As discussed in The Mind of Christ – Are You Experiencing the Love of ‘The One’, the key to experiencing victory in life and the fullness of the love of God is to develop and the mind of Christ. Our ability to cultivate and operate in the realm of humility, prayer, seeking the face of God, and obedience ultimately decides the extent to which we experience heaven on earth. Now, if our minds are ever to be re-programmed to resemble the mind of Christ, we will have to renew it with the Word of God – for it is the Word of God that conforms us to the image of Christ, breaks the barrier between the realm of the mind and the realm of the Spirit (see Hebrews 4:12), and transforms our mind into the mind of Christ (see Romans 12:2). The bible puts it this way:
“Like newborn babies, thirst for the pure milk of the word so that by it you may grow in your salvation.” – 1 Peter 2:2
So there it is! It is the Word of God that causes our soul (mind) to grow (develop) so that we experience salvation (deliverance) from the filth of this life (fear, doubt, pride, lust etc.) and instead experience the gift of the God (heavenly things such as joy, peace, love) right here on earth!
Note: We know that Peter was talking about the salvation of the soul rather than the salvation of the Spirit from eternal separation from God because he explicitly states it earlier in his letter (see 1 Peter 1:9). Second, we know that the salvation of our spirit comes through confession that Jesus is Lord (see Romans 10:9 – 10)
So you say I have been studying the Word but it has not produced the mind of Christ in me. Why? Hopefully we can come to some answer by looking at the qualities that make up the mind of Christ. Let’s start with humility.
How Humility Grows
As we continually hear and/or read the scriptures, the water of the Word begins to infiltrate the gaps of our stony hearts and begins to soften the soil of our hearts. As our hearts soften, it becomes receptive to receive the seed (or substance) of the Word of God. Once implanted in our hearts, we start to gain an understanding of the enormity of God (His power, His might, His love) and if we are honest with ourselves, begin to realize that we are but mere nothingness in comparison to Him. We start to realize that our hearts cannot even begin to compare to His heart; that while He killed Himself to restore our unworthy selves to Him, we kill our neighbors just because they do not look like us! See, it is only through the watering by the Word that humility (having a modest opinion of ourselves) which leads to surrender to God is developed.
Light-bulb moment: Honest self-examination (in comparison to God) leads to true humility. True humility leads to surrender to God – His will, His truth (word) about you, His promises, His statutes, and judgments.
So, it is clear that the way God intends for us to come to the point of humility is by studying His Word – this is why the bible says that all scripture is profitable for reproof and correction (see 2 Timothy 3:16). Unfortunately, many of us choose not to allow the Word of God to humble us but instead allow the circumstances of life to bring us to our knees in surrender.
Can life-long humility come from a crisis? Yes! However, the humility that comes through crisis tends for many of us to be temporary as it only lasts for as long as the crisis remains – because we see Jesus only as our Savior (deliverer) and not our Lord (master). Without fully immersing ourselves in the Word and gaining an appreciation of His love and our reliance on Him during our crisis, it is likely that we simply surrender to our own foolishness once more as soon as He rescues us – how ungrateful of us! Yet, how merciful of God! Thus we go from crisis to crisis because we often revert back to our own mindset. If we are to follow the example of Jesus, we should not allow crisis to bring us to the point of humility. He humbled Himself out of love for the Father and us. We ought to develop the same mind of humility in love.
So then, some practical steps to develop a mind-steeped in humility are as follows:
- Be honest with ourselves about who we are (in our heart) – take our focus off what we do
- Stop comparing ourselves to other people but only compare ourselves to God
- Study the Word to specifically find out about the love of God – to know how His ways are so much better than ours
And here are a few reasons to develop humility
- Honor, riches, and life (see Proverbs 22:4)
- The acceptance and attention of God (see Psalms 51:17)
- Promotion (see 1 Peter 5:6)
- Power and favor (see James 4:6)
Food for Thought: A mind steeped in love is a mind that is steeped in humility