The Spirit of Christ is helping us change the way we think. Are we cooperating?
8 The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him.
Continuing with our look at Galatians 5, we find that our freedom to think correctly comes from Jesus. What we do next is our choice: Will we follow our Savior, trusting Him with our every decision, or will we make the same mistake Adam and Eve made in the Garden, which was to trust the word of the serpent rather than what God had told them? Let’s read the next passage in Ephesians 4,
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
As young children spiritually, we must learn to pay attention to some things and ignore others. The ones we pay attention to are the ones that the Spirit highlights in our lives through conversation with Him, reading His Word and other Christians’ experiences and insights, conversation with other people, and our own experiences and circumstances. The ones we ignore are the ones that don’t line up with Jesus. For instance, Jesus said, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and unto God what is God’s” (Matthew 22:21). If we are paid for a day’s wage, then we are to give a day’s work. Likewise, if we are forgiven for our many trespasses, then we are to forgive others their trespasses, even–and maybe especially–when they are against us.
Who else can renew our minds other than the Spirit of Christ? We come to Him for renewal and He renews our minds. He helps us to put on (access, employ) the mind of Christ, which we have because of His Spirit within us. This new self thinks like God and thus acts like God. Let’s go further, though. We don’t think these thoughts on our own; we think them WITH the Spirit. It’s now a dual effort. When we think with Christ, we are accessing the mind of God! Want to know what God thinks? Ask Jesus, who is the Spirit within you.
I love this passage because it shows me that I am responsible for my actions through my thoughts, which can be tempered and conditioned to think like Christ–with Christ. Tomorrow, we will look at how Jesus dealt with failure in this area (I think you’ll like it).
Abba, being young in spirit, I still react according to my feelings. May I learn as I grow to set aside my feelings and to ask You how to respond in a given situation. Knee-jerk reactions are usually not godly. I want to be like You, Jesus. Lead me in Your way. Amen.