It seems so easy at times to let our minds drift toward the negative. Some folks, I suppose, are more inclined to think that way, your basic “glass half empty” kind of people. And especially living in the world we live in, which seems to be slanted toward the negative, anyway. Anybody ever notice that it’s always “partly cloudy, with a chance of rain”? Almost never, “mostly sunny, with a great chance of being a wonderful day”! I am normally a “glass half full” type of guy, but even I find myself, at times, in a place that David was when he had to “encourage himself in the Lord” (1 Samuel 30:6).
The Lord helped me realize this the other day during my daily Bible reading. The scripture I read was Psalms 119:98: “Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me.” When I first read this, I thought, “yeah, you’re right, my enemies are ever with me, just like it says!” But upon reading it again, I realized that I was reading it wrong. The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown commentary says this: ” ‘they are ever with me‘–The Hebrew is, rather singular, ‘it is ever with me‘; the commandments forming ONE complete whole, Thy law.” Do you see it? What is “ever with us”, according to this verse, is not our enemies, but “His commandments”, or “His Law”. Wow. That makes a difference!
How many times, because we’ve allowed our mind to drift toward “negative thinking”, do we miss the real promises of God found in scripture? Looking closer at this verse, there are actually two promises: first, that God’s law (His word) is ever with us. Secondly, this law has made us wiser than our enemies! My mind had focused on “enemies”, when in reality, that word is the least important on the verse. The most important thing are the promises of God contained therein. It doesn’t matter, the strategies of the enemy against you, you are wiser! It doesn’t matter, the plans the enemy has to make you fall, you are wiser! What a promise. And I nearly missed it.
No wonder the scripture admonishes us to “gird up the loins of our mind” (1 Peter 1:3), and to be “renewed in the spirit of our mind” (Ephesians 4:23). In fact, Romans 12:2 teaches us that we can actually be “transformed by the renewing of our mind“, helping us to “not be confirmed to this world.” So important is this renewing and protection of the mind, that God gives us armour to help protect it, aptly named the “helmet of salvation” (Ephesians 6:17). And the tie-in is easy to see: your very salvation may depend on you keeping your mind renewed.
A renewed mind: don’t leave home without it!