With All Your Mind…

As I’ve gone a little deeper into Jan Johnson’s Invitation to the Jesus Life, I’ve begun to think about the next step in processing the “studied anger” we’ve referred to as contempt (Johnson, p. 110). In my last post I felt led to focus on one of my favorite moments in Jesus’ public ministry in the temple during the week prior to the crucifixion. When dealing with contempt, I realized it was a mental activity, and I wanted to know just exactly what Jesus might have to say about that.

As I’ve explored the “greatest commandment” in Mark 12:29-30, I’d like to think about how we might take some ground in the area of our wandering mind and our thought life. Where do we start? I’d like to follow the example of Jesus. When talking about the great commandments, he began with God. Let’s start there.

Let’s spend some time with David, known for being “a man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14b; Acts 13:22). I think understanding an example of the thoughts of our God (those we can grasp, anyway) would be a great start. Psalm 139 reminds us of who we are in the eyes of our Almighty God, our heavenly Father.

Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I stand up;
You understand my thoughts from far away.
You observe my travels and my rest;
You are aware of all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue,
You know all about it, Lord.
You have encircled me;
You have placed Your hand on me. (Ps. 139:1-5, HCS)

Our very big God, our Abba, is thinking about us. All the time! He knows everything about us from the smallest details to the most important moments in our lives (Matt. 10:30). David continues:

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. (Ps. 139:17-18a, NIV)

Our God knows all and is thinking of us all the time. When David wrote about God’s thoughts for him, he wasn’t writing as if he was unique. I believe our Father is thinking of each of us in the same manner. He is preoccupied with each of us that much! How does that make you feel? How do you respond to that kind of love and care and affection and attention to detail?

When I think of how precious I am in the eyes of my Father and realize I am at the forefront of his mind (not the back), I’m overwhelmed. The only response I want to have is reciprocation! I don’t want to forget my God, only to think of him when I’m in a pinch! Honestly, with an infinite God, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t run out of thoughts to think.

How can I intentionally, strategically, boldly set myself up for becoming preoccupied with my God Almighty, my heavenly Father, my Abba, my Shield and Strength, my All in All? Let’s think about that for a moment.

My first step in entering into deep relationship or conversation with my God is to remember who he is! He is H-O-L-Y, holy! With that in mind, I want to dwell on the Person of God and all of his attributes and character traits and anything I can find in Scripture that defines Almighty God in any way I might be able to grasp! Try thinking through the very personal names of God. They are all over Scripture. There have been books written about the names of God. Let your Father introduce himself to you in fresh ways with the names that speak more clearly of who he is and find out what the names mean:

  • Adonai (LORD)
  • Sha-di (Almighty)
  • The Amen
  • Ancient of Days
  • The Angel of His Presence
  • Bread of Life

These are just a few from Intimate Moments with the Hebrew Names of God by Mallin and Wolkenfeld. This book has been a blessing to me as I’ve explored the names of God. When we read our “distilled” English bibles, we are missing so many of the nuances of Scripture, and this is one of those things. What a blessing to see that we have been introduced to facets of our very big God’s personality and character through these names. It reminds us of who he is, and who we are not. It’s possible that an experiment of this nature just might lead to confession and repentance. You can’t beat that!

When we are reminded of how very holy (set apart) God really is, we could (Dare I say, should?) be reminded of who we are. Our eyes being opened to the absolute standard of perfection just might reveal our shortcomings. That’s not always a bad thing. When I was contemplating contempt in its many forms, I was devastated by the amount of “experience” I had in that area. In fact, I saw that I had quite an arsenal of behaviors that “oozed” contempt and spilled it all over anyone who might be near me. When I saw the standard of perfection, I was tempted to “clean up my act” first…even institute a few New Year’s resolutions. Then I came to my senses and considered what God might really want: godly sorrow leading to repentance and action (2 Cor. 7:10, 11)! This is how I want to use my mind to love God!

I’m going to take a bit of a breather here. I want to sit and reflect on the splash. I want to start with God’s example of preoccupation, move into the names of my God, remember the standard of perfection, and fall on my face before the cross of Christ. That moment at the cross is everything! That’s where I received “the helmet of salvation” to protect my wee little head (Eph. 6:17; 1 Thess. 5:8).




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3 Responses to “With All Your Mind…”

  1. P* Says:

    I loved the audio version of this post!:o)

  2. Barri Cae Mallin Says:

    Thank you, dear Jennifer, my brother sent me your link. To God be all the glory. A new book has just hit the press “THE NAME – HaShem”
    366 names of God for daily devotional. On amazon.com
    Godblessu dear one in Yeshua,
    barri

    • Jennifer Says:

      I am so blessed you are reading this. I have so enjoyed your book, and I am excited there is another. I’ll be looking into that. Thank you for taking the time to be used by the Lord in this way…and for taking the time to stop by my little corner of the world.

      Sometimes I’ve wanted some of my favorite authors to know what I was thinking when I read their work. 🙂

      ~Jennifer

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