By Jerelyn Pearson


I find that my biggest struggles in life are not so much with other people or circumstances, but my biggest struggles are within myself. It is within myself that I have to make decisions about how to handle relationships with others and circumstances that occur. My actions and my responses originate within my thoughts. My thoughts come from my heart and my mind. 

Our heavenly Father has given each of us a mind and a heart to love and obey him. Let's think of the heart and the mind as territories that we must guard, because they are definitely vulnerable spaces!  We have an enemy that would prevent us from acting in love and obedience. And we also have our own will to contend with that doesn't always fall in line with the Lord's will. 

Why is it so important to protect these territories of the Heart and Mind? 

For one thing, God has placed valuable resources in these territories. 

Hebrews 10:16
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

God has chosen to place his laws in our hearts and write them in our minds. 

Another reason to guard these territories is because the Lord instructs us to. 

Proverbs 4:23
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

And he gives us this promise of help:

Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Our hearts and minds are vulnerable territories. Vulnerability is just a part of life, both spiritually and naturally. Some of our vulnerability is simply the result of the issues of life. 

Ecclesiastes 9:11
I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Besides the issues of time and chance that happen to all, we have an enemy that would prevent us from acting in love and obedience.

John 10:10a
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:

However, we aren't left totally alone to guard our territories. We also have a Savior that is come that we might have life, and that we may have it more abundantly!  

John 10:10b
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

The most important reason to defend and protect our Heart and Mind is that they have an important job to accomplish. As I mentioned earlier, our Heavenly Father has given each of us a Heart and a Mind to love and obey him. Throughout the Old Testament and the New, the children of God were admonished to walk in the fear of the Lord in love and obedience. Fear of the Lord is not the debilitating fear that stifles and prevents us from acting or causes us to hide. It is an acknowledgement of his power and authority where we stand in admiration and astonishment.

Psalm 139:14
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

In Webster's 1828 Dictionary the word "fearfully" as used in this verse means "In a manner to impress admiration and astonishment". Being fearfully made means that we are made to exhibit admiration and astonishment to the Lord. God performed a miracle when he created the physical human body. Let's just think for a minute about the physical heart and brain. They are the two most intricate and vital organs of the body. But beyond creating the physical body, God also made us spiritual beings and gave us a Heart and a Mind to fear, obey, and love him. 

Ecclesiastes 12:13
Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.

Fearing God means that we view him with admiration and astonishment. This fear will lead us to obey him by keeping his commandments.

The most important commandment is to love him as revealed in both the Old and New Testaments. 

Deuteronomy 10:12-13
12 And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul,
13 To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?

Matthew, Mark, and Luke each recorded Jesus' commandment to: Love the Lord your God with all your mind and all your heart. 

Matthew 22:37-38
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.

Mark 12:29-30
29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.

Luke 10:27
And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

In order to fulfill our purpose of loving, obeying, and serving the Lord, each of us must guard and protect our Heart and our Mind. Our level of susceptibility can be a natural product of our past experiences and our individual personalities among other factors; or we can be attacked spiritually; or a combination of the two can occur. This brings us to the next question.

How do we defend the territories of Heart and Mind?

We are not defenseless in this territory of Heart and Mind no matter how vulnerable we may feel. We have a vast array of protection and weapons as we battle to guard our territory. The Bible has a lot to say about our figurative Hearts and Minds.  It is within your Heart and Mind that you fight many of the battles of life. So how do we defend the territories of Heart and Mind? 

One very practical thing we can do is to monitor our thoughts. When negative, harmful, destructive thoughts creep into your mind, go to your arsenal of weapons to combat and conquer them before they take over. 

First ask yourself, "Where are these thoughts coming from? Are they from the Lord, the enemy, or myself?”

Jeremiah 29:11-13
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

If your thoughts don't fall into this category of peace, it's a good chance they are not from the Lord. Although he does chastise his children, his wrath is reserved for his enemies. The language of chastisement is very different from the language of wrath. 
Second, ask yourself, "Are these thoughts true or deceptive?"

Replace the lies with truth. 

2 Corinthians 10:5
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Change your thinking.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Third, remember to put on the whole armor of God which includes specific protection for the heart and mind. 

a. Having your loins girt about with the gospel of truth
b. Having on the breastplate of righteousness (which guards the Heart)
c. Having your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace
d. Taking the shield of faith (which protects both the Heart and the Mind)
e. Take the helmet of salvation (which covers the head/Mind)
f. Take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: (A weapon of attack)

It's been said that the best offense is a good defense.  We are equipped with five defensive weapons mentioned above. The heart is protected by the breastplate of righteousness and the shield of faith. The mind is protected by the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation. We are also given the most effective offensive weapon, the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God!

In closing let's remind ourselves of two powerful advantages we have to enable us guard our Hearts and Minds so that we are free to serve our Lord effectively according to his will.

1 Corinthians 2:12
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.

1 Corinthians 2:16
For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Each of us can defend and protect the territories of our Heart and Mind because in our heart we have received the indwelling Holy Spirit and we have "the mind of Christ" to instruct us.

I'd like to close with this prayer in Ephesians 3:

Ephesians 3:14-21:
14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.


Presenting 19 March 2017 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana