Stayed Mind/Controlled Thoughts
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
The word “stayed” basically means to rest upon. We can have peace in the heart because we trust God to do what he has said. We rest upon His Word, His Faithfulness.
Conditions are not relevant. Circumstances are meaningless. Trusting Him is everything.
It is relatively simple to stay on top of life mentally when everything is flowing in your direction.
The sun is shining, a gentle breeze barely touching the skin but good enough to keep bugs away while providing just enough coolness to keep the sun from being too hot. The laughter of those around you lightens the heart and eases the soul. Your sitting on a blanket at the lake, either with your growing family or maybe just some friends. The aroma of the food on the grill, that another is preparing for you, stirs the anticipation of an amazing meal your mind can already taste. The job is going great, there is more money coming in than going out. As far as can be seen it is blue skies all the way to the horizon and even beyond. As the Swahili of East Africa say, “Hakuna-matata” (no trouble, no worries).
No distractions from issues, no storm clouds, no gale force winds, no weather alerts coming across that computer you generally carry in your pocket. Actually, it isn’t even with you, you left it in the car.
Your mind is at peace and resting quietly as you lean back against the tree, enjoying the sights and sounds of peacefulness.
Relax and enjoy your day.
“SENECA, S.C. – It was the whooshing sound of the wind that finally woke Stephanie Scott up around 3 a.m. Monday.
She couldn’t see, but she heard everything as debris pelted the brick facade of her mother’s home. She ran to her mother’s room, grabbed her, and sought shelter in a doorway as the tornado battered South Oak Street in downtown Seneca.
All the two could do was hold each other and pray, they said, as 160 mph winds tore 100-year-old pecan trees from the ground, ripped the roof right off their house and shattered windows.
As governors nationally seek relief from “catastrophic” economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic, governors in the South need help with a physical catastrophe after at least 105 tornadoes carved a terrifying path between Sunday and Monday that killed dozens and caused untold millions of dollars in property damage.”1
What happens with your mind when a day like this happens?
Some friends will come over to help, if their homes and family were not under the same weather-related attack and they are not too fearful of a virus that is going around and killing people. Perhaps the government will send aid, but then again, the government is pretty occupied with millions out of work and the economy in all out collapse.
Even if there is help from friends or the government, you lost so much, in memories and keepsakes; and there are so many unanswered questions about the days and weeks, and even months ahead. Your sister and her family live in the next town, are they okay? Did your place of business survive, do you still have a job to return to?
Your heart, the kardia not the physical organ, is under an all-out attack. Is your peace slipping or already completely gone? The mental pressure is building with each thought, like a volcano a sumballo has already erupted! Spewing fear, doubt, worry, anxiety all over the entire nous.
It is easy to say from the outside, control your thoughts with God’s Word. Stay your mind upon the promises of God. Be at peace and know your Heavenly Father will be there with you and for you. It is easy to say, but can a child of God be expected to have a renewed mind in a time such as this?
You believe in God, but do you trust Him with all these things?
He that regardeth [phroneo] the day, regardeth [phroneo] it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth [phroneo] not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard [phroneo] it….
What are your thoughts about the day?
How do you regard it?
Unto the Lord, or the world?
Where you stay your mind has a great impact on the phronema being moved into the kardia.
There are only two places to set your mind in every situation: either with God or with the kosmos.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
The choice is God or the world. In every situation you can only move in one of two directions. There appear to be many choices, but one way is narrow and the other broad. One is plain and easy to see, the other has many disguises but the same destination.
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection [phroneo – verb form of phronema] on things above, not on things on the earth.
Colossians 3:1 is a first-class conditional clause in the Greek, meaning it is an assumed positive reply to the “if.” Therefore, a more accurate translation is, ‘Since you are risen with Christ seek those things which are above…” Your identification in Christ is assumed, especially since the Epistle to the Colossians is addressed to “…the saints and faithful brethren in Christ which are at Colosse:”2
There are only two places to set your mind in every situation: either with God or with the kosmos.
The opening of the Apostle Paul’s ministry.
As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
This is the beginning of the Apostle Paul’s ministry. God has called Paul, in Christ, to declare a secret that has been hidden in God since before the foundation of the world. No one has heard this secret, and no one could see this secret because it was hidden in God, not in His Word.
Paul leaves Antioch, with Barnabas, and they travel to Cyprus to begin preaching. Once on Cyprus they are called to see the proconsul who is Sergius Paulus. Sergius Paulus is described in Acts 13:7 as a prudent man, Greek synetos. The Lexicon defines synetos as intelligent but more accurately synetos would be defined as a wise man or a man of understanding.
Synetos is associated with the Greek word synesis. Synesis is when two rivers come together to form one river. In reference to thought or comprehension, synesis would be two thoughts coming together to give you a greater understanding. Synetos is the adjective form while synesis is the noun.
So, Paul and Barnabas are called to see Sergius Paulus, who is a man that can see how things fit together, he is a man of understanding. Now Sergius Paulus has an advisor whose name is Elymas and Elymas does not want his boss to hear and understand Paul’s doctrine of the mystery, the Gospel of God’s Grace.
Elymas does not know this doctrine, remember it was hidden in God, but he knows it is God’s Word and that is enough for Elymas to hinder its movement.
But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood [anthistemi – resist, oppose] them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith [pistis = believing].
We are taking time to consider this first event in Paul’s ministry because it sets the opening of the transition into the Administration of Grace.3 God’s Covenant with Israel under the Mosaic Law is now in complete abeyance.
What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.
As Elymas becomes blind for a season, the nation of Israel becomes blind for the duration of our administration. As Elymas has the wrong spiritual father, Israel is led by men who have the wrong spiritual father.
And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
Elymas is a child of the Devil and as such he specifically represents the kosmos, the kingdom of our enemy. This is the figure of speech idioma and a genitive of origin to show and emphasize the relationship between Elymas and the Devil as one of a child and father. The exact opposite of a child of God. It speaks of a spiritual relationship which cannot be broken.
It is the children of the Devil that bring forth the Devil’s logic, attitudes, thought patterns, his heart to corrupt and pervert humanity, to led humanity away from the One True God. What you see in the character of Elymas is why God declared the kosmos corrupt, and evil, and an enemy.
First, Elymas is full of all subtilty. Full is pletho and means to be filled to overflowing. Subtilty is dolos and means deliberate attempt to mislead, to trick, to catch in a snare. In this case his victim is Sergius Paulus, whereby he could affect all of Cyprus.
Then, Elymas is filled to overflowing with all mischief. Filled is supplied to this second part by the figure of speech ellipsis. Mischief is rhadiourgia and means reckless and wicked through self-indulgence. We will see the heart of this word as persecution is raised against Paul by people who are only acting to placate their selfish desires.
Then, Acts 13:10 identifies Elymas as a child of the Devil. We already discussed the figure of speech that describes his spiritual relationship to the Devil as his father. Now, understand the Devil uses his children to spread and disseminate his way of thinking. The Devil rejected God and God’s ways for his own.
Therefore, the Devil and his children are the enemy of all righteousness who will never cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord.
When you became a child of God, He made you righteous, as righteous as He is Himself.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For he [God] hath made him [Jesus Christ] to be sin [sin offering] for us, who [Jesus Christ] knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him [Jesus Christ].
God made you as righteous as He is, and the Devil and his children are the enemy of everything that is righteous. He is your enemy!
The word enemy is echthros and means a deep-seated hostility or hatred. The word pervert, diastrepho, means to distort or to turn away.
This is the heart of our enemy and how his children function in the world. They hold a deep-seated hatred for God’s children and try to turn us away from God’s Word or to distort God’s Word. They are expert at tricking and laying a snare to catch. Their motivation is self-indulgence due to lust.
Granted most who walk with the world are not children of the Devil, they are simply in the snare of the Devil. They mouth his philosophy through ignorance; like the many mindless mobs raised throughout the Book of Acts.
Our response, in every situation, is to walk forth in the love of God and to speak the words of God, the Gospel of God’s Grace, the mystery revealed.
2 Timothy 2:25-26
In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
Part of Paul’s ministry is stated in Acts 26.
To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Now, look at some accounts, from God’s Word, concerning the life of the Apostle Paul. He faced some challenging situations as we see him travelling in the Book of Acts and teaching the secret God has given him to reveal. Whether or not these accounts are equivalent to your situation is up to you to decide, for it is your situation and you are the one who is facing it.
And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith [pistis = believing] to be healed, said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked. And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, the gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.
If the Adversary cannot steal God’s Word from you when you hear it, he will then try to pleasure you away from God’s Word or pressure you off God’s Word.4 Once you have allowed God to make you His spiritual child the Adversary tries to hinder your walk with God because he is afraid of you. He is afraid you will become all that God has enabled you to become in Christ.
And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them. And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
Verse 18 Paul and Barnabas barely stopped the people from making sacrifice to them and in the very next verse they stone Paul and threw his body out of the city thinking he was dead. Paul experienced a pretty big swing in the events of a single day. First, he is a god to worship. Then, the same people take action to kill him.
How would your mind react to such a day?
Exposed to such bouncing back and forth with such passion and emotion, expressed by those who still walk with the kosmos, a spiritual person needs to be in control of the phronema in their nous. If not, the emotions of the many will swing the spiritual person right along with the emotions of the moment. In the heat of the battle the nous will rely upon how it has been trained. What some might call muscle memory, but of the mind.
Is your nous trained to reason, logizomai, with God’s Word?
Is your passion, your thumos, to do God’s Will?
In which direction will your thought patterns, sumballo, direct your heart, kardia?
Is the love of God in manifestation your motivation, the pulse of your heart?
Where will you stay your mind, your nous, God, or mammon?
And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:
In Acts 14 the religious leaders incited the persecution using the idolaters to carry out the sentence of death. In Acts 16 the financial sector rose to incite the persecution. The religious leaders acted out of jealousy (Acts 13:45) and the financial leaders acted out of greed (Acts 16:19).
Neither acted out of a concern for the people they incited. That is the way of those who follow the kosmos. They imitate their father whom John 8 identifies as a liar and a murderer. The love of God dictates every person is important; the kosmos declares people are pawns to be used to advance your own selfish desires.
But the kosmos requires raw emotion and statements that lack the TRUTH to get the crowd moving in the direction they desire. Understand, ignorance on the part of the crowd is required so that lies can be given life.
Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.
The “inner prison” refers to the lower cells, below ground which means no windows for sunlight or air vents, no movement of air and no fresh air. Further, Roman prisons were not known for their sanitary conditions. So, here are Paul and Silas, feet locked in stocks so they must lay flat on the floor of the cell, in the filth from previous prisoners, with backs that have fresh, open wounds and all of this has taken place illegally.
Figure.1. Inner prison cell excavated in Philippi.
So, what do Paul and Silas do with their minds after such an egregious assault on their dignity and their rights?
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.
This is not the response one would expect. I get a smile on my face most times when I read this section because I imagine Paul and Silas laying on their backs while singing, “In the Garden.” Very doubtful since that hymn was not written until 1913 but I smile, nonetheless. They probably sang some hymn of their day of peacefulness and an awareness of the presence of their Heavenly Father.
They knew the circumstances were temporary, they were keenly aware of that Truth.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Well, God continues to reveal the details of this account as we continue in Acts 16. There was an earthquake that freed the prisoners and got the attention of the jailer who believed.
And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, let those men go. And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, the magistrates have sent to let you go now therefore depart and go in peace.
I said earlier those that incite the works of the kosmos rely upon the multitudes not knowing the Truth. This account is normative not an isolated incident. The ignorance of the multitude, or the one, is required for the kosmos to have success.
But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.
In 247 B.C. it was made illegal for a citizen of Rome to be publicly scourged, it was considered too degrading for a Roman citizen. By law, all Roman citizens were allowed a trial where they could speak for themselves and offer a defense. If found guilty they could be punished, like Paul was beheaded later in life when he was found guilty. But none of these rights were afforded Paul who was born a Roman citizen. The cities magistrates were in deep trouble if Paul desired to press his case.
Paul simply embarrassed the magistrates publicly as they had insulted him publicly. He writes of his treatment in Philippi on another occasion.
1 Thessalonians 2:2
But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
To “shamefully entreat” is to publicly humiliate with treatment that is beyond measure while also hurling insults. This word is only used 5 times in the New Testament, one of those times it is speaking of the treatment Jesus received at the hands of the Romans.
Paul also received this same kind of treatment in Iconium in Acts 14. Paul’s response to the kosmos attacking his life is truly clear in this verse in Thessalonians, “…we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God…”
Can a believer keep his thoughts stayed on God in the worst of times? Is it available for a child of God to control his thoughts when the kosmos is at its worst?
In Acts 17, while in Thessalonica, the religious leaders, who acted out of envy, took unto themselves “lewd fellows of the baser sort” to get the city in an uproar and once again based upon accusations that were a lie. Then there was more trouble in Ephesus with Demetrious, and in Jerusalem with Jews from Asia, also when he was in Caesarea and 40 men made a commitment to end Paul’s life.
For two years Paul lived under house arrest in Caesarea. When he was sent to Rome for judgment his ship ran into a storm, a storm that lasted for 14 days and then, sank the ship.
And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat, saying, this day is the fourteenth day that ye have tarried and continued fasting, having taken nothing.
This is not the normal word for fasting, in other words, they were not eating because they were sick. Have you ever witnessed a person who is seasick? It is not a pretty sight. Yet Paul, by revelation, gives them, all 276 people on the ship, directions to eat before they sink.
The Adversary, as the god of this world, also has a control of the natural laws affecting the atmosphere whereby he can bring in storms that kill and destroy. The greater TRUTH is that spiritual law supersedes natural law and believing is a spiritual law.
Consider a listing of some of the things Paul endured throughout his ministry.
2 Corinthians 11:24-28
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
A child of God will have pressure and tribulation, from the kosmos. You are not of nor do you belong to this world, the kosmos. A child of God has been elevated once again into the Kingdom of God, where man was designed to be back in the Garden of Eden.
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
The word “conversation” is more accurately translated citizenship. Our citizenship is in heaven! That is why Colossians told us to set our thoughts, our phroneo, on the things above
For our citizenship is in the heavens, whence also a Saviour we await -- the Lord Jesus Christ -- who shall transform the body of our humiliation to its becoming conformed to the body of his glory, according to the working of his power, even to subject to himself the all things.
Young’s Literal Translation
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.
English Standard Version
As a child of God, no matter what the disaster the kosmos throws in our direction, we can keep our nous, our phronema centered on the words of God for we have the mind of Christ.
The more of God’s Word we put in our nous, the easier it is to recognize the tactics of the Adversary and either confront them or avoid them, which ever God shows you is right in that specific situation.
2 Corinthians 12:9a
And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…
If we are walking with God, trouble from the world finds us. But trouble from the world is never greater than God’s grace, especially in the Administration of Grace.
The Apostle Paul led an amazing life in his walk with God.
1 Corinthians 4:16-17
Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me. For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
Paul’s ways in Christ. Model his conduct, his manner of living in Christ. He spoke in tongues more than all the believers in Corinth, perhaps you should speak in tongues. When the Adversary attacked, he prayed, sang hymns, and preached the gospel. The Adversary came at him with trouble, Paul basked in God’s grace.
We can imitate those qualities of Paul who has demonstrated a renewed mind and walked in God’s power and with God’s peace.
1. USA Today 4/17/2020 Daniel J. Gross, Zoe Nicholson, Genna Contino, Carol Motsinger and Jannette Pippin, Gannett staff writers; https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/in-southern-towns-hammered-by-tornadoes-covid-19-is-not-a-priority-anymore/ar-BB12K1JD
2. Colossians 1:2 KJV
3. To understand Administrations, see the teaching series on Administrations of the 2nd Heaven and Earth (not yet posted).
4. See the parable of the sower and the seed Matthew 13:3-9, 18-23
©Auxano Ministry 2020
All verses quoted in this teaching are from the King James Version unless otherwise noted.