What is On Your Mind?
Our thought life is a predictor of our behavior and is a revealer of what is in our hearts. It is important that we think about what we think about.
The Tainted Mind
When sin entered the world, it not only marred our souls, but it marred our thinking. How can I make that claim? Well, when Adam and Eve sinned against God and realized what they had done, what did they do? They hid from God, right? What kind of thoughts would have led them to do that? What kind of thinking would have led them to believe they now needed to stay away from God or be afraid to admit to God what they had done? What kind of thoughts would have led them to believe they were better off to hide from God and to try to deal with their sin on their own? What line of reasoning would have convinced them that they COULD hide from God? You see, sin had messed up their minds.
This faulty way of thinking comes with the sin nature to all of us. We are all born with it. Before we come to Christ, we possess a tainted mind. Sin tainted the way we thought about God and ourselves. Think about it this way, before Christ, we thought about life through a tainted, twisted lens. Colossians 1:21-Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.
Alienated from God. Enemies of God in our minds because of our behavior. This is our pre-Jesus state. The mind plays a crucial role in salvation because in order to be saved, a person has to believe not only that Jesus paid the price for their sin and that He rose from the dead, but they have to believe that living in sin isn’t living the life for which Christ died. They have to agree that they are broken and need to be saved. They have to agree that handing their lives over to God for Him to control is the only way to eternal life. They have to agree that their lives need to move in another direction. In other words, they have to believe some things and to change their mind about some things.
Satan loves to attach himself to that which is weak or that which is broken or that which is sinful. II Cor. 4:4 2 Corinthians 4:4-The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Paul uses the word “blinded” in conjunction with the mind here. We don’t usually think about blindness in terms of our thoughts. We think about blindness impacting our physical sight. But when we are blind to the truth, when we are blind to the love, grace, and forgiveness of God, when we can’t see the reality of the consequences of sin, it is easy to stay stuck in destructive, spiritually dead patterns of being. Satan’s main agenda is to mess up your mind.
When we are saved, something miraculous happens. We receive a new nature that wants to please God, and we receive a new mind. It is a mind that the Bible calls the “Mind of Christ.” Look at 1 Corinthians 2:14-16-14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Once you are converted, you will receive the capacity for a new way of thinking. We’ll call it the Transplanted Mind. This mind must be grown and cultivated as we continue in our spiritual walk with Jesus.
The Tug of War for our Mind
Satan won’t quit talking to us just because we have believed in Christ. He wants your mind confused. He wants your mind clouded. He wants your mind blinded to the good things God has for you.
2 Corinthians 11:3-But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
It can happen. I have seen seasoned believers allow their minds to drift away from the truth of God’s Word and turn their backs on God. Listen, we do not have to be naive to the devil’s schemes. We are not without power to combat him in this tug of war game.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
When something dark or demented comes to your mind, call it out. Slay it. Say, “I’m not going there. I’m not accepting that. I’m not believing that. That isn’t what Jesus says. I’m not falling for it. Get behind me Satan, and get out of my mind.” We are in a warfare for our minds, believers, and we need to start taking authority in the name of Jesus Christ over wrong thinking.
If we have given the Lord our hearts, we need to hand Him our minds and say, “Remake my mind, please. I want to think like Jesus.” Let’s call this process of submitting our minds to God the:
The Transformation of Our Mind
Romans 12:1-2-1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
What has been learned through a tainted lens can be unlearned by the Spirit of God. There are so many reasons why you need a relationship with the Holy Spirit, and this is one of them. The transformation of your mind won’t happen apart from a move of God’s Spirit in your life. Ask the Holy Spirit to sanctify your mind and to be in complete control of your mind. The Holy Spirit will do His job in our minds if we present ourselves to Him for transformation. But we also have a part to play. We are responsible for the things we choose to think about. We have a responsibility for:
The Training of Our Mind
We can choose what to focus on. Colossians 3:1-21 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
We need to be thinking about high and holy things. We need to meditate on Scripture. We need to think about things that are eternal. We need to be focusing on the needs of others. You have no one but yourself to blame for your thought life because you get to choose what you think about. Oh, Satan may try to interject a thought here or there, but you have the say in whether those thoughts stay, go, or grow in your mind. Check out Philippians 4:8-9 for an awesome list of things that you could choose to think about as part of your personal training.
Author and Pastor, John Ortberg, offers this helpful explanation when it comes to training our minds:
1 Corinthians 9:25 says, “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
Orberg says, “Here is the reason many people give up on transformation or accept boundary markers as pseudo-transformation: we spend ourselves trying to be transformed, when the Bible calls us to train to be transformed. There is an enormous difference between trying to do something versus training to do it.”
Take for example a marathon. How many of us could run a marathon right now? Even if we tried, really, really hard? But many of us could run a marathon eventually, if instead we trained for it.
Training means arranging life around those activities that enable us to do what we cannot do now, even by extreme effort. Significant human transformation always involves training, not just trying.
Are you doing your part to train your mind to please God? What can you add to your efforts to be sure your mind is as committed to God as your heart is?
Are you living with a tainted mind? Are you fixated on sinful things, deviant things, dark things, fleshly things, the things of this world? Your mind can be converted along with your heart this morning. You can receive a mind transplant and give the Holy Spirit permission to transform the way you think. You can also commit to some high and holy habits that will get your mind on the things that will please God, that will keep you on track, and that will help you live free from the tug of war that Satan wants to keep you in. The longer you play his game, the more exhausted you will live. Today, I ask you, what is on your mind that you need to surrender to the work of the Spirit?