“That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign though righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5)
“And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:” (Colossians 2)
Our minds are wonderful things. We can transfigure ourselves into fair maidens and gallant knights who live in majestic castles built on the Rivellandra Mountains.
We can daydream an empire in an instant and be known to the whole world by name.
We can have conversations with God whenever we wish.
We can think precious thoughts never to be uttered, kept in that secret place and treasured always.
For some of us, our minds are such beautiful, enchanting places that we would stay there, weaving our thoughts into masterpieces of words... colors... music.
When I think of the potential each of us has for creativity, beauty and truth, I feel awed at our Creator. Each of us has been given a gift, no two the same. The borders of our limits are far and with Him to guide, there are none that we would wish to cross.
'Remember the last few verses of 1 Corinthians 3: 'For all things are yours.... and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's.' Throughout all our personality we are God's, and since God has made our whole selves, there is great joy in realizing who is our Creator. This realization is to permeate every area and level of life. In appreciation of beauty, mountains, music, poetry, knowledge, people, science – even in the tang of an apple – God is there, to reflect the joy of His presence in the believer who will realize God's purposes in all things.” (Pete Fleming)
Now that I've painted you a rosy picture, let's look at the other side.
Think of one person you know who is or was gifted and utilized that gift for evil. The first name that comes to mind for me is Hitler. He was a genius. Imagine what good he could have done if he hadn't been so bitter and angry and full of hate?
Mozart. His music still graces the world today. He led a selfish, miserable life and never felt truly fulfilled. He accomplished much but think of what he could have done with God as his God.
“You see,” said Aslan. “They will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out...” (The Last Battle – The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis)
Now look inside your own head. It's not all beautiful, is it? Mine isn't. I struggle with thoughts that aren't glorifying to God. I wouldn't want all of the thoughts I think to be seen by anyone. Actually it is quite ironic: I wouldn't want you, another imperfect, sinful human being, to see my thoughts but I'm ok with God seeing them. Imagine the pain and disgust God must feel at times and how often He reminds us to trust in Him. I wonder at His love.
My mind has been the most difficult area of my life to control over the years: foolish, sinful thoughts. I could not help myself, no matter how hard I tried. And you know what? Whatever rattles around in my brain has a way of spilling over and effecting other areas of my life for better or for worse. My actions, relationships with my siblings/family, my relationship with God (I felt too guilty and burdened to come to Him) are all overshadowed by my thoughts.
Over the years, as my perspective of God changed and I began to know Him better, it was with great relief to realize that I didn't have to battle with these thoughts any longer. All I needed to do when I was tempted was to start talking to God. If I began to praise Him, placing my focus solely on Him, the temptations fled without leaving a trace. That was when I began to wonder about other areas in my life. My thought life was huge. If God could fix that, why couldn't all of my life be lived in victory?
My Grandpa and I were talking one day and the topic came up of why people think that God is only Something that weak people need to get through life. There is a reason people think this: many Christians use God and religion as an excuse for their weakness.
God is not a crutch. God heals us so we don't need the crutch.
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore, we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Rather, even so we also should walk in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection.” (Romans 6)
“For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.” (Ephesians 5)
God is the Light that takes the darkness from our minds and reveals the treasures that He has given us. God is the wind that blows away the dust clouding our vision. God is the victory when we are failures. God is the sweet smell that purges the decay. God is the Truth that shows the lies for what they are and sends them tumbling into the abyss of darkness. God is the Love that takes us for who we are and who He can make us be.
“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5)
With God we can have victory. With God we need nothing else. With God we can be everything He meant us to be. With God, we can enjoy love, pleasure, power... endure sorrows, pain, suffering, temptations... and remain true. We can not fail. We can be victors. In fact, there is no excuse or reason for any other outcome for His children.
“Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” (Romans 6)
Christians, are you ready to stop limping around? Are you ready to glorify God with your thoughts and actions? Are you ready to “come further in! Come further up!” in victory? Are you ready to live in sweet communion with the most awesome Force of all?
Thought: the better I get to know someone, the less likely I am to forget them. :-)
“That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Colossians 2)