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
  • Use your mind to understand and think in a sober way.
  • Understand God’s mysteries and remember Scriptures
  • What the fruit of a renewed mind looks like.

This week I will look at how the mind and Spirit interacts.  I have based this on one Scripture that really resonated with me.  All of what I am sharing today is my personal experiences and not based on any theological teaching.

1 Cor 14:14-15

For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. What then shall I do?  I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.

:19 I desire five words with the mind of me to speak that also others I might instruct rather than ten thousand words in a tongue.

But in the church, I would rather speak five coherent words to instruct others than mind ten thousand words in a tongue.

:23 So if the whole church comes together and everyone speaks in tongues, and some who are uninstructed or some unbelievers come in, will they not say that you are out of your minds?

This passage has hit me hard.  My whole life before I got baptized again as an adult, I was very sceptical about praying or talking in tongues. I closed my mind and argued that there is no one to interpret, so it cannot be real. But that is such a small part of what speaking in tongues are all about. I remember vividly the day I was ready to start speaking in tongues.

I had all the information in front of me, but my mind kept on hammering my past prejudices and the way I was brought up against me. I had to quiet my mind, it was a wall I built up that kept me from receiving the Spirit. 

I was one of those who would look at this speaking in tongues business and think they are out of their minds. Now that practice speaking in tongues, I realize I am not out of my mind, I am helping my mind to be renewed by the Spirit!  As in verse 14, if I pray in a tongue, my Spirit prays. Yes! Sometimes others can hear what I am saying, but I’m taking to God, to no one else. And then, when my mind is renewed, I get clarity to open my mind. But now I can pray or sing in tongues and my mind are open for instruction from God and can pray (and sing_ alongside my Spirit, strengthening my heart.

Before I understood, I did not like reading these passages, and I would take one or two things out of context. Now I can embrace the whole passage and I understand how it all fits together. We are heading into Easter…..  

I don’t have to switch off my mind anymore, it is not blocking the Spirit anymore, I think the things that I saw, which for years have made me negative about Spiritual things were that people did mindless things and there I agree that I will rather speak five mindful words than 10 000 words not making sense. I need 10 000 words in the Spirit to assist me to have 5 impactful words.

In verse 23 it seems that people who come in and don’t understand are uninstructed or not believers.  I was a believer, I was just uninstructed or saw it practiced incorrectly. I had to be instructed in the right way, I had to open up my mind, but I also realized that I don’t have to switch off my mind. God wants me to transform. If I switch off my mind, His Spirit cannot change me, I cannot understand what He wants to say to me. I need to switch off the critical part of my mind

I listened to a talk about leadership and the message was (as in coaching) the questions you ask is so important, because it can determine the direction of the person’s thinking.

The first impressions many times determines the viewpoint.

Think of the 12 who had to look at the Promised Land, they saw the same facts, the same place, but came back with vastly different viewpoints and feedback.  The story I heard was that the king sent a servant to investigate a new island. The servant came back and said the island had a beach, sand and some trees. The king sent him back to stand on one point and make detailed notes as to what he sees towards the N, E, S, W and the feedback was totally different. First it was just another small beach with trees, then it became a paradise with beautiful sunsets, quiet whispers from the lush trees, beaming interesting wildlife, soft sand – a different picture – paradise island.

When you grow up like me with very little talk of the Holy Spirit and a lot of criticism on talking in tongues, you find it is that your mind automatically goes in that direction every time the subject is raised. It is your only frame of reference and when someone brings a new perspective one tends to go into fight of flight mode.

I remember being VERY uncomfortable reading certain passages from the Bible and I went into flight mode. I am believer, I will go to heaven, which is good enough for me. But then I will miss out on eth promised land…..

You all have seen the picture of the dad asking the little girl to give up her tiny small teddy bear and she clings to it with dear life, not seeing the big one he is holding behind his back to replace. Now some people are so sentimental to the small teddy, they will almost cling to it even though they knew about the big teddy.

God wants you to release your small viewpoint off the Spiritual works, don’t cling to it! The bigger teddy has all the small teddy has and so much more! Be careful in falling back to the bits and pieces you have been taught that limited your mind of seeing only sand and a beach.

Go stand in the middle of this passage.  Decide to look at it with open eyes.  Look to the N, S, E, W and describe what you see.  I saw my husband prophesying. He struggles to share his emotions with me in daily life issues, but when he prophesized I hear clarity of words.

I saw people who had fruitful lives, who did not put up a show. Who was living an authentic life, speaking in tongues, not judging me, not forcing it down my throat?

I started to read and study Scripture for myself to use my own mind, to make sense out of it. I couldn’t hold my previous viewpoint any more. I had to open my mind to new possibilities.

It was scary, I felt exposed. Luckily our church created a save environment for me to use my own pace, my own experience, and my eyes, heart and mid was overwhelmed by the natural, gentle, though overwhelming flush of the Spirit. 

We are scared for the unknown, but it is because we have not switched on the light. We decided to keep that part in the darkness.

I want to encourage you. Switch on the light. Look at it from all angles. Study it. Get to know it, before touching it. And when you are ready, reach out a hand and touch it, later you will see it doesn’t bite and you can stroke it, later you might be ready to pick it up.

Your pace might be slower than others, it’s OK. Just start, don’t be pushed where you feel your defences are jumping up. Just switch on the light, stand at the door and have a look.

Your journey might look different. Don’t judge – give space and understanding. 

Final thoughts

The first impressions many times determines the viewpoint.

The way your grew up determines your understanding

Read and study Scripture, your own mind, make sense out of it

Your pace might be slower than others, it’s OK.

Your journey might look different. Don’t judge – give space and understanding. 

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.

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