We are waiting for the Holy Spirit and we are trying to wait as Christ’s disciples waited. We are trying to devote ourselves to prayer and wait together. This last Sunday before Pentecost we come to the attribute those disciples showed that seems impossible today – they were on “one mind.” Today the church is divided into literally hundreds of denominations and expressions. I have seen congregational ruling board meetings break down into fist fights. Our culture is riven into at least two very distinct tribes. How can we possibly be of one mind?
One is tempted to say that “only by the power of the Holy Spirit” can we achieve being of one mind. But we are waiting for the Holy Spirit, not yet relying on Him. This does not mean being of one mind is a necessary condition for the presence of the Holy Spirit, but it does indicate that this is something we should be able to achieve without such supernatural intervention. But how? When what color to paint the sanctuary can result in years long debates, and even when a decision is made someone will leave the church over it, how can we be of one mind?
The answer is, really pretty simple. Consider Romans 12:1,2:
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
We sacrifice, that’s all, we sacrifice. Note what happens when we do – our minds are renewed, which results interestingly in non-conformance with the world.
We are one one mind when we all allow our minds to be subsumed into the mind of God. As long as it is about what we want or what we thing, then being of one mind is indeed an impossibility. But if we all want what God wants, then we are all of one mind because there is only one mind calling the shots. Easy to say, so hard to do.
It is so easy to think we know what God wants, it is even easier to claim to know what God wants. But it is oh so difficult to actually wait on what God is trying to tell us and harder still to abide by it.
I am not sure what t would look like to be of one mind, so as I wait for Pentecost I am not going to worry about that so much. I do know what it takes to get there – focus on God, efforts to put His desires before mine. On this I can concentrate.