Article by Lance Steiger
Here’s something I’ve been thinking about lately…
We live in a remarkable age. We really do. The phone in my pocket can access almost all of the collective knowledge of the human race. Google even brags about the speed at which it fetches this information… “About 24,500,000 results (0.59 seconds)”…not bad. Want to learn about the “history of the fuel injection system”?…About 2,560,000 results (0.71 seconds). Boom, there it is! …read some articles …look at a few diagrams …and I can now speak eloquently about the inner workings of the internal combustion engine throughout its history. Some might even think I’m an expert on the topic when they hear me speak. But in reality, I gained that knowledge through an iPhone screen and about 10-12 sips of coffee. Don’t let me work on your car.
How much does this “Google” approach to knowledge affect my knowledge of Christ?
I’m thoroughly conditioned to avoid thinking, praying, meditating and reasoning when faced with the complexities of life. When faced with a new challenge, it seems that my instinct is to search first for answers in books, webpages, sermons and the knowledge of other people. Why should I contemplate and ask God for answers when I can get the answers in 0.71 seconds? Is it wrong to seek knowledge from other places? NO! Does God speak to us through books, blogs, sermons and other people? YES! But what if I were to start each quest with complete dependence on Christ, knowing that he is the source of all wisdom and knowledge? (Proverbs 9:10) Jesus Christ is fully man and fully God at the same time. He created me and relates to me on a personal level. I have access to God because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. I have a relationship with him and his spirit lives in me. I can go directly to the source of all wisdom and knowledge.
Paul asks us in Ephesians 4:23 to “be renewed in the spirit of your mind”
What is the “spirit of our minds”? (if any theologians are reading this, please add your thoughts in the comments section!) I would guess it means that our minds are not simply data processing machines. Our minds must be tied with with our being, our souls and our hearts. If this is true, they must be fallen as well…hostile towards God. I’m going to let John Piper weigh in here. In his blog post titled “The Renewed Mind and How to Have it” he says:
“The mind has a “spirit.” In other words, our mind has what we call a “mindset.” It doesn’t just have a view, it has a viewpoint. It doesn’t just have the power to perceive and detect; it also has a posture, a demeanor, a bearing, an attitude, a bent.”
This makes sense to me, thanks John. My fallen mind doesn’t want to rely on Christ. It can’t instinctively acknowledge Christ as the source of all wisdom and knowledge. Its fallen viewpoint looks for wisdom and knowledge apart from God. Thankfully, 1 Corinthians 2:16 says that I “have the mind of Christ”. My fallen mind has been renewed by the spirit of God that lives in me. The Holy Spirit changes my mindset and enables my mind to trust Christ for the truth.
When I’m anxiously searching for answers, I can focus on Christ and trust that he will provide the wisdom and knowledge that I need (James 1:5). I can trust that the Holy Spirit will expose me to Christ-centered truth and, at the same time, break down the stubbornness in my mind that doesn’t want to believe God.
When I set the posture of my mind toward Christ, he might lead me to a pastor, a blog post, a book or a trusted believer. Or, he might overwhelm me with peace and understanding (Phil 4:7) No matter how he responds, I can be sure that I’m receiving wisdom that comes from God.