Jesus miraculously feeds five thousand and then four thousand. Afterwards he warns cryptically, “Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” Mark 8:15 and I scratch my head and wonder what he is talking about. He reminds me of the miracles performed, not once, but twice and how there was plenty of food leftover. Jesus is cautioning me against falling back on old tendencies to rely performance and power to accomplish his Kingdom’s work.
And yet these are my worldly go-to thought patterns:
“If I just get it right…”
“If I just push hard enough, fight hard enough and get my way…”
Funny how these old tools have always failed me in drawing closer to God as well as pointing others to him. A new regime is taking hold.
Fast forward to Peter chastises Christ for predicting suffering, rejection and death, worldly shame and failure. Christ turns to Peter and openly rebukes him before the other disciples, “Get behind me Satan! For you are setting your mind to on divine things but on human things.” Mark 8:33. How often I am guilty of joining Peter in having my mind set on human things…what I am going to do next, what the future holds, how I will get what I want. My imagination can not perceive what God has planned.
But thank God, by his Holy Spirit, I am saved from this:
“But those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law— indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. but you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Romans 8:6-10.
And the result is a deep, abiding peace. Not my will, Lord but yours be done. There is a freedom in letting go of what I want and letting the One who created the universe be in charge. In spite of the pain and suffering that comes from living in a broken world, laughter and joy will be found. There is healing and rest in knowing that God will win no matter what. His love for me overcomes all.
Holy Spirit, give me a mind that is set on your will, your desires. Let the reality of your love for me, your power over the sin and death rule within the very depths of who you have made me to be. Thank you that day by day, moment by moment, you continue your work within me for your glory and your good pleasure. Thank you for all that you have done. Amen.