Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Wednesday in the Word: This Mind

When I was a little girl, one of the popular comics was a man named Flip Wilson. He was famous for saying, "The devil made me do it!" That makes a nice little excuse, doesn't it?! While I believe Satan can tempt us to do wrong, as Christians, I don't believe he can make us do anything: we choose to sin! 

Last week, one of the passages of note in my Bible reading was Isaiah 14:12-15 (just mouse over the reference for a pop-up box of the text). This passage speaks of Satan's mindset as he rebelled against God:
"For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High."
I immediately thought of the passage in the New Testament that speaks of Christ's mindset, in Philippians 2:1-11. Here we have Jesus' attitude:
"Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself o fno reputation, and took upon him th eform of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
What a difference!

Philippians 2:5 commands us to have the mind of Christ: "Let this mind be in you . . ." We have two choices. We can have the mind of Satan - "I will . . ." - or we can have the mind of Christ - "the form of a servant" and "humbled himself . . ."

How can we manifest the mind of Christ in our everyday lives?

Be a servant. In John 13:4-15, Jesus washed his disciples' feet. In that day, the job of washing feet belonged to servants, and if there were no servants, this was the woman's job. A man would never stoop to wash his guests' feet, yet we see Jesus, who was God Himself, washing his friends' feet! And in verse 15, Jesus said, "I have given you an example . . ." He was modelling the behavior we should have - becoming a servant. We should be willing to serve others in any way we can, even doing things that others wouldn't do. Our generation doesn't think that way, does it? Our culture dictates that #1 comes first, that we shouldn't let people "run over" us or take advantage of us. That's not the example that Jesus gave!

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Humble yourself. Another concept that opposes our culture. Jesus humbled himself and became obedient to the death of the cross. To be like Jesus, we need to humble ourselves and submit our will to God's (Luke 22:42). To some, this might sound like abasing yourself or not thinking highly enough of yourself. But James 4:6-10 paints a different picture! If we humble ourselves, God will give grace (unmerited divine assistance) and lift us up. That doesn't sound like abasing myself to me! Submit to God - admit your sinfulness, confess sin, obey His will - and He will lift you up.

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Don't have the mind of Satan. You can choose every day to have the mind of Christ - servanthood and humility.

May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and say.

May the Word of God dwell richly
In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph
Only through His power.

May the peace of God my Father
Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort
Sick and sorrowing.

May the love of Jesus fill me
As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing,
This is victory.

May I run the race before me,
Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus
As I onward go.

May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.
Kate Wilkenson


  1. We used to love the Flip Wilson Show! Not that phrase, though. Good contrast between the mind of Satan and of Christ.

  2. Encouraging thoughts for today - thanks for sharing! Specifically working on having more of a servant's heart.

  3. Barbara ~ I remember seeing Flip Wilson on TV and some of his phrases and acts, but it wasn't a regular thing at our house! LOL

    Jennifer ~ Having a servant's heart is one of my constant battles.


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