Keys to a Mind Fixed on Jesus
Posted on December 1, 2023
By Daniel Stephen Burton
It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the main battle front we have to endure as believers is the one between our two ears. You only need to briefly scan the news feeds of any social media platform to see that the world, and church, is trying to find something that will bring peace and security to their lives. This is where the days ahead will determine who we are, what we believe and in all reality how we live. Having the circumstances of life determine our inner world as Christians is a surefire way to a meltdown at best and sadly a walk away from Jesus at its worst. So what then are we to do in light of this ever-present reality of conflict?
I have recently been listening to the teachings of a Greek Orthodox ministry on topics such as the Nicene Creed and more recently demonology with the focus being on how to win the spiritual war. I am finding that there are ancient paths that have been well worn by the saints of old, that provide timeless truths to anchor our walks in modern times.
So whilst we may be in a different prophetic season, the strategies we have been given are timeless. One of the saints in this particular lecture series is a man by the name of St Anthony, whose life in the Egyptian desert was full of spiritual battles and warfare as he sought to follow Jesus, and whose example gives us a profound key into walking in the Spirit.
“The way you keep the enemy out of your mind is by keeping your mind full of the beauty of Jesus.”
–Inspired by Father Josiah Trenham on the life of St Anthony
This simple yet profound understanding is actually found elaborated in Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Here the Apostle Paul gives us such a clear focus on how to win the battle of the mind through the weaponry of Christ. But how do we apply this in practical ways that impact our lives?
“Whatever is true”’ then becomes a target for our minds to become focused on, but with a very key distinction. The truth isn’t just a concept or fact, but is the very person of Jesus Himself. So we begin to focus our minds and hearts on Jesus as the Truth– how His words will not fall, how His character isn’t removed from His message, how He will not lie. When we make that the meditation of our minds and hearts He begins to fill our minds with the beauty of who He is. “Whatever is noble” becomes the meditation of our hearts when we focus on His nobility, His leadership, His unchanging goodness. We can take the scriptures that recount His noble acts toward people and they become the seedbed for His beauty to fill our hearts and minds. Use each of these attributes listed to become a point of contemplation directed towards Jesus as the embodiment and target of our affections.
This transforms us, or to be more accurate, transfigures us from the inside out to shine forth the image and light of Jesus in our innermost being. This kind of feasting upon the nature of Jesus will create in us a habitation for His beauty to dwell, and in that place the devil will not find a foothold for his accusations and schemes. It is this kind of inward resourcing that the enemy of our souls wars against because he knows that a life full of the light and beauty of the Lamb of God will not be stopped by mere circumstances. It is an active choice that we must make to live from the inside out given the intensity of our external world right now, but the path is well worn by many who have gone before us.
We are in good company in the fight of faith. Let us behold in order that we may become.
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