Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Now, if you're up late enough - I'm saying really late - you might catch an episode of the old TV series "The Twilight Zone." Rod Serling wrote some very imaginative and actually sometimes strange stories that ended up on that series. And it's funny after all these years; I still remember one, even though it's been a long time. This bank teller suddenly develops the ability to know what people are thinking, and he thinks he has a great gift. The amusing part was that while people were speaking, he knew what they were really thinking as they said those words. Aren't you glad this was just fiction?
For example, he heard the banker saying to a customer that had a considerable amount of money in the bank, "We certainly enjoyed visiting with you." Meanwhile he's hearing his thoughts say, "I wouldn't even want to be in the same room with you if you didn't have so much money." Well, by the end of the story, as I recall it, he's not so sure he wants this gift anymore. Someone who knows what you're thinking about; aren't you glad that's just fiction? Or is it?
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "The Thought Detector."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from Luke 5, and I'm going to begin reading at verse 20, where a young man has just been lowered through a roof by his determined friends. See, they want their paralyzed friend to have a healing touch from Jesus. You may remember the story. The Bible says, "When Jesus saw their faith, He said, 'Friend, your sins are forgiven.' The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, 'Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?' Jesus knew what they were thinking (oh, here we go!) and asked, 'Why are you thinking these things in your heart?'"
Now, these people didn't say they were doubting Jesus, but Jesus knew they were. See, a passage like this teaches us that if you think it, Jesus knows it. How does that make you feel? I mean, a lot of folks whose outer life is admirably righteous have a moral zoo going on inside. See, Jesus is interested in your thoughts, not just your actions. For example He told us, "If a man commits adultery in his heart; if he lusts after a woman, that's a form of adultery" - mental adultery.
Now, we work pretty hard to get the outside looking good, don't we? But 1 Samuel 16 says, "God looks on the heart." What you think about all day; that's the real you. Jesus knows the bitterness behind those nice words; He knows the jealousy behind the smiles, the lust behind your lectures on sin. He knows the pride behind all that Christian service. He knows the thoughts of unfaithfulness that maybe you're covering up with words of love. He wants to be the Lord of what you think about, not just what you do. In fact, the wonderful possibility is given to us in 2 Corinthians 10:5. Here's what it says: "We can bring every thought into the captivity and obedience of Christ."
So, fight the war on the first front, and that's where you think. Sin always lands as a thought first; repentance begins with the things I'm thinking about. That's why David said, "Lord, I want you to know my thoughts." So, let Christ invade the real you, not just the one everybody can see. You need Him in your mind all day. He already knows what's going on there. So talk to Him about it, be honest about it, release His power to change your mind. The Bible says that we can "be transformed by the renewing of our mind." That's the power of a living Christ inside of you if you will open up all the closets in your mind with all the darkness and monsters in it for Him to change.
The greatest strongholds for the kingship of Jesus Christ are in my mind, and they can be, and they must be, surrendered to His will.