Today I am talking about the mind. How we are made up and how that affects the way we understand the Kingdom and God himself and ourselves.
If you look at Luke 11, you read the story of the rich man and Lazarus. Now I am wanting to look at this story, not because I am trying to draw out the understanding that wealth is bad and being poor is good, no, I want you to see some other things in the scripture.
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22“The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27“He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29“Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
30“ ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31“He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’ ”
First point I want to make is that our brain is very different from our mind. When we die and our body goes into the ground, our brain will rot and be eaten by worms, but our mind goes with us to the next life.
Jesus very clearly shows some interesting things about that. You can see that even though the rich man has died, he certainly has a body and that he can feel things. He also remembers his family and can reason and think. He can even pray and try and negotiate with God from where he is, because he is trying to argue the case for his brothers.
Paul also talks about this. He says. To be absent from the body is to be present with God. He realised the truth that we are 2 separate entities - the body and spirit.
Paul said that we were separated from God in our minds. The mind is part of the spiritual person that we really are.
Now you see in our culture these days a huge rise in mental illness. Why is this, you ask? I would propose to you that their problems are coming from this basic problem. They are trying to build a world without God. Trying to live without the source of life. When we throw God out, it makes us like animals. Just physical creature and so we look at the brain, but the problem is not there! The mind informs the brain and the brain then causes the body to respond.
The Holy Spirit is in us and is supposed to be speaking to us. We are then to take that and inform the brain, which will in turn inform the body. If we do not take our information from the Holy Spirit, then where are we getting our instructions from? Other sources, like the media, Hollywood, other people's opinions? This is giving our mind the wrong instructions and as a result it is finding expression in mental illness and physical illness.
The bible says: As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
If you want to change the outcome, you have to change the way you think and this means we have to learn to think differently. We need to tune into the right input.
This is why God keeps saying - listen to my words, listen to my son. In Deut 11 He says: Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds and tie them as a symbol to your hands.