But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. Matthew 22:34-40
Jesus’ great commandment seems simple until we start dissecting the different aspects of what He commanded us. In the last devotionals, I shared about the importance of loving God with a pure heart and a soul that is submitted under the direction of the Holy Spirit. In this devotional, I will share about loving God with all our minds.
Many times, our minds are the entry points for all kinds of temptations, anxiety, derailment, and sin. What we entertain in our minds eventually produces fruit of its kind. We may think that our thoughts are hidden from people, but what we allow to be sown in our minds, will eventually show up in the fruit that it produces in our attitudes, reactions, and behaviors.
From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Matthew 16:23
When Jesus told His disciples about His suffering, death, and resurrection, Peter did not like what he heard! Peter loved Jesus immensely and did not want to see Jesus harmed, but his protest about Jesus’ fate was not welcomed by Jesus! To the contrary, Jesus told him that Peter was offensive and that his mind was not focused on the things of God rather than on the things of men.
Jesus had picked Peter and the other disciples for God’s purpose. His intention was not to be their best friend or to just do life together. He was training and equipping them to take over the ministry after His sacrifice on the cross. However, Peter was being carnal at this point, and the only thing he could think about was not losing the one he loved. In contrast, Jesus loved them all, but He did not allow His love for His disciples to derail him from His mission! His mind was made up about fulfilling God’s purpose even if it meant leaving His disciples!
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6
In life, we can develop many loves and treasures, but we need to be careful in not allowing them to lead us into carnality. One of the symptoms of carnal-mindedness is losing peace. When we try to figure things out in our own strength and go outside of the boundary of what God has asked us to do, we begin to fret, strive, and worry.
A mind that is submitted to the Lord always looks to the Lord for answers and does not try to fill in the blank out of fear and insecurity. Whenever we think that we have to conjure up a plan to keep control of the situation, our mind becomes carnally minded and produces evil fruit!
The scripture (See Philippians 4:8) tells us to meditate on things that are true, just, noble, pure, lovely, and of good report. That’s the atmosphere of faith. It opens the door for God to be involved in our lives. Those are the characteristics of our heavenly Father who sends us His goodness and lavishes us with peace and security.
Interestingly, as I was writing this, I was challenged by a situation. I found myself getting anxious. So I asked my heavenly Father to help me. He showed me in the areas that it is not my responsibility to do anything about, through prayer I need to release the situation in the Lord’s hands. In faith, I need to believe what is good and praiseworthy! This is not easy because we want to be in control, and we certainly want a good outcome. We have a choice to make. We can either be led by the spirit, which is life and peace or be led by our flesh and our carnal thoughts, which is control and turmoil.
How are you doing with loving God with all your mind? Do you have a busy mind? Are you always trying to figure things out? Do you feel like you have to have a plan B and C in place just in case your plan A doesn’t work out? Are you able to still your mind and just rest in the Lord? Can you surrender all your questions, striving, and worries at the cross and declare that God is in control? He will show us if/when we need to do something. In the meantime, we can enjoy loving Him and resting in Him.