The Shepherd’s Staff – August 2, 2013

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ShepStaffThe mind—the source of profound understanding and the source of magnificent ideas, the source of brilliant innovations and the source of technological advances, the source of artistic accomplishment and the source of human achievement.  Yes, the mind is amazing!  And because of that, people have idolized it and esteemed it as the highest and greatest force known to the human race.  Yet the mind is truly amazing because the Lord God created it!

The biblical picture of man’s thoughts is quite different than the typical perception of man’s capabilities.  The prophet Isaiah spoke directly to the point when he wrote, “a rebellious people walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts…let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts” (Isaiah 65:2, 55:7).  In Proverbs 14:12, we read, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

When we speak of redemption, salvation and a new life in Jesus Christ, there is an area we frequently omit in looking at the impact of this transformation.  Christ’s victory over sin and death has won for us a new mind!  We are no longer bound to the futile ways and thoughts we have inherited as members of the human race.  The mind we now have is a mind to be controlled by our Lord Jesus.  As we put on His robes of righteousness, we may also wear the crowning glory of a renewed, purified, awakened thought life.  How marvelous is the grace of God to allow us to have the mind of our Savior!  How extraordinary that we have access to the thoughts of our heavenly Father and have the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth, to plumb the depths of God and reveal to us great and glorious things we could otherwise never know!  All of that has been given to us as we are transformed by the renewing of our minds through new life in Christ.

Do you have trouble understanding the ways of God?  Do you struggle to grasp the purposes of the infinite mind of the Almighty Creator King?  Do you hesitate to trust Him fully because you cannot comprehend how and why He works the way He does?  He Himself has already told us that we cannot know His mind perfectly, but that is no reason to be despair.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).

Shall we have the mind of Christ, or the mind of the flesh?  In our redemption, Christ Jesus has purchased a new mind for each one who belongs to Him.  What greater exercise than to pause daily to contemplate in the quiet fellowship of the Holy Spirit just how high and majestic and holy and righteous are the thoughts of the Lord!  We have the mind of Christ as a significant part of what it means to have the gift of new life in His name.  What remains for us is the training of the mind, the absorption of the mind, and the dedication of the mind to think long and deeply about the Lord God.  C. H. Spurgeon wrote, “Go, plunge yourself in the Godhead’s deepest sea; be lost in his immensity; and you shall come forth as from a couch of rest, refreshed and invigorated.  I know nothing which can so comfort the soul; so calm the swelling billows of sorrow and grief; so speak peace to the winds of trial, as a devout musing upon the subject of the Godhead.”

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