- The mind of the flesh is death; but the Spirit gives life and peace. We have a choice to make.
- The call of God on our mind, as believers, is to worship the One True God of Love above all other ‘gods’, and to keep His commandments graciously given us in His Word.
- The reality of our mind, as believers, is that our minds are at war and we’re in enemy territory.
- The struggle in our mind is that our minds get distracted, confused, inconsistent, and fearful…often.
- The hope for our mind is that we have the mind of Christ; we are called to exert His power to victory by serving in grace-filled humility as He served and still serves, all for the purpose of bringing glory to God.
We Have the Mind of Christ
“For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16
The glory of a redeemed mind is that victory is available and ultimately assured. We can because Christ did. Wow. Really? Because, as Paul says to the Philippians, we have the mind of Christ. What does this mean?
The context of Philippians 2:5-8 is a discussion of the attitude of Christ that is an attitude of humility of obedience to the death, for my sake. Christ calls us to “follow Him” and that means to literally walk after Him in the same way He walked. If Christ was obedient to the Father even to the point of giving up all for my sake, then I also must be obedient in my mind and that will inherently include sacrifice for the sake of others (Philippians 2:1-4).
How’s my prejudice? My judgments? Judgments aren’t bad. We have to make judgments. What we are not to do is to call down damnation on or assumptions about others to disclude them from the grace of God in any practical or exclusionary way. We are to offer ourselves as Christ offered Himself for us. How am I doing on that line? I may not be outwardly sinning (or I may be!), but what are my thoughts about each and every “someone” in my life right now? Who am I excluding?
Christ’s work on the cross, His Resurrection, and the fact that He is coming again after this age of grace has won us the ability to do what is impossible for man to do. We can forgive the unforgiveable. We can achieve the impossible. I can call back my errant thoughts and correct them by the grace given me in Christ. Therefore, the Holy Spirit asks me searching questions: Who is annoying you right now? Who are you not serving that God has called you to serve? Who are you neglecting? Who are you resisting because they jostle your tea cup? Who is without salvation that needs to hear it from you?
Christ’s example is full of power, not just vision. God in Christ enables us to complete the work that He has begun in us. He does not leave us without knowledge or the power to act on what we know. We are–this must be pondered–without excuse. If I allow my mind to wander, or to seethe in still-red-hot embers against someone, or to swill in depressive thoughts without seeking help, or to be aware of confusion and not appeal to God for guidance (and these are all just some examples), I am choosing my path. I am no longer a victim. If I persist in selfish thoughts, I am perpetuating sin. “Behold, your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). But–we have the mind of Christ!
We HAVE the mind of Christ available to us both to witness (we can read Christ’s integrity in the Word) and to walk it out (the power of cross of Christ to intersect our lives and change them forever). The power of Christ is that force that blows away the inertia of my sinful nature. The power of Christ makes things happen. Christ’s power moves things forward.
Maybe that’s what we’re afraid of. Jesus told Peter, “Do you love me?…Truly, truly, I tell you, when you were young, you [did] what you wanted; but…you will stretch out your hands….and someone…will lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God” (John 21:17-19). The spirit is willing to give all for Christ, but the flesh is weak. The good news is that, in Christ, impetuous, inconsistent Peter fought the good fight with firm resolve and was faithful like His Christ to the utter end. The power of the risen Christ is active and effectual! I just have to be faithful today.
I want to think on that one thing today and just let that one point still and quiet my mind before Him.
Dear Heavenly Father, You did carry every thought and every deed of mine on the cross. They were nailed there and you bore the agony of suffering separation and judgment from God because of my degradation. And yet I still do not understand the weight of that. My mind is set free, and I often don’t live that truth. Help me to understand that I’m not just saved against hell, I am saved to serve. Teach my heart so my mind will follow and my hands and feet will move as Your hands and feet. May my words reflect your saving, loving grace to all. Just for today, Lord. And may my heart and mind rest in peace as I lie down in sleep knowing that even as I have failed, I am still kept by your power and love. With great thankfulness, I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
© April 2019 by http://www.ReadPsalm119.com
The Power of the Cross by Keith and Kristen Getty, uploaded by Rachel Hamilton, April 12, 2010 [YouTube; 5:30 min.]. Lyrics are provided on the video. Please give five minutes and worship with me in the words of this song.