Welcome to Meditation Moments and a hearty “God bless you.” The Lord make you a blessing.
We go again today into the inner chamber of prayer. You remember that in this series of “The Inner Chamber,” the secret place where we meet God alone in fellowship and meditation, we have repeated each time the key verse, Matthew 6:6, “But when you pray, go into your most private room, and closing the door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you in the open.”
You know, out of all these verses, we take just one little sentence, “the renewing of your mind.” And we’re going to take it from this verse: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1–2).
So we have here this little jewel, “the renewing of your mind.” For there is no place where the mind can be so fully renewed as in the secret place of prayer alone with God. When we come aside from temporal things that distract and harass us, and there in the presence of God we put our mind on the things of God—His majesty, His glory, the transforming power of God then begins to work in us and we are transformed by the renewing of our minds. Oh, it’s vital, because it’s in the mind that sin is first conceived and that doubts are first brought about.
The Devil attacks us first in our thoughts; that’s the door through which he finds entrance. But thank God we can slam that door shut. You have found as I have that in the hard places of trial, the Devil tries to put discouraging thoughts in our mind, and the one that has not learned this secret of renewing the mind will, as God Word says, soon faint in his mind. In Hebrews 12:3 we find these words: “Consider him that endured such contradiction … lest ye be weary and faint in your mind.” That then is the secret! That’s where we first faint, we become discouraged. It’s no use to talk victory and use a lot of cheerful, bright words, and think thoughts of defeat and discouragement.
If our mind is the door through which the Devil finds entrance, then we can by an act of our will take our mind off such thoughts and put them on the Lord and His truth and His Word. It’s so vital that we have certain scriptures memorized so that we can quickly wield the sword of the Spirit when the Enemy attacks us. And soon you’ll be lifted out of the dark, discouraging thoughts, and actually feel the transforming power of the Lord Jesus Christ renewing your mind. Try it. When the Enemy comes with these discouraging, doubting thoughts, slam the door. Stay your mind on Christ.
The Scriptures, the uplifting and transforming Scriptures, and the power that God has promised will give you a victory over every ugly doubting thought. As you form the habit of thinking Godward from His Word and thinking His thoughts after Him, gradually 2 Corinthians 10:5 will be fulfilled: “Casting down every imagination and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
Now please note that it’s the word Christ that makes all the difference in this verse. Last year I visited the home of a woman who was deep in the study of science of the mind, and she was constantly struggling to think positive—positive thoughts. But she was always being defeated. I’ve met a number like this.
This woman would put on a veneer of control, but inwardly sometimes she was so angry she was boiling. She wasn’t a Christian, and when she gave up her negative thinking she had nothing to hold on to; she had nothing factual to tie into. She didn’t have Christ to help her, nor all the wonderful scriptures of the Bible to think on.
What an advantage the Christian has over that. Yes, I do believe in positive thinking, but she was exalting her mind above the mind of God. Note that verse again, “Casting down every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”
So I say, there is a science of the mind, but there is no salvation or eternal life in it. God’s Word says there is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we can be saved, and in none other is there salvation. (Acts 4:12) You’ve got to give people something to tie into, something to hold on to, and something very positive to think about. What is more positive than the living Word of the living God?
You’ll never know God’s will for your life unless you are transformed thus. Well, I might say by the controlling of your mind, but God’s Word says here the renewing of your mind. But you can control it through Jesus Christ’s help. Surely God’s word is true when He says, “My people will not consider” (Isaiah 1:3). They don’t have time to stop and think.
John Brown said, “We need someone to write a book about the lost art of thinking.” Many people go through life without a thought of ever getting alone and probing the resources of their minds, much less getting the mind of God. This can never be accomplished in the turmoil of the world.
Never can you find the mind of God on the streets of social life, or in the hobby shop. Getting hold of God has to be done where there are no distractions: that’s why He says to go into your most secret place—or your closet, as in some translations. This has to be deliberately planned; it cannot be done in leftover parings of time.
The great giants of faith all through the ages deliberately shut themselves off from everything for a while, alone with God, until faith came to a white-hot focus and they got through to victory. David said, “Thy testimonies are my meditation,” (Psalm 119:99) and then in 2 Corinthians 11:3 it tells us, “I fear, lest as the serpent beguiled Eve by his cunning, so your minds may be corrupted from wholehearted and sincere pure devotion to Jesus Christ.”
In closing, let’s repeat what the psalmist said, “I hate vain thoughts, but thy law do I love, when I meditate upon it in the night watches.” (Psalm 119:13, 63:6)
At first it isn’t easy to deliberately by an act of the will put the mind on God, His love, His truths. But gradually as you yield to Him, then by the Spirit—the principle I might say of repetition—the thoughts will be brought into captivity to Christ. And remember, it’s the “Christ.” It’s Christ that counts, not just some system of thinking, and not some science of the mind, but Jesus Christ and all His teaching. God never asks us to do what we cannot do. This is His Word, and His Word is true; it will accomplish just what He claims it will.
He’s never failed in one of all His good promises. God cannot lie. His Word stands unchanging, everlastingly steadfast—the blessed Word of God. God said it; the almighty God, the Creator of the universe said it.
It’s so because God said so. Remember, He’ll do it for you. He’s still on the throne and prayer changes things.