The Mind of Christ vs. Our Mind
In our lives today as believers, we have to either choose the mind of Christ in all things or follow the leading of our own minds. If we choose the later it can bring us many troubles and problems to face.
From the very beginning of time, the Lord has given man the right to choose which way he will go. To walk in obedience to Him or to be rebellious and serve satan. In Genesis 2:16-17, the Lord told Adam and Eve that they could eat of every tree of the garden freely but they were not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So they chose to be disobedient because they listen to the lies of the devil. They did not choose the mind of Christ in the matter but rather leaned unto their own understanding or natural mind which cost them dearly.
"...I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose…" Deuteronomy 30:19
"No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." Matthew 6:24
We can freely choose to serve and follow the Lord with which we will receive life and blessing. Or we can choose not to serve Him and receive death and cursing. Joshua said the very same thing to the children of Israel in Joshua 24:15, "…Choose you this day who you will serve".
Here are the definitions for the two words - mind and thought:
We Have the Mind of Christ
"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." Philippians 2:5
- Mind in the Greek means: thinking, understanding, insight, 'to open the mind'
- Thought means: to think, reason, to imagine, or meditate on
"…But we have the mind of Christ." 1 Corinthians 2:16
These two scriptures are exhortations telling the people of God, "Let the mind of Christ - the very thinking of Jesus - be your own thinking also". So according to His Word both in Philippians 2:5 and 1 Corinthians 2:16, we as believers have the mind of Christ in us, right now. This happens at the moment of our salvation, when we ask Jesus to come into our heart.
What does it mean to have the mind of Christ?
- We are to think and act as Jesus did
- We are to do the will of the Father and not our own
- We are to be completely and totally dependent on the Lord
- We are to trust Him and not lean unto our own understanding
- We are to submit and follow His leading
- We are to make Christ-like decisions in all things
- We are to bring every thought that is not of Him captive (under His control)
"…Bringing into captivity every thought (imagination or reasoning) to the obedience of Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:5
"Neither give place to the devil." Ephesians 4:27
We must always guard our minds and thoughts against any schemes or tactics of the enemy with which he would use to get us out of the mind of Christ and into thinking with our own minds. He wants to get us from seeing things through the Lord's eyes and into seeing and perceiving things through our own.
Our mind is the battle ground where the enemy attacks and battles with us. He does this through thoughts that are from words that he speaks into our ears. This can even come through people around us that are unaware or allows him to speak through them.
There are two arenas in which this battle can take place. One is the 'arena of faith' (mind of Christ) and the other arena is 'our thoughts' (carnal minds). In the arena of faith (His mind), we will always win but in the arena of our thoughts and mind, we will always lose to the enemy. The devil knows this and so he tries his hardest to get us into that frame of mind.
Being in this frame of mind is where unbelief and doubt can enter, thus causing confusion from thinking about things he has placed there. Satan is the author of confusion and he is relentless in his effort in trying to trip us up.
When Jesus Christ was on the earth, He went and sought the mind of the Father on all things - to speak and do those very things. The Lord Jesus Christ many times would go away from everything to get alone to pray and be with the Father.
"…He went up into a mountain apart to: and when the evening was come, he was there alone." Matthew 14:23
"And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed." Luke 5:16
"And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God." Luke 6:12
In these times with the Father, Jesus was praying and seeking the Father's mind and will for the things that the Father wanted him to do. We also must do, just as Jesus did. We must quiet our natural minds, so that we can clearly see and hear what all the Father doing and speaking.
"…The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth…" John 5:19-20
"…I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." John 5:30
"For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me." John 6:38
Jesus made a decision while he was still in heaven to come to earth to do all that the Father wanted him to do. Jesus humbled himself to do the will of the Father - He laid down his will in order to do the Father's will. Jesus only spoke and did that which the Father told and showed him. Because Jesus was completely dependent on the Father, He revealed to him all things - His will.
We too must choose if we are going to speak and do the Father's will or if we are going to figure out what we think is best. Just like following the leading of the Holy Spirit or going and doing our own thing. One thing is for sure, only one can lead and the other has to follow. And the Holy Spirit is not going to do our bidding, so we would be doing it in our own strength and that does not work very well.
When we choose to follow and do His will, we must totally lay down our will and become completely dependent on Him. We might not seem to understand why He tells us to do something a certain way, but we need to realize He knows all and sees everything. Our carnal mind is so narrow and shallow if you will that we can't begin to comprehend it all. So we need to not try and figure it out. Usually if you can figure it out - it usually is not the Lord. Our mind and thoughts, always want to know why this and that - when we need to simply trust Him and His leading, in all things.
Our Stinking Thinking - Gets Us in Trouble!
This is like telling your young son or daughter not to do a certain thing, such as climbing a tree when they were little, because they would hurt themselves. They know what your mind is on the matter but the temptation of the enemy to try it finally gets to them and they do it. They than fall or hurt themselves and cry out for help and from the pain because they didn't heed your advice. They went ahead with what their mind and thoughts were - like I can't hurt myself, I'll be careful. This is the exactly same way with our heavenly Father, when He tells us what to do and what not to do but we listen to the enemy and we begin to think that we know what is best and end up asking the Father to help us when we are in trouble.
So when we don't do what the Father says, we are disobedient because we chose to do it our way. This is why we need to seek the Lord and His counsel (His mind) on all things before we do anything. It will keep us out of much trouble and unnecessary circumstances.
Our mind always limits the Lord in all things but if we were in the mind of Christ - nothing would be impossible and everything becomes possible. This is something we need to understand.
It is just like the time in Matthew 14:15-21, when Jesus fed the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes. The disciples were there being used after Jesus blessed the food, to pass it out to the people. The food was multiplying as the disciples passed it out to the people. They were operating not in their natural thinking but in the mind of Christ. It is always in the mind of Christ that the miraculous takes place.
We now go on to another time in Matthew 15:32-38, where Jesus again fed four thousand people. But this time the disciples after just seeing what just happened with the feeding of the five thousand went from being in the mind of Christ to being in their own mind and questioned the Lord.
And his disciples say unto him, "Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?" Matthew 15:33
The disciples must have been thinking within themselves or even reasoning with each other; "There's only seven loaves and a few little fishes for all of these people, this doesn't seem possible, Lord. You've got to be kidding!" They got to thinking and trying to figure out how this was going to work because in the natural, it did not look possible. This always happens when we get outside of the mind of Christ. Looking through the mind's eye, situations like this in the natural realm look impossible but looking at things the way the Lord sees them, nothing is too hard or impossible to do.
We than again see a very similar situation here in Matthew 16:5-12:
"And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread. Then Jesus said unto them, "Take heed to the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees." And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "It is because we have takened no bread." Which when Jesus perceived, he said unto them, "O ye of little faith, why reason ye among yourselves, because ye have brought no bread? Do ye not understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up? How is it that ye do not understand that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that ye should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees?" Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees."
We see in these verses of scriptures that the disciples were again thinking with their earthly mind and looking at things in the natural. Jesus rebuked them for swaying over from the mind of Christ to their earthly minds after all that He had previously done.
Jesus was both trying to show and teach His disciples something very important here. He was teaching them what the difference was between being in His mind and being in their mind. How there was no limits with His and limits with theirs. Jesus also was warning them to be careful with not looking at things or situations as the religious and the world looks at them.
This is exactly what the enemy tries to do to us. He tries to get us from being in the mind of Christ and thinking with our own minds. He even uses things that other people say to bring us into back into our earthly thinking. This kind of thinking can only than begin to bring doubt, unbelief, and/or confusion to us. This is what Jesus was warning His disciples about.
"But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." James 1:6, 8
When we constantly go back and forth, from being in the mind of Christ to being in our earthly minds, we are like a wave that is tossed to and fro.
In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus spoke about two houses that were built; one was built upon a rock and the other upon the sand. The one that was built upon the rock was stable and sure, while the other one that was built upon the sand was unstable and it could be easily shaken. The house that was built upon the rock is like having the mind of Christ in which we are always sure and unmovable in all things. The one on the sand is likened unto our earthly mind by which we can become unsure and confused.
Learning From Job's Experience
By looking at the life of Job and we can see all that he went through. Everything went from bad to worse in a hurry when looking at all that happened in the natural. Job lost everything he had and even his friends that were close turned on him. They came at him and told him many different things from what they thought and what they could perceive with their own minds.
The enemy uses our thoughts, even things he speaks into our mind and things other people say to us to bring doubt, unbelief, guilt, condemnation and even confusion to get at us. In all of this, we can see how the enemy works and how he even tries to use others to try to shake us and get us to looking at everything that is going on, through our natural eyes. Satan knows that the flesh is weak, so that is where he always attacks us at. He wants to get us out of the mind of Christ and into our earthly mind so that way he is on a level playing field and he knows that than he can defeat us. This goes back to the part earlier where it talks about the two different arenas from where the spiritual battles take place.
"But he is in one mind, and who can turn him…?" Job 23:13
In reading the whole book on his life, we can see Job really struggled between having the mind of Christ and his earthly mind. With what Job said in chapter 23, verse 23, he finally realized what was going on and admitted to the Lord that he was like a wave being tossed to and fro. In it all, Job learned and had a revelation of many things, including knowing who he really was and where he stood. Instead of being overcome, he came out an overcomer!
Earthly Mind Can't Understand
When man was created, the Lord made a mind in man to be able to think and have understanding about things in the natural realm on the earth. In order to understand the things of the Spirit, we must have the mind of Christ.
"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. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, and neither indeed can be." Romans 8:5-7
"…That ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind. Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because the blindness of their heart." Ephesians 4:17-18
"But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14
The Lord has made it very clear in His Word that our natural minds cannot understand the way He works and the way He thinks. No matter how much of the scripture we have read, studied, or memorized; we cannot begin to understand it. It is only by revelation of the Holy Spirit that we can come into the knowledge of it.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith 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
For the thoughts of the Lord are so much greater than what our minds can even think or comprehend.
One with the Mind of Christ
I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one… John 17:23
"…That ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind." Philippians 2:2
"…That they be of the same mind in the Lord." Philippians 4:2
When we received Jesus into our heart, we became one with Him. Not only did we become complete in Him but we also received the mind of Christ. To be Christ-minded, we are to think and do as Jesus did; which was to do the will of the Father and not our own, and to be completely and totally dependent on Him.
"…For all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you." John 15:15
"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you." John 16:13-15
It is by the revelation of the Holy Spirit can we only begin to come into an understanding and knowledge of all of the things of the Lord. In the showing of these things by His Spirit to us do we begin to grasp how great and how infinite He is.
Renewing the Mind
"And be renewed in the spirit of your mind." Ephesians 4:23
"Set your affection (mind) on things above, not on things on the earth." Colossians 3:2
How do we renew our mind? We renew our mind by putting our thoughts upon the things of the Lord and upon Him. With our complete focus on Him, our mind is refreshed and strengthened.
"…That ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of him that created him." Colossians 3:9-10
"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." Romans 12:2
"Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober…" 1 Peter 1:13
Peter is saying that we are to strengthen our minds and to be alert and aware of the enemy. We can do this by reading the Word of God, meditating upon it, and by putting our mind and affections on things above.
"But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." Romans 13:14
"For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Galatians 3:27
What Paul was saying about putting on the Lord Jesus Christ is that we are to remove ourselves from our earthly mindsets and to make the mind of Christ our only focus. We need to continually get alone with the Father as Jesus did to see and hear what the Father's will is.
All Things are Possible
We can do all things through Jesus Christ and all things are possible with God. This can happen when we put our complete focus on Jesus and we do those things which we see Him doing. Through Him the impossible becomes possible, no matter what it might look like in the natural!
"And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." Mark 10:27
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13
In Matthew 14:22-33, we have the account of Jesus disciples being in the midst of the sea with a storm raging. During this time, they saw Jesus walking on the water and Peter called out to the Lord and asked if he could come to Him. Jesus said for Peter to come and he did; but in the midst of doing this, he began to sink and the Lord saved him.
Why was Peter able to walk on the water? He was able to do this because he was in the mind of Christ and had his focus on Him. But than here came the enemy and he got Peter's to look around in the natural thus getting his focus off of the Lord. By listening to the enemy, Peter opened himself up to the enemy who brought fear upon him through what he saw in the natural and this caused him to sink. The devil is always trying to get our focus and mind off of the Lord so that we will stumble and fall.
Like the man in Mark 9:24 that said "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief". The man was admitting to the Lord that he knew the Lord could do what seemed impossible to the natural mind and that he was struggling with his own thoughts and way of thinking.
Time to Make a Decision
"Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision…" Joel 3:14
There are many believers today that are struggling with choosing either to do the Father's will or to do what they seem to think is best. They must choose one or the other. By choosing to do the Father's will, we must die to self and our own thinking, and this is always the best choice.
Be Like Jesus in All Things!
You will want to read this other article "Overcomer or Overcome?" that gives more insight on being and living like Jesus Christ everyday.