How Can We Protect Our Minds Against Satan’s Attacks?

Pastor Chuck explores two of Satan's strategies in the battlefield of the mind and how we can protect ourselves with the helmet of salvation.

The Spiritual War—Part 1: The Hope of Salvation — A Pastor Chuck Smith Teaching
Originally published in print Issue 92 of Calvary Chapel Magazine

Pastor Chuck was the founder of the Calvary Chapel movement and the longtime pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, CA

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But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.  1 Thessalonians 5:8

Dealing with spiritual warfare, Paul speaks of the helmet of the hope of our salvation. When we talk about “helmets,” we are obviously talking about protecting our minds from Satan’s attacks. We need to keep the hope of our glorious future with the Lord in view. When we lose sight of the eternal, Satan can do all kinds of things with our minds. We’ll look at just two of his strategies in the battle over our minds.

Evil Thoughts

First, he seeks to plant evil thoughts—filthy images, sinful thoughts. We are hit on every side by advertisements with scantily clad women on billboards, newspapers, and especially TV. Most people channel surf during commercials, and it’s amazing how much filth you come across. People today do not have a chance of survival unless they have their minds protected against the onslaught of the enemy’s attacks.

We have a choice to make. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life (Galatians 6:7-8). Think about how much people are sowing to the flesh today.

In Romans Chapter 1, Paul also warns believers against falling in with a corrupt society. Because people did not glorify Him as God, … Therefore, God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves (v. 24). He also warns, those who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them (v. 32).

Though some knew such wicked things would bring the judgment of God, they not only did them, but took pleasure in those that did. Do you take pleasure in movies that portray adultery, fornication, murders, and violence? Then you are among those that Paul was describing here. We need to be on our guard. If we leave our minds unprotected, Satan will fill them with all kinds of filth that will defile us.

Discouragement

Secondly, Satan also attacks our minds with discouragement. He makes us feel that there is no use trying to go on—that the Christian life is just too difficult. When our younger daughter was just 6 years old, we found a note on the kitchen table from her that said, “It is no use, I have ran away.” Sometimes Satan makes us feel that it is no use. We can get deeply discouraged and think about giving up.

I am afraid that sometimes people are misled to think that if they will just come to Jesus, all of their troubles will end. The truth is, that it is often the beginning of troubles.

Satan does not hassle much those who are in his camp already, but the Scripture tells us, All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12b). That is a promise that we do not like to claim, yet it is nonetheless true. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus, on the hope of our salvation.

Don’t Lose Sight of the Eternal

Keeping perspective of the eternal helps protect us from this deep discouragement. A classic example of this is found in Psalm 73, a psalm of Asaph. He saw the prosperity of the wicked and became envious. He believed this lie: “It doesn’t pay to serve God, to be good, to try to do the right thing.” It almost destroyed him. Then he put on the helmet of the hope of salvation. He saw their end, compared with his: Surely You set them in slippery places; You cast them down to destruction. … You will guide me with Your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory (vv. 18, 24).

Don’t ever lose sight of the eternal. Living in sin may offer temporal advantages, but you must consider the eternal consequences. Living a life of righteousness may bring hardship and suffering, but remember the eternal perspective.

By faith Moses … refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward (Hebrews 11:24-26). Moses looked to his eternal reward; that is the whole key.

David encouraged himself in the Lord in Psalm 42:5, Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.

To stand strong in the spiritual battle, we must put on the helmet of the hope of our salvation: One day, we will receive our eternal reward from Jesus Christ.

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Click to read Part 2—Victory Through Jesus of this two-part series on The Spiritual War.

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