Stop and think
Power thinking may not be the key key to understanding the Bible — after all, Scripture tells us that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Prov. 9:10) and, “A good understanding have all those who do His commandments” (Ps. 110:10). And Jesus thanked God that He had, “… hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes” (Matt. 11:25). But after the first two fundamentals have been taken care of, and a person has chosen the path of humbly believing, like a child, what God reveals, then nothing exceeds the power of sound, clear, logical thinking for facilitating right interpretation of scriptural revelation. Yielding ourselves to the leading strings of the Holy Spirit is vital to our spiritual walk with God. However, those who insist that they receive special help from the Holy Spirit, and that therefore we should trust their illogical interpretations of Scripture, have no biblical basis for their assertions. “Understanding Scripture” is not listed as a gift of the Spirit; proper understanding comes to those who are willing to “… get understanding with all their getting” (Prov. 4:7), to labor in rightly dividing the word of truth.
As a species we are horribly inclined to weak thinking; how many of us really think through what we believe and can properly defend our opinions with sound logic and clear thinking? We are all too prone to take the easy way and conclude that whatever ideas come to our mind are “true”. A friend was telling me about a neighbor of hers who uses a flashlight on dark mornings to prepare his breakfast in order to save money on the electricity bill! Good thinking!
Unless we consciously and conscientiously fight this tendency to laziness, it will sneak into our approach to probing the mind of God revealed in Scripture. We must discipline ourselves to do the hard yards in studying
God's Word. Henry T Ford was on the money when he [reputedly] said that, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is why so few people do it”. Even “zeal for the gospel” will not automatically yield up the sweet fruits of understanding. To properly understand God's Word we must think, think, think. We have to analyze the words of life carefully. We need to mull over all the possibilities of meaning of any given passage, and apply sound principles of logic and clear thinking to draw the right conclusion as to its meaning.
Though a good education may help to some extent in the task of sound thinking, it's not critical. Millions of highly educated and brilliant people believe that hummingbirds and orchids and the rocks of the earth got here as a result of billions of years of time and untold billions of lucky rolls of the dice. Good thinking!
The simple fact is, God gave us all a brain, and with a little learning and a lot of practice anybody can become a power thinker. If we are willing to commit ourselves with all our hearts and minds to the task of understanding then we will slowly but surely drink in the Word of God and put on the mind of God. Our thinking will transform over time; God's thoughts will become our thoughts. We will become more and more alive as every day passes.
Future editorials in the “Faith and Reason” series will cover some of the “secrets” of power thinking. In the meantime, if you have never had the good fortune of learning about the art of logic and clear thinking, why not get a basic primer from your local library on the subject. Your librarian will be able to help you find one. It will be one of the best things you can ever do. Remember. Don't just assume you've got it right; stop and think.