This week, we consider our mind, which is made up of thoughts and feelings. Thoughts are the mind’s ability to bring objects, concepts, or ideas before our mind to enable us to ponder them, but they can travel back in time to remind us of memories, and be projected into the future in order to solve problems, communicate, and understand in real time. Our thought life is central to hearing from God because every way that God speaks to us will be processed through our thoughts.
God reveals himself to us through our thoughts. In fact, ‘revelation’ by its very nature always has to do with two persons, the one revealing and the one receiving. God has and is actively revealing himself; but we must also actively receive what he is revealing. We could consider two ways that God reveals himself to humankind, general revelation and special revelation:
General Revelation is how God reveals himself through creation, which we can see in, Psalm 19:1, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” There is so much to be understood about God through creation and the amazing effect that it has on us. It stills the soul, quiets the spirit, and grounds our person. Creation will reveal to you God’s eternal power and divine nature if you let it. You can become aware of who God is as you turn your thoughts to him and learn to be attentive.
Special Revelation is how God reveals himself through scripture. In scripture, God uses words to communicate thoughts, ideas, and concepts to us about who he is, who we are, and why the world is the way that it is. The Bible is the progressive story of God’s progressive revelation of himself to humankind. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness.” To see it as God’s revelation of himself means that as we take it up and consider it, we are actually giving God room to speak to us.
God will not push himself on us. The revelation of God in scripture remains dormant unless we open ourselves to it. He waits for us to turn our thoughts towards him. Ideas form our hearts and imaginations and influence our decisions. Unfortunately there are many influential ideas embedded in human culture which sow great distortions into our thinking. In Romans 12:2, Paul saus, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, his good, pleasing, and perfect will.” It has to be our choice to put ourselves in the path of God’s word so that through his words, God can renew our minds and introduce into our thoughts the great truths he has shared with us.