Every spiritual battle we face is won or lost in the mind before it is expressed in deeds. We have the mind of Christ. Let’s use it!
16 There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, 19 a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community [of believers].
Each of these detestable things happens in the mind before they are ever acted upon. Haughty eyes come from a contemptible attitude; a lying tongue are from a selfish disposition; hands that shed innocent blood come from a covetous mind, etc. We MUST allow Christ to control our minds.
Mind Control? That sounds dangerous! The problem is that if we do not allow Christ to control our minds, Satan will control them! See Matt. 12:43-45. As goes the mind, so goes the heart; as goes the heart, so goes the body.
If I were to give today’s study a title, it would be, “Victory With our Minds Over Our Hearts.” How do we train our minds? By following Christ. How do we follow Christ? I’m glad you asked! Let’s continue our study of 2 Peter 1:3-8.
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
His very great and precious promises are wrapped up in the indwelling Holy Spirit. He takes up residence within us and speaks to us in our minds. He is the One with Whom we participate concerning the divine nature and will help us escape the corruption in this world caused by our own evil desires. It’s a process, and it looks like this:
- We begin with faith. Faith is believing the promises Jesus gave us and then acting on them. Is He in us? Then we will listen to Him–which includes obedience!
- We add to our faith goodness. Why goodness? Because it is the very fibre of God. He is GOOD, and all things good come from Him. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17. If something is good, then it is from God; if it is not good, then it does not originate with God. People ask the question, “How can a good God allow evil in the world?” They do not believe that God, by nature, is good. If they did, then they would recognize that evil does not come from God, but from man. It was the risk God took when He gave us Free Will.
- We add knowledge next. The more we know, the better armed we are. Also, the more we know of His Word, through reading and/or experience, the better access the Spirit has to our minds. Example: If our minds are styrofoam balls and the Word is represented by toothpicks that we stick into the balls, then each toothpick becomes a handle for the Spirit to use. The more toothpicks, the better His access to our minds. LEARN the WORD!
- Next comes self-control. It’s what it takes in order to overcome our own desire to do ANYTHING ELSE rather than read His Word, listen to Him, and especially obey Him. It’s how we grow up spiritually. Want to be taken seriously as a Christian? Then develop self-control in reading His Word and obeying His Spirit. Exercise your faith by believing His promises and acting on them.
Tomorrow, we look at what happens over time as we grow spiritually. Let’s “make every effort” today by believing, trusting, and acting according to what we know about Him and what His Spirit says to us.