“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” These were the words of the ruthless, Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Hitler diligently worked to infiltrate the minds of young people with his radical ideology. Hitler’s plan to control Germany and take over the world focused on children. Hitler knew that if he won the minds of children, in time he would win the world.

More recently, ISIS, has launched a similar plan. This radical, militant Islamic group is striving to take over cities and countries in the Middle East and beyond. In their efforts to build up their armies, they actively recruit children. ISIS, much like Hitler, is on a mission to win the minds of young people. They believe those words from Hitler to be true, “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”

There is a battle going on for your mind and the minds of your children. Solomon knew the importance of the mind. Listen to his words from Proverbs 4:23. “Above all else guard your heart, for from it flows the well spring of life.” This was a message of importance. “Above all else …” This phrase should grab our attention. What Solomon is saying should be at the top of our “to do list”. “Above all else guard your heart.” This won’t happen accidentally. We won’t guard our hearts by chance. We must take deliberate steps to guard our hearts. This effort starts by filling our minds with the right things.

As Christians, our goal is to be like Jesus. We actively seek Jesus in our lives. We want to love the way Jesus loved. We want to minister the way Jesus ministered. We want to display His patience to others. We want to show His kindness to people we meet. We want to live like Jesus. We will never live like Jesus until we learn to think like Jesus. We must fill our minds with Jesus. This needs to start with our children. “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” We need to win the minds of our youth for the Lord.

In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he encourages Timothy to continue on in the things he had been taught as a child. “You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”

Timothy’s mind was won for Christ at a young age. Timothy’s mother and grandmother diligently taught Timothy the word of God. The scene painted by Paul in these verses is missing in too many homes today. God’s Word is powerful. It is God-breathed. It is profitable to our lives. It trains. It corrects. It makes us adequate in the eyes of God. It equips us for every good work. God’s Word works today … if we use it!

“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” These words put into action by the wrong people are terrifying. These words put into action by godly people provide hope. God is our refuge. God is our strength. The moral and spiritual crisis facing our country can only be overcome by turning our hearts and our minds back to God. A battle is being fought for our minds and the minds of our children. It’s time for us to fight for the minds of our children. It’s time to fill our hearts and our minds with the word of God.

By Phillip Johnson

This article appears in the January 2015 issue of Think magazine. Click on the Think Magazine tab at the top of the page to subscribe or to learn more.