Mind games

Dr. Marc Drake, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church Sun Lakes

Years ago, as the story goes, a little town in the United Kingdom built a new jail which supposedly had an escape-proof cell. The great illusionist and escape artist, Harry Houdini, was invited to come over and see if he could break out of it. Houdini had previously boasted that the jail had not been made that could hold him. So he accepted the invitation and, when the appointed day came, walked into the cell. He then heard the noise of steel against steel as the jailer closed the door behind him and slipped the key into the lock.

Once the man had left, Houdini took out his tools and went to work on the cell door. An hour passed, then two. The great escape artist, who had opened the locks on so many other doors, seemed to find nothing that would work on this one. He simply could not understand it. Finally, Houdini admitted defeat and in his fatigue leaned against the door – at which point, the door opened! You see, the jailer had never actually locked it. The only place the door was locked was in Houdini’s mind.

Were the Brits playing a mind game with Houdini, or did the jailer leave the door unlocked by mistake? Whatever the case, we can know that God doesn’t play mind games with us. He gave us our minds for the purpose of seeking Him and using them for His glory. Obviously, Harry Houdini had a certain mind-set while he was in that cell (a mind-set that happened to be wrong!). He thought that the task before him was to use whatever means he had at his disposal to unlock a door, when in reality the door was already unlocked.

Likewise, many people are attempting to unlock the door of heaven through their own efforts and good works. But no amount of human effort could ever accomplish that. The truth, however, is that Jesus has already opened the door for all who believe in Him (See John 5:24). Through His death and resurrection He offers full forgiveness of sin and the gift of eternal life. Therefore, make sure you don’t have the wrong mind-set as you journey through life. Don’t become enamored with the things of this world that would distract from the very purpose for which you were created.

In answer to the question, “Which is the great commandment in the Law?” Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). What could possibly be more important than this? So, determine to set your mind on God Himself and know the fullness of salvation that is in His Son, Jesus Christ. In the words of Wolfgang Von Goethe: “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”