The battle and spiritual struggle for control in our lives is waged in the arena of our souls. Notice in First Peter 2:11 it says, “Dearly beloved,
I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.” The strength of Satan’s kingdom is sin. Through
temptation and the strong desires of our flesh he wars against our minds.
If Satan can control the direction of our thoughts, he can prevent us from yielding to the flow of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:6 tells us the dangers
of yielding to the mind of the flesh: “Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises
all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]”
Therefore it is vitally important to set our minds on the things of the spirit. Paul gives us insight into how we do this: “And do not be conformed
to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans
12:2). As we yield our thoughts to the Word of God we begin to think God’s thoughts.
One of Satan’s spiritual warfare strategies is to absorb our energy. Satan can successfully stop a believer’s progress by simply redirecting the focus
of his attention.
Our focus determines the direction and level of our faith and energy. Jesus said, “The lamp of the body is the eye. When your eye is in single focus,
sound, and fulfilling its function, also your whole body is well lighted” (Luke 11:34 Wuest).
These distractions come in a variety of forms. They can be friends, circumstances, family, or even other Christians. Even questions over Bible doctrines
can become a distraction from the true purpose of God’s work in our lives. But when our eye is focused on God’s promise and plan, it will fill
us with the direction and strength of His light.
In the martial arts, an idea is taught that will help illustrate this point. When a trained expert stands in front of a stack of bricks he intends
to break, he does not focus his attention and energy on the object itself. He focuses beyond it. One friend who holds the black belt rank says
when he faces a stack of bricks, he focuses on going through the floor. The reason is because the point of our focus is where our energy ends.
In the same way, when we direct our attention and the center of our interest on the promise and plan of God, it will carry us through any obstacle
until we fully reach the point of our focus.
This is why we must continually reexamine what controls our focus. If we are no longer focusing on the main issues and direction God has for our lives,
we will find that the light we once walked in begins to grow dim.
Jesus went on to say in Luke 11:35, “…be constantly scrutinizing yourself therefore lest the light which is in you is darkness” (Wuest).