The battlefield really is in the mind. Peer behind the curtain of our consciousness and Lord only knows what you’d find. From a constant stream of to-do lists to a complete record of wrongs and rights to social media addiction, to the one thing (or person) taking up space in our hearts, our minds are on full throttle all day, every day. This frenzy is like an overloaded transmitter, blocking out the true signal that wants to give us the kind of peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).
A scattered mind does not make for a strong mind. You can’t build a strong soul on a patchwork quilt of your purpose. Those bits and pieces won’t sustain you or help you to meet your goals. The mind must be clear so that the vision is clear. This is partly why writing it down is so important (Habakkuk 2:2). Post it in a place where you can see it every day. It gets deposited into your subconscious and you will begin to hold yourself accountable for your own declarations.
Then there are the things that consume our hearts and minds. Similar to junk food, the empty calorie equivalent of thoughts focused on the wrong thing (or people) does very little to feed your mission. It’s like manning an airplane on autopilot without ever checking the radar to make sure you (or your goals) won’t crash and burn. Admittedly, getting rid of the “mind clutter” isn’t easy. It requires a narrow focus, a form of quiet submission like meditation. It’s been said that prayer is when we’re speaking to God and meditation is when we shut up and just listen.
I’m single-minded in pursuit of you – Psalm 119:15 (MSG)
If you’ve seen The Force Awakens, the new Star Wars installation, you can appreciate the scene where Rey (the film’s heroine) is in a lightsaber lockdown with Kylo Ren. The hot, molten lava of a light is centimeters from her face as she struggles with the Dark Side. But in the midst of the fight, the chaos, the distraction, she closes her eyes and just breathes. She quiets her mind. Like denying the devil his baby bottle or depriving fire of oxygen, she starves the thing that threatens her. Instead she feeds her focus an ample supply of faith and strength. This isn’t magic. She’s simply choosing to ignore the distraction. Similarly, try to keep a piece of Scripture in your head or some visual imagery on standby every single time a distraction presents itself. Then focus on that which is already within you: love, light, and peace. It’s been behind the curtain of your mind the entire time. A strong mind builds a strong soul.