My mindset today is one of joy and faith. My strength is found in Jesus, and my life is hid with him. This means that nothing that happens to me today can leech my life away.
Those who wait on Him renew their strength. That can be while cleaning teeth, making tea, making sandwiches, getting dressed: it can be while I’m cycling, or even working. Waiting is a state of mind in which you are expectant, and looking for someone to come. I might be waiting for a sign, for an encouragement, from another person. That could be the Lord. I could be waiting to see something beautiful, something funny, or something good. Again, that might be the Lord. Or it could be the miraculous, the believing, the desperate.
If I’m waiting, I will see these things. If I’m ploughing on, spirit disengaged, mind preoccupied, I will miss it.
How does our mind miss the things of the Spirit? We can be deluded – believing that we are enlightened, but actually being in error. The dose of Scripture daily guards us against this error. Lord, be a light to my feet and a lamp to my path. We can be depraved – so besmeared with sin and mired in our own appetites that our spirit is dulled. It might be pride that is the brass ceiling that stops us breaking through to God.
Or we could be blinded – so that we cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ. A hymn of praise will lift us into His presence. ‘And can it be, that I should gain an interest in the Saviour’s blood? Died He for me, who caused His pain, for me, who Him to death pursued? Amazing love, how can it be that thou my God shouldst die for me!’ We might have a carnal mind, which is only interested in the things of the world, and in pleasing ourselves. We start off quite harmlessly, just wanting the best – working hard, providing for our family, enjoying life… but ultimately we become self-oriented and seeking our own pleasure and fulfilment. Even church, and the trappings of Christianity, do not break us out of the ‘sensible’ mould that we are in. Do we really think we can live fully when dependent on our own reason and our own knowledge? Doesn’t the Bible tell us not to lean on our own understanding?
Two other problems that we fall into as believers are doublemindedness, where we waver between faith and doubt, and feeblemindedness, where we believe that we will not conquer in our circumstances.
If you are doubleminded, you allow your own thoughts and the devil to get the better of you. Don’t bother rebuking the devil – that just delights him all the more. Claim God’s promise instead. So you are feeling discouraged and low this morning? So the devil has fed you the thought ‘you haven’t got any joy, have you?’ Declare: “But the joy of the Lord is my strength. Thank you for reminding me. I don’t feel it right now, but I know I’ve got it. In His presence there is fullness of joy. Well, I am in Christ so I don’t just have joy, I have abundant joy. And joy comes in the mornings! I’m going to feel that joy coming through any minute.”
And if you are feebleminded, allow others to encourage you and look to them to do that. Ask for the fruit of the Spirit. Don’t rely on yourself, but lean on the Body of Christ for help and support. When we are on our own, we only see things through one viewpoint. But when several people seek the Lord together, He can make His will more clear through a variety of spiritual gifts. We have to lay down our prejudices and trust each other, and we will learn how to live together in love, harmony and humility. The mind of Christ is the antidote to a fearful mind, and in His mind is life and peace.
(After Ian Andrews, ‘Building a People of Power’, Chapter Six)