A very impactful song I learned as a young worship leader was an African-American spiritual taught by my mentor, Dr. Byron Spradlin. The title: “Woke Up This Morning (With My Mind Stayed on Jesus).” My first reaction was, “Now, that is a cool way to do a hymn!” Byron always did souped-up, rock style versions of hymns. (To listen to Byron’s version, click here). But the second reaction was more profound, “What if I could keep my mind stayed on Jesus throughout my day?”
That is a game-changing concept. That is the key to a Christ-centered life. In fact, that profoundly inspired me in developing WholeLifeWorship.
Can you imagine what potential would be released if we could keep our minds “stayed on Jesus”? As the other verses of this spiritual unpack this concept: There’s no condemnation, I can’t hate my neighbor, the devil can’t catch me, and I can love everybody when my mind is stayed on Jesus. Think of how much love and grace would be released, think of the good we can do, think of the freedom that we would have if we could keep our minds “stayed on Jesus!”
This concept affirms what Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to the world’s mold, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The best way we can renew our minds from the world’s mold is to simply keep our minds stayed on Jesus.
But as simple as that concept sounds, it’s not easy!
First, we have tremendous opposition from darkness that wants us to be distracted from seeing Jesus because it could equip us in doing God’s will and bringing light into the world.
Second, we are so distracted by all the cares and concerns of work, family, and expectations that crowd out thoughts of Jesus.
But I think one of the biggest obstacles is that most of us don’t know how to practically keep our minds stayed on Jesus. Some think the only way we can do this is to quit our jobs and become a hermit on a hill so that we can think about Jesus all the time; which is not practical at all.
I believe the way we can start keeping our minds stayed on Jesus is through taking some practical baby steps. How about:
1. Setting our smart phones or smart watches to set off a chime every hour. Every time we hear the chime, we take 5 seconds to pause, take a deep breath and focus our attention on Jesus. During that short time, we can invite Jesus into what we are doing at that moment. Or we can offer up a simple prayer of praise or thanksgiving. Or we can pray for a specific prayer request.
2. Put a penny in your shoe. And every time we feel the penny, we pause, take a breath and briefly connect with Jesus.
3. As you are sitting at your desk or driving your car, put on some worship music that reminds you of the Lord and what He has done in your life.
4. Set apart 1-2 minutes of your coffee break or 5 minutes of your lunch break to read a verse of Scripture or to pray.
5. Before you say “grace” before your meal, just take a deep breath and quiet your heart before the gaze of Jesus – and then offer Him your thanksgiving for the meal.
The key is not to try make this Herculean effort to think Jesus constantly during our waking hours. That would result in despair and frustration. Instead, let’s proactively try to become more aware of Jesus today than we were yesterday. The object is not to do ALL the above suggestions, but maybe one or two of them. It is all about taking a baby step and letting Jesus take over from there.
You might have some other ideas of how we can keep our minds stayed on Jesus. Please share them with us in the comment section.
Let’s encourage each other to keep our minds stayed on Jesus! The more we do, the more we’ll become like Him, and the more we will bring God’s love, grace and light to our world!
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