Summary: A sermon that encourages the Christian that our mind is to be used for God’s purposes and not our own.
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.