To guard the heart and mind is to realize the weakness of our flesh. Paul expressed his frustration with it by saying, For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it; for I fail to practice the good deeds I desire to do, but the evil deeds that I do not desire to do are what I am doing…O miserable man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from this body of death? (Heart and mind) O thank God through YAHSHUA the Messiah, our Lord…(Rom. 7:18-19,24-25a).
In getting ready for the Lord’s return to fetch us-His bride, Paul tells us how to go about it. Two very important organs the heart and the brain- mind must be guarded. The heart, the distributor of life, must be protected with the shield of faith. Faith is that part of the armor which will quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked one; faith it that which will overcome the world; faith is that which is necessary in our walk with God to please Him. The helmet of salvation protects the mind; it will direct it to stay under the control of the Holy Spirit. Our thoughts, our emotions, our will are lodged in the soul and needed to be checked and guarded always. Romans 12:2 says, Do not be conformed with this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect. A daily renewal of the mind will keep us in touch with our Lord and away from the worldly things. Because the central nervous system consists of the brain and spinal cord, controlling our thoughts, emotions, memory, etc., it is necessary for us to be aware of the need of the renewal of the mind, in order for it to be transformed into God’s purpose for our life, for we are destined from the beginning to be molded into the image of His Son, that He might become the firstborn among many brethren (Rom. 8: 29b). The Christian life is above all, a life of submission, and self-denial and obedience to the Word of God. These three comprise the summary it represents.
Paul gives us some guidelines how to guard our heart and mind in his first letter to the Thessalonians:
1. Appreciation and love for our spiritual leaders
2. Be encouragers
4. Rejoice in the Lord always
5. Pray without ceasing
6. Be thankful in everything
7. Do not quench the Holy Spirit
8. Do not despise prophetic utterances
9. Examine everything carefully
10. Hold fast to that which is good
11. Abstain from every form of evil.
These seem to be the heart of our belief, although, we do not always practice all the guidelines set before us. The two parts of the armor to protect the heart and the mind are the shield or breastplate of faith and love and the hope as a helmet of salvation. Applying them at the time they are needed, we will experience a sure victory. Learning to subject the soul to the will of God is faith in action and that will please God. The mind of the flesh, which is sense and reason is always hostile to God and naturally it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot (Rom. 8:6,7). The fleshly mind can only be renewed when the Holy Spirit of God takes over our will, emotion and intellect. For a believer to walk in the desire of the Spirit of God, we must surrender all to Him. This way, the heart and mind are guarded. To love the Lord God with all our heart it is to love Him with the blood that flows life through the circulatory system; and with all my soul: with my will, emotion, intellect. We cannot separate the spiritual from the physical; they are very much connected in their invisible and visible ways, which is displayed through our behavior.