Let This Mind be in Me

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus... (Philippians 2:5 NRSV)

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name... (Philippians 2:5-9)

Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2)

Having our eyes fixed on Jesus, the guide and end of our faith, who went through the pains of the cross, not caring for the shame, because of the joy which was before him, and who has now taken his place at the right hand of God's seat of power. (Hebrews 12:2 BBE)

He did not let the shame offend Him!
He lived for the joy that would come as a result of pushing past the shame, humiliation and pain.

I have prayed for a deep spiritual revival in my church.
God continues to convict me of my own faults, my own deep weakness of being critical, proud, fault-finding, an evil-speaking and bitter person.

Its so much easier to see faults in others than to allow the bright light of the Spirit to focus in my own heart. But I am tired of the status quo, of playing church, of not growing up to have the mind of Christ. I have been seeking for a number of years to be more honest and transparent. That is very painful but is better than the alternative.

I have been under conviction that I am caught in the trap of Satan in many ways because of allowing myself to be offended and not letting it go immediately. God has taught me important truths about the nature of real forgiveness over the last few years and I have experienced dramatic events in my life as a result.

However, I am also aware that this is something that must not just be a choice that happens once in awhile but needs to be an instant response every time an offense presents itself to me. It is exactly what Jesus demonstrated all throughout His life and especially in the closing hours as He was mistreated as much as was possible for anyone to experience. Yet He never allowed one particle of offense to infect His heart or dampen His unconditional love.

I know that it is impossible for me to work up that kind of attitude within myself. But I am also aware that it is impossible for me to enjoy the atmosphere of heaven without having that spirit in total control of my life. Therefore I am now again faced with a life-changing moment in my own journey where I have to let God live in me and fill me with His humility and empower me with His attitude of forgiveness and love if I am to follow Him where He is leading me.

But I say to you, Do not make use of force against an evil man; but to him who gives you a blow on the right side of your face let the left be turned. And if any man goes to law with you and takes away your coat, do not keep back your robe from him. And whoever makes you go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who comes with a request, and keep not your property from him who would for a time make use of it. You have knowledge that it was said, Have love for your neighbor, and hate for him who is against you: But I say to you, Have love for those who are against you, and make prayer for those who are cruel to you; so that you may be the sons of your Father in heaven; for his sun gives light to the evil and to the good, and he sends rain on the upright man and on the sinner. For if you have love for those who have love for you, what credit is it to you? do not the tax-farmers the same? And if you say, Good day, to your brothers only, what do you do more than others? do not even the Gentiles the same? Be then complete in righteousness, even as your Father in heaven is complete. (Matthew 5:39-48 BBE)

Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you?
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another, speaks evil against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. (James 4:1, 7-11 NRSV)

You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE. Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:5-7)

Don't forget the object on the other side of all this – the joy that is waiting on the back side.

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you." (John 15:7-12)

Joy only happens when people genuinely are glad to be together at the heart level, not just acting smiley on the outside while feeling isolated or suspicious on the inside. True joy requires humility or else I am sabotaged by image-management motives.

Humility requires that I have a strong enough attachment to a personal God at the heart level that I can feel inside of me a sense of value, that my identity is secure and safe from anything anyone else may think or say about me. When I have a secure identity, when I know deeply that I am cherished and really loved by God who is greater than anyone around me, then I can feel safe enough to take risks loving others with the very real possibility that they may take advantage of me, may try to hurt me or sabotage me or speak evil about me behind my back.

Unconditional love is very foreign to me but is also essential if I really want to grow and thrive.

I choose to forgive and to seek forgiveness.
I choose to humble myself under the authority of God and to trust Him fully with my future, my reputation, my success or failure, my family and all of my relationships.
I choose to refrain from looking for someone to blame for the pain I feel inside when others say or do hurtful things.
I choose to accept full responsibility for all the pain that others cause me and to take it to Jesus instead of trying to get even or remain in feelings of offense.

When I feel offended by the way others treat me it is a symptom that I am still depending on them too much to prop up my sense of value and identity. I still feel an inner vacuum that I have not yet allowed God to fill with a real experience of His presence and I am still in need of being healed.

Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. (John 16:24)

These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. (1 John 1:4)

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus...
Do not resist it but let it be in me.

Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partners of Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end. As it is said, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." (Hebrews 3:12-15 NRSV)

I am standing at the gate of heaven. There is only one way to get through this gate and it requires total humility and submission to God's will and ways.
If I choose to insist on clinging to any of my own worked out methods, theories and traditions I cannot get through the narrow gate into that reality where everything is free and open and filled with joy.
If I resist grace and refuse love and fail to believe in the truth about how God really feels about me, my heart will harden and it will not be able to synchronize with the passionate heart of God my Father.

When others speak evil of me, maybe they are seeing faults in me that are actually there. If I take offense and hang onto it then I am blaming them for exposing me instead of humbly acknowledging that maybe they see something I am afraid to admit or look at myself.
When I feel defensive instead of turning to God with everything that comes at me, then God cannot take that pain away and I try to take control of my situation by playing image manager. Now I am trying to do God's work by manipulating my reputation and trying to control what others think about me which will never succeed in the long run.

I cannot depend on anyone – not church members, board members, elders, pastors, children, friends – no one else except God, to be my reliable source of feeling valuable and worth something. There is only one true source of power and it cannot be found in anyone who lives on this planet. If I want to feel life inside of me I have to turn away from all counterfeit sources and rely totally on a vital and intimate connection with the one who created me remain plugged into Him continuously.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV)

I plead with you to make sure work for eternity, to lay hold on the hope set before you in the gospel. Strive to enter in at the strait gate, for if you merely seek, you will not be able....
Satan’s followers may call it honorable, praiseworthy, to manifest that independence of mind that will lead you to regard with indifference your former instructions and make you think you have found a better way. As you listen to these suggestions, you are becoming hardened through the deceitfulness of sin....
Too late will sinners realize that they have sold their birthright. The crown that they might have had shines upon the brow of another. The inheritance that they might have had is lost. Beware how you trifle with temptation. Beware how you boast of your strength. Christ is your ever-lasting strength; confide in God, lay hold of His strength, and He will bring you off conqueror and you will wear the crown of victory. {CTr 79}

Salvation is not merely deliverance from sin, nor the experience of personal holiness; the salvation of God is deliverance out of self entirely into union with Himself. My experimental knowledge of salvation will be along the line of deliverance from sin and of personal holiness; but salvation means that the Spirit of God has brought me into touch with God’s personality, and I am thrilled with something infinitely greater than myself; I am caught up into the abandonment of God.(Joy)
To say that we are called to preach holiness or sanctification, is to get into a side-eddy. We are called to proclaim Jesus Christ. The fact that He saves from sin and makes us holy is part of the effect of the wonderful abandonment of God.
Abandonment never produces the consciousness of its own effort, because the whole life is taken up with the One to Whom we abandon. Beware of talking about abandonment if you know nothing about it, and you will never know anything about it until you have realized what John 3:16 means, that God gave Himself absolutely. In our abandonment we give ourselves over to God just as God gave Himself for us, without any calculation. The consequence of abandonment never enters into our outlook because our life is taken up with Him. (My Utmost for His Highest: March 13)


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