“After He had dismissed them, He went up in the hills by himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone. Jesus in Matthew 14:23
Can you be alone in a crowd? Absolutely! A great portion of your life is lived in the privacy of your own consciousness, or what many sense is their privately-“gated-territory. Some of your thought-life is voluntarily shared with others, some is definitely not. You can be alone with your thoughts even in a crowd; and you can be alone when you seek escape or peace and rest from a harried world in the many spaces of solitude which are everywhere in the populated world, urban, rural, or wilderness.
Next week a number of the young men at the PAYH with a few staff will begin a 600 mile bike trek around the State of Georgia. You can follow our annual Bike Challenge at payhbikeride.com. There will be lots of conversation and interaction during the week-long event, however, as in many individual endeavor sporting events there is much time spent in the confines of your own mind. You know what goes on there from your own experience. It may be thoughts and observations about what you are seeing; it may be dreaming of the future, or reminiscing about the past; you may be planning something; you may be thinking of something that has impacted your thoughts; your mind might be focused upon another or some others; your thoughts can go hundreds of directions.
What captured the conscious thoughts of the Savior during his life on earth? You can often surmise what a person is thinking by what comes out of his mouth and what his actions are. You can tell from Jesus’ parables and comments that he was a man of keen observation. His observations were applied to the truth of the world and to the gospel, the life-giving message he came to live out to the fullest. His thought life was saturated in conversation with his omnipresent, omniscient Father. He shared all of his life with Him. Consequently, Jesus recognized from his earliest human age that he was never alone. He experienced total aloneness only once, and that was in the physical, spiritual, and mental agony of the cross when he cried out, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me!, as he became sin for us. His private thoughts were focused and He was well aware that they were seen and heard by a loving Father.
Your thoughts, your consciousness, should imitate Christ, your Messiah and Savior, if indeed you claim to be his disciple. Your private mind should never be thought of as private to only you. All our thoughts either defend us or condemn us, whether you believe it or not. The One who created you tells you your thoughts are not private, not unknown, and certainly not “deletable by you; you cannot destroy your mind’s hard-drive like the IRS, thinking you can cover your sin. “Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, O Lord (Psalm 139:4). God’s merciful action based on the sacrifice, the blood of Christ His Son, can alone blot out your sin. He alone is able to remove it from His sight as far as the east is from the west (infinite) and in the depths of the deepest sea (infinite) (Psalm 103:12). But this forgiveness, absolutely and unalterably, necessitates a faith that clings to Christ, and claims his sacrifice as your personal substitutionary atonement from your sin’s eternal results, ACCOMPANIED by a genuine repentance of your sin, consciously turning from it and embracing obedience to His commands. “If you love me you will do what I say, Jesus said. Perfection is neither expected nor possible; but consistently and immediately returning to Jesus’ arms when you sin acknowledges that you KNOW where your pardon lies (1 John 1:9).
Only us, men, women, and children, are so designed and made; no other creatures on earth have a consciousness with a conscience as those created in the image of their Creator God. We are “fearfully and wonderfully made! We have a life private from other people, but not private from God. Following the example of Jesus we can reform our thought life by His grace to turn from our idle thoughts to a more useful and beneficial personally-private endeavor: conversation in prayer with our Father, thinking on things as Philippians 4:8; things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy.
Make no mistake, this is a battle because the mind is a war zone and our Enemy-Deceiver is cunning and shrewd. But it is in your thought life where the battle must be fought and won, knowing that “no temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it (I Corinthians 10:13). There is no more important battle for you to pursue in the days already ordained for you which still remain and with every ounce of your strength and MIND.
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