Summary: Last week we presented thoughts on making the most of our opportunities, redeeming the time because it is our purpose to be imitators of God in these uncertain times. Perhaps the greatest obstacle in redeeming our time for God is found in the realm of mind control. Who controls your mind?
Last week we presented thoughts on making the most of our opportunities, redeeming the time because it is our purpose to be imitators of God through these uncertain times.
Perhaps the greatest obstacle in redeeming our time for God is found in the realm of mind control. Who controls your mind?
• Automatically, we want to claim ownership. I control my mind. I’m not here to disprove that thought, but I am going to remind us that what we feed that mind will control that mind.
• How does advertising work – how is media dictating morality? I’ve heard it said that the television industry is not entertainment, but rather it is indoctrination.
• Without getting into the dark recesses of society, there is evidence that many companies and entities that are using images, social media, and technologies to gain control of minds. With all of this advancement in communication and technology it is that much more vital that we guard our minds.
Solomon exhorts his son Pr 4:23 “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.”
Computer programming term: Gi-Go. Garbage in – garbage out. What we put into our minds, who we allow to control our minds dictates everything about our life.
• So during this time of conflicting news reports, the vast assortment of opinions on social media, and just the general upheaval during this time, I feel a need for us to re-visit some foundational teaching from the apostle Paul for some steps we need to take as believers to guard our hearts and minds.
Let’s start with verse 9.
1) Does Paul have experience in mind control?
• Let’s think together. Where is he at when he pens this letter? In chapter 1 he uses the word imprisonment over and over. He is in prison in Rome.
• Interestingly, the first time in Philippi in Acts 16, we find Paul and Silas ending up in jail because of their work for Jesus. Now a decade later, Paul is writing the church there a letter from another prison.
• What does prison do to your mind if you let it? Complaining – bad food, uncomfortable bed, bugs, rats, cold – in 2Timothy Paul asks Timothy to bring him his cloak, along with some parchments – reading material.
• There are a lot of influences in prison to take your mind from rejoicing in Jesus to wallowing in the mire of complaining. But not only in prison did Paul have problems, notice:
• 2Cor 11: 24-28 Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. 26 I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; 27 I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. 28 Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure on me of concern for all the churches.
• External pressure far beyond just being asked to stay at home as much as possible, there was also the mental anxiety of the spiritual lives and welfare of the churches – Paul’s life work.
• I believe the Paul is experienced in this idea of mind control and is expert enough to help us through this time. Let’s look back at verses 6-8 and take note of some simple warnings to heed and steps to take to allow the Goodness and Truth of God to control our minds.
2) Combat Anxiety With Prayer. Verse 6
• When you feel anxious – pray. Don’t let worry and the unknown steal the source of your power! Tap it – pray!
• Romans 8:26-27 – Paul gives us great encouragement in our prayer lives. Helping us with the picture of what happens when a true believer prays! You pray, not sure how to pray – what words to use, and the Spirit who dwells in you helps you by praying for you to God. And Jesus knows what the Spirit is thinking and praying and He intercedes for you as well according to God’s will. And God causes all things to work together for good for His people!
When we pray we are invoking the complete Godhead into action! This is tapping into the power source that we have as Christians.
• So why wouldn’t we pray? I think many times it is because of this mind control issue. Media has painted a picture of complete desolation, both of deaths and economic failure. They are making a killing off of bad news, and the more you focus on bad, think on bad, the harder it is to believe that good exists!