How Would Jesus Think?
Consider this statement: thought precedes action.
Pretty self-evident right? Any action you perform naturally requires a series of thoughts from inception to completion. Let's examine this concept.
I'm all about doing what Jesus would do (WWJD?) but when I read in Matthew's Gospel about the people who approach Jesus at the end of time telling Him, in effect, "Didn't we do the things that you would do?" (loose translation) to which He responds, "I don't even know you", I want to stop and make sure that what I do is pleasing to Him both in thought and deed (See Matthew 7:21-23). These are some of the most chilling words in the entire Bible. Right up there with Matthew 26:24. I don't want to live my life without knowing Jesus.
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." (Hebrews 11:6)
So it says that it's impossible to please God without faith. And so naturally, in order to do what God wants, we need to believe.
God looks on the heart (see Psalms 51:6). There are plenty of people out here doing wonderful things. Social activists doing good in every area imaginable: improving quality of life, helping disaster victims, building houses and shelters and helping the poor. This is love. This is essential. But what scares me is the reality that there could be people who call themselves Christian but don't genuinely believe—as Jesus did—and according to the verse from Hebrews, are not ultimately pleasing God. They don't know Jesus and as such, Jesus doesn't truly know them. When He says He doesn't know someone, He's not lying (See also Luke 13:24-27). Even though they're doing (at one level) the mere activity that He would do if He were still on the earth, their heart and their motive are not right with Him. In other words, their mind is not "renewed" to His word (see Romans 12:1-2). I've heard it said that we need to find where God is working and go help Him, and this is true. But, stark as it may sound, God has a program that will get done whether we're involved or not. It may not come off exactly as he would have wanted without us, but it'll get done nonetheless. He said it would (see Mark 13:31).
And yet God does want us involved and doing our part with our heart and our hands. In light of this, I believe that the best way to start doing what God wants is to endeavor to know Him first. Get alone with Him—the physical place doesn't matter— and ask Him, beg Him if need be, to reveal Himself to you and to teach you to think along His lines (see Isaiah 28:10). This is why He gave us His Spirit (see John 14:26). We need to make the effort to acknowledge Him in all of our ways (see Proverbs 3:5-6). What other endeavor is more important? Paul says that we already have "the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:16), yet I also believe it's something we must cultivate (see Philippians 2:5-7). Like a muscle that develops as we use it in fellowship with Him, the very way Jesus thinks will grow in us and we'll find ourselves acting like him. Our thoughts, our feelings, our motives and our actions will all be in line and we'll get done what God wants with the right heart attitude. (See Romans 9:28) Really, He'll be the one doing it:
"For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13)
Before you go, try this on: Jesus said that they "that believeth on me, the works that I do shall [they] do also; and greater (John 14:12). This takes it to a whole new level. Let's stretch our imaginations and watch God do these greater works through us.
Now you're thinkin' like Jesus!