Thursday, February 17

The Good That Comes from Being In Our Right Mind!

The prodigal son after wasting his life and inheritance thought better of it--“When he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!” (Luke 15:17)
Likewise, after Peter had been miraculously transported from prison outside the city walls, we read in Acts 12:11, he "came to himself, [and] said, 'Now, I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me . . .'" 

Several hundred years earlier, Nebuchadnezzar declared, "I . . . lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High . . ." (Dan. 4:34). He did more than that if your read on further. But he didn't see anything right until his reason returned to him. 

It's easy to see the commonality between these verses isn't it? In each case, whether the prodigal, Peter, or even Nebuchadnezzar, each one "came to himself" or their reasoning returned. Now, it is true that each arrived at this place from different positions. Nebuchadnezzar recovered from a divinely imposed captivity which reduced him to the level of a beast of the field, and the prodigal returned from a horribly profligate lifestyle. Peter's reasoning was much more civil, and by comparison almost inane, regaining his "mind" from a spiritually groggy condition. 

The Point?
Simply this. Each one's viewpoint of their true condition changed radically only after they'd come into their right mind or after having "come to their senses" we might say. So, can we conclude at least this from these three examples, that when one is in a sinful condition, and certainly when one is under the rebuke of God which lowers him to a beastly condition, and even when one is simply spiritually woozy, or slow that each is NOT in their right mind? Granted, Nebuchadnezzar's conditon is an extreme example which may not find very many parallels in our experience save for the divine consignment of some to reprobation spoken of in Romans chapter one. The prodigal's condition finds a myriad of parallels in society since it might be claimed that no one is ever in their right mind until God reveals himself savingly to them. The last example in Peter is common enough since we may assume every true believer has many occasions when it might easily be said of them, "He's just not seeing it; or she's missing all that God is doing in her life." 

We can be so dull spiritually that when God is busily working all things according to his will, we see only our own interests. That's being close-minded. We need to pray that more believers will come into their right mind. We must remember that the lost cannot see rightly without such a divine release, their minds being as captured as their souls. And every now and then we read the story of one, like Legion in the Mark 5 who after having a multitude of demons cast out of him, sat clothed, calm and "in his right mind." That's salvation. And it seems only those who've received it can claim such clarity for such is part and parcel of their redemption, the cleansing of the mind as well as the soul. 


will_try said...

I find it striking that in at least 3 out of these 4 examples, the protagonist's reasoning does not lead them back to what's Right and True: Nebbie's reasoning returned 'after he lifted his eyes', Peter returned to himself after his miraculous rescue, the man fka "Legion" certainly didn't reason his way out of demonic posession. I pause for a moment with the wayward son and see he was forced to correct reasoning about his reality by hunger from the natural consequence of his best thinking, so it didn't start with hisself either.

David R. Nelson said...

I think you're right, Will. 3 of the 4 were moved in the right direction by the light of God's grace (my spin on what you said). The prodigal could just as easily have turned his bitter pill into an excuse for continued rebellion. That he didn't speaks to God's grace to aid in his repentance.

The one differing case here, Peter, was walking in grace, but apparently was still (like so many of us) a bit dulled by the uniqueness of his situation. This didn't happen every day. He didn't have a classification for such miracles, though they were not completely unknown, were they? And how did Nebucco's reasoning return? Again, outside of "hisself."

will_try said...

'hisself' - I acknowledge that this is not an accepted for in mainstream English. I hear it not rarely here in Texas, and enjoy adopting it, partly for the shock value. But really, it makes more sense morphologically and semantically than 'himself', which, for some reason, has fossilized into the prescriptive, 'correct' form.

David R. Nelson said...

Yes, I figured that's what you were doing. It was a cute touch. Being from the South, I heard quite a few of those.

Again, good to hear from you.