January 11 I Saturday
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind.” —Philippians 2:1-2
How can we hope to achieve to any degree the mindset of Christ? We are not divine in nature as He is, and are constantly engaged in a battle of Spirit against the flesh. Though our hearts are willing, the flesh overcomes all too often, and we find ourselves in a perpetual state of reaching beyond our grasp.
Jesus is our example. As a man on earth, He professed no ability or agenda of His own, but lived exclusively to fulfill the will of His Father. He did this in unequivocal obedience to His Father and utter dependency on Him. This was not a passive dependence by any means, but one in which He took on the very nature of a servant, and lived every day in active obedience within the context of complete dependence.
To have the mindset of Christ is to be skeptical of any sense of self-sufficiency, and realize that Christ in us is our strength, our sustenance, our wisdom and our righteousness. Jesus died and rose again so that having removed our guilt He might occupy that place in our lives as Lord in order to direct and empower us. This means His will trumps our comfort and convenience on every level. Obedience to Him, though seemingly costly at times, will always yield the deep satisfaction our hearts look for.
The likeness of Christ is not brought about by imitation, but derivation, as Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). God has exemplified in Jesus Christ the mind, attitude and disposition that characterize the Christian life. If we are going to please God and find the fulfillment we are intended to have, then we need to acquire the mindset of Christ. This does not mean making all the right moves at all the right times. Acquiring the mindset of Christ is to live in a loving relationship of dependence on Him and obedience to Him, just as He lived with His Father.
It is not likely we will see too much of Christ in ourselves as we are usually far more aware of the flesh fighting against the Spirit, but others will see Christ in us. Our task is to love Jesus, obey Him and trust Him. Once we have settled the business of dependency upon Him and obedience to Him, there is no further issue to face; the rest becomes a case of what God does.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for the supreme example You have set for us. Help me to stay ever vigilant in my dependency on You and obedience to You. Praise You!