My family had gathered at my mom and dad’s house to celebrate my niece’s birthday. Not only was my family there, but my parents and my niece’s parents and siblings were there as well. After the party was over, my family and my sisters’ family all left about the same time. For the first part of the journey we even went in the same direction. Their car passed our car and Kaitlyn saw them pass us and she yelled “catch up, catch up.” To which Michelle said “mustard, pickles.” I said “mayonnaise.” At which point Kaitlyn asked “why are you all just saying random words?” Michelle and I thought it was funny.
Sometime we just don’t understand things do we? Our mind is in one place, but someone else’s is in another. We hear someone say “ketchup, but what they really wanted was for us to catch up.” We aren’t in the same mindset, we aren’t thinking about the same thing, we aren’t seeing things in the same way. But there is a place in 1 Corinthians where Paul talks about having the “mind of Christ” (2:16). How do we do that? How do we come to the place where the way I see things, the way I understand things, the way I think about things are in line with my Lords?
At the beginning of Romans 12 Paul writes: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-- His good, pleasing and perfect will.” There are a few things in here that might help us have minds more in line with Christ. We are told to do a few things: to offer ourselves, to not conform, and to have our minds renewed by being transformed. Transformation and renewing is God’s work, ours is offering ourselves and to continue to look away from the thinking, acting, and working of the world and look to our Lord (the one we are offering ourselves to). We do this trusting that God will do something. The more I look toward Him and think on Him, the more I start to look like Him and think like Him.
The other part in the Romans 12 passage is the idea of testing. Testing what we believe God is thinking about things, wanting to see done about things, desiring for us and all of His creation. So, how do we test? First, we look at scripture. We come at not looking for an answer we are wanting, but looking for it to reveal God’s heart to us. We seek out council. The wisdom of Godly men and women. Not as Paul would tell Timothy, people who will tell us what our itching ears want to hear, but people who will speak God’s word to you. And I also think we test it by, well, testing it. If I think God is desiring me to go somewhere or do something, then go and do. Ask God to bring peace and make it fruitful for His kingdom, if it is what He desires. And to make it obvious if that is not the spot you are supposed to be at.
I want all of us to have the mind of Christ, to be able to look at things with His eyes and understand with His thoughts. There are times it is so obvious, but at other times so complicated. I want to be able to run ahead when I hear my Lord say catch up and not stop and decide what other condiments I want on the sandwich my Lord is going to give me.
Because of Him,
Rev. Lynn Beach is married to his college sweetheart, Michelle, and they have two adorable daughters. He has been at Park Church since July 2013.