It’s the stuff of science fiction and spy thrillers. It’s the Manchurian Candidate and Heroes. And… like it or not, it’s scripture. Scripture is all about mind control. The Word constantly tells us what to think, how to think, when to think, and even tells us where our affections and loyalties should lie. We have our marching orders and we are to obey. Like it or not.
This flies in the face of modern thinking. We’re taught, daily and in all areas of society, that we need to “think for ourselves” and that you can’t “help what you love.” Scripture says, in less crass terminology, ‘horsepucky’.
Mark 12:30- And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your MIND….
What is to be in that mind with which we are ordered to love the Lord our God?
Colossians 3:2- Set your mind on the things above, not on the things of the earth.
Romans 8:5-6- For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those of the Spirit according to the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death but the mind set on the Spirit is life an peace.
I wonder… when my spiritual life seems dead and/or there is turmoil in my heart, is it possible that the very simple answer is that my mind is set on things of the flesh instead of on the Spirit? Is it possible that all (as if all is some simplistic and easy step) I need to do is renew my mind and replace my fleshly, fallible, and human thoughts and thought patterns with Scripture and indeed “put on Christ”?
I think that because it is a simple concept we equate that with easy. Simple isn’t always, (or usually!) easy. Simple is often difficult, hard work, and painful. Imagine my life in a pleasant safe town, full of appliances and other devices to make my work easy and my “burden” light, with everything I could need for comfort and earthly happiness at my disposal. Compare it with the Amish family… or the Chinese laborer… or the African bushman. Their lives are simpler than mine but they most certainly aren’t easier. We cry out and crave simplicity but is it because of the rewards that simplicity can bring or is it because we have a mixed-up notion that simple equals ease. But that’s for another blog.
Every day I think of Paul’s statement in Romans 7:19 that I loosely paraphrase… “All the good and right things that I want to do, I don’t do. Instead, I do all the things that I hate myself for.” It comes to my mind daily and daily I remind myself that putting on the mind of Christ is something I must do daily. This is a good thing for me. What I don’t get is why I don’t DO it. I remind myself… and then I don’t. And then I’m Paul in Romans 7:19 all over again.
Have you ever listened to yourself as you speak? Do your words drip with the honey of scripture or sear with the poison of the world? Do you have speech seasoned well with Scriptural ‘salt’ or are they bland… or worse over salted?! Your thoughts, ideas, and dreams- have you ever disected them with the knife of Scripture?
Mind control. We’re called to it. It’s only a negative thing if it comes from any source other than the Lord. Who controls your mind? Ouch. That hymn is running through my mind again. It has been doing that often lately. The one line runs over an over like the surf on the beach turning a rock over and over polishing it. ” … none of self and all of Thee.”
1 Corinthians 2:16- For who has known the mind of the Lord that He will instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.