Are You Mindful?
We are exhorted scripturally to have the mind of Christ. We are to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind (Matthew 22:37). But where is our mind, what things are we mindful of? We are most often mindful of the things that please us. The following scripture tells us what the result of being mindful can cause;
Hebrews 11:15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
Speaking of the faithful and blessed in Hebrews 11, these were not mindful, and did not return. However, scripture tells us that the children of Israel sought to return to that country (Egypt) from whence they came out (Numbers 14:1 – 4). They failed and remained in the wilderness until they died, and the next generation inherited the promises. What things are you mindful of that you repeatedly are returning to? While foretelling of things to come, Jesus spoke the following;
Luke 17: 32 – 33 Remember Lot’s wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.
We are warned with these verses to remember what happened to Lot’s wife; but what caused it? She was commanded not to look back (Genesis 19:17), and although she was initially delivered from the burning, she was so mindful of that city and life from whence she came out, that looking back she was turned to a pillar of salt (Genesis 19:26). In seeking to retain her fleshly life she lost all. Jesus reminded us to spiritually consider our tendency to look or turn back to those things we have been delivered from: in giving up or losing the fleshly life the spiritual life will be preserved. The burning such as occurred in Sodom will burn all that are mindful at that coming day (Malachi 4:1 – 4). Peter was led of God to compare this tendency to be mindful` to a dog, or to a sow;
II Peter 2:22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
These animals by their nature return to what they are mindful of. By our fleshly disposition we also are mindful of the sin nature, and often return. Jesus had further warned the worker of looking back;
Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
In the physical comparison you cannot plow straight, even furrows that have consistent coverage without looking forward; looking back will allow you to get off line. Working that way spiritually cannot make you fit for the kingdom of God. The enemy will tell you after reading this scripture that if you fail you are through, but we have an Advocate with the Father (I John 2:1, 2), repent and seek the fullness God has for you. The God of mercy has provided for your deliverance and reconciliation: you will find it in Jesus.
If you are mindful of your sin, iniquity, covetousness, or if you have misplaced love, you can return to them and fail (profligacy). If you are mindful of where you are spiritually, and satisfied with that place, you can stay and also fail (complacency). If you are not mindful of anything at all you will fail (apathy). While your spirit may desire more of the fullness of God (and will war against your flesh) profligacy, complacency, and apathy will not seek a better country. Profligacy, complacency, and apathy are opposed to the things of God, and are friends of the world;
James 4:1 – 4 FROM whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
Let us look closer at these lusts that war in our members; realize that, as with the physical wastefulness of profligacy, complacency, and apathy, we can also be wasteful of life itself. The secular definitions of these three mindful things that work against the knowledge and very will of Almighty God are as follows;
prof·li·gate; adjective \ˈprä-fli-gət, -ˌgāt\: carelessly and foolishly wasting money, materials, etc.: very wasteful
Full Definition of PROFLIGATE
1: wildly extravagant <profligate spending
2: completely given up to dissipation and licentiousness <leading a profligate life>
Full Definition of COMPLACENCY
1: self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies
2: an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction
Full Definition of APATHY
1: lack of feeling or emotion: impassiveness
2: lack of interest or concern: indifference
These negative traits are a result of being mindful of the things of the world. If we are mindful of worldly things, we will be unprepared and unable to achieve the will of God;
I John 2:15 – 17 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Please consider that the love of the Father works from within you, and is an all or not occurrence. If we love anything of the world to a depth that hinders our love of the Father, we cannot love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. We will have allowed the enemy to stop our growth and walk, with and by a lust for things that create a mixture. Why has God had to bring us back repeatedly to the same scriptures on lust and being the enemy of God? because we have not yet fully escaped the corruption of lust and received the divine nature;
II Peter 1:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Lust is like a recurring cancer, and we are not removing all of it, and have to continually come back to fight it again and again: lust should be eradicated totally. Even after escaping the physical lust, we can have a lust in our spirit if we do not recognize it. We can become so mindful of the gifts, anointing, and Spirit working in an individual that we lust in our spirit (James 4:5) and covet, desire, or envy the individual, not recognizing the gifts, and the Savior, and the Spirit who gave them! From all of the above, please get a different prospective of what the Apostle Paul is giving us in the following verse;
Philippians 3:13, 14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Child of God, realize that forgetting those things which are behind is not just about forgetting the physical, or in our history of past sin, but also in the spiritual aspect of being mindful of, or desiring, those things! Forget the lusts of your flesh, and those things that can make us the enemies of God. Forget the desire to have things as they had been in your past, knowing that God sees and knows what is best for you. Paul does not replace these things with an indifference or apathy, but reaches forth unto those things which are before. As He had with Paul, God has a will and purpose for you! Hebrews 11:10 said Abraham was looking for a city whose builder and maker is God; we must have a purpose, a goal in mind, that is God’s. Paul says that he pressed toward the mark, toward the prize, which is the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us now look again at those in the hall of faith;
Hebrews 11:13 – 16 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out
, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
In faith these all accepted the promises, having seen them only in the spiritual, and being persuaded of them, and embracing them. We only embrace what we love! Do you have a “dream” home that you would love to possess? Are you constantly looking at or for it? When it came time to be divided from Lot, Abraham was not mindful and did not care where he stayed in this world; his dream home was with God. Abraham desired the spiritual home and was satisfied with the physical leftovers, Lot chose according to his physical vision and thought, and wound up with nothing. These in the Hebrews hall of faith had cast off their love for, or being mindful of, the things of earth and whence they came out. They had escaped the corruption of that lust! See and embrace the spiritual truth in what He said to the children of Israel;
Deuteronomy 6:23 And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land that he sware unto our fathers.
God did not just bring us out of a physical past, but also a spiritual one. By the flesh we were and often are serving a different master, but do not recognize that we are. Consider some examples of Jesus discerning the remaining master, the lust or love of the world, that was in individuals:
Mark 10:21, 22 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
Our faith, love, and trust cannot be in wealth or riches, as it was with this man. Our love for house, home, or family also cannot be more than our love to serve God. Consider the discernment of Jesus of the spiritual need in the following three individuals;
Luke 9:57 – 62 And it came to pass. That, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
God did not just bring us out of a physical past, but also a spiritual one. We do not see what the certainty of what each one’s lust was. Was the first bound by a love for his home, or for the comfort and conveniences of life? Was the second man loving his earthly father enough to grieve, or was he desiring the inheritance? Did the third have a love for family, or in pride want to be exalted by family, or was he a just a partier? By the flesh we were and often are serving a different master. God did not deliver you from the worst of your sin just to leave you holding onto the desires of the flesh, and continuing to try to serve that same master. He brought you out that He might bring you into His glorious kingdom: let loose of the love of the world! There should be no mix;
James 3:11, 12 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
Your mind cannot be on both lust and the will of God, and still be overcoming. Can you now gain a greater understanding of casting down these things and finding obedience to Christ? Enter into the true spiritual warfare with the spiritual weapons;
II Corinthians 10:3 – 6 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh, (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
His will and purpose for us is that by accepting His grace in all things in our lives we may overcome when we are tried, being mindful only of the blessing, and multiplying, and promises (Hebrews 6:13 – 20) that He has for us! And that by this He might bring us in to the city he hath prepared. What scripturally are the things we should be mindful of?
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
If we can yield and receive the grace of God we may reach the place of this victorious spiritual thinking, and we will have escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. The exceeding great and precious promises of God that will allow us to be partakers of the divine nature may now be ours! What a goal, to have the divine nature! It is only in this place of complete servitude that you are fully prepared to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ, (II Timothy 2:3, 4) one in a million for the Lord! Thou therefore endure hardness, and do not be entangled with the affairs of this life that you also may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. If He has called you to it, join His army of seven thousand and begin to capture the world for Jesus!