Challenge Central: a CBC devotional
By: Alicia Clarke
So, I had a unique situation happen about a month ago. Someone in the congregation placed a book in the pew where I usually sit, with the instructions to my husband to ‘give this to Alicia.’ Upon finding the book, I asked my husband who dropped it off, and because his mind was on the worship music he was nervously going to play, he didn’t notice who it was that gave me the book. So still, to this day, I don’t know who gave me the book by Louie Giglio entitled Don’t Give the Enemy A Seat at Your Table: It’s Time to Win the Battle of Your Mind…. But wow, I devoured it, and everyone should read it as it is excellent, and I need the giver to reveal themselves so I can say thank you, but I thought I would bless you with a few tidbits I drew from this book!
The author speaks about how the Enemy wants to tinker in our minds with temptations or thoughts that are not from God and that are contrary to God’s best for your life. The Devil appeals to our basic human needs for acceptance, worth, satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness and offers a lie that sin will satisfy these needs. ‘Hey, this will satisfy your needs. Take a bite. You deserve to be happy.’ But sin is a mirage always over-promising and under-delivering! And if those thoughts are entertained long enough, they will win the battle for your mind. Proverbs 14:12-13 states: “There’s a way of life that looks harmless enough; look again-it leads straight to hell. Sure, those people appear to be having a good time, but all that laughter will end in heartbreak” (THE MESSAGE). Sinful pleasures don’t provide peace or fulfillment. They lead to harm, separation, disappointment, and shame.
So how do we avoid sin? Stop gazing at the path marked Temptation. Go a different direction entirely and keep your eyes on Christ. Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Nothing keeps you from sin better than keeping your eyes on Christ. Sin might feel good for a moment, but it’s always less than God’s best for you.
This is where ‘renew the mind, engage the heart, enlist the body’ comes in! The way you go about stopping the Enemy from sitting at your table is by winning the battle for your mind, as the title of the book states! Winning the battle means replacing old, harmful thoughts with new, life-giving thoughts. The thinking of these new thoughts will engage your heart, which will result in doing different things – changed behaviour. One of the most powerful tools is the ability to memorize Scripture and recite it when the Enemy starts trying to tempt you as you can take control of what you think about, which should be God’s truths. For me, when anxiety kicks in, I have trained myself to recite 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God gave us not a spirit of fearfulness; but of power and love and discipline,” and it helps me ground myself that I have strength when focused on Christ. When tempted to sin, I recite 2 Corinthians 5:9, which states, “So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please Him.” It took time to make this a habit, but it certainly is a beneficial habit. It is putting into practice what Romans 8:6 states, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”
You can win the battle for your mind. Don’t give in to sin but take every thought captive by memorizing Scripture, letting God’s words renew your mind.
And if you were the giver of this book to me, thank you, as it certainly was well received, and I would love to know to whom I owe the gratitude!