Battlefield of the Mind Chapter 9- A Wandering, Wondering Mind w/ Q&A
A Wandering, Wondering Mind
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind ....
1 PETER 1: 13 KJV
In the previous chapter we stated that a mind too busy is abnormal. Another condition of the mind that is abnormal is for it to be wandering all over the place. An inability to concentrate indicates mental attack from the devil.
Many people have spent years allowing their minds to wander cause they have never applied principles of discipline to their thought life.
Quite often people who cannot seem to concentrate think they are mentally deficient. However, an inability to concentrate can be - e result of years of letting the mind do whatever it wants to do, or whenever it wants to do it. A lack of concentration can also be a symptom of vitamin deficiency. Certain B-vitamins enhance concentration, therefore, if you have an inability to concentrate, ask yourself if you're eating right and are nutritionally sound.
Extreme fatigue can also affect concentration. I have found that when I am excessively tired Satan will try to attack my mind because he knows it is more difficult to resist him during these times. The devil wants you and me to think that we are mentally deficient so we will not attempt to do anything to cause him problems. He wants us to passively accept whatever lies he tells us.
One of our daughters had difficulty concentrating during her childhood years. Reading was difficult for her because concentration and comprehension go hand in hand. Many children and even some adults don't comprehend what they read. Their eyes scan the words on the page, but their minds do not really understand what is being read.
Often a lack of comprehension is the result of a lack of concentration. I know that, for myself, I can read a chapter in the Bible or a book and all of a sudden realize that I do not know what I have read at all. I can go back and read it again, and it all seems new to me because, even though my eyes were scanning the words on the page, my mind had wandered off somewhere else. Because I did not stay focused on what I was doing, I failed to comprehend what I was reading.
Often the real problem behind a lack of comprehension is a lack of attention caused by a wandering mind.
A WANDERING MIND
Keep your foot [give your mind to what you are doing) ....
Ecclesiastes 5: 1
I believe the expression "keep your foot" means "don't lose your balance or get off track." The amplification of this phrase indicates that one stays on track by keeping his mind on what he is doing.
I had a wandering mind and had to train it by discipline. It was not easy, and sometimes I still have a relapse. While trying to complete some project, I will suddenly realize that my mind has just wandered off onto something else that has nothing to do with the issue at hand. I have not yet arrived at a place of perfect concentration, but at least I understand how important it is not to allow my mind to go wherever it wishes, whenever it desires.
Webster's dictionary defines the word wander as: "1. To move about aimlessly: ROAM. 2. To go by an indirect route or at no set pace:
AMBLE. 3. To proceed in an irregular course or action: MEANDER .. .5. To think or express oneself unclearly or incoherently"l
If you are like me, you can be sitting in a church service listening to the speaker, really enjoying and benefiting from what is being said, when suddenly your mind begins to wander. After a while you "wake up" to find that you don't remember a thing that has been going on. Even though your body stayed in church, your mind has been at the shopping center browsing through the stores or home in the kitchen cooking dinner.
Remember, in spiritual warfare the mind is the battlefield.
That is where the enemy makes his attack. He knows very well that even though a person attends church, if he can't keep his mind on what is being taught, he will gain absolutely nothing by being there. The devil knows that a person cannot discipline himself to complete a project if he cannot discipline his mind and keep it on what he is doing.
This mind-wandering phenomenon also occurs during conversation. There are times when my husband, Dave, is talking to me and I listen for a while; then all of a sudden I realize that I have not heard a thing he has been saying. Why? Because I allowed my mind to wander off on something else. My body was standing there appearing to listen, yet in my mind I heard nothing.
For many years, when this sort of thing happened, I would pretend that I knew exactly what Dave was saying. Now I stop and say, "Can you back up and repeat that? I let my mind wander off, and I did not hear a thing you said."
In this way, I feel that at least I am dealing with the problem.
Confronting issues is the only way to get on the victorious side of them!
I have decided that if the devil went to the trouble to attack me with a wandering mind, then perhaps something was being said that I needed to hear.
One way to combat the enemy in this area is by taking advantage of the cassette tapes provided by most churches. If you haven't yet learned to discipline your mind to keep it on what is being said in church, then buy a tape of the sermon each week and listen to it as many times as you need in order to get the message.
The devil will give up when he sees that you are not going to give in.
Remember, Satan wants you to think that you are mentally deficient - that something is wrong with you. But the truth is, you just need to begin disciplining your mind. Don't let it run all over town, doing whatever it pleases. Begin today to "keep your foot," to keep your mind on what you're doing. You will need to practice for a while. Breaking old habits and forming new ones always takes time, but it is worth it in the end.
A WONDERING MIND
Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him.
For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].
Faced with one thing or another, I frequently began to hear myself say, "I wonder." For example:
"I wonder what the weather will be like tomorrow."
"I wonder what I should wear to the party."
"I wonder what kind of grades Danny (my son) will get on his report card."
"I wonder how many people will show up at the seminar." The dictionary partially defines the word wonder in the noun form as "a feeling of puzzlement or doubt" and in the verb form as "to be filled with curiosity or doubt. "2
I have come to learn that I am much better off to do something positive than to just wonder all the time about everything imaginable. Instead of wondering what kind of grades Danny will get, I can believe that he will make good grades. Rather than wondering what I should wear to the party, I can decide what to wear. Instead of wondering about the weather or about how many people will attend one of my meetings, I can just turn the matter over to the Lord, trusting Him to work out all things for good regardless of what happens.
Wondering leaves a person in indecision, and indecision causes confusion. Wondering, indecision and confusion prevent an individual from receiving from God, by faith, the answer to his prayer or need.
Notice that in Mark 11:23,24 Jesus did not say, "Whatever you ask for in prayer, wonder if you will get it." Instead, He said, "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and you will!"
As Christians, as believers, we are to believe - not doubt!
1. Read 1 Peter 1: 13 KJV
a. What does an inability to concentrate indicate?
b. What are some of the causes of an inability to concentrate? _
c. What is the difference between a lack of comprehension and a
lack of concentration? _
2. Read Ecclesiastes 5: 1
a. What does the expression "keep your foot" mean?
What is it a warning against?
b. Give an example from your own life of a wandering mind. __
c. How do you correct a wandering mind? _
3. Read Mark 11:23,24
a. What is wrong with wondering? _
b. As Christians, we are to_________- not doubt or wonder.
la. Mental attack from the devil.
lb. An undisciplined thought life, vitamin deficiency and extreme fatigue.
lc. A lack of comprehension indicates a lack of understanding; a lack of
concentration indicates an inability to focus.
2a. "Don't lose your balance or get off track." A wandering mind. 2b. (Your answer.)
2c. By disciplining it and keeping it on what you are doing.
3a. It leaves a person in indecision, and indecision causes confusion. Wondering indecision and confusion prevent an individual from receiving from God, b~ faith, the answer to his prayer or need.