THE MIND OF CHRIST
I AM that I AM
"I and My Father are One"
CHRIST HIMSELF, THE SON OF GOD, THE KING OF KINGS, THE HEIR OF THE UNIVERSE, PLEASED NOT HIMSELF, BUT CHOSE THE PATH OF REPROACH AND SUFFERING AND SELF-DENIAL FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS
Have you ever said, "I sure wish I could think the way Jesus thought?" The truth is, you can! The Bible says that through the new covenant in Christ, God gives us a new heart and a new spirit, and the Spirit He gives us is His own (see Ezekiel 36:26,27). First Corinthians 2:16 states even more emphatically that - we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.
Jesus has made arrangements for each of us to be filled with life by putting His own mind in us. So the question is not do we have the mind of Christ, it's are we flowing in the mind of Christ? If not, then why not? What are some practical, biblical guidelines for flowing in the mind of Christ?
THINK POSITIVE THOUGHTS
For starters, if a person is thinking according to the mind of Christ, his thoughts will be positive. God is positive, and if you and I want to flow in and with Him, we must get on the same wavelength and begin to think positively. Amos 3:3 says, Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction? In order to walk together with God and experience His plan for our lives, we need to be in agreement with Him. So since His thoughts are positive, our thoughts have to be positive.
Now, I'm not talking about exercising mind control or living in denial of the difficulties we may be going through. I'm simply saying we need to aim at having a positive perspective and being an all-around positive person-in spite of what may be going on around us.
Jesus certainly displayed a positive outlook and attitude. He endured many difficulties, including being lied about, being deserted by His closest friends when He needed them most, being made fun of, being lonely and misunderstood, and a number of other discouraging things. Yet, in the midst of all these negatives, He remained positive. He always had an uplifting comment or an encouraging word; He always gave hope to those who came near-even to the thief who hung on the cross next to Him.
The mind of Christ in us is positive. Therefore, anytime we get negative, we are not operating with the mind of Christ.
Remember, negative feelings come from negative thoughts. The mind is the battlefield, the place where our fight is won or lost. Choose to be positive each day before your feet hit the floor. Simply pray out loud, "Lord, I desire to be positive in all my thinking. Please give me the power to focus my attention on the good around me, even if my circumstances are bad." Then when the negative thoughts come, cast them down and replace them with something positive (see 2 Corinthians 10:5).
BE "WORD" MINDED
Another powerful way to stay flowing in the mind of Christ is to meditate on Scripture regularly. This is by far one of the most important life principles we can ever learn. Why? Because God's Word is His thoughts written on paper for our study and consideration. His Word is how He thinks about every situation and subject.
In John 5:38 Jesus was chastising some unbelievers. He told them, "And you have not [God's] word (His thought) living in your hearts, because you do not believe and adhere to and trust in and rely on Him Whom He has sent". We see from this translation that God's Word is a written expression of His thoughts and that people who want to believe and experience all the good results of believing must allow His Word to be a living message in their hearts. This is accomplished by meditating on Scripture. This is how His thoughts become our thoughts.
Many Christians have become fearful of the word meditate due to the meditation practices of pagan and occult religions. But I urge you to remember that Satan has never had an original idea. He takes what belongs to the kingdom of Light and perverts it for the kingdom of darkness. We must be wise enough to realize that if meditation produces such power for the side of evil, that it will also produce power for the cause of good.
Joshua 1:8 says that when we meditate on the Word day and night and have it in our mouths, our way will be prosperous and we'll have the ability to deal wisely in every situation we face. Psalm 1:2,3 says when we make it a habit to meditate on the "law of the Lord," we become like a strongly rooted, healthy tree that regularly produces fruit and is resistant to harsh conditions. And Proverbs 4:20-22 says that when we keep God's words of wisdom in the center of our heart, we'll receive health and healing to all our flesh. Isn't that powerful! Meditating on the Word of God actually affects our physical body in a positive way.
I can't emphasize strongly enough how important this principle is. Meditating on the Word will bring life to you and ultimately to those around you. I encourage you to get into God's Word and begin to meditate on, study, ponder, practice mentally, and revolve in your mind scriptures that touch you deeply and deal with what you're going through. As you go about your day, ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of certain scriptures so you can meditate on them. You'll be amazed at how much power will be released into your life from this practice.
DEVELOP A THANKFUL MIND
Gaining and maintaining an attitude of gratitude is another way of flowing in the mind of Christ. The Bible says that in God's presence is fullness of joy, and the way to get into His presence is through being thankful. Psalm 100:4 says, Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name! And Psalm 34:1 says to bless the Lord at all times and let His praise be continually in our mouths. How can you and I be a blessing to the Lord? By letting His praise continually be in our thoughts and words. A person flowing in the mind of Christ will choose to focus his thoughts on things to be thankful for. There is no other way we can live a powerful life.
Over and over Scripture explains the principle of thanksgiving. Complaining in thought or word is a death principle, but being thankful and saying so is a life principle. If a person doesn't have a thankful mind, thanksgiving will not come out of his mouth. When we are truly thankful for what God has kept us from, what He's done (and is doing) in our lives, and for what we have, we will say so.
Now, our attitude of gratitude is not just directed to God. It's also important to express thanksgiving to the people in our lives. When someone does something nice for us, we need to let them know we appreciate it-especially our family members.
Expressing appreciation is not only good for the receiver, it's also good for the giver (us). How do we generate an attitude of gratitude toward God and others? I believe the key is in our focus. As you and I meditate throughout the day-rehearsing in our minds all the good things we have to be thankful for-we will find our hearts becoming lighter and our outlook becoming brighter. Psalm 77:11,12 says, I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
Developing an attitude of gratitude is not something that happens automatically-it requires a conscious daily decision on our part. In fact, this kind of lifestyle sometimes requires a sacrifice of thanksgiving or praise, but I would rather sacrifice my thanksgiving to God than sacrifice my joy to Satan.
FIX YOUR THOUGHTS ON WHAT'S RIGHT
So, you have the mind of Christ in you. Begin to develop it and use it. If what you're thinking isn't ministering life and peace to you, don't think it. If Jesus wouldn't think it, you shouldn't think it either. As Paul said to the Philippians, I say to you: "Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." (Philippians 4:8). That's what Jesus would think.