Strongholds in the Mind

Bible Book: 2 Corinthians  10 : 3-5
Subject: The Mind; Thinking; Strongholds; Thought Life; Christian Living

The Strongholds in the Mind

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, editor,

2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…”

The greatest problem we have in life, and the most difficult problem of our age, is the problem of the human mind. Paul wrote to tell us that there is a war going on in the arena called the mind, which the Bible often refers to as the heart. In fact, every person in this room struggles to one degree or another with how we think about things. Depression, depravity, defeat, and death can be a result of how we think. Satan knows that he can control us, if he can get into the control room of our minds and set up a stronghold.

I’m sure you saw the decision made by Virginia this week to allow abortion up to, and perhaps even after, the birth of a baby. How is it possible for people to “think” it is okay to kill little babies? Where did we ever get the idea that taking a human life is a good idea simply because we THINK it might make our lives better not to have to deal with? That is why Hitler killed the Jews – he didn’t like dealing with them. They were in the way. He had plans and they were a problem to him – so he just killed as many as he could. Let me tell you how you get to the point of doing really gross things in life – you start with a thought. You start with the mind.

I want you to look with me at this idea of how strongholds are set up in our minds and how we can pull them down.

I. The Ground of this Battle or War

Paul uses military terms when writing about the mind. He wants us to the know that the battle we have in our spiritual lives is not some mystic idea but is actually a part of our thinking process.

A. Every War has a Battlefield

The place of our spiritual battle always involves how we think. Your mind is a real battlefield where the enemy faces you everyday with thoughts, ideas and promptings that are dangerous and deadly.

B. Ever Battlefield starts with an Argument

Let’s go back to Hitler again. Hitler’s argument was that Germany had been treated unfairly after WWI and that the Aryan (white) race was the super race of people. Thus, he began a plan to plant this thought in the minds of the leaders of the Nazi Party. Using these thoughts he worked forward to accomplish his goal of establishing a worldwide Aryan dominance. How could a former corporal of the German Army practically take over the world? With an idea! With a thought!

Every war, spiritual or otherwise, starts with the mind. Every evil thing in this world began with a thought. It is scary isn’t it? You better watch what you think about.

C. Every Argument Involves people

The trophy or prize that Satan wants is the mind of a generation. He desires to take possession of the thinking process of people and move them in a direction that will give him control of the entire generation in which we live.

The Bible states in Proverbs 23:7, “…as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” You are what you think, and even the devil knows that. He brings forth ideas that can dominate and entire generation, and by doing so leads many to destruction. If you don’t think like the world, you are labeled as ignorant, backward, or a religious nut! The world actually uses thoughts to sideline the truth.

II. The Game Plan in this Battle

A. To Capture

Paul speaks here of a stronghold in the mind. Satan desires to get the high ground in the battle for the mind. He sets up arguments designed to take control of human thinking. He depends on ignorance and emotion as a control factor.

In Mark 7:18-22 Jesus tells us that EVERY evil thought comes out of the heart – out of the mind. The first work of the enemy in every generation is to get the MIND. If Satan gets the mind, he has the rest.

B. To Control

Some of you have a robotic vacuum to use in your home. I’m sure almost everyone here has seen or heard about these devices. Most of them are so sophisticated that they can be programed to do whatever the owner desires. For example, you can program the device to work at certain times of day. Some people have them vacuum at night when they are in bed. Others program them to clean the floors while the owners are at work. The owner can actually turn them on or off uses an app from a cell phone.

Now listen carefully. Satan desires to set up a group of controlling thoughts in your mind so that he can control you without having to tend to you all the time. He doesn’t have to worry himself of his minions with chasing you around all day and night. He can set up his thoughts and you will do exactly what he has programmed you to do. Many people are programmed from hell to act like the place where the programming was done.

C. To Corrupt

We not only obey the commands planted in our minds, but we become a recruiter of the devil by getting others to agree with us. That’s right – we become co-workers with Satan when we allow our thought life to be controlled by Satan.

1. He Blinds the Sinner

2. He Deceives the Saved

You see, Satan is playing mind games with us. He knows where to invade in order to accomplish his goals. He is having a field day in our generation by working on the battlefield of the mind.

III. The Glory in this Battle

Every battle has a victor, and when the victory has been won, the glory goes to the winner. Be assured of this, Christ will win this battle eventually. One day every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Even the devil will bow down to Him and admit defeat.

Let me explain something to you about the battle for the mind. In every war there are some who represent their country well and others who are shameful. Some are courageous and faithful, and others cooperate with the enemy. Even in victory, there are those who hid while the fighting was going on and others who boldly stood in the fight. There are those in every war who sided with the enemy during the conflict. Some will go with whichever side seems to be winning at the time.

I have in my hand this morning the first sermon I ever preached. It is laminated so that I might not destroy it, and I must admit that it is not that significant or that good, but the subject is something like what I’m preaching today. As I was preparing to preach this week, I thought of this sermon and I pulled it out of a file to look at it again. I thought how the world has not changed at all in these 50 years that I’ve been preaching God’s Word. What Paul was saying almost 2,000 years ago, and what I preached long ago is still the same today. The battle concerns people who will give their minds and hearts fully to Jesus.

Listen to me, we have the ability to pull down strongholds of Satan and to win the arguments of our age. We have God’s Word and the Holy Spirit. These have not lost their power. They are the same today as they were in the beginning. What can we do in an age like the one we face today?

A. Repent

Ask God to forgive us where we have yielded territory to the enemy. Repentance means to change the mind. Some of us throw up our hands and say, “What’s the use. We can’t do anything.” Yes, you can! You can make sure your minds are committed to God’s truth. We can ask God to show where we are giving up ground to the enemy and ask Him to forgive us when we are discouraged.

When Jesus visited The Seven Churches in Asia, that are mentioned in Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, he called on five of the seven churches to repent. He wasn’t talking to the world but to the church. Today He is doing the same. He is calling on us to repent for allowing our minds to think like the world rather than thinking His thoughts – His thoughts are true and everlasting.

B. Renew

The Bible speaks of renewing the mind in Ephesians 4.

Paul called on us to set our minds on things above in Colossians 3.

Romans 8:5 speaks of those who set their minds on the things of the Spirit rather than the things of the world.

In other words, we must renew our minds from time to time. We need to bring our minds back to God and have them updated. Your mind is like a computer. It can become infiltrated with bad data. Just as your computer will upload new software updates from time to time, we need to have our minds upload God’s latest heaven-ware, so that the enemy cannot corrupt the data God has given us.

C. Resist

We can resist the enemy. I don’t have to be ugly or mean in order to resist the world and its thoughts. I don’t have to be arrogant of haughty in order to be faithful to God’s way of thinking. But, I do need to stand true for my Lord in this world. I must give Him full control of my mind.

When Stephen spoke to the religious leaders, as described in Acts 6, the Bible says that they were not able to resist the wisdom and power with which he spoke. Wisdom was the Word of God and power was from the Spirit of God. That is what we need today. The world cannot resist when both are present. But, we must resist the thinking of the world – and we can.

In James 4:7 we read, “…resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

Peter wrote that the devil goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, whom we are to resist being steadfast in the faith – “KNOWING that the same sufferings are experienced by your fellow believers in the world.” God has things for us to KNOW – thoughts for us to THINK. Our minds must belong to Him.


Let me close. Today is a day to renew our minds. Today is a day to make a commitment to God’s truth no matter what the world says or does.

This is the day for someone to make up your mind to trust Jesus as your Savior.