A Change of Mind. Day six...
“The young lady's shoulders are heaving with hysteria as the villains approach. The hero is doing everything he can think of to calm her panic and protect their hiding place. Finally, as he realizes that they are in mortal danger from her out‐of‐control emotions, he reluctantly slaps her across the face with the back of his hand—harsh but effective. Startled, she suddenly comes to her senses and regains her composure—just as the footsteps of the bad guys come within earshot.”
The thoughts from a changed mind are a slap in the face of emotions which are out of control. A changed mind will simply not tolerate behavior that jeopardizes safety and well‐being.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2 NKJV)
A changed mind knows what an unchanged mind cannot know.
As a consequence, a changed mind is not subject to the emotions experienced by an unchanged mind. If we know what God is doing in this earth, then we will not be subject to the same emotions as those who are in the dark (and that includes other Christians who are in the dark because they think from the world's perspective).
Time after time, when the king of Syria was at war against the Israelites, he met with his officers and announced, “I've decided where we will set up camp.” Each time, Elisha would send this warning to the king of Israel: “Don't go near there. That's where the Syrian troops have set up camp.” So the king would warn the Israelite troops in that place to be on guard. The king of Syria was furious when he found out what was happening. He called in his officers and asked, “Which one of you has been telling the king of Israel our plans?” (2 Kings 6:8–11 CEV)
In this story Elisha was the only person who was thinking with a renewed mind and could recognize what was going on from God's perspective. The king of Syria was trying to work a military victory but was clueless to the truth, and was furious in an effort to find out which of his troops were betraying him.
“It's not us, my lord the king,” one of the officers replied. “Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel even the words you speak in the privacy of your bedroom!” (2 Kings 6:12 NLT)
One of the king of Syria's officers at least recognized that Elisha had mental access to sources they had no access to.
When we have been transformed by the renewing of our mind we have access to sources others don't have access to. We have access to what God is up to.
“Go and find out where he is,” the king commanded, “so I can send troops to seize him.” And the report came back: “Elisha is at Dothan.” So one night the king of Aram [Syria] sent a great army with many chariots and horses to surround the city. When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha. (2 Kings 6:13–15 NLT)
Elisha's servant could only see what his mind would allow him to see and he was overcome with emotion. Whenever we are overcome with fear or some other destructive emotion we must remember that we are not seeing things as God sees them.
“Don't be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!” The LORD opened the young man's eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire. (2 Kings 6:16–17 NLT)
Old mindsets make us blind to what is really going on with God.
But when we intentionally renew our mind with the Word of God then we can see all the resources of God at work on our behalf. And that will certainly change how we feel emotionally. Elisha's servant probably went from terrified to courageous in an instant.
As the Syrian army came closer, Elisha prayed, “LORD, make those soldiers blind!” And the LORD blinded them with a bright light. Elisha told the enemy troops, “You've taken the wrong road and are in the wrong town. Follow me. I'll lead you to the man you're looking for.” Elisha led them straight to the capital city of Samaria. When all the soldiers were inside the city, Elisha prayed, “LORD, now let them see again.” The LORD let them see that they were standing in the middle of Samaria. (2 Kings 6:18–20 CEV)
Notice that the hillside was filled with horses and chariots of fire. But all of this “horsepower” seemed to be just a reassurance to Elisha (and later to his servant) that the Lord was with them, because the horses and chariots of fire were not used against the Syrian army. Instead, God blinded the soldiers with a bright light at Elisha's request, and Elisha led, all by himself, a “great” army into the capital city of Samaria.
With a mind that allows us to prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God, we can see just how much God is with us. We may not see a hillside filled with horses and chariots of fire, but God will reveal His presence with us in a way that is meaningful to us at that time. And we can have the confidence to move out with what we have in hand, believing “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8 NKJV).”
The king of Israel saw them and asked Elisha, “Should I kill them, sir?” “No!” Elisha answered. “You didn't capture these troops in battle, so you have no right to kill them. Instead, give them something to eat and drink and let them return to their leader.” The king ordered a huge meal to be prepared for Syria's army, and when they finished eating, he let them go. For a while, the Syrian troops stopped invading Israel's territory. (2 Kings 6:21–23 CEV)
Imagine the emotional condition of the Syrian army. First, they had surrounded the area where Elisha was supposed to be. Then they were all, at the same time, struck blind by a bright light. Next they walked behind some total stranger only to find (after regaining their sight) that they had walked behind Elisha (the man they were hunting) right into the middle of enemy territory. But not only were they not killed, they were fed at a huge banquet and sent back to their own country.
This is just an amazing story of one man with a changed mind who, because he could see what God was up to, was able to calmly and completely control the army sent to kidnap him, and in the process save who knows how many Israeli and Syrian lives.
Imagine the extraordinary emotions Elisha must have felt as a result of watching God work through him. Those same extraordinary emotions await us when we get our thinking straight, with our mind on the Lord.
Have a good day,