Sharing my testimony in the last article made me grateful all over again for coming to know Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and Lord. He has had some kind of project in working with me. As I reflect on my 29-year journey thus far, most critical to every aspect of the Lord´s work of deliverance in me has been my mind or if you will, my thinking.
How important is our thought life or thinking? Very! Our thoughts are the steering wheel of our lives. Right thinking leads to right actions; wrong thinking leads to wrong actions. Also, I quoted Solomon some time ago in another article as writing concerning a man and his thoughts, "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he," (Proverbs 23:7a, NKJV).
Behavioral scientists have well established that our thinking patterns are shaped early in life by our parents and siblings (or lack there of), ethnic and racial group as well as various community cultures including neighborhood, church, school, peers and the media. In the mix of these environmental influences we undergo a programming of our minds. We learn and even become conditioned to think about self, life and the world in certain ways.
The reality and power of mental programming has so swept our society that well meaning parents are attempting to program their children toward certain career fields. Social engineers advocating the gay lifestyle, for example, seek to reach those same children to program their positive acceptance later as adults. The old pro at negative mental programming of course, is Satan. His lies and deceit spoken directly into the mind of men have led to the destruction of millions.
Satan began his artful work of deceiving human beings by influencing their thinking with Eve in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3:1-6). He succeeded in deceiving Eve into following her own mind instead of obeying the will of God (I Timothy 2:14). When Adam followed his wife and also disobeyed God, sin as an active principle became a permanent part of human nature. Now, Satan from the outside and sin from the inside would perpetually influence human thought life; predisposing and even programming us into a life of resistance to and rebellion against God (Romans 5:12, 7:14-24)!
God too, as man´s Creator, perfectly understands the important role our thought life plays in directing our lives. This is why He has made the re-programming (renewing) of our minds an indispensable part of His plan in saving humanity. Secular behavioral scientists and mental health professionals come up short in their ability to re-program human thinking. They can only deal with part of the problem of human mental programming. They understand environment and a little about brain function, but nothing about the cunning of Satan or the power of sin! They try to re-program thinking for example, through counseling and/or drugs.
But God sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to save willing humanity from the craftiness of Satan, sin, its consequences and all of the negative influencing factors of environment that program human thinking! He also modeled human thinking in its perfection. As the second Adam, the Lord Jesus faced the deceiving work of Satan and resisted him firm in obedience to the Father (Matthew 4:1-11, 16:21-23, 26:36-46). Since He never sinned, sin on the inside to influence His thinking was not an issue (Hebrews 4:15). However, on the cross He bore our sins and punishment in order to reconcile us to God (II Corinthians 5:21)!
Growing up, the Lord Jesus had a mostly positive and healthy environment under Roman rule. He had godly parents and lived in a God affirming culture. As a boy of twelve it is clear His thinking was focused on His heavenly Father (Luke 2:41-49). After He began His ministry, the strong opposition of family and unbelievers in His culture could not dissuade Him from his Self-understanding and thinking about His work (Mark 3:31-35, 6:1-6). Truly, the thought life of Jesus Christ was righteous, God centered and pleasing.
As a result of the Lord´s triumph on the cross, those of us who place our faith in Him are forgiven of all of our sins driven by wrong thinking however programmed. Then, God begins the process of renewing our minds. The third Person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit who indwells believers is responsible for this re-programming (John 14:16-17; Titus 3:4-6) by way of new birth spiritually, His teaching and the exertion of His supernatural power as we walk with the Lord (John 3:3-8, 14:25-26; Romans 8:5-13; II Corinthians 3:17-18)!
There are many entities demonic and human who would love to have the opportunity to re-program our thinking to suit their own ends. But only God for our benefit wants to renew the mind of every willing man on the planet! Wouldn´t we have a better world if more men had the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16)?! God has made this possible through faith in Him and the power of the Holy Spirit. Won´t you avail yourself of His free offer right now? If so, honestly pray the following prayer:
Lord, I am a sinner. I repent; I change my mind about my sinful way of thinking and living. It is not right or good. I believe You died on the cross for all my sins and arose on the third day. I ask You to forgive me of all my sins and send the Holy Spirit into my life to transform everything about me including my thinking. Be Lord of my life. Thank You, Amen. If you prayed, write and let me know.
To Be Continued Next Issue