What’s on your mind?
A friend of Soviet Physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov tells this story:-
Some friends were holidaying with the Sakhorovs on the Black Sea. Once, they jokingly asked his wife, Elana, what Sakhorov thought about while wandering along the waterfront.
She said “Here, in his romantic setting, he thinks only of me.”
That evening they were all walking along the harbour as the palm fronds rustled and the stars twinkled. “Ask him,” whispered Elana, anticipating her triumph.
“Andrei,” the friends inquired, “What are you thinking about?”
“Radiation in outer space was his reply.”
Readers Digest September 1985.
We might think that Sakhorov had misinterpreted
Colossians chapter 3 verse 2. where it says
Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
In the modern world of computers they have a thing called default setting. I understand a default setting to be what the machine naturally returns to when there is a power shut down or something similar.
The human mind is a complex and incredible organ with incredible capacities.
Recently, this week in fact:-
A privately-developed rocket plane launched into history on June 21 with a mission to become the world’s first commercial manned space vehicle. Investor and philanthropist Paul G. Allen and aviation legend Burt Rutan have teamed to create the program, which is the first non-governmental flight to leave the earth’s atmosphere.
SpaceShipOne, which is actually two vehicles (an airplane-like "mothership" and "rocket" module), took off from a commercial airport in the Mojave Desert at around 9:50EDT and began it’s climb to 47,000 feet. The two craft then separated allowing the rocket to propel itself towards it’s sub-orbital goal of 100 kilometers (62 miles) above the Mojave Civilian Aerospace Test Center.
With this flight, Pilot/Astronaut Mike Melvill becomes the first person to earn astronaut wings in a non-government sponsored vehicle, and the first private civilian to fly a spaceship out of the atmosphere. Previously, SpaceShipOne had completed a May 13th, 2004 test flight in which Melvill reached a height of 211,400 feet (approximately 40 miles), the highest altitude ever reached by a non-government aerospace program.
At around 11:15EDT, the rocket module concluded it’s flight by gliding safely back to earth and landing on the same runway from which it launched. The mothership followed a short time later and made its safe return as well.
The mind behind a project like this or the mind that puts a person on the moon or a Robot on Mars or exchanges hearts in a human body is an incredibly complex thing.
The human mind is so terrific that in Genesis chapter 2 we find God limiting it’s corporate capacity:-
GE 11:1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
GE 11:3 They said to each other, "Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth."
With one language and early human technology – great brains and strength – there is little our ancestors could not have achieved.
Great brains and great teamwork spoilt by pride.
The Genesis’ account of the Tower of Babel tells us that after Noah’s Flood everyone in the world spoke the same language. As the population began to grow people moved to new areas. A group of people moved to the Plain of Shinar. We know it as BabylonIa or part of Iraq. There they decided to build a tower that would reach to the heavens. They wanted to make a name for themselves and they also did not want to be scattered to other areas of the earth.
Other scholars think the Babel People thought they could build a tower and reach to Heaven and somehow become gods. To become equal with God.
The human mind is gloriously equipped to do wonderful things in partnership with God.
The problem is that many many times it is arrogant and instead of being in partnership with God it ends up in opposition with God.
But when a person becomes convinced about God and that conviction can come both through reason and the Holy Spirit then we have to understand that now our mind is to be used for God’s purposes and not our own.
Most of us this morning have decided that God is who he said he is and does what he says he does.
In the spaceship project and the tower of Babel we see that incredible things can be achieved by people when they have a dream.
Neither of these dreams are particuarily helpful to the Kingdom of God.
But imagine what a person can do when they are in possession of a dream given by God.
GE 37:5 Joseph had a dream,
GE 42:6 Now Joseph was the governor of the land, the one who sold grain to all its people. So when Joseph’s brothers arrived, they bowed down to him with their faces to the ground.
The very thing that Joseph dreamed of is fulfilled in Genesis Chapter 42 verse 6.
What was one of the keys to Josephs success?
Acts chapter 7: :9 "Because the patriarchs were jealous of Joseph, they sold him as a slave into Egypt. But God was with him10 and rescued him from all his troubles. He gave Joseph wisdom and enabled him to gain the goodwill of Pharaoh king of Egypt; so he made him ruler over Egypt and all his palace.
PR 3:19 By wisdom the LORD laid the earth’s foundations,
by understanding he set the heavens in place;
PR 3:20 by his knowledge the deeps were divided,
and the clouds let drop the dew.
PR 3:21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment,
do not let them out of your sight;
PR 3:22 they will be life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
PR 3:23 Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble;
In the Bible Great dreams in the minds of great men and woman produce great gains for the Kingdom of God.
But it seems to me that many people fail to live out their great dreams because of a lack of wisdom.
God wants you to succeed not because you are clever or particuarily talented but because you are possessed by the mind of Christ and the holy spirit of God which will help you fulfill the God given dream that you have.
Romans chapter 8: 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
The truth is if we think how the vast majority of our society think then we will wind up in death.
But God wants us to live our Godly dreams!!
In Genesis chapter 2 we read a warning given to Adam and Eve:- 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
They did eat from the tree and the result was sin and death.
But God makes another way through Christ.
1 Peter chapter 2 verse 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
"The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." Rom 8:6-8
How then can we have the mind of God controlling our lives?
I want this morning to suggest three ways.
Word of God - We need to have our mind full of the word of God.
In the bible we find the word of God being a lamp for our feet –
Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm in the Bible and at the heart of it is the importance of setting your mind on the things of God!
PS 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.
PS 119:106 I have taken an oath and confirmed it,
that I will follow your righteous laws.
PS 119:107 I have suffered much;
preserve my life, O LORD, according to your word.
PS 119:108 Accept, O LORD, the willing praise of my mouth,
and teach me your laws.
PS 119:109 Though I constantly take my life in my hands,
I will not forget your law.
PS 119:110 The wicked have set a snare for me,
but I have not strayed from your precepts.
PS 119:111 Your statutes are my heritage forever;
they are the joy of my heart.
PS 119:112 My heart is set on keeping your decrees
to the very end.
Jesus picks up this light of a lamp .
LK 11:33 "No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead he puts it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness. 35 See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 36 Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you."
How about commiting a scripture to memory this week??
Joseph Roma told me recently how, in Russia he had met a man who had committed the entire bible to memory!!!!
Why do we struggle with one verse???
The second thing we need to understand is:-
“You can’t keep it all in your head.”we need to Yield to God in relation to what we do in our lives.
We understand the word – now we need to be prayerfully sensitive to the Holy Spirit to learn how to put that word into our lives.
MIC 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.
This is not a cut and paste job of living it is the result of a total rebirth by the Spirit of God.
Once we were lost but now we are found –
God is now in control if we are truly yielding to God.
But the key for the Christian is to ensure that what they are doing is in line with what they have been reading in the scriptures.
The third thing that we need to understand is that it is all about Jesus.
Hebrews chapter 12 verse 3 says:-
HEB 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
HEB 12:4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:
Remember God is shaping us into being his sons and daughters – what we are looking at will in the end define what we look like.