Renewing the Mind Part 2
The Mind of the Spirit
By Jim Allen
Renewing the Mind, the Series
"It is Finished"
The Mind of the Spirit
Our Highest Priority
Don't Live in the Past
The world, for the most part, no longer recognizes Jesus nor acknowledges his life in any way or form. They give Jesus no credit for seeing things differently and this is understandable since they themselves cannot see nor understand the thoughts of God (Isaiah 44:18). The prophet Isaiah writes, "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' says the LORD" (Isaiah 55:8).
Two thousand years ago a new message came along that was so powerful it drew millions to its claim, daring them to believe and be different. Even more amazing is that while this new message was from another kingdom, it calls people from everywhere and all time to embrace a new way of thinking.
Jesus' message was new and profound. It was and is a message about a new and better way to think. It's a message about thinking in truth. But it requires a change of mind, a refocusing from the world's way to God's way of thinking. Jesus walked with a mind that did not need renewing. His mind was perfect in thought, word and deed, always messaging pure truth. He spoke truth, and unlike Jesus we find ourselves burdened to discern the true from the untrue. One of my favorite verses about truth says, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth" (3 John 1:4). This is God's desire for you and me.
While many of us do walk in truth, we don't always know what's true; and if we don't know what the Bible says is true, then it's easy to turn inward to find the answer. We are creatures of habit. But when we turn inward for answers, guess who's waiting to start up a conversation? You got it. It's the old nature with the same old answers coupled with a big smile thinking you've remembered him.
The key to wiping the grin off his face is to avoid conversation. Since he is all about himself, he will be deeply offended and leave you alone, sulking in the corner. This is good. Some old acquaintances need to be ignored (Romans 13:14). Instead, we turn outward to the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5-6).
Recently I was in a store looking for an item to fix a sink. I stopped one of the store associates to ask about the location of the item. He seemed not to know and then, appearing annoyed, said, "We don't carry it." Of course he was being dishonest; I looked it up on the Internet and knew it was in the store. I just didn't know where to look.
The sales associate not only displayed an attitude, but then chose to lie. Well, you can guess who got my attention. The old nature was tapping me on the shoulder reminding me I had just been offended (Matthew 5:39). Just in time I remembered the need to have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). I diffused the situation with the sales associate by saying, "I know it's in the store…I'll go look for it…thank you anyway."
The ways of the world come down upon us daily. Every trial is a test — a training opportunity no less. It's like being in school. We are here to learn and grow (2 Peter 3:18). We are here to learn Christ. Austin Sparks writes:
The mark of a life governed by the Holy Spirit is that such a life is continually and ever more and more occupied with Christ, that Christ is becoming greater and greater as time goes on. The effect of the Holy Spirit's work in us is to bring us to the shore of a mighty ocean which reaches far, far beyond our range, and concerning which we feel—Oh, the depths, the fullness, of Christ! Sparks nails it. Setting our mind on the things of the Spirit is to know the mind of Christ and be transformed (John 17:3).
In closing and thinking back to the sales associate, we cannot always have a good day. People have a way of messing up our day. But it doesn't have to be that way. Jesus' way of thinking says we can end the day by responding in truth sprinkled with loving forgiveness. I like the thought because it is a powerful truth from the mind of Christ. (Luke 6:27)
1. Austin-Sparks, T.; Austin-Sparks, Theodore. The School of Christ (Kindle Locations 75-76). Austin-Sparks.Net. Kindle Edition.
Image Credit: ActionPlanet; untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Truth | Christian-Life
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