Christlikeness, discerning the spirits, experience, eyes of the heart, God, heart, Jesus Christ, marriage, mind, new creation, old creation, relationships, Satan, spiritual power, T.A. Sparks, the devil, The Holy Spirit, the mind of Christ, the new self, the old self, thought life, true faith
We all might have heard about the difference between the male mind that works rather ‘left-brained’ (logical, purpose-oriented, and goal-focused) and the female mind which is said to be quite ‘right-brained’ (emotional, empathic, and all-round perceptive). Since women and men are pretty different as to how their thought life and feelings proceed, a lot of misunderstandings between them are inevitable… unless they have the mind of Christ! What I mean by that is that our old and fallen nature thinks it knows it all better than the opposite sex. How many marriages and relationships fall apart because men and women have given up on trying to relate to what the other one is really saying! The bad news is that there is not much hope as long as we cling to our old nature which, whether we realize it or not, usually submits to Satan. In fact, our thought habits that spring from the self-centered old creation are filled with suspicion, doubts, fears, worries and all other negative tendencies you might think of. Just trying to watch one’s own thoughts for one or two minutes only and counting how often negativity pops up might leave you completely discouraged.
But there is hope, brothers and sisters, since the new creation that was fully designed in heaven will be enabled by God to really think good thoughts, even exclusively. Our own efforts won’t help us here since this supernatural ability is quasi inherited by new birth from above. This new creation has nothing to do with gender, either. We won’t lose our female or male identity, of course, but you might have read that those first Christians after Pentecost “were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.” (Acts 4:32 ESV). Actually, their old self had died. Being of one heart and soul is a unity that comes from being filled with the Holy Spirit who is the only ONE who can make us one with God and with one another also. However, we can only be filled if we were emptied before, emptied of our old mind and equipped with a new heart from God, then filled with new wine in new wineskin by the renewing power of the Holy Spirit (see Mt 9:17 for instance). Regarding this new and God-given unity, the apostle Paul admonished the Ephesians to be “eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph 4:3 ESV) One might raise the question here about how to maintain continued peace? It is impossible without God’s help, once again. Yet God who writes His law on our hearts also enables us to walk in ways that please Him and helps us more and more listen to His gentle guidance instead of paying attention to the devil’s disturbing insinuations. The prophet Isaiah gave us the answer as to how to keep God’s peace. He said,
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Is 26:3 ESV)
So what then might be an indication that we have begun to think the right thoughts which sprang from the mind of Christ? T. Austin Sparks offers a helpful explanation.
The apostle Paul writing to the Philippians said “Whatsoever things are PURE, think on these things” that’s the mind of Christ. That’s the mind of a character of Christ “let this mind be in you… whatsoever things are pure, think on these things… whatsoever things are lovely” for here it is; that is what He is like! A mind, that is, the mind of Christ, not our mind, is something that is a very strong thing where God is concerned. If we can only get the viewpoint of the Lord, if we can only see as the Lord sees, if only we can get the mind of the Lord about a person or a situation, we’re in a tremendously strong position. Let me put that the other way, so much of our weakness and our failure and our breakdown is our WRONG mindedness, isn’t it like that? We’ve got the wrong attitude of mind, we haven’t the singleness of mind for the glory of God, we’re affected by how things touch us. Well, He was never like that, He was never like that.
Below you can read the whole Scripture Sparks was referring to and another one that reveals the filthiness of our old minds. It does not seem as if the mind of Christ would know the slightest whiff of fallen man’s natural negativity, right?
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Phil 4:8 KJV)
Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. (Tit 4:15 KJV)
You might have realized that Paul equated a defiled mind and conscience with the state of an unbeliever. Oh, may God give us the purity of heart and mind that is a characteristic of the true believer!