Friday, 05 August 2011 14:23
One of our spiritual problems is becoming distracted or being “led away.” Concentration is difficult because the mind is bombarded by so many distractions. Most of our minds dart off in hundreds of directions in the course of a day. The natural spiritual state – one that is filled with God's spirit and growing in Christ is difficult to maintain. One reason is the constant assault of information on our senses.
Tempters have opportunities to take us into realms of thought never known before. Television, for example, can channel impurities right into the privacy of our homes. Lust is grander, jealousy is more
treacherous. Greed is simply the road to an important position. Sin is everywhere.
Strength comes prior to temptation, not during it. Overcoming is a prior act. It involves making a decision to remain pure before the temptation comes. The apostle Paul speaks about the mind in Titus 1:15: “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.”
Impurity is reached by corruption of the mind and conscience. We need to saturate our mind with things of God. Purity is depicted as the natural state of the Christians. In order to overcome the temptations toward impurity you must want to be pure. Until that desire becomes your passion, you will be overwhelmed by the impressions flooding your senses. If our desire for purity is sincere, God will provide us with the way of overcoming impurities. The Psalmist used this approach when he said. “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes” (Ps. 101:3) Our safest course is to escape temptation entirely.
Single-mindedness is an act of the mind. The single-minded Christian pays attention to Christ, His commands, His person, and His ways. Our mind must be preoccupied with sincere and pure devotion to Christ. We can direct or control our attention with a focus on Christ and His Kingdom. Paul gives another description of the godly mind in Philippians 2:3: "Let nothing be done through stripe or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." The mind is to be lowly. One cannot be humble unless he is lowly. Humility follows lowliness of the mind. Humility speaks of a relationship to others and to God. And lowliness is a state of mind.
The opposite of lowliness is haughtiness, pride or arrogance. Lowliness is a trait which must be cultivated. Members of the body of Christ (the church) must learn to submit to one another by lowliness. We can foster lowliness by concentrating on a genuine appreciation
for the person of God. We can start there. Lowliness must come, in order for the perspective to be right. A clear view of God's greatness will lead us to a proper view of ourselves. The lowly Christian has the security of understanding his position under the greatness of God.
In the Bible, (Romans 8:6) Paul tells us, "The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace." Without Christ we are dead (Ephesians 2:1). In Christ we have everlasting life (John 3:16). Jesus went further than saying we live. Jesus said that He came in order that we might have abundant life (John 10:10).
We demonstrate this life (or death) constantly by the choices we make.
We can choose what we think about. That is why the will is so important. When we set our mind on the Spirit, we experience life. And life is distinguished by activity.
TO GOD BE ALL GLORY AND HONOR.
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