During my hiking days, I saw many interesting things way up in the mountains. Once in a while, I would find a bubbling stream coming right out of the ground or coming from a rock. That water was always fresh and cool. That cool refreshing water would always sing to me. Unless I was in an extreme hurry, I would always stop, and the bubbling stream of cold water would invite me to drink. I would say to my wife, who was usually in the lead, ”Stop, the stream is begging me to stop and drink of her refreshing water.” I would get down on my knees, put my mouth in the water and suck the magic in. High on the mountain, I would find a bit of paradise and after drinking I would resume my journey down the mountain.

I have often thought of that in human terms. Does my human mind have the same effect on people around me that the stream on me? Is my mind a refreshing brook in the midst of a desert that others pass through? Do they stop me and ask if they can drink from my well?

Through these winter months that we are now living through, there are people who need help. We meet them daily. We talk about Christmas, we talk about the weather, and many other things, but these are not the things they need. They need a drink from the well of your life. Do you have anything to offer?

Since I have spent my entire life as a pastor [50 years] I may be more aware of this. People seldom came to me with good news and tidings of great joy. The people who came to see me were in trouble. life was going off the rails. As one person said to me “I need a God with skin on it”. I understand that. There are times in our life when we do not want to walk alone, though many times we do.

So how do I make my mind like a cool mountain stream and others seek me out to drink from the well of my life? Saint Paul has a good word for us in regard to this in Romans 12 I-2. “I urge you therefore brethren by the mercies of God that you would present yourselves as a living sacrifice, acceptable to God which is your spiritual service. And do not be conformed to this world to be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is the will of God, which is good, acceptable, and perfect.”

The question is, what is a renewed mind and where does it come from? To answer that, we must get into the area of my thought life. My emotions and my thought life are both fruits of what I believe is true. What I seek in my life are peace and contentment. In order for the proper fruit to grow I must have confidence that what I believe is true. Social media certainly does not create a peaceful and fruitful mind. I have and still tend to live certain parts of my life in fear. A personal example. While in Switzerland with members of Christian Center, they talked me into taking a tram to a very high mountain. Why am I fearful of trams? The government inspects it and calls it safe. Never has a person been killed while riding the tram. But, I froze as I enter the tram car and the door closed. I must admit that I kept my eyes closed much of the time. I know I missed the beauty and the intent of that ride, merely because of fear. Fear can be very real and can destroy a mind that seeks to be a refreshing stream. It is a terrible thing to live that way!

If we are going to live good lives and have a good mind we must have good thoughts that are honest.

The battle for our thought life is one of the strongest battles we will ever fight. The commercial world knows this and if they can convince you that what they say is right they will make money. There is a battle going on for our minds.

Listen to Paul in Ephesians: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the full armor of God that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the Devil.” The word “schemes” actually means “methods”. We are to be aware of the methods Satan uses to attack us and destroy our minds, bringing condemnation.

The methods of Satan are many and usually involve our thoughts. Something happens in my relational world and my circumstances. My mind [thoughts] begin to chew on these thoughts and I find toxic thoughts entering my mind. Hebrews 12:15 tells us “Let no root of bitterness spring up….” When we permit this process to germinate in our minds a veil comes over our minds and “the light” cannot penetrate the veil.

The Apostle Paul again has a word for us at this point. “For though we walk in the flesh we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ”.

God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, wants to break through every barrier that imprisons my mind.
There are three words that help us to develop this mountain Brook, so others can drink the refreshing influence of my mind. They are;

  • Memorize
  • Personalize
  • Analyze

In order to establish a new thought pattern I need to memorize. In times past I carried 3×5 cards in my shirt pocket. I would reach for them as a man reaches for a cigarette and keep my mind filled with “Thus saith the Lord!”

Then analyze. It is so easy to play the role of the victim and feel sorry for ourselves. Control your thoughts and keep them on things that are positive.

My days of kneeling over that mountain brook and drinking its refreshing water are over for me, but I can still keep my mind running with refreshments for others. So drink freely.

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