There are three classes of people, or three ways that people relate to the Spirit of God. The natural person is what everyone naturally is: deficient in the ability to understand the things of the Spirit, which can only be spiritually discerned. To this person, spiritual things are foolish. Then there is the spiritual person, one in whom the veil is removed, the spirit reborn, and the mind of Christ activated. Thirdly, we have the carnal or worldly person. This is the spiritual person who has failed to grow and mature. They have legal access to the mind of Christ but are overcome by worldly influence. They are likened to being “infants in Christ” who cannot handle solid food. (1 Corinthians 2:14 – 3:1)
Imagine if the real populace consisted of people who didn’t grow up but remained as infants. Our species would be endangered. Who would become the parents for the next generation? Where we would we obtain the teachers to train and disciple new believers? Who would go into combat and lead the fight against evil?
In the first twenty-one years of my life, I had little if any, perimeter of protection around my thought life. Evil strongholds were erected like skyscrapers in my mental city. I was lacking a true compass, to guide me out of darkness and into light. Following my conversion to personal faith in Christ the hidden and secret wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 2:7) impacted my soul and to this very day, it continues to release God’s life transforming Word into my life. The person of the Holy Spirit is every believer’s personal tutor. Our responsibility is to show up for the lessons!
The mind of Christ is the ability, through the Holy Spirit, to understand the thoughts of God.
Jesus said that he made known to His disciples, everything that He heard from His Father (John 15:15). Jesus knew God’s thoughts, the mind of His Father, because He took time to listen to the Spirit. The Son of Man needed to appropriate the “mind of God” as to the specifics of His mission and the details of His ministry assignments. If Jesus needed to set aside time for prayer, study, and reflection, how much more do we? Jesus said to his followers, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. (John 16: 12 – 15) Another way to define the “mind of Christ”: what the Spirit is taking from Jesus and making known to us.
The “fork in the road” is the place where one road branches into two. We use the metaphor to describe those times when we must make a decision in life. Naturally, there are both major and minor decisions in life. The minor ones occur daily and are still important, for if we choose wrongly in the so called minor, on a daily basis, they will eventually have a major impact. What path of thought and meditation will I choose to follow each day? The end goal is not simply positive thinking, but obedience to Christ. We were predestined to be “conformed” into His image. (Romans 8:29) We are cautioned about being conformed to the pattern of this earthly world and the way to avoid that is by the renewing of the mind. (Romans 12:2) But the end game is all about obedience. A renewed mind is better able to discern the will of God, making daily choices that glorify God.
The ultimate “fork in the road” in my opinion, is found in Deuteronomy 11:26 – 28. “I’ve brought you today to the crossroads of Blessing and Curse. The Blessing: if you listen obediently to the commands of God… The Curse: if you don’t pay attention to the commands of God…” (MSG) The word “curse” doesn’t garner much usage in our vocabulary, but everyone understands what the “blessing” is and what it looks and feels like to be blessed.
My bottom line is obedience to Christ, just like His bottom line was obedience to his Father.
It’s all about the Man who first loved me and became “obedient unto death” for my sake. Every thought that seeks to build a contrary agenda in my mind, I will endeavor, by God’s grace, to corral it into captivity to the obedience of Christ. I have chosen to love Him with my whole heart, soul, mind and strength. That’s my daily choice. That’s how I choose to think.
The universal downfall of man can be attributed to the fact that they “exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.” (Romans 1:25) The antidote to this dilemma is to reverse course or take the other fork, namely – to exchange the lie for the truth of God. It’s really pretty simple on paper. In real life it gets complicated and messy – this dual exercise of dismantling the negative strongholds and establishing a positive fortress of God’s Word to occupy my mind.
Negative thoughts become actions, which become habits, which become a stronghold. In contrast, thinking on God’s Word becomes positive action, which becomes godly habit, which becomes a fortress called the mind of Christ.