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Articles

“The Spirit's Frequency”

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”

(Colossians 3:2)

The phrase “set your mind/heart” is used throughout Scripture to describe the orientation of one’s thoughts, will, morality and affections. It is a metaphor for fixing one’s life-attention on a thing (1 Sam. 9:20). A heart may be “set” to do God’s will or one’s own will or it may be “set” on things above or on things below (1 Chron. 22:19; 2 Chron. 11:16; 12:14; 19:3; Ezra 7:10; Col. 3:2; Mt. 16:23; Rom. 8:5; Phil. 3:19, etc.).

Whenever I hear this phrase “set your mind”, I always think of tuning a radio. Growing up a Cleveland Indians fan in the 1990’s meant hearing the voice of Tom Hamilton. It was imperative to find the exact frequency on the radio so that all the distortion would fade away until his voice was crystal clear.

When I got my own radio, I would flip back and forth between my FM music stations and AM 1100 for the Indians game with the push of a button. It was that easy. One click from Pearl Jam to MLB playoffs, from Eddie Veddar to Tom Hamilton. Would that tuning our hearts could be so easy!

God’s voice is only clear on one distinct frequency, the Scriptures. We are tasked with tuning out all the distortion of the world, the shiny distractions and the tempting lies, and finding that heavenly frequency of the Lord’s voice.

Our Shepherd calls us in His own distinctive tone, “The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers… My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (Jn. 10:3-5, 27)

Later, the apostle John wrote, “They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us...” (1 Jn. 4:5-6)

Competing frequencies fight for our attention. Many people tune into the heavenly station for only a few hours every week while allowing the world to win their attention the rest of the time. They flip back to God’s station on Sunday but as soon as the service ends, they tune out heaven’s song in favor of the seductive rhythms of the world. Worse, like Ezekiel’s audience, preaching of God’s word is to some “like one who sings lustful songs with a beautiful voice and plays well on an instrument, for they hear what you say, but they will not do it.” (Ezek. 33:32)

Your heart’s attention and mind’s focus are yours to give to whomever or whatever you will. Be careful to tune into the right frequency. The Lord warns us to “take care then how you hear… My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.” (Lk. 8:11-21, esp. vv.18, 21) Those who devote themselves to do God’s will are those who are spiritually “tuned-in” to God’s voice. And true listeners of the heavenly station hear evangelistically. That is, what they hear they also proclaim to others (Mt. 10:27; 1 Pet. 2:9; Phil. 2:15-16; 1 Jn. 1:1-3). So, today, do not harden your hearts but listen to the voice of Jesus! (Psa. 95:7-11; cf. Heb. 3:7-11, 15; 4:7; Deut. 4:36; Mt. 17:5)