provided for them in unexpected ways. Through the period of 15 months as well, Jerry experienced the kind of grace from God has has never experienced before and has learned to draw himself closer to God. Moments after that, God gave him 3 interview opportunities and ultimately a job that he had been waiting for. Despite the joy he has experienced, he testified that he would never trade this joy with the joy of being closer to God through those months of agonizing wait.
I am currently experiencing the sort of agonizing wait Jerry has experienced before, but at the same time, I am also experiencing the sort of grace that God has provided Jerry throughout the wait. After reading this chapter in Battlefield of the Mind, I found myself gathering enough guts to press on in faith towards a price that is heavenward which is drawing myself closer to God. Joyce reminded too in this chapter that God is looking for people who would go all the way through with Him. The next verse presented in this chapter acts as another reminder to me that no matter what happens, God will always set my path straight. Although the wait seems endless, knowing that God is there with me in this wait grants me the peace that I so badly needed in this time of trial:
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
How hopeful are those words if you would have read them right at the time when you are faced with trials and tribulations? Indeed God has provided me in many ways during this period, and I came to realized that, I have been doing things the wrong way, setting my mindset the wrong thoughts and making the wrong decisions, when the ultimate decision is to just trust in God and to let Him lead my life. I have been asking myself if I should be in this field, or should I be furthering my studies in order to stay afloat in this field .. bla bla la .. all those worries and thoughts are nothing but sinking sand. God’s word is the ROCK! Nevertheless, I am still applying for the jobs that I love and pray that one day God will open up doors of opportunities for me in His timing. I have begun to see the bright light amidst the darkness I am in. Thank you Joyce for reminding me in your book that I should be leaping out of the same “mountain” that have kept me wandering around for the longest time, just like the Israelites who were given 11 days to reach the Promised Land, but instead, took them 40 years to do so (read Deutronomy 1:6-8).
Pray that I will continue to follow God’s leading and will not give up on Him in my pursuit of looking for a job that I love which is educating, coaching, counseling and loving the people that I educate. Thanks so much and God bless.
About the Author
Joyce Meyer is one of the world’s leading practical Bible teachers, with her TV and radio broadcast, Enjoying Everyday Life, airing on nearly 450 television networks and 400 radio stations worldwide, including ABC Family Channel, Trinity Broadcast Network, Daystar, and the Word Network.
Her bestselling books include Battlefield of the Mind, Look Great, Feel Great, The Confident Woman, I Dare You, and Never Give Up!
Joyce holds conferences approximately 15 times each year, worldwide, speaking to thousands.
Originally published: 1995