Monday, February 4, 2013
We do not have to possess brilliant minds in order to walk with God (something for which I often give thanks!). We do, however, require active minds, as enabled by the Holy Spirit.
"The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God; bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ" (II Corinthians 10:4-5).
The Christian life involves ongoing discovery of the truth of God, and growth therein. Thereby are we able to identity notions, perspectives, ideas, and attitudes contrary to our Lord's glory and will. We seek to fill our minds with Scripture in order to think rightly about God, ourselves, others, and our lives. We also read the Bible in order to empty our minds of darkness by replacing it with the Light.
Many years ago, I worked as a bank teller. On my first day of training, I asked about counterfeit bills. "How will I know the genuine from the false?" I expected my trainer to show me a collection of counterfeit money, pointing out characteristics and features for which I must keep a close and wary eye. Instead, she simply responded, "Glen, after you have counted several hundred thousand genuine versions of legal tender, you won't have much trouble in spotting the phony bills!"
My trainer's words proved to be true. Knowledge of the real prepared me to identify and reject the false. The same principle applies in our determination as believers to "walk in truth" (III John 1:4). The more we know the character and nature of Christ, as revealed in the history of the Gospels, and the promises and commands of the epistles, the more we will readily spot thoughts and attitudes that originate with the world, the devil, and the flesh. The process will be lifelong, and will require the active mind based upon a heart devoted to fulfilling the glory and will of God. More importantly, the indwelling Holy Spirit continually works in us to illuminate the path of the real in order that we might avoid detours into darkness. "When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth" (John 16:13)
"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee" (Isaiah 26:3). The life of mental and volitional activity to which God calls us may seem a daunting challenge. If, however, peace is the blessed result of an active mind, no sacrifice is too great. Moreover, to honor our Lord in word, attitude and deed requires first our honoring Him in thought. Again, no sacrifice is too great if it means the fulfillment of this even more blessed result.
"The word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."