What if, for one day, Jesus were to become you? Let us imagine that Jesus woke in your bed and walked in your shoes. He lived in your house with your family and went to your school. Your teachers became His teachers. Your health problems were His to live with. Your pains became His pains. Your schedule is the same, but the difference is Jesus lives your life with His heart. Your heart gets the day off, and your life is lead by the heart of Christ. His priorities would govern your actions. In other words, His priorities or passions would drive your decisions, and His love would direct your behavior. What would you be like? Would people notice a change and your family see something new?
Would your schoolmates sense a difference, and would Christ enjoy the company of the people you call friends? Would people detect more joy in you? A more positive outlook? What about your enemies? Would they receive more mercy from Christ’s heart than yours? And how would you feel? What alterations would this transplant of Jesus’s heart have on your stress level? What about your mood swings or temper? Would your devotions and prayers that day go better, and how would you react to being told to take out the trash or clean your room? Think about this, what would it be like for Jesus to become you for the day? Would things change?
Christ wants us to have his mind every day of our lives. When we work every day to have the mind of Christ, we are going to think and speak differently, and we may even have different friends. The mind of Christ will cause us to behave differently. So having the mind of Christ is essential to our Chrisitan walk. The Bible has much to say about our minds, but for now, we will focus on what Jesus did to protect His mind.
“4 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,
6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.”
In this passage, we find Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights. His mind and body became weak from the fasting, so Jesus was struggling to stay focused because of the weakness. Do you know that devil loves to take advantage of young people when their minds are weak? This is precisely what the devil did to Jesus. The devil attacked Jesus when He was tired, hungry, and weak in His mind. Approaching Jesus with his evil thoughts the devil said, “if you are the Son of God, command these stones to become bread.” I want you to notice how Jesus responded. He didn’t listen to the devil, He didn’t argue with Him, and he certainly did not try to have a conversation with the devil. So how did Jesus handle the devil’s temptation? Well, let’s look to the Bible for His example.
“4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
The devil was trying to control Jesus’s mind, but Jesus removed the lie that the devil told Him by replacing it with the truth. Everything the devil brings to our mind will always have lies within. Thoughts that come from the devil are not truthful. Although sometimes it may seem like the thoughts have some truth, underneath, there is always a lie. Jesus knew this and He used the truth against the devil.
The devil tempted Jesus three times during His fast. The second time, we read, the devil took Jesus up to a high pinnacle on the city temple. Then He suggested Jesus throw Himself off the temple, saying, “You won’t die. God will send His angels to save you.” But Jesus removed the lie and replaced it with the truth.
“7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
The last time the devil came to Jesus, he took Jesus to an exceedingly high mountain and showed Him the whole earth. He told Jesus, “I can give you everything.” But there was a catch. The devil told Jesus He could have all he showed him only if He would fall down and worship Him. In every interaction we have with the devil, he is trying to catch us. He will try to get us with a lie and reel us into his false way. But Jesus responded to the devil with the truth.
“10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.”
Here we read in different words that Jesus is telling the devil to get lost! He might as well said, “Get out of here, devil!”, and this is the example Jesus left for us. When the devil tries to infect our minds with evil thoughts, we need to use the same strategy Jesus used. We need to remove the lie and replace it with the truth. Remember in the first part of this lesson? We spoke about what the Apostle Paul taught us to do with evil thoughts? Let’s read it again.
2 Corinthians 10:5
“5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”
The devil tells young people lies every day, and his end game is to destroy your mind. He wants to steal your joy and convince you that you aren’t happy. Then the devil will come to you with his temptation just like he did Jesus, “Why don’t you try a little alcohol or drugs to make you feel happy.” But we must not forget that the devil is the master of lies. Everything he says to us is a lie. If we listen to the devil and accept his lies as truth, he will succeed at destroying our minds.
There is a global problem among our young people today, and unfortunately, here in America, we see this too often. Young people take their own lives, and the age range for teen suicide is growing younger and younger. The devil lied to these young people, and they believed his lies. The devil says things to them like, “You are alone, you have no friends, no one cares about you, and the world will be better without you because you will never do anything good in life.” The devil will come to you your mind and tell you other things like, “You will never be happy, and you will be depressed and miserable for the rest of your life.”, and if you continue to listen the devil will continue in so many other ways to convince you that you are not valuable. But I am here to tell you that the devil is lying! So do not take thoughts like this as truth because they are not true, and you are never alone! Jesus promises that he will always be with us. Jesus loves each and every one of you, and He believes you can be successful for Him.
“22 Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.”
Young people, don’t allow the devil to plant these lies in your mind. If you allow these negative thoughts to stay, you will begin to meditate on them, and the devil will take advantage.
“11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
This scripture proves God’s thoughts for you. So when the devil tells you something different, turn to this scripture. Recognize the devil is lying to you. Remove the lie as Jesus did and replace it with the truth. God always tells the truth.
Decide today that you will not think like the rest of the world. Fix your heart and mind on the things of God and allow Jesus to renew your mind as he tells us in Romans.
“2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
So young people, renew your minds in Christ. Focus on Godly values and good attitudes. When you allow God to renew your mind daily, you will find that God has a perfect plan and purpose for you. Learn from what Jesus taught us when he was tempted by contrary thoughts from the devil. Allow Christ to be in your heart, direct your thoughts, and don’t listen to the lies the devil tells.