We recently received this article from our dear friend John Beaumont who lives in Rotorua, New Zealand with his wife Mary. We have known John and Mary for over 30 years and appreciate their wisdom and their experiential walk with Jesus. We are sure you will enjoy this inspiring and challenging article.
Spiritual default settings
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”
Isaiah 26.3 came to my attention the other day. My thoughts were that while it isn’t possible to have our thoughts focussed on the Lord 24/7 [e.g. when actively engaged in other things] maybe we should come to where we fix our mind on Him and our thoughts on heaven [Colossians 3:1-3] as a spiritual ‘default setting’. I wonder what you think of that? I’ve not used the term before, but it seems to ring a bell with me. Is it possible to have a default setting on our hearts so that we love our wives, families, and other folk, and indeed enjoy life, but yet our heart swings back to its default setting of loving God with all of our hearts and minds and our neighbours as ourselves, being aware of His presence with us?
I wondered about the way I’d heard a number of believers speak of unbelieving neighbours and/or work associates, and the like. I often butt into a conversation with something like: “They need the Lord,” or perhaps “We need to pray for them.” I begin to see this as another kind of default setting.
I was pondering the idea of fixing in or setting up spiritual default settings like these. Seems to me that the Holy Spirit does it as a response to our wholehearted love for Jesus, our glorious Lord and wonderful Saviour. Perhaps we can foster this developing factor in our lives by such things as ‘practicing the presence of Christ.’
“I’ve often thought that love for the Lord Jesus is the only adequate motivating force that can hold us steadfast on our journey homeward, keeping our eyes on the goal.”
Being the One He is, loving Him with our whole heart and loving our neighbour as ourselves ought to be the easiest thing in the world to do. He is supremely lovely, loving and beautiful. Yes indeed, He Is love! And He shares His love with us, pouring it into our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
I enjoy using terms and ideas from modern technology to add to my understanding of age-long truths. You remember when I was last in Ireland I shared about the GPS of the Holy Spirit’s inner prompting being the key guidance for daily living. I’ve had fun recently in changing my “He’s Here” cards to “You are Here,” which seems to add something for me.
I sent copies of the above article to three wholehearted Jesus-follower friends asking, “I wonder what you think of that?” Here is the heart of what they wrote to me:
1. “. . . A brother further down the road, sharing glimpses of the Grand Plan with joy and certainty that is found in the truth of our Jesus. He, who is our truth and our way and our life.
“I am encouraged by the default setting you shared. I have been reading Colossians much lately looking for and listening to see and hear Jesus in that letter. I do remember one author who translated the first word in 3:1 to “Since”. “Since you have been raised with Christ, seek those things above.” And later in that chapter 3:14, and ABOVE all these things put on love which binds everything together in perfect harmony. You got me thinking about what I think about.
Thinking is a really good thing because there is choice involved and if, by choosing I decide to delight in and desire to be in perfect peace, then Isaiah 26:3 is pointing to a person, not a thing or an abstract idea or a set of rules or anything other that Jesus. Oh how beautiful He is. My mind is again racing to find him in the scriptures and to see Him reveal himself to me. The song Face to Face comes to my mind!”
2. “I read your letter with excitement and joy. The Lord has been dealing with me on a lot of the same issues. I see Him in everything: my life, marriage, God given gifts, family, finances, passion to serve others, and the lost. We must have a default to constantly think of Him. It’s a great concept. Sometimes keeping our minds on Christ is difficult with all the things we are barraged with coming from the world. The enemy constantly tries to steal our peace. That is why Isaiah 26:3 is so important to stay focused on Him. Our hearts and mind control us and having that default is imperative.”
3. “I love the thoughts you express. I remember that years ago you asked me the question “What do you think about when your mind is in neutral?” I have thought about that often and have desired to live where the default position is to fix on Him and to be delighting in Him first above everything else, even if it has not always been my experience. The Isaiah 26 reference you make links the steadfast fixing the mind on Him with trusting Him and I do see that as a key. It means that so many things that might cause stress and ‘questioning doubt’ are dealt with, so trust and rest more easily becomes the default position and awareness of His presence is the norm.
I have been so challenged to see everything from Father’s perspective. I keep finding myself praying that I might have the rest and trust in the Lord so that His perspective is what I am aware of, and react to, more than that of just a human response. I am sure that what you are seeing about our mind fixed on Him leads to that outcome and allows us to respond to the world the way Jesus did.”