“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7)
Many people can speak quite a lot on a subject, but that does not always tell us what kind of person he or she is. Man is an expert at saying one things but thinking another. Such is the opposite to what God expects of His own. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:1-3).
The mind of Christ
Scripture teaches us that the unsaved cannot think spiritual thoughts. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be” (Romans 8:7). They cannot even begin to think spiritually until they are given “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). We where in exactly the same situation before we came to Christ, “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled” (Colossians 1:21), and it is only because of God’s mercy that the way we thought changed. “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:3-6). God began, through His Spirit, to cleanse our minds by His word. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost” (Titus 3:5). Like the demon possessed man of Gadarenes we are now in our “right mind” (Mark 5:15).
A new mind
Truly born-again believers have a new mind that is able to contemplate and comprehend the voice of the Holy Spirit. No longer are we guided by the dead thinking of the world, but we are now liberated to follow the life-changing power of God. “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace … For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:5-6, 14). Whereas the Bible was a closed book to us, now we “delight in the law of God after the inward man” (Romans 7:22). Before this we had no access to God, but now we can “worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
God knows our thoughts
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts” (Psalm 139:23). He wants to eradicate from our thinking anything that would defile our souls. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man” (Mark 7:21-23). We cannot hide our thoughts from the Lord. The things we would be ashamed to do or say in front of our friends, we ought to be ashamed to think about before God. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34). With David we should pray, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
The seeds of deeds
Thoughts are the seeds of action. Our thoughts have the habit of becoming reality, for the flesh fashions itself to what the mind suggests. It is no wonder then that those who constantly think about a celebrity end up trying to copy him or her. The word of God tells us, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5) and “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8). When we have such a mind it will produce the fruit of righteousness, holiness and godliness. This is the “Fruit of the Spirit” becoming manifest in our daily lives (Galatians 5:22 & Ephesians 5:9). If our thoughts are on Heavenly things, then we should not be surprised to see a transformation in our character. “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2).
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). We need right thinking people in the church today, those who have laid aside the way the world thinks, and have chosen to set their minds on Christ. “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24). They will not only be changed, but will be given the anointing to change society around them.