Have you ever wondered what controls your mind? I have. It is crucial to understand that our minds don’t work by themselves, because our minds determine everything else in our lives. If we know what controls our minds, we will likewise know what controls our lives. As Christians, if we submit to God, we have a mind controlled by the Spirit of God.
Our minds are vital to our wellbeing. We will live a happy life if we use it correctly.
Are unhappy with your thought pattern, your feelings, your behavior, and your actions? It may be worth to check what controls your mind. Is it the Spirit of God? Another spirit? You yourself? Or people around you?
It is possible to be led by the Holy Spirit.
Two opposites that could control our minds
When we examine what controls our minds, there are two options what rules our minds: our sinful nature or the Holy Spirit. It is only one of these two. They both cannot control us at the same time.
The Bible verse shows either the Holy Spirit controls us or our sinful nature (Romans 8:5 NLT):
“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.”
Whatever dominates our minds influences the way we think. The way we think affects the way we live. And it determines where we will spend the rest of our lives 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)
This is the more reason to know what controls our minds.
A mind controlled by our sinful nature
A mind dominated by the sinful nature thinks about sinful things, things that don’t please God. Thinking of sinful things and ideas leads to doing sinful things. We may assume we are just pondering about it, but God’s Word warns us to take care, otherwise we would fall (I Corinthians 10:12).
Thoughts don’t just stay thoughts. They slide down into our hearts, evolving into desires, leading to action, and then into a sinful action.
“These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.”James 1:15 (NLT)
We should not deceive ourselves, because the result of sinful action is death. Our sinful nature is likewise hostile to God, it can never please God.
“For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never obeyed 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)
We were born in a sinful nature, but we don’t need to stay in it. We can change and have our minds governed by the Holy Spirit of God.
A mind controlled by 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 we please God? Well, we cannot please God with our own strength. We need the Holy Spirit to help us. We can’t do it all by ourselves. Even if we 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 us, as a sacrifice, so that He can continue to live in us. And after Jesus left planet earth, He sent the Holy Spirit to be with us. The Holy Spirit guides us and helps us to do God’s will. Exactly that pleases God: doing His will.
Does that mean the Holy Spirit controls us? In some way, yes. But God gave us a free will, so we decide to allow the Holy Spirit to control us, or not (or in part). When the Holy Spirit dominates our minds, we can follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
The result of being controlled by the Spirit is living a life that pleases God.
A byproduct of a mind controlled by the Holy Spirit is that we will get rid of negative thoughts spiritually. The Spirit refreshes our thoughts, resulting in more positive thinking.
Who decides what controls our minds?
We are born as a human being, which causes our sinful nature to control our minds. That is our Adamic nature. But we don’t have to leave it that way. We can choose between letting our sinful nature control us or being governed by the Holy Spirit.
We have the choice and the power to decide what controls our minds. Nobody else can decide for us, even God cannot. It is an important choice. A choice we need to make daily. Each day presents opportunities to choose to be led by our sinful nature or by the Spirit of God. It is not a one-off choice.
Each time we need to choose, the following Bible verse can make that choice easier:
“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 helps us understand our actions control our minds. We either let our sinful nature control our minds, or allow the Holy Spirit to dominate our minds. Nobody forces any of these on us. It is a free choice, a vital choice.
“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)
7 Results of a mind controlled by the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit can only control our minds when He lives inside us.
“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 us 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 us serves a purpose, a divine purpose.
He guides us daily and helps us to live a life pleasing to God. Likewise, He enables us to remember the Word of God and shows us the future. The Holy Spirit also comforts us.
Having the Holy Spirit living inside us comes with seven other benefits:
1) Belonging to God
“And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.”Romans 8:9c (NLT)
2) Having Christ living in us
“And Christ lives within you.”Romans 8:10a (NLT)
3) Being right with God
“So even though your body will die because of sin, the Spirit gives you life because you have been made right with God.”Romans 8:10b (NLT)
“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”Romans 8:11 (NLT)
“Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.”Romans 8:12 (NLT)
6) Power to overcome sin
“For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.”Romans 8:13 (NLT)
7) Being a child of God
“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.”Romans 8:14 (NLT)
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Can we brag that the Holy Spirit controls our minds?
A mind controlled by God’s Spirit is a gift from God. We cannot work for it. We cannot brag about it because we did nothing for 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)
The only thing we need to do is repent and turn to God. By turning to God, we choose to let God dominate our minds. This is all that we need to do. It is then that God does His part by granting us the Holy Spirit as a gift.
He does not give this gift because of our 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 a 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.”Titus 3:4-7 (NLT)
It is by Grace and Grace alone that the Holy Spirit can control our minds.
What is the result of being controlled by the Spirit?
Once we made the choice to allow God’s Spirit to rule our minds, does that mean we have arrived? No, we haven’t. Thinking we are okay is a dangerous trap from the enemy. Relaxing when we have ensured the Holy Spirit controls our minds will cause us to backslide. A slack attitude will cause us to give in to the enemy.
The enemy is patient. He doesn’t mind when we find out what controls our minds. We need to ensure to let the Holy Spirit control it continually. The enemy waits for a weak moment and then jumps in, attacking us when we are most vulnerable.
We can prevent that by staying strong. By being alert. We can ask the Holy Spirit to help us keep watch.
“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)
Many Bible verses have warnings to stay strong and watchful till the end. This seems to imply we would wander off if we don’t continue being mindful of all that we do and endure in the Christian race.
Since we need the Holy Spirit to control our minds 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 our minds. When we do so, we receive positive results. Ultimately, we will receive the prize.
“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)