In Mark 5, Jesus heals the man with 2000 demons and the people come and find him in his right mind.
In Romans 8, the Word says that the carnal mind is against God’s mind. Any time you won’t do what God says, you harden your mind. Like arteriosclerosis, if you persist long enough in resistance to the mind of God, you’ll end up with a hard-heart and thus have a spiritual heart attack.
You say, “I love God and do everything He says, to the best of my ability”. Most Christians love Jesus for what He can do for them. They come to Christ to be fixed-up, to be saved from their hassles, to be valued, or complimented, or to gain status and position in the eyes of others. This isn’t loving Christ, it’s loving you.
When the people saw the insane man in his right mind, they besought Jesus to depart from them. They could only see the hassle. They couldn’t see the miracle. I suggest to you that they weren’t in their right mind. They were in their own mind, and resisted the mind of Christ. They met Christ; they liked Him up to the point He made things uncomfortable for them. They didn’t care about the fact that the man was healed; they were only interested in their own well-being. That’s not the mind of Christ. Funny how the insane man met Christ and changed, and the people who thought they were sane actually acted insane.
In Luke 18:9, Jesus tells the parable of the Pharisee who trusted in himself that he was righteous, yet despised others. A Pharisee does everything right to gain the praises of men (John 12:43), and relies on his own mind to decide what’s right. But what if he’s not in his right mind? Everyone thinks they’re in their right mind, even the insane. Homosexuals practice sodomy. Instead of placing the male sexual organ into the obvious location created for that purpose, they use the faecal hole instead. That’s insanity! But not to their mind. When your heart is hard you can’t hear the truth; you can only hear your own voice.
Q. How do you know whether you’re in your right mind?
A. Your reaction to authority.
The older brother of the prodigal son served the father faithfully, whilst the prodigal went off and wasted his father’s money in riotous wantonness. Yet in Luke 15:28 we learn that when the younger son got a deal that the older brother thought was not right, he showed that deep down in his heart he was actually resistant the mind of his father. He had chosen to trust his own mind and thus lost his right mind. Clearly, all this time he was serving the father for what he could gain for himself. He was never in his right mind. He was the judge of right and wrong based on his own mind. If the older brother had’ve given up his resistant mind he would have seen the mind of his father. You have to give up your side, to see the other side of things.
You can serve God all your life, but if you add envy to that service, your service is contaminated, and you cancel out your good deeds. You can keep Sabbath and give your tithe, but if you add disrespect of authority, your good deeds are contaminated and cancelled. How can you keep Sabbath with a heart of envy; it’s a contradiction. You can’t have a soft-heart and hold a grievance; it’s a contradiction. Most Christians still want to experience the world before they fully commit.
If you keep you and add Christ to you; it’s a contradiction. You have to give up ‘you’ and trust Christ, to be a Christian (Luke 14:26).
When a child does what the father wants with a heart of resentment, their good deed is cancelled out by their disrespect because they have broken the 5th commandment. When a child is disciplined and does what the father wants with a heart of questioning, they are hardening their heart and feeding their mind with their own rightness. If you’ve questioned your parents’ authority from a very early age, without even knowing it you will have started a process of spiritual arteriosclerosis which if propagated with continuing subtle defiance, will ultimately end up with a hardness of heart that no one can speak the real truth to about the real you. You will have unknowingly to yourself, built a mental analysis thinking pattern on a foundation of disrespect. It will be fuelled by the arrogant rightness of ‘no one’s going to tell me what to do’. Give me information to fix my problem, but don’t tell me how to fix it. I’m old enough to make my own decisions. How can you add God to “you won’t tell me what to do”, or “you can’t tell me I’m wrong”, and say your thinking is God? It’s a contradiction to God’s instructions to honour your parents. Challenging authority disrespectfully initiates the pattern of hard-heartedness and distorted selfish mind analysis. The prodigal son saw himself and repented and came back to his right mind, which fully respected the authority. The older brother refused to repent because no one could tell him he wasn’t in his right mind.
When you start a pattern of defiantly questioning whether the authority is right, you become the judge of right, and end up condemning yourself with your own mind without even knowing that you’ve gone insane, and you simply endorse your rightness with good deeds and behaviour to prove that you’re right. You can walk with Christ, you can meet with Christ, and as far as you’re concerned everything is right, and no one’s going to tell you otherwise. When you say I AM right and you are wrong, you’d better make sure you’re in the mind of Christ, otherwise you’ve arrogantly taken the position of the I AM (Exodus 3:14).
In Matthew 19:16, the rich young ruler met Christ to promote himself publically. He was doing everything right; he’s even talking face to face with the Creator, yet doesn’t know that he’s in the wrong mind. Jesus gives him an opportunity to find His mind, but to his thinking it did not make sense. He rejected Jesus’ authority instruction which would have freed his mind to see that he wasn’t in his right mind. That’s crazy when you think about it. He clearly wasn’t in his right mind. Giving up his things would not have saved him; they would have freed his mind to see the mind of Christ, which he couldn’t see even though he believed he did. It’s not what you do, even keep all the laws as much as you like; it’s what you won’t let go of.
In Luke 10:25, a lawyer did the same thing. He came to Christ to get complimented that he knew what was right. Jesus said that the one who was regarded with contempt in society was the righteous person. This would have not made sense to the lawyer’s mind. He was in his own mind, not Christ’s mind.
Q. How do you get Christ’s mind?
If you want the mind of Christ you have to give up the mind of yourself, and trust his mind, which usually doesn’t make sense to our mind. It doesn’t make sense to die on a cross to save us from our sins. It doesn’t make sense to create a satanic being who will oppose God, Himself, and destroy and deceive His creation. That’s because it only makes sense when you are in Christ’s mind.
In 2 Samuel 11, when David murdered Uriah and committed adultery with Bathsheba, he clearly wasn’t in his right mind. He didn’t even know that he wasn’t in his right mind. Nathan the prophet came and confronted him. He listened to the authority. He owned his sin. He came back to his right mind, ie he gave up his mind and regained the mind of Christ.
If a child wants the mind of Christ, he has to give up his resistance to authority and trust Christ to judge righteously, or else he will hold onto his own thinking and harden his heart. An adult is the same, but a child seems to have the capacity to back-off their resistance. Thus Jesus said you can’t enter heaven unless you are as a child in respect of the authority.
It’s not the ‘do’ or ‘not do’, it’s the condition of the heart that counts. Therefore, it’s not whether the authority is right or wrong, and it’s not whether you’re right or wrong, it’s the condition of your heart in the attitude towards the authority that counts.
The two thieves on the cross met Christ. They both knew they had sinned and deserved punishment. They represent two types of non-Christians, but they also represent two types of Christians. One demanded Christ to prove who He was and fix up his situation. He showed his true colours when Christ wouldn’t do what he wanted. The other gave up his defensive mind to Christ and got saved. He was on a cross; he couldn’t ‘do’ anything; he just gave up his will of rights and surrendered to God’s will of rights. That’s a true Christian. It’s not practicing unconditional love that makes you a Christian; it’s practicing unconditional surrender. You might find Him, but He won’t save you until you come to Him for Him, not for you.
May God open your mind to His.
Dr. David Cousins B.E., B.App.Sc.(hons), D.C.