A translation of “Fred’s Epistle to the Ukrainians”
A person’s brain is like a sponge.
It absorbs all that the body sees, hears, smells, tastes and feels, and it stores these varied sensory experiences in its memory bank. It is also the physical home of a person’s mind (that part of him that remembers), is able to consider and make freewill decisions. The brain is also like a computer: — whatever is inserted therein may later be displayed when certain “tabs” are activated.
The Bible has a great deal to say about the mind (our thought life). It reveals that a person is more than a physical body. Actually, the real person is an invisible spirit with intellect and emotion, temporarily residing in a house that we call, “the body” (2 Pet 1:14). This body is the medium through which the mind (the real person) expresses itself (Mt. 12:34).
Developing the Mind
God’s people need the tutelage and guidance of the Holy Spirit to properly develop and maintain their minds. The mind needs protection from the constant barrage of poisonous, debilitating influences of the enemy. Jesus said, the Holy Spirit “will lead you into all truth” (Jn.16:13). Apart from the Spirit’s assistance, a person’s mind may be easily invaded by influences opposed to the will of God. When a person’s mind is controlled by worldly pleasures and lusts, it can not be compatible with God’s desire for our lives (1 Cor. 10:21).. A mind thus negatively controlled, ultimately leads to a confused life. James tells us, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (1:8). Read Romans 8:6.
In writing to the Philippians (4:8), Paul advised believers: “Whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, are virtuous, and of praise, — think on these things!” Feed your mind on good things. Jesus taught His disciples: “Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness” (Mat. 6:33).
Keep your mind mainly occupied with the things of God. Be thinking about what He wants for His Kingdom. Our minds must be programmed to say, “Not my will but Thine be done.” Adjust your thoughts to blend with God’s concerns about holiness and His desire to pattern our lives after His character. Paul teaches, “Think soberly.” We are advised that “We have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). Therefore, we need to daily submit to the work of the Holy Spirit. “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2). “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). It is important that our minds be occupied with thoughts about Christ, because, “With the mind I serve the law of God” (Rom. 7:25). “God has given us a — sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7). Let’s use and preserve it for Him.
How can we maintain this “sound mind”?
- By reading His Word. (a) A daily reading of His Word will purify our thought life. (b) It will give us a clearer picture of our Almighty God. “The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” (Dan.11:32). (c) It will make God’s desires clear. (d) It will increase our faith and produce peace and comfort for our soul. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee” (Isa. 26:3). The Word of God is “perfect,” is “true,” is “eternal,” is “dependable.” All this, and more of God’s Word contributes toward a sound mind.
- By hearing His Word. This calls for faithfulness in attending and participating in an assembly where the Word is read and taught in regular worship services and Bible classes. The mind needs to receive instruction from godly pastors and teachers, to keep us in harmony with God’s will.
- By listening to the Spirit when God speaks to us, (a) in times of prayer; (b) during periods of meditation about His great love and grace, (c) when we lovingly fellowship with Him. This should not be limited to church service periods, but should be practiced constantly. “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17). Communicate with the Holy Spirit. Keep “the line open” — for He is always with us and wants to talk to us. (Jn. 14: 16,17). God speaks; He really does! He instructs, warns, comforts, and talks endearingly to His own. Listen for His voice! “My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27). “Call upon Me and I will answer you” (Jer. 33:3).
Our silent thought-life is important; it forms the pattern for our behavior. “As he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7). “Jesus knowing their thoughts said, ‘Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts’?” (Mat. 9:4). “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Mat.12:34). “A good man out of the good treasures of his heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasures bringeth forth evil things” (vs.35). That which is in your heart (your mind), will determine the kind of person you will be.
Be careful of what you allow to enter and dwell in your mind!
Paul teaches believers: “Just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him…See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Col. 2:6-8 NIV).
When the enemy tries to fill us with greed, selfishness, anger, pride, covetousness, pornography, lust, worldliness, etc., we must resist and rebuke him. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Ja. 4:7). Timothy was instructed: “Keep yourself pure” (1 Tim. 5:22; Col. 3:5-10). However, if we continue to maintain impure thoughts and attitudes (though others may not be aware of it), eventually such desires will incubate and produce sinful deeds that could destroy us (James 1:14,15). The way to keep our minds clean is by constantly thinking about our gracious Lord, about His work, and about an eternity with Him. Fill your thoughts with expressions of praise, love and thanksgiving.
“What think you of Christ?” — What theme dominates your mind? “Set your mind on things above and not on earthly things.” (Col. 3:2) “Thy word have I hidden in my heart [in my mind] that I may not sin against Thee” (Ps. 119:11).