Spiritual-mindedness is equal with heavenly-mindedness. To have a spiritual mind is to have a heavenly mind. “To be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6) The writer of the Philippian letter said, “Let this mind be in you, which also was in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 2:5) Jesus was heavenly-minded. He minded not fleshly things. While on earth, He lived more in heaven, in thought, than He did on earth. This is true of all who live heavenly or who possess the mind of Christ.
Jesus had a correct view of human life. He knew how to meet all of life’s problems. He had the knowledge and the power to solve all of life’s difficulties. We are to yoke up with Him, and meet life with Him. Yoked with Jesus is the only triumphant way of meeting and bearing the burdens of life. When we have Christ’s mind, we can know Christ’s ways and can turn things of life to our use as He did. He knew how to make use of everything in life to aid Him on in His life’s work. So we, armed with the mind of Jesus, hold the secret of using everything that comes to us in such a manner as to help us on in the heavenly way. We hold the secret of having affliction to work out for us an exceeding, eternal weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:17).
When having the mind of Jesus, we learn that difficulties, hardships, obstacles, afflictions, and persecutions are to be woven into the fiber of our character and make us more like Him. When we meet the scoffings, the buffetings, the threatenings as He met them, we grow into His beautiful likeness. The purpose of God in allowing afflictions to come upon His children is to make them more heavenly. The divine nature is developed in us under the chastening rod. When we have the mind of Jesus, and it is fully operating in us, everything in life takes its proper place. We see things as they are and for the purposes they were intended. We walk above earthly things. We are in bondage to nothing on earth, not even to death. The grave has lost its victory. We stand a conqueror over all the world. We are reigning in this life. The world lies subject at our feet. We triumph in the same way that Jesus triumphed. In Colossians are these wonderful words, “And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphed over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15) “It” here means the cross. They who nailed Him to the cross thought they were triumphing over Jesus, but they were only nailing an end to the old law system and working for Him the very thing He came to earth for. He made a show of the persecuting powers openly by making them His conquests. They did for Him that which heaven planned from the foundation of the world and made Him the Savior of the world. By this, He worked out the glorious plan of salvation, and through this, He will enjoy the fellowship and companionship of the redeemed throughout all eternity. When men, even though it be by persecuting us, help us to the very position we desire, we triumph over them in the thing they have done.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” There is a great depth of meaning in these words. It is a great thing to have them true in us. To have the mind of Christ relates us to Him and heaven in a very close tie. The more we are in the same mind with our fellow man, the closer the bond of union between us. All who have the mind of Jesus are like-minded with each other. When we have His mind, the bond of union between Him and us is closer than any blood relation. The marriage relation is closer than blood relation, therefore a man is to leave his blood relation and cleave to his wife. When we are married to Christ in the Spirit, we are enjoying the closest possible union with Him.
We get a glimpse into the mind of Christ in His prayer life. His life was a busy one, ministering to the needs of man, but He found time to be alone with the Father. He would leave the crowded plain for the mountainside, and there He would spend a time, sometimes all night, in communion with God. Beware, O child of God, lest the busy cares of life take you too much away from the secret place of prayer. If you would get on well in the heavenly life, you must have sometime each day for holy thought and converse with Christ. You must not only seek the place of prayer, but also pray in the Spirit. When we pray in the Spirit, there will be visions of God, tastes of God, joys of the Lord, and a growing into the likeness of God. Alas, how many cold, formal, lifeless, joyless prayers!
When we have the mind of Jesus, doing the will of God is the dominating idea of our life. Self-denial, and sacrifice will have a large place in our life. What changes do you think would come into the world’s life if all professing Christians were wholly operated by the mind of Jesus? Would there be any change in your thought, your speech, your acts, your habits, if your life were actively influenced by the mind of Jesus? “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ.”
The Heavenly Workman
“Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.” (Psalm 37:5) Martin Luther tells the story of a severe contest between the Duke of Saxony and a certain bishop. The Duke of Saxony prepared to go to war with the bishop. But before he ventured on war, he thought to send a spy into the bishop’s home to learn what the bishop thought about war with the duke. The spy obtained admittance into the presence of the bishop. He asked the bishop what he would do in case the duke brought war against him. The bishop answered, “I will feed my flock; I will visit the sick; I will go about doing the will of God and leave the matter of war with Him for He fighteth my battles for me.” The spy returned to the duke and reported what the bishop said. “Then,” said the duke, “let him take up arms against him who will, but I will not.”
If we will commit our way to God, He will bring the right thing to pass. The spider casts out her slender thread to the breeze hoping it will find a place somewhere to fasten. Commit your way to God; trust in Him, and He will bring to pass that which is best for you.
This text of scripture has a beautiful rendering by Young. “Roll upon Jehovah, thy way: trust upon him: and he worketh.” When we commit our way to God, then He will go to work in our behalf. He can never work things out for good to those who do not commit all things unto Him. God will do for us that which we are unable to do, if we will give the work to Him. Alas, how many toiling, struggling, weary ones, who might have rest from their toil if they would cast their burden on the Lord.
You say you are meeting with so many perplexing things and difficulties you do not see how you are ever going to work them out. Do not work them out. They will wear you out while you are trying to work them out. Roll them upon Jehovah, and He will work them out for you.
Learning How to Sing
It is the Christian’s privilege to always have a song in his soul. James tells us that if any are merry, let them sing psalms; if they be afflicted, let them pray. The thought is that if the afflicted—troubled—will pray, they will soon become merry, and then, they can sing psalms.
We have heard of a bird that will never learn to sing while in the light. The owner must keep the cage darkened that it may be taught to sing. The Lord must sometimes bring us into the dark that we may learn to sing. Some of the sweetest songs this world ever heard were learned in the dark. The richest of Paul’s epistles was written in the darkness of the prison cell. Pilgrim’s Progress was born in the soul of the imprisoned Bunyan.
The growing grass emits no fragrance, but who has not scented the fragrance of the new-mown hay?
The roses from which we get our attar of roses have to be picked in the darkest hours of the night. They lose forty percent of their fragrance in the light.
Be not discouraged, tempted one,
Nor think it a hard thing;
God is darkening your cage
To teach you how to sing.
Some souls somewhere are sinking low,
God sees and feels their plight,
He speaks, “Go sing the song to them
I gave you in the night.”
The Heavenly Adjustment
The writer of the Hebrew letter says, “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will.” (Hebrews 13:20-21) How our hearts long to do His will perfectly! This text teaches us that we can do it. It is done by the power of God working in us. The very same power that raised Jesus from the dead will raise our souls up unto life and such strong life that we can do the will of God.
We are told that in the original the word, perfect, as here used, means to adjust, to put in joint, to bring into articulate union. It is a surgical word and means the putting into place of a dislocated member of the body. God, by His power, can set members in His body that have been a long time out of joint. He can bring into articulate union with Himself those who have been out of adjustment. Certainly the operation will be more or less painful, and the longer out of joint, the greater the pain of adjustment.
When in proper place, all works in perfect harmony. The will of man cannot be wrought out through a member of His body that is out of joint. If God is finding it difficult to work out His will through you, very likely it is because you are not perfectly adjusted.
This same apostle says, “See then that ye walk circumspectly.” (Ephesians 5:15) We have the word circumspect but one other time in the Bible: “And in all things I have said unto you, be circumspect.” (Exodus 23:13) It means to walk carefully in all the will and word of God. The rendering of Ephesians 5:15 is, “Beware of inaccuracies.” Accurate living will be impossible except there be perfect adjustment. When we are perfectly hinged with God, then He will direct our steps.