- Sermon Notes
How to Win the Battle Between Your Ears
May 28, 2023
ILLUS – My first sermon at CCWC
- The battle between our ears. . . wouldn’t it be great if Pastor Rich could follow us around and cheer us on or give us wise counsel whenever we faced doubts, fears, and struggles in life?
- While we are blessed to have a wonderful pastor, the truth is he is not able to follow us around twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week to tell us, “You’ve got this!”
- But we do have an ever-present, all-knowing, all-powerful Wonderful Counselor and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is with us twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
- And we have God’s Word, the Holy Bible, because God wants us to have His wise counsel to guide us when we face not only doubts, fears, and struggles, but even temptations.
- During our study we will discover divine principles from Colossians 3 which will show us how to win a very real and ever-present battle, the battle between our ears.
- The Apostle Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter to the Christians in Colossae.
- Paul had never met the saints in Colossae but he was concerned about their welfare because he had heard that they were under attack for their faith in Jesus Christ.
- Now before we proceed any further in our study, it’s important for us to digest what I just said, Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter.
- Some might ask, “Why would Paul be concerned about strangers when he was sitting in a prison cell?”
- Imagine what the battle between his ears must have been like as he sat in that cold, dark prison cell.
- Imagine how easy it would have been for Paul to have doubts, fears, to feel discouraged, to complain, or to even give up; to grumble and say, “They think they have problems. Let me tell you about problems. Try prison on for size!”
- How was Paul able to rise above his unjust confinement and write a letter which not only encouraged the struggling saints in Colossae but also the saints in every century since?
- I am convinced that Paul’s words in Colossians 3 were the result of his personal victory over the battle between his ears.
- This means that Paul is sharing principles that he had discovered while suffering for the Gospel of Jesus Christ; lessons learned and victories won while in the war-torn trenches of spiritual warfare, the battle between his ears.
- This also means that Paul’s godly example and his words in Colossians 3, are the keys to winning the battle between our ears.
Transition – The first key to win the battle between your ears is to. . .
I. Keep Seeking the Things Above (1)
- While our world is filled with many wonderful, beautiful things, it’s also true that our world is filled with many vile things which can lure us away from God and into some dark places.
- Today, we do not have to scratch too hard or dig too deep to find vile, soul-destroying filth.
- The truth is if you’re looking for trouble, you will not have any problem finding it because often it’s just one click away.
- And with social media tracking all we do; it can also be said that “trouble is looking for us.”
- If you’re looking for trouble, you will find what you’re looking for. It was true in Paul’s day and I submit it is even more true today.
- So, the Apostle Paul, like a loving father or a wise coach, gave us the first key for winning the battle between our ears, keep seeking the things above.
- Why? Because. . .
A. We have been raised up with Christ (1a)
- The moment a person places their faith in Jesus Christ for the salvation of their soul, they are identified with Jesus.
- This means all of the blessings of Jesus Christ’s death are immediately applied to their life resulting in the complete forgiveness of their sins.
- This also means all the benefits of Jesus’ resurrection are applied to their life resulting in the gift of eternal life.
- So, all the benefits of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection belong to us who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ.
- It can be truly said that Christ’s death is our death and His life is our life.
- Therefore, since Jesus Christ has been raised up, we have been raised up with Him. It is a done deal. It is an accomplished fact.
Romans 8:30, . . . and these whom He called, these He also justified; and these whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Transition – But in order for us to experience Jesus Christ’s victory over the battle between our ears. . .
B. We must have undivided hearts (1b)
- Keep seeking is a divine command to be continually obeyed until we take our last breath.
- It means to continually “strive” or “seek earnestly”, “to fix our attention decisively” upon our risen and ascended Savior now and always.
APPL – This is how Paul lived his Christian life.
- Paul experienced Christ’s victory over the battle between his ears because he knew who he was in Christ.
- And Paul kept seeking the things above because he had an undivided heart.
- In fact, Paul gave us another inspiring glimpse into his heart when he shared with the Philippians how he applied this command to his personal journey of faith.
Philippians 3:13-14, Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
3. So, Paul is telling us that our lives must be governed by the divine pattern of things in heaven, which is precisely how Jesus taught us to pray.
Matthew 6:9-10, Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
APPL – Here is Paul’s point, if you want to win the battle between your ears, then you will need a new pursuit.
- We must love what God loves and we must hate what God hates.
- We must choose God’s ways over our own.
- We must seek God’s counsel to direct our lives.
- We must pray for God’s will to be done in our lives; that there is no difference between how God’s will is executed in heaven and how God’s will is executed in our lives here on earth.
Transition – Now to have a new pursuit requires new ambition. Again, Paul is our example. . .
2 Corinthians 5:9, Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.
ILLUS – My words to Valedictorian candidates.
C. We must remember we’re seated with Christ (1c)
- Jesus Christ is seated at the right hand of God the Father.
- At Father God’s right-hand, Jesus Christ leads, sanctifies, empowers, and even intercedes for His Church.
Romans 8:33-34, Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
3. Why does Jesus intercede for us?
a. He knows our frame, that we need His comfort, guidance, and protection.
b. Jesus also knows that we can be easily distracted by the cares, worries, and temptations of this life, so He comes to our rescue and gives us His much-needed grace.
Hebrews 4:14-16, Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
APPL – The truth is we must be intentional about what we seek each day of our lives.
- The glorious revelation of being seated with Christ in the heavenlies must impact how we stand here on earth as Christians.
Quote: The late Senator Hubert Humphrey once said, “You must remember that in politics, how you stand depends on where you sit.”
- Upon hearing this quote, one Christian commentator wrote, “How I stand – and walk – depends on where I sit; and I am seated with Christ in the heavenlies!”
Transition – In verses 2-3, Paul pressed his point further and gave us the second key for how to win the battle between the ears.
II. Keep Setting Your Mind on the Things Above (2-3)
- “To set” is another command to be continually obeyed.
- “To set” means to “concentrate your mind on that which is eternal, not temporal.”
APPL – A temporal thing is a transitory thing, a thing that is vulnerable to change and can become obsolete; which pretty much sums up life.
ILLUS – Video games I played as a kid.
ILLUS – Malina’s First Pediatric Visit.
2 Corinthians 4:18, . . . the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
Transition – Paul repeats himself and adds the contrast between the things in heaven versus the things on earth because he knows human nature. Paul knows. . .
A. Your heart will follow your treasure (2)
Matthew 6:21, . . . for where your treasure is, there will be your heart also.
- We concentrate on what we love.
- If we concentrate on what is eternal, then we will focus on what truly satisfies and is certain.
- If we concentrate on what is temporal, then we will focus on what is ultimately unfulfilling and uncertain.
Philippians 3:8, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ
APPL – What we value and what we treasure will reveal what we have set our minds on.
Matthew 6:33, But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.
B. We have died with Christ to earthly things (3a)
Transition – What does it mean to say we have died with Christ?
- Jesus Christ died for us, as our Substitute.
- Jesus Christ not only died for our sins, to pay sin’s penalty. . .
- Jesus Christ also died unto sin and broke sin’s power over us.
- When Paul says that we have died with Christ, he is speaking of our identification with Jesus Christ.
Romans 6:2, 11, How shall we who died to sin still live in it? . . . Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
- Again, Paul is speaking of the victory that we have through our faith in and identification with Jesus Christ.
- Through Jesus Christ we can now say “No” to sin and be more than conquerors in Jesus.
Romans 8:37, But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
C. Our lives are hidden with Christ in God (3b)
- To be “hidden” means that “we are secure” not vulnerable.
John 10:27-30, My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.
- What has been hidden will one day be revealed; meaning all will one day know what we now know; that we belong to the Lord.
1 John 3:2-4, Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
APPL – As Christians we are both dead and alive.
- Dead to sin but alive to Christ.
- Dead to the world but alive in Christ!
Galatians 2:20, I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.
Transition – The last key is found in verse 4. When the battle between our ears is overwhelming, we must remember. . .
III. Christ is Our Life (4)
A. Christ is Life (4a)
- Jesus is the only Way to true Life.
John 14:6, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.
- Jesus is the Giver of Eternal Life.
1 John 5:11-12, And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.
APPL – Christ’s life changes lives.
ILLUS – The examples of James and Paul.
B. Bring Christ glory until Jesus returns (4b)
- Jesus is coming back.
- Jesus will make right what is wrong.
- We must be ready for His return.
1 Peter 1:13-16, Therefore, gird your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’
APPL – How is the battle between your ears?
- Is your heart united or divided?
- Is your treasure eternal or temporal?
- Where do you find life?
- Christ is our life.
- May we bring Christ glory until He returns.
Psalm 19:14, Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.
Colossians 3:1-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 [a]Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory