Have you ever wondered what controls your mind? If you have not, then it will be good to do, because there is definitely something that controls your mind, whether you are aware of it or not. Because your mind determines everything else in your life, it is crucial to understand that your mind does not work by itself. When you know what controls your mind, you will likewise know what controls your life. 

If your way of life does not satisfy you, and you are unhappy with your thought pattern, your feelings, your behavior, and your actions, check out the status of your mind. Your mind is vital to your well-being. If you use your mind wrongly, it will negatively affect your life; if you use it accurately, you will live a positive life. 

Ask yourself: “what controls my mind?”

Two opposites that could control your mind 

When you examine what controls your mind, there are only two options: your sinful nature or the Holy Spirit. It is only one of the two. They both cannot control you at the same time. The word of God makes that perfectly clear:

“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.”

Romans 8:5 (NLT).

This means that whatever dominates your mind influences the way you think. Remember that the way you think affects the way you live. Also, it decides where you will spend the rest of your life after this mortal life on earth is over; it decides life or death. 

“Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.”

Galatians 6:8 (NLT).

Thus, the more reason to know what controls your mind. Let us look at the two influencers in your mind.

1: Sinful nature

A mind dominated by the sinful nature thinks about sinful things, things that do not please God. Thinking of sinful things and ideas leads to doing sinful things. You may assume you are just pondering about it, but take care, less you fall (I Corinthians 10:12): thoughts do not just stay thoughts. They slide down into your heart, evolving into desire, leading to action, then into sin.

“These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”

James 1:15 (NLT).

Do not deceive yourself, because the result of sinful action is death. Your sinful nature is likewise hostile to God and can never please Him. 

“For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.”

Romans 8:7-8 (NLT). 

Therefore, take charge of what controls your mind, because that is where it starts. 

2: the Holy Spirit

A mind controlled by the Holy Spirit thinks about things that please God. As Christians, we want our lives to be pleasing to God. 

“So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him.”

II Corinthians 5:9 (NLT).

How do you please God? Well, you cannot please God by your own strength. You need the Holy Spirit to help you, you cannot do it all by yourself. You simply cannot. Even if you desire to do it and do everything possible to please God, it will still not be enough. Because we cannot please God by ourselves. That is the reason God let His only Son die for you, as a sacrifice, so that He can continue to live in you. And after Jesus left earth, He sent the Holy Spirit to be with you. The Holy Spirit guides you and helps you to do God’s will. You please God by doing His will.  

When the Holy Spirit dominates your mind, and you follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, you will live a life that pleases God. 

Thus, a Spirit-controlled mind is better than a sin-controlled mind. 

Who decides what controls your mind?

You.

It is as simple as that. You have the choice and the power to decide what controls your mind. Nobody else can decide for you, even God cannot. 

The simple fact that you are born as a human being causes your sinful nature to control your mind. It is your Adamic nature. But you do not have to leave it that way. You can choose to let your sinful nature control you or the Holy Spirit.

“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”

Romans 8:6 (NLT).

This verse clarifies that your actions control your mind. You either let your sinful nature control your mind, or you let the Holy Spirit control your mind. Nobody forces any of these on you. 

“Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.”

Romans 6:16 (NLT).

Results of a mind controlled by the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit controls your mind when you have Him living inside you:

“You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you.”

Romans 8:9b (NLT).

To have the Holy Spirit living inside you is not just a pleasant feeling or a nice possession or something to brag about. The Holy Spirit is real and to have Him living inside you serves a purpose, a divine purpose. He guides you daily and helps you to live a life pleasing to God. Likewise, He enables you to remember the word of God and shows you the future. He comforts you. 

Seven benefits of having the Holy Spirit living inside you: 

1: Belonging to God (Romans 8:9c).

2: Having Christ live in you ((Romans 8:10a).

3: Being right with God (Romans 8:10a).

4: Life for your mortal body (Romans 8:11).

5: Living in freedom (Romans 8:12).

6: Empowerment to overcome sin (Romans 8:13).

7: Being a child of God (Romans 8:14).

Can you brag that the Holy Spirit controls your mind? 

No. It is a gift from God; you cannot work for it. Since it is a gift, you cannot brag about it. 

“Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 2:38 (NLT).

Your part is to repent and turn to God. By turning to God, you choose to let God control your mind. This is all that you should do. It is then that God does His part by granting you the Holy Spirit as a gift. However, He does not give you the gift because of your works, but because of His mercy: 

“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace, he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”

Titus3:4-7 (NLT).

Remember what controls your mind, to receive the prize

Now that you know what controls your mind, have you arrived? No. Thinking that you are okay is a dangerous trap from the enemy. Once you have ensured the Holy Spirit controls your mind, do not relax, or you may backslide. Because a slack attitude will cause you to give in to the enemy. The enemy is patient; he does not mind when you find out what controls your mind. Thus, you must ensure to let the Holy Spirit control it. Your enemy waits for a weak moment and then jumps in, attacking you when you are most vulnerable. Stay strong! Be alert!

“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

I Peter 5:8 (NLT).

The word of God has many warnings to stay strong and watchful till the end. Meaning, we Christians wander away if we do not continue being mindful of all that we do and endure in the Christian race. Since you need the Holy Spirit to control your mind to live a life pleasing to God, it is vital to stay on guard and to review each day who is pressing the remote for your mind.

“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.”

Philippians 3:14 (NLT).

Let us pray

Thank You, Lord, for creating me with a spirit, a soul, and a body. I am grateful that Your word teaches me how to subdue my natural being with my spirit through Your indwelling Holy Spirit. Even though I am born in sin with a sinful nature, I can let Your Holy Spirit reign in my life. Forgive me for every time I listened to the enemy instead of You and for each occasion that I let my sinful nature dominate my mind instead of Your Holy Spirit.

Lord, I submit my spirit, soul, and body to You. Have Your way in me. Teach me every day how to control my mind and let me never be slack. I choose to obey You and to let Your Holy Spirit reign in me. I commit myself to alertness each day and taking charge of what controls my mind. Thank You for giving me the strength to do this. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

 ©copyright 2021; Christel Owoo.

Photo by Norbert Kundrak on Unsplash