The Mind Of The Spirit
by Pastor Jack Hyles
(Chapter 15 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, Meet The Holy Spirit)
Romans 8:5-7, "For they that re after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. But the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."
Philippians 2:5, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
It is amazing and sad the way many people seek the leadership of God. An entire future is often based on something like opening the Bible and pointing to a verse. One man moved to the East because he pointed one day to the Scripture concerning the wise men which says, "We have seen His star in the east." Another went south because he saw the Scripture in Daniel, "The king of the south." Then there is the old story about the young man who went off to college to study to preach. He was asked why he was going to preach and he said, "God called me." "What evidence do you have of that call?" he was asked. "Well, I was out plowing," he said, "and I saw letters written ten across the sky- GPC. I thought that must mean "Go preach Christ." Someone who heard him preach a while later thought it meant "Go plow corn."
It is often difficult to find the will of God for one's life and to be sure that one is following the leadership of the Holy Spirit. One of the great secrets to being sensitive and knowledgeable concerning the will of God is to be spiritually minded. It is true that sometimes God gives wonderful revelations of His will. Such as the case when I became Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Hammond, Indiana, and such was the case when I became Pastor of the Grange Hall Baptist Church of Marshall, Texas. However, I was just assure that God had led me to the Marris Chapel Baptist Church near Bogata, Texas; to the Southside Baptist Church of Henderson, Texas; and the Miller Road Baptist of Garland, Texas. However, the will of God was revealed to me in more quiet and subtle way when I accepted these three pastorates. More often than not, God uses our minds and leads then to make the right decisions. For example, I receive many times more speaking engagements than I can accept. I lay the engagements before me and ask the Holy Spirit to control my mind as I decide which ones to accept.
Sometimes God reveals in a spectacular way which sermon I am to preach, but most of the time I ask him to control my mind as I seek the sermon He would have brought for a specific occasion.
If a decision must be made with which there is a deadline, I tell the Lord that if He will reveal to me in a special way what He wants me to do, I will do it. However, if when the deadline comes He has not made such a revelation, I then ask him to control my mind as I make the decision, and I believe that He does. Hence, I believe the decision is of Him.
Sometimes, the Spirit leads His people in an obvious way as in Acts 8: 29, "Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to his chariot." Most of the time, however, it is more like Acts 15:28, "For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things." Notice especially the words, "It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us."
A spiritually-minded person asking God to control his mind will come nearer finding the will of God and doing it than one who asks for a so-called "fleece." Entire lives have been changed by someone saying, "God, if You want me to do so-and-so, let there be three people from the east side of the auditorium saved tonight." This is dangerous and not nearly as spiritual as the decision made by one whose mind is that mind of Christ and who walks in the Spirit asking God to reveal to him His will, and who, if there is no definite revelation, gives his mind to the Holy Spirit in surrender, believing that the Holy Spirit will control his mind and he makes his decision.
`Tis blessed to read Revelation 1:10, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet." Notice the words, "I was in the Spirit." This is the way to be in the will go God, letting the Holy Spirit control the mind, always willing to follow a definite revelation, and yet always believing that the Holy Spirit will so control the mind that the decision will be His decision.
I counsel well over 150 people a week. Before a series of counseling sessions, I always kneel and say, "Holy Spirit, control my mind as I give advice to these Thy children today."
The staff members of the First Baptist Church of Hammond have often heard me pray, "Holy Spirit, control our minds and our thinking, and give us wisdom as we make the decisions that we face."
There are several things that should be done before making a decision in the Spirit.
1. One must lose his own will. I remember years ago when I was considering coming to Hammond, I called my dear old pastor, J.C. Sisemore, and asked his counsel. He said, "Son, the first thing you must do is lose your own will. You cannot make an intelligent, spiritual decision as long ass you have a desire in the matter."
2. One should read the Bible excessively while seeking the will of God. Psalms 119:105, "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
3. One should spend much time alone pleading with God to reveal to him His will.
4. When the believer is saturated by the Word and walking with God and has lost his own will and no definite revelation of God's will has come, he should then, at the deadline, believe that God is leading him, surrendering his mind to the Holy Spirit, asking the Holy Spirit to make his decision for him and control his mind.
5. Then, in faith, he should make the decision; and once it is made, never doubt!
When a young man who plans to enter the ministry graduates from Hyles-Anderson College, he immediately begins to pray about where he should go. I advise him to ask God to lead him definitely to a place. Then I suggest that he set a reasonable deadline (perhaps 4-6 months) during which time he is to pray, live in the Word, and ask God to reveal His definite will. I often suggest to such a man that once the deadline has come, he should claim the mind of the Spirit, choose a place in faith and start a church. (There are more things involved than this, and this explanation is an oversimplified one.)
Note Psalms 37:4, "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Compare that with John 15:7, "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." God is saying that there is a way He can trust us and give us what we want. It is possible for the child of God to walk in the Spirit, delighting himself in the Lord, abiding in His Word and in the Person of Christ so that he will become so in tune with God's wants that God can trust him to ask what he wants. God, in such cases, almost gives power of attorney or a blank check, for He comes to believe that some of His children are spiritually minded enough so that He can usually trust their decisions.
I often pray this prayer, "Holy Spirit, control my mind when I an choosing a route to work in the morning, or choosing an object to purchase, or choosing a seat on an airplane."
Oh, to be spiritually minded and to so walk in the Spirit until my wishes will be His wishes, my desires His desires, that my mind will be conformed to His!
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"I am an old-fashioned preacher of the old-time religion, that has warmed this cold world's heart for two thousand years." —Billy SUNDAY