Mind This Matter!
“If you could read my mind love, what a tale my thoughts could tell.” The Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot penned these lyrics in 1969 and it is still a popular song today. We are fortunate indeed though, that we cannot read each other’s minds: what a mess of relationships that would make!
There are lots of tricks used to pretend that minds can be read. Carnival shows and clairvoyants ply their trade and popular entertainment presents crime dramas with ‘readers of minds’ as the star attraction.
1 Corinthians 2:11 (ESV)
For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him?
No one can read anyone’s mind. We were created as localized beings, where our soul/spirit is contained within the physical boundaries of our flesh. No friend has access to your thoughts, no employer or super hero, no mom or dad—though they know us so well, and can predict our behavior, we might think they can read our minds! Only our own spirit knows our own mind.
Likewise, we can’t know the mind of God.
1 Corinthians 2:11 (ESV)
So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Only His Spirit knows His mind.
For someone to know our minds we must tell them what is on our minds. So too, for us to know God’s mind He must tell us what it is. This He has done. God has revealed Himself to us—through what He has made (Romans 1; Psalm 19), through His Word (Psalm 19; John 17), and through His Son (John 1; Hebrews 1). We know Him because He wants to be known and has revealed Himself!
Through the ages of man we have sought to guess about God, and in so doing, created little gods of our own imaginations. We have tried to mind read God, and failed, imposing our own minds which get in the way. And so our gods are a lot like us—from animistic gods, Greek and Roman pantheons, Hindu multitudes, and more modern gods like Allah, Maroni, or Self, and materialistic Things—we pretend to read God’s mind and come up with our own ideas of what our god should be like. We are not reading His mind but projecting ours.
Guessing about God will always lead us astray—and will fashion an idol of our own making. No need to guess—God is a personal being, and wants to be known. He has revealed Himself, His mind and heart.
1 Corinthians 2:12 (ESV)
Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God.
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