Friday, January 9, 2015

IT ALL STARTS IN THE MIND


"It" is all a State of Mind. Our faith, joy, peace and so many other wonderful gifts from God are acknowledged and kept by the strength and state of our mind. Paul, in his second letter to the believers in Corinth emphasized the enemy's first target -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. (2 Corinthians 4:4) Paul's concern continues as he says, 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. (2 Corinthians 11:3).
So, Paul reverts back to the teaching about this subject and has the believers in Ephesus recall it and review it. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)
Thoughts and actions are strongly linked and Paul makes this clear when he writes the church in Colossae.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. (Colossians 1:21) It is quite a simple matter of natures. Rebellious nature, rebellious desires. Christ-like nature, Christ-like desires. Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. (Romans 8:5)

Now comes the challenging instructions to this lifestyle.

  1. 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. (Romans 12:2)
  2. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2)
  3. ...take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5)

Want to have Peace of Mind? First, "rejoice in the Lord always". Second, "let your gentleness be evident to all". Third, "do not be anxious about anything". And fourthly, "pray about everything with thanksgiving". Do this "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:4-7)

There is a time coming when God's thoughts on matters will be engraved in Israel's and Christians alike.
  • This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." By calling this covenant "new," he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear. (Hebrews 8:10-13)
Until that time, Christ declares to the churches - I am he who searches hearts and minds, and I will repay each of you according to your deeds. (Revelation 2:23)

Is it any wonder that a piece of spiritual armor Paul lists in Ephesians 6:17 is a Helmet (of salvation)? This head-piece is not only to protect our thoughts, but it is to always keep our thoughts on our great Salvation!
Paul encourages - Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. (Ephesians 6:11) "Schemes" in the original Greek here translates as mind games. Be sure to pray for the Helmet of Salvation, but do not neglect the remaining parts that aide you in withstanding the mind-games of the devil. It All Starts In The Mind.