Mental Barriers to God's Voice, Part 2
by Charles R. Swindoll
As the Spirit of God attempts to communicate His truth to us, He runs up against the "wall" of our overall mental attitude, our natural mind-set. Along with the wall-like fortresses, we have natural, humanistic reasonings that give the wall additional strength.
I'm thinking of those defense mechanisms, rationalization, and other thinking patterns that are habitual to us. In Romans 2:15 we read of two such "guards"—blaming and justifying.
As the Lord God pushes His truth to enter (and thus "renew") our minds, our habitual reflex "guards" the entrance of such alien thoughts! This explains why there is often such a battle that rages when biblical truth is introduced into a mind that has been walled and guarded by years of secularized thinking. We defend the old rather than consider and accept the new.
This could have happened in your own mind when you read what the Scriptures teach on forgiveness. It also may occur when you read what the Bible teaches us to do when we have offended someone. More than likely, you found yourself resisting and defending. I certainly did when I first discovered those truths! We would much rather blame the other person than accept our responsibility. Our "speculations" work like that. They put up a guard against change, causing us to rationalize and justify our actions.
Accompanying the resistance of our internal wall and guards are "lofty things" that reinforce our defense system from within (2 Corinthians 10:5). It's the idea of a thing lifted up or exalted.
What comes to your mind right now? How about pride? And those things pride prompts: argumentation, an unteachable spirit, stubbornness, and refusal to change. Is that striking a nerve yet?
As the principles of the Scriptures are declared, our natural, unrenewed minds not only resist them, they ask, "Who needs that?" or "I've gotten along pretty good up 'til now." These are the lofty things that are "raised up against the knowledge of God," as Paul put it (2 Corinthians 10:5).
We need to destroy those things . . . before they destroy us.
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.