How many of you were just thinking about yourself, something having to do with yourself? Or just zoned out and you weren’t thinking about anything? Now I ask that because a good portion of being useful to God has to do with a disciplined mind, because nobody does the right thing automatically. Everybody has to make choices to overcome the inertia of their own selfishness.
You’ve got two little eyeballs and a brain hidden someplace back behind those two little eyeballs, and you have to decide, and I have to decide whether those eyes are going to look out or whether they are going to look in—if they are going to be relating to me and how everything affects me, what I’m thinking about, what I want, what are people thinking about me right now, me, me, me, me, me, me, me. Or, are you outside of yourself thinking about others, caring for others, praying for others, being watchful, pondering God’s wisdom in building, desiring that sin and issues be squashed in each other’s lives for God’s glory. Those are all very conscious, hardworking decisions, Work with a capital W, because everybody, everybody left to their own, will just suck right back into themselves and seeing things from their own perspective and how things relate to them and what people are thinking of me right now. And probably because everybody is doing that, nobody IS thinking about you right now, so it’s all wasted effort anyway. :) Everybody is thinking about themselves, left on their own.
That’s one of the very small steps, but a very easy and practical step, in becoming a man or woman of God. How would I become that if I wanted to be that, and who wouldn’t want that in their right mind? How would I become that? Well, that’s certainly something that anybody and everybody can do that’s incredibly practical and amazingly simple, that’s not some climb a mountain and light a candle and hum and memorize the scriptures backwards, and all these great things that you would have to do to become a man of God or a woman of God. That’s nonsense.
One of the simplest things that’s available to anybody, anywhere, anytime, if they just have the desire for it and the guts and the self-discipline for it, is to spend their time thinking about and praying for others and lift their eyes to God and then back to their surroundings and the people around them, and then back to God and then back to their surroundings and the people around them, and praying for the nuances and the subtleties of every person’s life and their fears and their thoughts, and their decisions, and their priorities, and their affections, and thinking, praying, working, thinking, praying, working throughout any given sixty seconds.
But I only point this out, I just threw a big net over everybody to catch us all just for a split second, and if we’re honest enough or aware enough even to answer the question: What were you just thinking about?
Most people would normally be caught in any given sixty seconds thinking about themselves and things that relate to themselves, and there’s no profit in that. There’s no value, no spiritual advantage or potential fruit in thinking about yourself and what someone else may think of you, and what you want and don’t want, and like and don’t like, and all that sort of thing.
Capture yourself. Let Him capture you in those simple practical things of your split seconds here and there, and you’ll be amazed at what kind of life God can build out of that. Or revert to the inertia of self-life, just dragging you down to a slow crawl by letting your mind go where it wants to, and that’s where it will want to go. That’s a simple choice. There’s nothing magical, mysterious, or unreachable about that, and yet, that small step will amount to amazing things spread out over a lifetime if we just choose to discipline our thought-life that way.