Who is Able to Keep You

So many times many of the blogs that I follow each week have a similar theme. I believe it is “what the Spirit is saying to the churches,” or at least what He is saying to me! Thank you to all you great bloggers out there!

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3  

Is your mind stayed on God or is it starved? Starvation of the mind, caused by neglect, is one of the chief sources of exhaustion and weakness in a servant’s life …  

Your mind is the greatest gift God has given you and it ought to be devoted entirely to Him. You should seek to be “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Corinthians 10:5). This will be one of the greatest assets of your faith when a time of trial comes, because then your faith and the Spirit of God will work together … 

“We have sinned with our fathers…[and]…did not remember…” (Psalm 106:6-7). Then prod your memory and wake up immediately. Don’t say to yourself, “But God is not talking to me right now.” He ought to be. Remember whose you are and whom you serve. Encourage yourself to remember, and your affection for God will increase tenfold. Your mind will no longer be starved, but will be quick and enthusiastic, and your hope will be inexpressibly bright. Oswald Chambers, From My Utmost for His Highest Updated Edition 

Perhaps you are feeling right now as if your strength and your hope have perished. Perhaps you feel very far from a place of peace. Maybe you realize there is a troubled, unsettled spot deep in your spirit. Could this be the very set-up for a rebirth of your hope and peace? It is no mistake that the Bible tells us in Hosea 2:15 that God will sometimes take us through a gloomy, deserted valley called Achor [trouble] as a ‘doorway of hope.’” (blogged by Derek Prince Ministries) 

 
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind Romans 12:2 

If it is our duty … 
  to redeem time, 
  to walk with God, 
  to do all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
  to follow the example which He set for us when He was upon the earth,  
  and to work out our salvation with fear and trembling 
–then it must of course be our duty to avoid a conformity with the world in those vain and sensual diversions, which stand in as direct contradiction to a spiritual frame of mind, as darkness to light. — John Newton (blogged by The Whole Armour of God https://steverebus.com/2021/02/07/this-precept-is-very-extensive-and-important/

We must keep in mind also that the grace of God is infinite and eternal. As it had no beginning, so it can have no end, and being an attribute of God, it is as boundless as infinitude. — A.W. Tozer (blogged by Beholding Him Ministries https://beholdinghimministries.org/2021/02/10/wisdom-wednesday-the-infinite-god-021021/

I remember my affliction and my wandering, 
    the bitterness and the gall. 
I well remember them, 
    and my soul is downcast within me. 
Yet this I call to mind 
    and therefore I have hope: 

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, 
    for his compassions never fail. 
They are new every morning; 
    great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:19-23  

The real test of spiritual focus is being able to bring your mind and thoughts under control. Is your mind focused on the face of an idol? Is the idol yourself? Is it your work? Is it your idea of what a servant should be, or maybe your experience of salvation and sanctification? If so, then your ability to see God is blinded. You will be powerless when faced with difficulties and will be forced to endure in darkness. If your power to see has been blinded, don’t look back on your own experiences, but look to God. It is God you need. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest 

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” (Philippians‬ ‭4:8‬) — (Brooklyn Tabernacle via Facebook) 

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”  
― A.W. Tozer 

To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling … Jude 24 

Photo, Edge of Frosted Creek, copyright 2021 Jack Bair

Bread for the Eater

The character of God is to give life, to heal and restore and repair.

“For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16

1 Corinthians 2:6-16 talks about the difference between the natural thinking of people and God’s thoughts or wisdom. It ends by asking the “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” This is a quotation from Isaiah 40:13. In Isaiah’s day there was no answer to the question, or the answer was “no one.” But here Paul says, “But we have the mind of Christ.” The Amplified Bible translates it this way: “But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart.” Precious, amazing grace if we will receive it.

In 1 Corinthians 3:19 it says, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” The word translated futile means: empty, profitless, vain, vanity, an idol. This is another quotation from the Old Testament.

The LORD knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile (empty, vain, a breath or vapor).  Psalm 94:11

The Hebrew word for futile also has behind it the meaning of idolatry. About this Hebrew word the TWOT says:

“Of particular interest here are the parallel verses Jer 2:5 and 2Ki 17:15; They went after vanities and “became vain.” (NIV: “They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.”) Two inexorable principles are illustrated here: (1) every man takes on to some degree the character and nature of the God he worships; (2) the characteristic of all false gods is that they destroy their worshippers.” — Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament

As the character of God is to give life, to heal and restore and repair, the character or essence of the idol is to destroy, not just the idolater, but also all those around – even those we are trying to “love.” So, it seems very important for us to have the mind of Christ that we might become like him – to pursue knowing God’s thoughts, what is important to God, what God desires and what pleases Him.

Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. 1 Corinthians 3:18-19

And in this world, especially right now, we will seem like fools when we choose God’s thoughts and ways. But, I know that the only thing that God will destroy in us when we surrender to him is our destroying idols. To us he gives life, not just us only, but also life to all those around us, giving “seed for the sower and bread for the eater.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive (idol, pain, sorrow, wicked) way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:8-11

Lord, search me, destroy every idol. Make me like you. Be in me Bread for the eater. Give me the mind of Christ.

Image by Heartlight https://www.heartlight.org/articles/201703/20170304_worthy.html