Summary: So why do we still battle with the same thoughts and feelings that we had before we became a Christians? Paul said, “We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods” (2 Cor. 10:3 NLT). We are now Christians, yet we still live in the wor
THE GREAT ESCAPE – Winning the Battle for Your Mind
Three simple truths:
 I am alive in Christ. As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins . . . But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:1 (quickview) , 4-5 (NIV)
All of us agree that these statements are true. Yet if we are honest we have all found ourselves wondering at one time or another, “If what the Bible tells me about my identity in Christ is true, then why do I still battle the same thoughts and feelings that I had before I became a Christian?” “Why can’t I break free from these things that haunt my mind?”
Would you like to know the answer to such questions about yourself? This morning we continue THE GREAT ESCAPE, Winning the Battle for our Minds.
 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
So why do we still battle with the same thoughts and feelings that we had before we became a Christians? Paul said, “We are human, but we don’t wage war with human plans and methods” (2 Cor. 10:3 NLT). We are now Christians, yet we still live in the world, but we don’t go to war as the world does. Therein is our problem; the battle for our mind cannot be won using the same thinking we had before we accepted Christ. YET MANY OF US STILL TRY TO WIN THE BATTLE FOR OUR MIND THE SAME WAY WE ALWAYS DID.
As we grew up from childhood to adults we all learned to respond to life in a variety of ways, but each response had one thing in common. We learned to go through life without God; we were unaware of His presence in our lives and we did not know His ways. WE ALL LEARNED TO LIVE OUR LIVES INDEPENDENT FROM GOD.
ILLUSTRATION: Even those of us who grow up in a Christian home still grew up learning to think independently of God. I had good Christian parents who took me to church every time the doors were opened. I made Jesus my savior at an early age. I grew up aware of God and His love for me; by the age of twelve I knew that God had called me into the ministry (at the age of two I was my mom’s “preacher boy” lining up all my stuffed animals and preaching to them). Yet I also grew up IN THE WORLD. As a child I learned the values of the world from friends and family, by listening to the radio, watching TV and radio. While my parents taught me to know God, the world taught me to live as though God didn’t exist or if He did, then he didn’t care how I lived my life. By the time I was a teenager I was to say the least CONFUSED. I became an expert at putting on masks to be the person others expected me to be. I grew up insecure of myself and uncertain about my abilities. I lived in self-doubt because I knew others were stronger and smarter than I was. I longed for acceptance and would do anything to be a part of the “in crowd”, and unfortunately I did and said some things I regretted. My insecurity and self-doubt was validated by the condemnation and guilt I felt for my sin. I sometimes questioned if God could even love me anymore. As a young adult having renewed my commitment to Christ and wanting to follow him I continued to struggle with my identity. Even after I became a minister I still struggled with feelings of inferiority and a sense of unworthiness. While I was living as a Christian, I still carried around the same pattern of thinking I had grown up with. The world had done a good job of programming my mind to think a certain way.