In “Loving God with All Your Mind”, Elizabeth George hits on six key verses that teach us how to love God with our minds. Every day we use our minds in different ways when acting out our opinions and reasons for set behaviors. Noah Webster originally used these words when defining mind; “intention; purpose, inclination, opinion, remembrance, the understanding, the intellect, and the power that conceives, judges or reasons”. It’s important to realize that the use of our minds in loving God means that we have the right view of the past, present, and future. Focusing on the six Bible verses mentioned above, we’re going to get a glimpse of what God says about the use of our minds.
The first verse is Philippians 4:8. It is a basic list of the right things to fill your mind with. If you cannot match your thoughts with any of the categories on this list then your mind is not in the right place. We may not always have control of the thoughts that flash across our minds, but we can control what thoughts stay and what thoughts leave. This is the practice of taking every thought captive in obedience to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) . Dwelling on negative thoughts is poisonous. Whether it’s wrongful thoughts towards another person or wrongful thoughts about a situation, your entire being is affected. By choosing to filter your thoughts so the wrong thoughts are thrown away and the right thoughts are nurtured, God is able to open you up to experiencing His fullness.
The second verse is Matthew 6:34. Worrying about the unknowns and getting wrapped in fear is the same as tellingGod you don’t completely trust Him. It becomes a battle between what you know is true and what you actually do. The truth is that God says not to worry about tomorrow. The contradiction is that it’s often difficult to let go of our worries even when believing God is in control. The movie “Facing the Giants” has a beautiful illustration of this principle. In the movie, the high school football team was in the locker room preparing for a championship game. As the team knelt in prayer, the common plea was “Whether we win or whether we lose, we give You praise.” Imagine that the football game is your life and the possibility of losing is your fear. Being able to say “I’ll praise you if I win and I’ll praise you if I lose” is the picture of trusting God. If you really believe that God is in control, Jesus will give you the strength to act on it (Phil 4:13).
The third verse is Philippians 3:13-14. Whether good or bad, the past can’t be erased but you need to learn to forget it. Sometimes we struggle with regrets about the past, wanting to erase decisions and memories. Sometimes we struggle with the successes of the past, unable to let go of yesterday’s glory. Whatever side of the fence you may fall on, it is wrong to live in the past. God is the God of the present; His name is I AM. The sins of the past have been nailed to the cross, covered by the
blood of Jesus Christ. At the time of repentance they were removed from you and no longer have a hold on you. The next step is to press on toward fulfilling the calling God has on your life. Every born again Christian is called to live a life glorifying to God, speaking his truth to a lost world.This is your new focus, your reason for never giving up. “Set your minds on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col 3:2). By doing this, your reward is waiting for you in heaven.
The fourth verse is Romans 8:28. Expecting the worst to happen is not how God wants you to live. It becomes an obsession and poisons your mind. This behavior is evidence of accepting the lie that God wants His children to hurt. This lie comes from the assumption that you must accept being wronged because you expect to be wronged. The truth about God is that He is the loving Father who wants to give good gifts to his children (Mathew 7:11). Though there will be times of great grief and sorrow, we need to not only believe that God is working to the good but also expect it. Sometimes it may take clinging to Isaiah 55:9 because it is too hard, even painful, to understand God’s plan. Still the truth remains; God’s ways are always good and His working in your life is good.
The fifth verse piggy-backs off the fourth and that is Jeremiah 29:11. Life without a purpose is bleak. Without a sense of purpose you lose hope for the future. It’s common to wrestle with knowing your purpose, feeling insignificant in a big world. That is why you need to own the fact that God has a plan for you, a good plan. He already knows the work He wants you to do (Eph 2:10) and that gives you purpose. Every experience puts another tool in the toolbox needed to fulfill God’s calling on your life.Though we cannot see the finished picture of our lives today, we can trust that God is using our experiences each day as a training ground to gain the skills we’ll need for the service He’s called us to. The great thing about this is that God has created each person for a unique work and none is more significant than another. In doing the work God prepared for you, you are doing the most significant work of your life. All good works are needed to touch the world for Christ.
The sixth verse is Romans 11:33. The evidence of God is all around us, especially in His creation. The more science reveals about our bodies and the world we live in, the more intricate and delicate we discover life to be. The intelligence that is in the creation of life is amazing. More than that, this God of all creation reveals Himself to us personally. You cannot have life apart from God and He uses life to teach us His ways. Through the consuming fire of the Spirit, God works a passion in the lives of those who love Him that is beyond comparison. When you surrender yourself to seeking God’s face and simply coming to know Him, your desire for Him will never die. The act of discovering the truth about God is intense and so wonderfully good, yet just a glimpse of Him. “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!”
Loving God with your mind is very important because your mind influences everything you do. God has given us the opportunity to choose what we fill ourselves with. Your life is a reflection of what is inside you and God wants to transform you so that your life is a reflection of Him. The beautiful part about it is that God does not expect you to work this transformation in your own life. He simply wants you to choose to fill yourself with His truth and He will work the transformation in you. Set your mind to knowing what God’s word says, then choose to live like you believe it’s true and be transformed into His likeness.