Today’s readings.. (Judges 10,11), (Isaiah 36), (1 Peter 2)
Our reading of 1 Peter Ch. 2 begins with a list of those things which a true follower of Christ should “put away” – we must do everything we can to get rid of such ways of thinking.
Those who have been brought up from childhood should never have possessed them! But were they fully conscious of the potential of these things to ‘invade’ and start to possess their minds? It is vital that our minds are ‘possessed’ by positive attitudes: there is no ‘in between’ position – in God’s eyes.
Jesus once told a parable about this (Matthew 12 v.43-45); of one who got rid of an unclean spirit (attitude) and his mind was clean, but he or she neglected to put anything in its place! The end result was this person’s mind was filled with 7 unclean spirits, “and the last state of that person was worse that the first.” A cryptic statement concludes the parable, “so also will it be with this evil generation”!
That final generation of the Jewish nation was largely destroyed when Jerusalem was destroyed, but surely the same is now applying to the last generation of the Gentiles! Our minds are made to be put to use – and this world today with all its abundant methods of communication is ready at every twist and turn to penetrate our minds with useless thoughts, or, worse still, with godless fleshly thoughts.
With this in mind we specially note Peter’s advice that in coming to Christ we are “newborn infants” and that our attitude then is to “long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it, you may grow up to salvation” [v.2] so that you are “in the sight of God, chosen and precious,” [v.4], and you recognise yourselves to be “living stones” that are “being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood” [v.5]
The final stage is to realize we are “a holy nation, a people for his own possession” [v.9]. Peter goes on to tell them they are “sojourners and exiles” and not citizens of the world and as such must “abstain from the passions of the flesh which wage war against your soul” [v.11]. The evil spirits are ever ready to gain entry again if we give them a chance, so it is vital we fill the house of our mind with positive spiritual things every day.
Maybe some, before they commit themselves to Christ, think they can indulge in a little of the things of the world. This can be fatal, it will leave a stain on their minds which only a total heartfelt mood of conversion can overcome, such as those who have had no spiritual upbringing experience as they, with really great joy, see the wondrous light God offers and “grow up to salvation.”