You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!
~Isaiah 26:3, NLT
Satan knows that if he can get our attention for five seconds, he may have our mind for five minutes.
I had a very busy day yesterday and did not have my normal quiet time. I did listed to an Adrian Rogers sermon on the way to Birmingham and he was addressing the same subject that we discussed Sunday night in SMALL GROUPS. Martin Luther once said, “You can’t keep a bird from flying over your head but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair.” We can’t keep bad thought from penetrating our mind but we can rebuke them the moment they happen. We cannot think on two things at once. This is why Paul told the Philippians…Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise… If we are thinking about the pure, we are not thinking about the impure. Paul told the Colossians something similar… Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. We can’t do anything about the flesh or its desires. We may as well give up on the flesh because God has: He has condemned the flesh to death but we do have the power to change our mind or to set our minds on good things.
This does not mean that we do not need God’s grace or help; Paul said in Ephesians 4…Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. I know you are familiar with Romans 12:2…Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. As we discussed in SMALL GROUPS: if we change our thinking, we change our behavior also. All of this is a work of GRACE. Paul told the Philippians…Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him. Most of us can’t bring ourselves to honestly pray…LORD give me the mind of Christ because we fear holiness will hinder our happiness. Sometimes the best thing to prayer is LORD, give me PEACE, the kind that can only be experienced when my mind is fixed on YOU. Give me what I need, not what I desire. We all have the power to change our own mind but we lack the power to renew the mind. We need God’s Spirit, word and grace to enable us to think like Jesus.
I did the blog last night and then forgot to post it. I had a long day and I crashed about 10:30. Sorry about that: hoping today will be less stressful. I’m getting too old to drive in heavy traffic.
Everyone was singing the same song at Pastor’s Conference: record crowds on Easter and record crowds last Sunday, record lows. It tells me one thing: people come to church when they want to and when they don’t, they don’t. Every Sunday could be and should be Easter. Mike used a great illustration last night: many people go to the swimming pool and never get into the water. They wear swim suits but never swim. Many folks who come to church never get into church. They sit and watch others get into church but they never get into church. They are not participants, merely observers.