Think On This
Are You Out Of Your Mind? Are You Out Of Your Mind? Are You Out Of Your Mind? Are You Out Of Your Mind?
Isaiah 55:8,9 - (NAS)
  1. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
  2. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Over the years when pressed into service for others in Jesus' name beyond your own human comfort zone, into a realm that seemed to defy all logic and understanding, have you often wondered if you had reached the limits of your sanity? You know you would not have chosen that particular path for that specific need of another if you were in your right mind. You think to yourself: What was I thinking? You may have had others who knew you best question your thoughts and actions, even saying to you: Are you out of your mind? You agreed. You did feel deep within this wasn't the course any one in their right mind might have chosen—the things you are called to do for or speak to others. However, there was no denying in your spirit by Whom you were being led! As you continued obediently in faith, you may have had to defend your actions to others by expressing your unconcern of their thoughts and attitudes toward you because of their lack of understanding where God had placed you.

At this point, you may have had thoughts of the similarities of your experience and Job's experience with his three friends who could not understand what he was experiencing in his time. Never before had you more understanding and greater sympathy for his situation. You conclude your friends mean well but are not in the throes of the experience and anointing of your unique calling for this moment. You do not judge. You know, you just know, you must press on until He has done with you in the matter. Your obedience is required and His yoke and Joy remaineth upon you. This is undeniable to you. As much as you may desire and try, you will never be able to convince your friends to understand. Nor should you. Nor can they. This is something God has called you to do in quiet solitude, devotion and service to Him. Jesus asked us never to do our alms to Him for others to see. Greater will be your reward in heaven when He alone recognizes in total what you have done in private and personal for Him (Mt.6:4). Though your actions may be seen openly because of the nature of your service, you and He alone know this you do for Him, in His name. You have come to the point in surrender to Him where His recognition is all the recognition you seek. At times, even those you serve may seem to resent your service or at the least you may feel you are misunderstood, unappreciated or being used. It matters not when you know you have both His blessing and anointing for what you do. Human nature and reasoning would say: enough! and walk away. But you are no longer listening with the human ear and applying human logic.

For the Christian who has indeed reached a level of growth in the heart of God's calming and satisfying love produced by the Holy Spirit, the new creature in Christ has allowed the mind of Christ to thoroughly supplant the mind of the old creature (Rom.12:2; Eph.4:23; Ph.2:5; I Pe.4:1). Newborn into His kingdom we were babes in Christ (II Cor.5:17). We thought like a child, we spoke as a child, we acted as a child, we even expected from others as a child, but when we grew up in Christ, we put away those childish ways and walked in the ways of maturity in Christ. His mind began having more and more sway with each passing day, with each growing experience, each lesson learned, each willful submission to Him as Lord in all areas of our lives (I Cor.13:11; II Cor.10:5). His Spirit now is busy at work pricking, prodding and poking at the old creature in our daily contact with the world. He is constantly exposing remnants of the old life, convicting and presenting us continually with the choice of obedience in submission for dissection any discovery of the old and insinuation of Himself into each new area we allow His cleansing (John 16:8)—this all so He might greater equip and use us in His service to others.

Oswald Chambers often spoke of white funerals. One thousand white funerals we should be attending every day! The life of a Christian should contain every day at least one white funeral of something God's Spirit has revealed remaining in us of the old man. We should confess it, place it into the Spirit's hands and fall to our knees as we watch Him nail it to the Cross then bury it with Christ in His tomb. It must be exposed and stripped from us and buried with Christ in order to emerge triumphant as He when mortality took on immortality. We must surrender to His death every detail of self, allowing Him to take them to the grave where they will have no power to rise to our hurt or a hinderance in service any longer. As we yield in each of these white funerals, their numbers will decrease as He increases within us. Paul says as we live we should always be: "...bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body." (II Cor.4:10) Physical death will then be the final baptism, the final filter, the final funeral that strips away the old vessel itself that housed our life of sin and the lust for it.

As time continues and we walk in willful obedience, abiding in His love, seeking His will rather than our own human desires, we begin to see more and more the distinction of our old carnal mind and the new mind of Christ He has placed within us through rebirth. We see at last His kingdom we could never prior to being born again (Mt.18:3; John 3:3)! Our way of looking at things takes on a transformation never thought possible. Experiences of our past we thought then were normal occurrences in our daily living begin to take on a pattern sufficient to see God at work in it all, moving us to the point where we come to the moment when we face Him and ourselves in stark reality. He stands before us as a pillar of cloud and fire. He has chosen to reveal Himself to us in that grand mysterious moment, pealing back the veil that we might see with clarity His love demonstrated in vivid detail of Christ's work for our Redemption. It may not be as vivid as Moses' burning bush but we sense with undeniable attraction and affinity His call for service, His choosing either for a lifetime or some one momentary duty. Will we follow Him in complete surrender to be used however, whenever and wherever He chooses, and to whomever?

In that moment we are faced with a Divine poignant pause by Him, awaiting equally our choice of Him. As did the Hebrews in the Exodus, will we likewise break camp and follow when He moves and strike camp when He halts (Ex.40:36)? Will we listen to the logic of human wisdom that says, as the Hebrew spies' report of Canaan, what He calls me to is impossible, it is too great, I must be out of my mind, or, will we believe and trust God to continue to make a way when no way is seen? The cherub chorus of heaven await in breathless silence, time and eternity touch supernaturally. With our spirit's ears open we hear the echo of Joshua's call of long ago: "...choose you this day whom ye will serve...". (Joshua 24:15) God has chosen us. Will we choose to listen, believe and serve? All await our response.

The Hebrews agreed with the majority when eight of ten spies said: Impossible! after viewing the strength of their enemies in Canaan (Num.14:2). The Israelite army said—Impossible! when viewing Goliath for 40 days standing on the mount before them mocking their God (I Sam.17:16). The Jews said—Impossible! when Jesus said to them: "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up (Jn.2:19)." You look at what He is calling you to do and everything in you wants to join with all those who have stood on the precipice of declaring—Impossible! You think: I must be out of my mind!

That is precisely where He desires you to be fit for His service! If you think you have so much to offer God, so much skill, talent, intelligence, training, learning, education, motivation, outgoing personality, etc., you will never be fit. Why, you ask? That doesn't seem logical. It is because that is what you think. That is why He can't and won't use you. It doesn't mean that all those things of themselves aren't good and He can't or won't use them. It is because you think that. Because you think that, pride goes before your service. Look at me, God, is what that says. Look at what I have to offer. And if you were to do something in service, that pride would turn you back to point at what you have done. As with His work of salvation where there is no room for boasting, it is for His service. There can be no room for man taking credit in any part of what God does. To Him must be all glory. The testimony to others must be when they look upon what was done, only by God's hand was that possible. There can be no question in their mind as to its source, else, man takes to himself glory. When you have yielded all you have and all you are to Him and He then uses you in ways that go beyond the possibility of human power and understanding, there will be times in the thick of service you will think you must be out of your mind! It was no less for Jesus (Mk.3:21). As did He, go forward in faith in the will of the Father.

- Author: Ken Livingston

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