Previously I talked about the mind and how to free your mind from temptations. Some of the things I have already covered are:
- What you think Success should look like
- How the heart and mind influences one another.
- What it means to renew your mind.
- How a mind looks like that needs renewing.
- Repenting asks from us to change our mind
This week I am looking at a mind of self-control and at the aspect of using our mind for understanding.
1 Pet 4:7
The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and sober, so that you can pray.
Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.
This was said by Peter after he explained about the hope we have of Jesus’s coming and how we need to understand all that the prophets prophesied about Jesus. So Peter told them to read the Old Testament Prophets and to be alert and sober in order to see what is happening currently in order to be ready for Christ. In the same way we need to be alert and sober minded when we are reading the Bible to be ready for anything that God wants to reveal to us about our day and age we are living in, but to keep hope in Christ. We can so easily get despondent with all the things happening around us, but we need to keep our hope and sober minds on His coming.
In Titus 2 we read that older men have to have self-control, older women need self-control and then in verse six a specific focus on younger men controlling their minds:
In the same way, urge the younger men to be self-controlled (of sound mind)
It is also expected of leaders to be extra vigilant in their self-control.
1 Tim 3:2b
A leader must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, circumspect and temperate, and self-controlled….
But the quest of self-control is for all of us:
Instead, he must be hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.
A sober, self-controlled mind is important, it is a respectful thing to do and way to be behave, but if God touches us and He asks us to do something that does not make sense…..
If we are out of our mind, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you.
God seldom asks us to do something crazy, although it might seem crazy to other people. We need to be out of our minds when we connect with God, we cannot have defences up or try our thinking to determine the way, we need to open up or minds for God, but be sober about other influences that tries to take our focus and attention away.
In all of this, we need to stay humble
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but think of yourself with sober judgement, according to the measure of faith God has given you.
We should not think too highly of ourselves, our thinking must be sober so that we do not fall in the trap of being proud.
God created the brain. He created the human brain different to that of the animal brain. We have a few extra grey bits that animals do not possess and we need to use it. He put it there for a reason, we need to steward it correctly. Our thinking is critical in the Kingdom, but our thinking can also derail us. What must we think about, what must we understand? The book: Healthy Emotional Spirituality of Peter Scazerra beautifully illustrates how our emotional state, our beliefs, our thinking can influence our spirituality. We need to work on what is happening in our hearts and minds to be able to nurture the Spirit within us. We need to steward our minds. Look after it, use it responsibly.
1 Cor 14:20
Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; continue to be babes in evil, but in your minds be mature.
Becoming a Christian does not mean we should stop thinking and using our minds. Our minds must mature, we cannot keep on thinking and arguing like we did five years ago. The latest brain research shows that our brains has plasticity. It means our brains keep on making new neurons, our brains keep on growing. If our brains keeps on growing, we need to nurture the new growths and keep on learning and maturing in our thinking. We need to keep on learning the Word of God, we need to train our mind for more understanding, more discernment, so that we are able to better distinguish between the true and the false prophets.
1 John 5:20
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in Him who is true by being in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
Following His Son Jesus Christ gives us understanding of what is true.
And calling near all the crowd, he said to them, “Listen to Me, every one of you, and understand.”
And Jesus continued to talk about what defiles a man and what not. Again he addressed a misconception that was in their minds from Old Testament Scripture and helped them to find the truth of what they have been learning and how they practiced it. We need to continually go back to the Word of God and use our minds to interpret it correctly and apply it to our lives correctly.
And Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not yet understand that whatever enters in at the mouth goes into the belly, and is cast out into the waste-bowl? But the things that come out of the mouth came from the heart, and they defile the man.
Jesus wants them to UNDERSTAND. And to be able to understand, you need to THINK. You need to think about what is going on in your heart, not what is put into your mouth. Think of the things that pours out of your mouth. Think about your emotions, where do they come from? What does your emotions say? Or do? As an example: Anger can lead to physical and verbal abuse, but anger does not need to lead to it. If you don’t catch the emotion of anger quick enough, you cannot apply your mind and channel the anger appropriately. Another example: Jealousy can lead to sarcasm or gossip. Catch the emotion of jealousy in your mind, repent of it (change your mind about it) and give a soft answer or comment rather than a sarcastic one. Another example: Judgement can lead to shame, condemnation or even pride. Don’t judge people, discern between what is right and what is wrong. If you have discerned, pray for your own thoughts and ask God if you discerned correctly, then pray for the right opportunity to give the truth in a loving manner.
Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.
This was after the Resurrection before the Ascension. He opened their minds to see how Scripture was fulfilled about all that was prophesied about Him. In the same way we can pray that God opens up our minds when we read the Scriptures so that we can understand it and discern the truth.
2 Tim 2:7
Consider what I say, and the Lord will give you understanding in all things.
Next week we will continue to flesh out all the things we need to understanding with our minds.
We need to understand all that the prophets prophesied about Jesus.
We need to control our minds to be self-controlled.
We need to open up our minds towards God
We need to stay humble and not think too highly of ourselves.
We need to steward our minds and mature in our thinking
We need to use our minds to discern between right and wrong
May the LORD bless you and keep you.
May His face shine upon you and be gracious to you
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.
You can contact me via e-mail; Wilmien.email@example.com