Yesterday, we shared about the mighty spiritual weapon of the mouth and how best to use it. Today, we focus on another weapon, the Swiss army knife of spiritual battle: our mindset.
The key to using this multi-faceted weapon is learning how to use it with speed and accuracy in any combat situation. But, before we use this weapon we need to know how to clean it and have it ready for use.
- The first washing agent is humility. An arrogant or stubborn mind is an automatic hurting machine.
- The second washing agent is the word of God. We should be constantly and consistently allowing the promises and precepts of Scripture to streamline and focus our thoughts. Remembering the Word also adds a dynamic power to all we do.
- The third cleansing agent for our mindset is the Holy Spirit. Being prompted and checked by the Spirit will allow us to pinpoint and appropriately minister grace to those who are before us. Without the Spirit we would use the wrong ammo, fire at the wrong target, or produce countless dangerous outcomes. What kind of outcomes? “If you do not match the ammunition to the firearm, the cartridge could become lodged, explode, and cause serious injury to the user or a bystander.” And that’s just one example. Dr. John Savage used to call it, “shooting people with the gospel gun” instead of sharing the gospel.
If we have cleaned the weapon of our mindset, what’s next? Well, we’ve cleaned it. Now, let’s characterize it. Our mindset is a weapon of faith. It is to be used defensively to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints and to guard us against deceit and pride, as it stands ready to assist us offensively to give the reason and rationale for following Jesus Christ.
To do this, Peter says, we need to choreograph with greater speed seven components of arming and utilizing our faith.
- The first is excellence or virtue. Our mindset is not a static thing. Our mindset is being reformed, renewed, and revitalized to reflect more and more the power of God in our lives.
- The second is knowledge or understanding. We are always feeding our faith so what we trust we know is expanding what we understand.
- The third component is self-control. Knowledge is not an end in itself. We are mastering what we know for the cause of Christ. The Apostle Paul reminds us of this when he says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10: 4 – 5)
- The fourth component is patience or perseverance. All of us have to learn how to live in real life. Spiritual battle is not an abstraction or theoretical construct; it’s living with real people, with real challenges, in need of real grace.
- Godliness is the next component. Godliness denotes a mutual devotion: the devotion we have towards God and His Kingdom but more importantly, the devotion God has for us in Jesus Christ.
- Mutual affection or brotherly love is choreographed into us, as well. We realize that we are all messed up – we’ve all missed the target and lived with the frustration of sin. But, this kind of love means we have a shared wonder and potential for experiencing grace that is a beautiful thing to behold!
- Finally, there is the sacrificial, self-giving love of God that stands us armed and ready to be effective and productive in sharing what we know in Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1: 5 – 8)
Are you armed and ready to go, today?