A mind is a terrible thing to waste
The first week we talked about loving God with all of your heart the seat of our affections, passions, and desires.
Last week it was about the soul, to love the Lord with all your soul means to love Him in the way we live, in the choices we make and in the behavior and lifestyle we adopt reflected by those choices.
Placing Him first know that as we do that all of those things are fulfilled in a greater manner than we could ever imagine.
So many things demanding our attention but Hebrews says this…
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God
Jesus challenged all people including each of us with this
Mark 12:28- 30
One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: “Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.”
What is the mind? We need to separate the “mind” from the brain. The brain is an organ that functions on the firing of electronic impulses and chemical reactions the mind is so much more than that it is the seat of reason, knowledge, understanding, it is the place of thinking and judgment it is where feelings are interpreted, it enables us to comprehend and apply perception.
The renewed mind plays a vital role in loving Jesus. In Romans 12:2 Paul said this
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
A major part of being transformed into the image and likeness of Jesus must require our minds being renewed. It’s a big deal.
Let’s look at the mind. The language of the mind is images. Often our mind is an ongoing movie screen that provides pictures and words that are endless.
The renewing must take place for two reasons
1) God’s mercies are new every morning and He wants a fresh encouraging wave of His love, mercy, wisdom, and understanding to flood us every day based on the way He views things.
2) We are bombarded every day, by images and thoughts that give us reasons to doubt, lose hope, and generally destroy who we are created to be.
So much of our life is lived in our minds because we can never turn our minds off. We find ourselves constantly seeing images being played for us or holding a conversation in our mind, some times all at the same time.
The Lord created us this way for ceaseless communion with Him. It is the continual reality and stream of our life. When our body sleeps our mind stays active dreaming through the night.
To love God with all our mind is a supernatural possibility. Though the mind is never meant to rule the heart it can be used to affectionately love the Lord. As our mind is renewed the Holy Spirit releases supernatural activity to love Jesus more.
Here are four unique ways to love the Lord with our minds.
To reason is to think, understand and form judgments by a process of logic. I believe that part of loving God with all our mind is loving him logically. For guys like me this is a relief. I enjoy strategic thinking and order. God has given this as a gift.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be eaten by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken”
God challenges us to process things, think them through, to grasp the full understanding to receive the blessing or understand the repercussions of our decisions
I must note though, that reason should never trump revelation. The mind is the learner. We however, must choose through have the mind, soul, and heart in tandem, to make Christ our treasure. Then, the heart receives from the Lord first and the mind processes and grasp the full implication of that truth and is able to through reason, knowledge and even imagination put all the pieces together to make the full commitment to Christ.
Without all of these parts working together we can run into trouble. When we prize reason over revelation we have a God made in our own image and likeness. Faith in many ways goes beyond reason. It looks to the impossible and trusts in the All-Knowing God.
Yet reason is powerful. We can systematically and logically look at the ways God has intersected our lives and give Him praise.
With reason we connect all of the dots from time, history, old and new and understand how the form the plan of God.
With reason we are able to make the wise decisions as the sons of Issachar understood the time and the seasons and knew what Israel was meant to do
To love God with all our mind involves taking time to fill our mind with God’s Word and to rightly agree with who He is. When we grow in truth we gain knowledge.
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds,”
When we come into agreement with God it awakens love in us. Love itself includes great depths of knowledge. Loving God is continually refueled when the mind encounters truth over and over.
Knowing truth and loving God are deeply connected. Jesus is the Truth. As our mind grows in the knowledge of Jesus we are liberated to love Him more.
A.W. Tozer once said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.
Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God
The Bible is filled with commands to remember. Memories lead to gratefulness and worship. When we use our minds to remember His kindness, faithfulness, patience, peace etc. we build a foundation of faith, hope and love. We are loving God with our remembrance.
For some, we cannot forget the negative events of the past because the past has a voice.
No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us
We must triumph over it with truth. Don’t allow your past to freeze you but rather lead you into the depths of God’s love. Our thinking about the past can affect us positively by remembering the truth about God’s goodness toward us in forgiving, delivering and providing for us.
I will tell of the Lord ’s unfailing love. I will praise the Lord for all he has done. I will rejoice in his great goodness to us.
When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place—
God has given the mind the power to imagine. Some call it dreaming big dreams. Some say get a “picture” of your future. While others say if you can see it, you can be it. Imagination sees, creates and thinks outside the box.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine
In our imagination heaven’s thoughts can come to us and be captured. With our imagination we actually can extend our knowledge to explore the possibilities we have in God in all areas of our lives. This releases love which is anchored in faith.
We have the mind of Christ. Let’s love Him with it!
How do we make this happen?
- Give God control of our thought process. “Pray Father allow me to reason and understand all the ways you love me and to look beyond my own understanding to the ways you think about me and the plans you have for me.”
- Make a decision to stop reacting and to start being proactive and thoughtful about everything that crosses your path.
- Remember that God is the most creative mind in the universe and He can give you the knowledge, imagination and reason to overcome any difficulty
- The books of the Bible that will help you start to understand the full use of the ways in which the mind functions for reason and knowledge… Romans and for imagination and knowledge Psalms.
One last scripture Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things