Setting Your Mind on the Things of God

by Doy Moyer

What we are trained to think about truth will be determined by whether we are thinking the things of God or the things of man. Recall that in Jesus’ rebuke of Peter’s reaction to Jesus talking about His own death, Jesus said, “For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” (Matthew 16:23).

Peter had been trained to think of the Messiah according to the expectations of man, and the only way he was going to get over what he thought about Jesus would be to retrain and refocus his mind to hear the things of God. The same is true for us. We are setting our minds on the things of God or things of men, and this applies to just about any issue we face.

If we are going to think according to the mind of God, we must consider what God has revealed from His mind about, for example, issues like who human beings are, male-female relationships, sexual relations, race relations, marriage, love, the church, salvation, how we treat others, relation to government, and on we can go. Mostly, this is about the nature of truth itself. If we are setting our minds on the things of man, truth becomes fluid, relative, subjective, and ultimately manipulated according to our wishes. There is no standard, and the fruit of this is chaos, confusion, and corruption. The mind of God tells us something very different. I realize there will be disagreements about various particulars, but the starting point must still be the mind of God rather than the mind of man.

Remember, too, that the mind of God is not going to be a replica of the way we already think. God’s ways and thoughts are not like ours (cf. Isaiah 55:8-9). We cannot know God’s mind simply by meditating within ourselves and then thinking that our thoughts are actually God’s thoughts, for then we have only succeeded in making God after our own image. If we are going to really listen to the mind of God, we need to be prepared to think very differently from what we might naturally think.

Take care then how you hear…” (Luke 8:18 ESV).

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