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Description: If we try to rely on our mind there will be great uncertainty in our lives. God calls us to Himself so that we can become friends who understand Him.
Spiritual Life # 79
Laws of the Mind No. 1
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
Loved ones, we’re going to talk about the mind tonight, but maybe you’d turn in the Bible to 2
Corinthians 5:17. And you’ve all heard it before and know it by heart. “Therefore, if any one is
in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” And most of us
know that by faith. And most of us would probably say we are children of God. And we do know that
in some sense the new has come. But I think many of us have walk with stooped shoulders because the
rest of the verse is not true, “The old has not passed away.” And there’s still some of the old
And loved ones, I’d like to encourage you to see that when we talk about these things on Sunday
evenings, it’s really only for those of us who are willing to let the “old pass away” completely.
And I think some of us are like a little guy with measles. And he’s willing to let the spots go.
And he’s just delighted the doc has taken the spots away. Put powder over them so you don’t see
them. “Ah, good I can’t see the spots in the mirror. All my friends think I look okay again. No
red spots.” And he’s delighted.
And I think a lot of us are like that, we’re delighted our sins are gone. Our outward sins are
gone, people can’t see our outward sins the way they could before. We’ve changed! We’ve changed
outwardly! Then the doc comes along to the little guy and says, “Now, I want to really heal you. I
want to deal with the disease itself.” And the little guy says, “No, no, I want to keep the
disease. Then I can have the spots whenever I want, or I can put the old cosmetic powder on
whenever I want.” And I think some of us are like that.
We don’t mind getting rid of the sins but the sin! The self that produces the sin! “No we don’t
want you to touch that Lord!” Or you remember, that fellow Martin put it a different way in the
bulletin this morning. He said, “Many of us are willing to give our lives to Jesus, but then one
year after that, or five years after that, we begin to discover that Jesus wants our wills as well.
And that’s where we back off.” And loved ones, honestly there is no mystery about the victorious
life. There is not.
It is not technique. It is not Oswald Chambers or Watchman Nee. It is not speaking in tongues a
certain way, or worshipping a certain way. It is none of those things! Walking victoriously and
with a light heart is simply a matter of giving your will completely to God, and doing what he wants
you to do. And if you’re heavy tonight, really, if your life is at all heavy, or you think, “Well,
there is a bit of new creation in me. But boy, the old is almost swamping me again and carrying so
much of what I used to be, and carrying it back into my life,” then there’s only one place to look.
And that’s at any sin that is in your life. That’s right.
Not praying each day. I know it sounds dumb, not praying each day, not having a quiet time, that’s
it. Or, not doing the Bible study each day, that’s it. Or, easing back into some of the old sins
that you parted from when you first met Jesus, that’s it. It’s always sin in some form that is
bringing a weight back onto your shoulders. And it’s no way to live. Indeed, you won’t live that
way! You’ll eventually end up in hell, if you keep trying to have little bit of the new creation
and hold onto the old. And the glory is that every one of us here has passed away. That’s it.
It’s even the old term we use, “Yeah, he passed away.” It’s that. Every one of us here have passed
away. That’s the glory of it. All that you have been up to this very moment has passed away.
There is delight in that, and joy in that. And if you’re saying, “Oh well, I’m trying to reach up
to it. Say it again! Say it more joyfully, and I think I’ll catch it.” If you’re at that, it’s
because there’s some way in which your will is tied to something that you won’t let go of. That’s
it! That’s it!
The only reason the hot air balloon will not lift off is because there’s still one rope tied to a
stake in the ground. And the only reason your spirits will not rise, as I say, “All of us have
passed away and we’re new creations, new babies today” — I held Marty’s little girl before service
and she’s new. New! A new little baby, new and free! No social security to worry about, no debts
to worry about. She looked really remarkably free from financial worries. No worries about whether
I thought she was great or not. She’s just there enjoying herself. She doesn’t know that I am
there. A little new baby is new, and delightful, and happy. That’s the way we’re meant to be.
That’s the way a new creation is.
And, ah loved ones, if I could just say this to you, even if you don’t get any further than that, if
you don’t feel like that, or you don’t live like that, know that there’s something better. There’s
something better. It is possible to come to a place where you let everything go. And you let it
all go. And especially you let that little stake that you’re holding onto with your will, you let
that go. And as you do that — really it’s amazing — the Spirit of Jesus is already in you, and
he’ll lift you. That’s it. The Spirit of Jesus only knows one way to go and that’s up. Just up!
And as long as you don’t’ hold him down, he’ll go up, and he’ll take you with him. That’s it.
That’s what it is to be filled with the Spirit, to be crucified and raised with Christ! That’s what
it is to be sanctified. That’s what it is to be delivered from inward sin. That’s what it is to be
brought into the victorious life. And oh, I encourage you, if your life is not like that, see that
that’s normal, and that will happen to you if you simply let go of some of the old things that
you’re hanging onto.
You know that business, “Have no anxiety about anything?” If you’re anxious about something,
there’s only one reason you’re anxious about it. And that’s because you want it to go the way you
want it to go. That’s it, really. Because, if you’re a child of God you know that God is able.
You know that! And you know he’s carried other things for you, and borne other burdens for you. So
there’s no problem really, with belief, you know that God is good. The only reason you have trouble
letting go of some anxiety about a job, or about money, or about a friendship, or a relationship, or
the thousand other things that burden you down is because you’re not willing to let it go whatever
way God wants it to go. And that’s because you’re very much still alive, in control of things.
So, I’d encourage you. I’d invite you to come with me, and come into Jesus fully and not only be a
new creation, but let the old pass away. And by faith accept that you, ‘you old so and so’, your
old life was done ‘away with’ in Jesus.
Now, that’s what we mean when we talk about ‘the desires of the flesh being against the desires of
the Spirit’, you see. That’s the part of the flesh that we talk about when we talk like that. When
we talk about the ‘selfish will’ and letting that be crucified with Christ, we’re talking about that
part of the flesh that is concerned with our selfish desire for ‘our own way’ and our feeling of
‘right’ that we ought to control our lives as we want. That’s that part of the flesh.
Now, there’s another part of the flesh that Jesus talked about in Matthew 26. And maybe you’d look
at it. Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is
willing, but the flesh is weak.” That’s a different part of the flesh, you see. So our flesh, as
the Bible uses the term, refers first of all to our selfish will, our desire to be ‘our own god’,
‘run things the way we want’. Even if our sins are forgiven, we still want to do it our way.
That’s one part of the flesh. That’s the carnal selfish will.
The other part of the flesh is this part that Jesus was speaking to. The dear guys couldn’t keep
awake. It was their human weakness. A human weakness! Human weakness is not adultery or
fornication. That is sin. Human weakness is not anger or selfishness. That’s carnality. Human
weakness is the inexpedient traits of our soul, the things in our soul that aren’t yet fitted to
serve Jesus. Yet they themselves are actually free from any kind of a negative ‘willing’. And
that’s the part that Jesus was talking about here.
We’ve been talking about one of those parts, our mind. The mind is so often not fitted to be used
by the Spirit of Christ that is in each of us. And we’ve talked about how often it’s very unfitted
by being passive at times, and being filled with forgetfulness, bad memory, with lack of
concentration, with flashing pictures that come upon it at night in the shape of dreams, or as
imaginations during the day. We’ve talked about that kind of a passive mind. And we’ve talked
about how to come into deliverance from that passive mind.
Now tonight, we’re going to begin talking about what the mind is to be used for in someone who is
filled with Jesus’ Spirit. So do you see that? The mind is the second part of the flesh that needs
to be dealt with by the ‘daily application of Jesus’ death’. The carnal selfish will has to be
dealt with by our ‘taking our position with Jesus on the cross’ and ‘accepting our crucifixion with
him’. But the mind that is used by the flesh is to be dealt with by the ‘daily bearing’ of Jesus’
Now that’s what we’re going to be talking about for a few evenings during these next few weeks.
‘What is the place of the mind in one who is controlled and directed by Jesus’ Spirit?’ Well you
get it loved ones — and it will help – this will help you with guidance, this dreadful business of,
“How do I know what to do with my life?” That whole thing! So it will help you with that, among
If you want to see the purpose of the mind loved ones, in a person who is filled with Jesus’ Spirit
you will see it in Luke 1:47. That’s the classic verse that shows you the relationship between your
spirit and your mind and it is the last part of Verse 46. And it’s Mary’s Magnificat, you remember.
And she says, you see the last part of – in fact, look at Luke 1:46, “And Mary said, “My soul
magnifies the Lord.” Soul is “psuche”, you remember. And it’s the mind. The mind is part of our
soul. It’s part of the psychological being. “My soul,” or my mind, “magnifies the Lord, and my
spirit rejoices in God my Savior.”
Now if you look at the Greek, the verb ‘rejoices’ is not the present tense. It’s the past tense.
The verb ‘magnifies’ is the present tense. It’s right, “My soul magnifies the Lord,” but in Greek
the second part is, “And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior.” Now that’s the relationship that
is meant to exist between the spirit and the mind of a person who is filled with Jesus’ Spirit. The
spirit ‘has rejoiced.’ First of all the experience occurs there, and then my mind, as a result of
that, magnifies the Lord.
Now do you see that? The spirit experiences the joy first, and then the soul or the mind magnifies
the Lord. But first of all, the experience is in the spirit. And I’d just remind those of you who
may not have been here before that our personality consists of our ‘body’, and inside that our
‘soul’ or the psychological part of us: our mind, emotions, and our will; and then inside that
again, our spirits. And so that is the way God intends us to operate. He gives the joy to our
spirits and then our mind takes the cue from our spirit.
That’s not the way we operated before. Before the old body felt hungry, telegraphed the mind, “Get
food for me or…!” And the mind went to work, “How can I get food? I’ll get a job with the best
money I possibly can, and I’ll go to the supermarket and fill my cart, and I’ll get food. Okay
buddy, are you satisfied?” “Yeah, yeah, but I’d sure like clothes like that person across the way.”
“Okay, okay I’ll get you clothes!” And that’s the way the mind works. It was an absolute slave of
the body. That’s why it’s called the ‘mind of the flesh’.
Now the ‘mind of the spirit’ is a mind that is governed — not by the body — but governed by the
spirit. And that loved ones, is how we get our guidance from God. We get our guidance from our
spirits. God communicates to our spirits first in communion with himself. Now, let’s look at that
verse first and then talk just a little bit about the necessity of communion therefore. 1
Corinthians 2 shows you clearly how God communicates to his children. 1 Corinthians 2:9-11, “But,
as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has
prepared for those who love him,’ God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit
searches everything, even the depths of God. For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the
spirit of the man which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit
God communicates to you through your spirit. That’s why when you don’t have your daily prayer time,
you’re virtually without any direction from God. That’s it. And that’s where we try to ‘short
circuit’ the thing, you see. Don’t you know that? We miss the prayer time, and then we say to
ourselves, “Oh well, our ‘renewed mind’ can guide us this day.” And it’s interesting, Satan knows
immediately that there’s opportunity for him. And he gets into the ‘renewed mind’, and he produces
actions and decisions that seem to you, ‘godly ones’. But actually they’re not from God himself.
And they’re not from the ‘loving friendship’, and the relaxed, effortless sense of ‘his arms around
you’, that comes when you’re in communion with him.
It’s a kind of slightly strained thing. And so you make decisions that day and you make moves. And
then the next day you miss your ‘quiet time’ and you decide, “Well, yesterday was quite good. And I
didn’t have time today, so I’ll just trust my renewed mind.” And you go a little further. And
after a few days like that, you may as well have had an ‘unrenewed mind’, because Satan has managed
to deceive you ‘away’ out of God’s will!
Now loved ones, the renewed mind won’t give you guidance, because that’s not the purpose of the
renewed mind. The purpose of the renewed mind is this: The spirit sits in this chair and he talks
to God. [Pastor goes and sits in the chair on the left side of the platform and looks up, as though
to God.] And he gets from God what he wants. Then he tells the mind over here, [Pastor walks over to
the other side of the platform and sits in that chair.] and the mind speaks to the body and says,
[Pastor looks over to the audience on that side of the platform and gestures.] “Okay, do this,
guys.” That’s how it works. But that’s the job of the mind. He understands what comes to the
spirit intuitively. And he then expresses it in the right computer language so that the body knows
what to do. That’s the job of the mind.
And you see, when you put upon the mind the job of being the ‘managing director’ of the company
instead of being the secretary or the foreman that passes the directions on to the shop floor,
you’re asking him to do something that he isn’t fitted for! That he hasn’t the ability to do! That
he hasn’t the understanding to do!
And so when you miss communion with God, and you operate by your ‘renewed mind,’ really what you’re
doing — it’s like saying to the boss’ secretary, “Do you remember what decisions he made yesterday?
Now, I know the situation isn’t exactly the same, “But do you remember what he did yesterday? Now,
what do you think he’d do today?” And that’s what you’re doing when you pass the responsibility
onto your ‘renewed mind’. Because loved ones, the purpose of the mind is to take the guidance and
the directions that come through your spirit, and to use them to guide the body.
Now there’s another famous passage that might help you if you look at it, that talks about these two
different kinds of knowing that are necessary. Ephesians 1:17, you remember it’s that great prayer
of Paul’s. “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of
wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him.” You see, that’s ‘a spirit’. In your spirit God
gives you wisdom and revelation so that you know what he’s thinking. That comes through your
spirit. And then what you need is some factor inside you that can take that guidance and can
actually put it into language and directions that the body will be able to follow.
And that’s why Paul prayed in the next verse, “Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened.” And
obviously you can see by heart there he means the mind. It’s the mind that is enlightened, “Having
the eyes of your mind or your understanding enlightened,” “That you may know what is the hope to
which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is
the immeasurable greatness of his power in us who believe.” But you see, unless the mind is renewed
in Jesus, you cannot understand those things.
So you have a lot of children of God like that. You have children of God who do get some light in
their spirits, but their mind is utterly unrenewed. And it’s not able to understand what is in the
spirit. And so they’re those kind of — not only articulate people — but they’re people who are
unable to pass it along or transmit it to others. And their lives of course, are wandering around
in as much vagueness as if they’d never known Jesus. Then you get the other kind that have their
minds renewed, but they don’t maintain a daily prayer time with God. And so they get hard.
And that’s what happens. When you operate by your renewed mind, and your spirit is losing its
sensitivity in daily communion with God then you get hard, and harsh. Your spirit actually is
becoming harsh. Your mind seems to make very spiritual, godly decisions, but there isn’t ‘life’ in
them. It’s just kind of a right decision but it hasn’t ‘creative life’ in it. And that’s because
the spirit is not being maintained sensitively to God.
Maybe I should mention to you that by a ‘quiet time’, I don’t mean that 10 minute job! But [sings]
“they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength!” And if you wait upon the Lord, you’ll
have communion with him. It means spending time with the Father until the atmosphere of his heart
fills your heart. And then — I don’t know if you’ve experienced it — everything seems easy. And
everything seems clear. And you come out from your closet and, No! You don’t know everything you
should do. But you’re absolutely confident. You know the Father is there in your heart! You know
that he has you in his arms! You know that everything is organized! And you know that the first
decision you’ll have to make, you’ll know what to do. And that’s it! You come out filled with the
Spirit. Full of faith and filled with the Spirit from your quiet time. That’s what happens when
you wait upon the Lord.
Now, do you know that the importance of that is not so that you’ll do the right thing? That’s the
amazing part of it. The importance of having that relationship with the Father in your spirit is
not just so your tricky, clever old mind will make the right decisions. It might amaze us how
little concerned God is — in a sense — with the little decisions that are made day-by-day. No,
the whole purpose of that is that that’s why God called him to himself. He wanted a friend who
would understand him and who would share his heart with him! That’s it!
He wanted a friend who would understand him and would share his heart. It’s simply a byproduct of
that, that you, therefore, know what to pass onto your mind, and your mind knows and understands it
and is able to pass it onto your body. That’s a byproduct! The chief purpose of this plan of God
is so that he would have friends who would understand him.
Now you remember, you get that in that verse that we’ve mentioned before at times, Psalms 103:7.
“He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.” All he could do with the dear
old children of Israel was split the rock and pour the water out! Split the Red Sea and let them
walk through the middle! Bring manna down so that they would be fed! That is all they were able to
grasp. And it’s the same kind of experience you would have if you had some little child dependent
upon you, who hadn’t a clue why you were doing things — just knew you gave him food, or you fed him
But, “He made known his ways to Moses.” Moses was his friend. And Moses spent time with him, and
he could explain how all these things were being done by his own Son, who would be revealed in later
days on the earth. And he could talk over with Moses. Moses was the friend of God. He could talk
over with Moses ‘why’ he was doing things. That’s loved ones, the whole purpose of receiving from
God through our spirits. Only in our spirits can we come to know God as our friend.
You remember, Jesus said the same thing. And it’s John 15. And again, these verses you all know, I
think. John 15:15, “No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master
is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known
to you.” That’s the purpose of it all. And you know it actually yourselves! You know it fine
well! I certainly know it in this operation that God has put us all into.
I remember in the early days when I seemed the only guy who understood anything. And all you could
do was kind of ‘do what I said’, and it felt terrible. I mean, it felt as if I was on the earth on
my own! And what a difference when some of you began to mature, and to grow, and to understand why
we were doing certain things! Then you began to enjoy fellowship and friendship. Then you ceased
to dwell alone. Then you had brothers, and sisters, and hearts of your heart! And life took on the
very essence of what it’s about: friendship, and communion, and heart understanding.
And loved ones, that is what God is after with us. And you can see the last thing he’s interested
in is, “What are my orders for today? Thank you.” That’s the last thing. He wants children who
will sit on their dad’s knee and will talk, and will talk with him, and ask him, “Dad, why did you
do that? Why do you do that? Lord, what’s that look in your eye for? What are you thinking
Father? What would please you? What would you enjoy me doing?” That’s it!
He wants children who will dwell with him a little, and understand his ways. And then they direct
this dear mind. But the dear mind, all it can do is understand and explain it to the body. But the
mind itself can’t get it!
And so loved ones, that was the change that took place — do you realize — as the experience of the
apostles progressed? You remember, in Old Testament times, “Urim and Thummim” — we guessed they
might have been dice, casting lots. Or, what in a way is just as bad, “Balaam’s Ass” [At first the
angel is seen only by the donkey Balaam is riding, which tries to avoid the otherwise invisible
angel]. Or maybe just a prophet telling you, “Do this.” That was it.
It was no experience of dear friends who understood their Father. It was a people who just received
guidance through dice being thrown, guided by the Holy Spirit but really a mystery to them, or a
prophet speaking, or an animal speaking, or a voice out of a fiery cloud. But really it was a
distant thing for God. It was an unsatisfying thing for him. It was some way of getting his will
done in the world. It was the only thing he could do when men were in their childhood. But it was
less than the best.
You got the continuation of it a little, you remember, if you look at it you’ll see the progress in
Acts 8. This was the ‘water shed’ in God’s dealings and guidings of men. This was the ’water
shed’. just around these weeks and months immediately after Jesus’ ascension. And you got some of
the Old Testament system of guidance still you see. And so you get it there in Acts 8:26 with
Philip. Not unlike the Old Testament really, “But an angel of the Lord said to Philip…” An angel,
you see. Just the way an angel appeared to Gideon. “An angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Rise and
go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ This is a desert road.”
Just tell them that. Do that.
And then when he gets to that spot in Verse 29, “And the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go up and join this
chariot.’” So he goes up. So it’s that kind of thing. It’s, “Do this. Okay, you’re there. Now,
do this. Alright, you’re there. Now, do that.” That’s the kind of guidance that was experienced
in the Old Testament. Now, gradually it progresses as the apostles move away from the manifestation
of God through angels, and through fire, and begins to move through his Holy Spirit within them.
Because, that was a big change you see, the Holy Spirit came and dwelled with them. Inside them!
‘Stayed with them’, that means! Became their friend and their guest! Became part of them! And
then the Holy Spirit began to guide from within.
And you see that in Acts 16 if you just turn over a few pages. Acts 16:6-8, “And they went through
the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in
Asia.” You see, the Holy Spirit within them. Nothing of a voice of even a man from Macedonia, but
just the Holy Spirit within. “And when they had come opposite of Mysia, they attempted to go into
Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.” ‘Spirit of Jesus’ within them. “So, passing
by Mysia, they went down to Troas…” But then, you see, it’s back. It’s a little half-and-half,
“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night,” that’s the Old Testament, “A man of Macedonia was
standing beseeching him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ And when he had seen the
vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach
the gospel to them.” But again, a little uncertain! Being told, but a little uncertain why, and
needing the vision to help them out.
Then, getting on to the kind of experience in Romans 1, there, that Paul expresses, and the place
that our Father wants us to come to ourselves: Romans 1:13, where the mind begins to understand. “I
want you to know, brethren, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been
prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the
Gentiles.” That’s a great verse you see, because it’s not, “I want you to know that the Lord wants
me to come to you!” Or, “The Lord told me last night that I was to go to you!”
That’s a great verse because he abides in Christ and Christ abides in him. He is in the Spirit and
the Spirit is in him. He’s come to that place where “It is not I that live, but Christ that lives
within me.” And so he’s able to say, “I want you to know, brethren, that ‘I’ have often intended to
come to you.” “‘I’, because I am renewed. My mind is renewed. Christ is in me. It is his Spirit
that has taken full possession of me. He’s displaced the ‘me’ completely, so I can say ‘I’ and it’s
the same as saying ‘Christ’.” “I want you to know that I have often intended to come to you (but
thus far have been prevented).” “And I know I have to come,” “In order that I may reap some harvest
among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles.”
That’s what the Father wants: Children who not only know ‘what’ he wants them to do but who
understand with their minds how the Father works, and understand what is happening. And loved ones,
of course that’s what is needed today. “Men’s hearts fail them for fear,” because nobody knows
what’s happening. Nobody understands what is happening. Some are running to the mountains in
survival groups, and are stacking up their guns and their food. Others aren’t stacking up guns, but
are running to the hills to wait for Jesus to come. Others are involved in trying to change the
laws, so that this will become more like the kingdom of God. Everybody is going in all directions.
And what the world wants is men and women who not only know what God is guiding them to do, but who
understand the Father’s heart, and can bring calmness and stability into the society. That’s why a
renewed mind is so necessary.
Now loved ones, just one little warning: Never get into the situation where you’re depending on
your renewed mind for guidance, you see. Don’t get into that, because you can see an example of
that in Acts 5, if you are courageous enough to look at it. Acts 5 is two loved ones who got into
the place where they settled, “Well, it’s not so essential to have the daily communion with God, and
we kind of know what all this is about. I see, they’re all selling their land and they’re giving it
so that they can feed the poor. Well, we’ll do the same.”
“But a man named Ananias with his wife Sapphire sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s
knowledge he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles’
feet. But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit.”” You
see, the spirit was where they made their error, or their sin, “And to keep back part of the
proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold,
was it not at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have
not lied to men but to God.’ When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died.”
And Ananias used his old, what he thought was a ‘renewed mind’, you see. But he missed the whole
heart of what God was doing. And so you will loved ones, if you try just to use the old renewed
mind, because even the renewed mind — and we’ll talk a little more next week about what it
involves. Even the renewed mind can operate on its own. Do you see that? And you can get
surprisingly wise and clever with your mind. You can get to know not only the ‘language of Zion’,
but many of the ‘thoughts of Zion’. And you can utter them, and it sounds very spiritual. But
actually the mind, the renewed mind, can still operate independent of God’s Spirit. And the only
way to really know what God wants and to be able to understand his heart, is to be in communion with
him in your own spirit.
And that means that there’ll be a great certainty about your life. Really! If you have any doubt
about it, if you’re saying, “Well, I think I know what you mean, and I’m not sure if I’ve gone by my
renewed mind.” Well then, you have! You have! If you’re not sure then you have. And you should
make sure the prayer time is right. Make sure not only it occurs, but make sure that it is long
enough and deep enough so that you can get in touch with your Father, and talk things over with him,
and know him as your dear dad.
That’s what “Abba” means in Greek. It means ‘Dad’! My dear, close Father whom I love to be with!
Whom I love to talk over the day with before I ever hit that day! My dear Father whom I love more
than my life itself! My dear Father whom I want to be with more than to do the right thing! “I
want to be with you! Get to know you, Lord! Thank you for all that you have given me! Understand
the way you’re thinking! Know what you’re feeling today!” That’s it! That’s the only way loved
ones, to have that ‘rock-like’ certainty as you go through each day, that this is what the Father
wants. And then as the mind is renewed, it understands that and explains it to the body.
So that’s God’s will for us. That’s something of the relationship that is meant to exist between
our minds and wherever our spirits are, which is probably all around us. But that’s something of
the relationship that’s meant to exist. With that you’ll never be in any doubt. You’ll walk up to
closed doors, absolutely confident that the Father has shown you in your spirit what to do, and your
mind will understand it when it needs to act. And so it’s a beautiful way to move.
I’d just – one little warning against that business of – I remember Jessie Penn Lewis was the first
one I ever saw putting it down on paper, “Never fall into the error as a child of God of trying to
run your life by your renewed mind instead of by your spirit. And running it by your spirit always
involves faith.” Strange, running it by your renewed mind does not. Running it by your renewed
mind can involve just a good memory. But running it by spirit means always going into a bedroom and
— you poor dumb idiot, ‘closing your eyes and talking’? I don’t know how you can be so stupid!
That’s faith you see! That’s faith! And only by faith can your spirit get from God what he has for
you. So loved ones, never — never stop having that time of quiet communion with the Father which
will keep you from falling into heresy. And he’s always there! Always waiting!
Let us pray. Dear Father, we see that that’s what heaven is about. We know that’s what we’re
looking forward to, to being with you. At times we quake a little because we’re not mature enough
to see how we could just be with you forever. And yet Father, the dearest friendships that we’ve had
here on earth have been those that have had such rest in them. Such a sense of honesty, and
acceptance, and relaxation that we could just be with the other person for days on end and do
nothing! And so we realize that even on a human level it is possible to have a friendship that is
more precious than the guidance that you get out of the friendship. And so Lord, we see that with
you it is so much more possible. You, the infinite being in the whole universe!
And Lord, as we look forward to that in heaven, we see that it’s reasonable that we should enjoy
that preeminently here on earth. That our quiet time each day is meant to be the very rock of our
whole life! And if we spend time waiting upon you, and talking to you as our dear Father, and
sitting on your knee, and looking at your eye, and watching if there’s any sign of guidance in it,
or any thought of what you want us to do, then as we do that our Father, we come from the quiet
time, not with a whole list of commands, but with a great confidence within us that our Father knows
us and we know our Father and he will show us what to do each moment.
And then we thank you Lord, that these good minds of ours can become free and light, and can get
used to obeying the Spirit, and beginning to work out what the Spirit is guiding us to do. And we
thank you Lord, that by that means you can come alive again in this earth and “the Word can be made
flesh,” and touch the money, and the businesses, and the people, and the bodies, and the clothes,
and the cars! And can touch them with gold as the sun touches the lake in the morning. Lord, we
thank you for that. Thank you that that’s our privileged position as the princes and princesses of
God. Thank you Lord.
Now the grace of our Lord Jesus, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with
each one of us now and evermore. Amen.