Military Salute from iStockSometimes I think, if God gave me salve for my eyes (Revelation 3:18), I might try to eat it. I’m serious! As much as I have “searched out the matter”, surrendering to the Holy Spirit’s destruction of my erroneous paradigms, I still catch myself thinking like the world. Consequently, I have grown more suspicious of the way I think; and I believe that is a good thing.

1Corinthians 2:16 proclaims “we have the mind of Christ”. I believe this is the truth; but, what I also believe is that we have become so dependent and secure in our own mind, that we do not use the supernatural and holy mind we have been given.

We have not pressed on to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus laid hold of us (Philippians 3:12). Like so many things we have been given by God, we have been passive in our laying hold of the mind of Christ. This is part of a deception meant to trap us in the worldly limits of our unrenewed mind.

Thankfully, the truth will make us free (John 8:32). The word of God is alive and powerful (Hebrews 4:12). Let’s embrace that life, power, truth and freedom as we find it in the following passages.

Let’s start with this important distinction:

And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. Matthew 13:10-11

Those that are outside the kingdom of God have not been given to know its mysteries. They are intentionally excluded. People of the world cannot, and will not, understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. The mysteries of the kingdom are foolishness to them. Their paradigms are totally foreign to the mind of Christ.

It is important, however, to recognize that we were once like them. For reasons perhaps He only knows, God chose to leave our minds in a state that requires renewing (Romans 12:2). Many of the old paradigms are still lurking around.

Still, we are a special people; with special responsibility. Those that have been reborn have been given to know the mysteries of the kingdom. This privilege has not been forced on us. We must take hold of it. Furthermore, we are called to be faithful stewards of all that has been entrust to us.

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful. 1Corinthians 4:1-2

A faithful steward actively searches out what he has been given responsibility for; and he leverages it for the Master profit. This is a difficult assignment when the mysteries are incongruent with our old ways of thinking; and, it is no wonder, when we consider the thoughts and ways of God.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

Much has been said about the “higher than” thoughts and ways of God. I’ve written about them a few times myself. However, there is something that I missed. I am excited that it may become a game-changer in my approach to God’s word. Here’s the crux of it:

God’s thoughts are not just higher than my thoughts – as in some way more than (e.g., wiser, holier); they are completely “not your thoughts”. Picture a Venn diagram. The set that contains my thoughts are completely separate from the set that contains God’s thoughts. Not only that, but they are separated by a distance represented by the heights of the heavens.

I am almost ashamed to admit that this has been a very humbling revelation. I hope I am not the only person experiencing it. I hope you are also discovering the excitement of knowing that God has invited us to lay hold of the mind of Christ – the mind that holds the mysteries of the kingdom of God. The potential impact of this is profound. Consider this example:

Someone outside the kingdom would read the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) and totally miss its meaning. They would have no clue; it would be foolishness to them. Conversely, as people on the inside, we have been given to know the meaning; but, the old paradigms are still lurking around.

It is hard for us not to think of the talents as money. Even when we get beyond that, we consider the talents as something important to us. We reason that they must be our gifts and abilities; even our wisdom and character. What if this is not the thought of God? What then might the talents be?

Perhaps the talents are something only God can give. Perhaps they are something that is only important to Him. Perhaps I should begin my thinking not with what I have to offer, but from the perspective of what God is trying to accomplish in this age. (NOTE: There is also application here in the ways of God for investing those talents.)

I will close with this confession: My thoughts and ways are dear to my flesh; and I don’t seem to mind their taking point, even in my searching out the matters of the kingdom. But, there is hope for me (and you). We have a Teacher who is persistent and long-suffering. He is our Transformer, the Renewer of our minds. I hope and pray this encourages you to join Him; to aggressively lay hold of the mind of Christ.

Please let me know if you think (no pun intended) of anything I can do to help you in this regard.

Humbly yours and His forever,