Fix your mind!

“And the man said to me, ‘Son of man, look with your eyes and hear with your ears and fix your mind on everything I show you…” Ezekiel 40:4

It is no wonder that we so often fail to profit from our reading or hearing the word of God. Careless reading or careless hearing results in careless living. There is a diligence needed on our part if we would grow by our interactions with Scripture. Thus the angel says to Ezekiel, as it were, “pay attention!” He tells him to focus all his faculties on what was about to be shown. “Look with your eyes and hear with your ears and fix your mind on everything I show you.” He calls him to put forth effort. Lax Bible reading leads, far too often, to lax Christian living.

Jesus said we should “take heed how you hear (Luke 8:18).” But too often we don’t. We mentally check out. We can listen without really hearing. We can watch without really seeing. Our eyes can be on one thing, but our minds be on something altogether different. My dear wife will say to me, “Did you hear what I just said?” Often I missed it, due to sinful distraction or lazy listening. How many thousands of us read our Bibles and walk away no different, no better, unchanged? We have not asked to hear God’s voice in His word, and so we have become dull of hearing. J.C. Ryle put it this way:

“He that desires to read his Bible with profit must first ask the Lord Jesus to open the eyes of his understanding by the Holy Spirit…a humble and prayerful spirit will find a thousand things in the Bible that the proud self-conceited student will utterly fail to discern.”

Fixing the mind suggests we give it our full attention. Thus the Psalmist did when he wrote “I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure (Psalm 119:162).” Treasures grab our attention. So should the word of God, for it is better “than thousands of coins of gold and silver (Psalm 119:72).”

How will you and I interact with God’s Word today? Will we read it like a hungry man in a restaurant reads the menu? “For man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Luke 4:4).” Will we welcome it into our lives and be ready to change our thoughts, words and deeds to correspond more perfectly with what this word says to us? Are we like Habakkuk? Will we “watch and see what He will say to me (Hab 2:1)?” Don’t check your brains at the door when entering church. Our faith demands the “renewing of our mind (Rom 12:2).” We need to think and “meditate on these things (1 Tim 4:15).”

Dear Christian friend, there is no growing in this Christian life without careful, thoughtful attention to the living Word of God. Therefore, as Peter commanded, “gird up the loins of your mind (1 Peter 1:13).” Approach your Bibles and your faithful preaching in this way, and you will be heeding the Angel’s advice, who told Ezekiel, “fix your mind on everything I show you.”

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