Mental patients occupy a large portion of the hospital beds in the United States. More people are “cracking up” each year. Mental illness is the most rapidly growing item in state budgets.
We constantly read of increasing frustrations, nervous tensions, and anxiety. Today hundreds of thousands of neurotics from New York to California are popping “peace of mind” pills in their mouths.
In fact, an article came out in a national magazine entitled: “Why Ministers are Breaking Down.” It revealed the startling fact that in this nation even many of the ministers are increasingly plagued by mental and emotional breakdown.
Why should this shocking situation exist in our so-called “advanced society”? It has been wisely observed that there is a cause for every effect. In attempting to solve the problem of mental and nervous breakdowns, those responsible for the health of our nation have missed the mark. Instead of getting at the real root of the problem, the cause, they have attempted to remove the effect by the psychiatrists’ couch, “pep talk” psychology, “peace of mind” pills and even stronger tranquilizing drugs.
The real cause of the neurotic and the mental patient is found in the underlying fear and sense of helplessness and frustration that plagues the minds of most men and women is today’s world. Living in a world where a nuclear “hell” war can break loose at any moment and destroy all humanity, where intense competition and strife between individuals has become an accepted way of life, where one’s relationship with his wife, family or friends may be shattered at any time, living in such a world where there are no lasting values, where speed and ruthlessness seem to predominate, it is no wonder that many people “crack up” under mental and emotional strain.
The reactions of fear, frustration and helplessness in the face of these trying situations is the major cause of mental breakdown, and of the deep sense of insecurity that plagues nearly everyone. Then how can these deep-rooted tensions and fears be overcome?
Did the Great God intend for us to live in fear or in faith? The startling answer to this question is that very few people on earth today have any real knowledge of the true God or of His purpose. They do not know why they were born. They do not know where they are going after death. They do not have the right goal in life, and they do not understand the laws of life which would produce success and happiness now and lead them to that ultimate goal.
All of this is because they are cut off from personal contact with the Creator-Ruler of heaven and earth, Almighty God. Or another way of putting it is that they do not have God’s Spirit. And every one of us needs God’s Holy Spirit! We need it as much as we need air to breathe, food to eat, and clothing to wear.
This is a divided and confused world. It is divided politically, religiously and in many other ways. In the midst of such confusion, and being urged to “go to the church of your choice,” most men and women have lost sight of the need to establish a personal relationship and contact with God.
They have been led to think that merely attending just “any” church is a sure way to salvation. They have for gotten to consider the importance of a personal, vital contact with God. And they are misinformed as to how such a contact may be established.
It is sad but true that most people, and even most religious leaders, have what the Bible describes as a “carnal mind.” This is a mind which looks at everything from the material, fleshly standpoint of people in this world. To such people, the religious denominations of men, their counsels and boards, the bishops and other religious leaders, and the individual human members with all of their ideas, prejudices, and desires, those things are all very real. But the Eternal God seems far off. His Word is not nearly so decisive in determining religious practices and church policies as are the wishes of the majority of church members, the august church boards, and the high-up religious dignitaries.
Indeed, this “carnal” mind has a positive antagonism to God’s commanding us to do anything. The person with a carnal mind will say that he wants to worship God, but he wants to do it his own way, not God’s way! The carnal mind resents the idea of God “ordering” it to do anything. Therefore, it rejects the laws and commandments of God as revealed in the Bible, and sets up a human-devised standard of righteousness. “Because the carnal mind is enmity (or antagonistic) against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh (carnally minded) cannot please God” (Rom. 8:7-8).
This carnal mind which makes a “god” in its own image is essentially a frustrated and miserable mind. Although it maintains its own intellectual and spiritual pride by an outward show of self-assurance, and often of conceit, underneath is a gnawing realization of a state of “aloneness” – a lack of contact with the only, true Living God and personal power He gives, the peace of mind He alone can provide. The apostle Paul truly states: “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Rom. 8:6).
Therefore, we may say that most human beings are cut off from direct contact with their Creator. They do not have His Spirit because they are not willing to obey Him. Paul says that their carnal mind “is not subject to the law of God.” In other words, they are not willing to let God be God.
They are unwilling to let Him tell them how to worship – unwilling to let Him set the standards of right and wrong, and determine the religious practices and customs to be followed. By rejecting the true God, they doom themselves to the misery, frustration and sense of helplessness that is the lot of those who are cut off from their Maker.
Such people inwardly crave the peace, the joy, the spiritual power and the deep understanding of life which only contact with God through His Spirit could provide. But they are unwilling to accept these things on God’s terms. They are unwilling to worship Him in Spirit, in truth and in obedience. That is why the people of this world are frustrated, neurotic and upset, individually and collectively.
You did not just “happen” to be here. The evolutionary myth of a creation without a Creator is not true, as we have proved time and time again on this website.
You were put here for a great purpose. After creating this earth and all the varieties of plants and animals upon it, God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth” (Gen. 1: 26).
Did you notice that God said “US” and “OUR”? Even the original Hebrew word for God in this entire account is “Elohim” – a uniplural noun meaning more than one. It is a word like “church” or “family.” One family but several members. One church, but many members.
As explained in John 1:1-4 and Colossians 1:13-18, God created all thing by and through Jesus Christ, the Divine “Word” or Spokesman of the Old Testament. So God the Father and the Eternal Jesus Christ were saying: “Let us make man in our image.” Man is made in the form and shape of those spiritual Beings who make up the God Family, the God kingdom. Man is given dominion over all the dumb creatures and over all the plants and elements here on earth.
The human structure- particularly the hand of man enables man to build, construct and accomplish things completely beyond the capabilities of any other creature. But far more important than that, the mind of man is made in a limited sense like God’s mind. Of all creatures on earth, only man is able to think, reason, plan and bring into existence new ideas, concepts or material structures. Only man has what we call “conscience” that faculty of mind wherein resides the impressions of right and wrong, of spiritual values and principles.
While animals have limited brain capacity and are guided mainly by the instinct which God placed in their brains, man alone has a mind capable of understanding spiritual principles, capable of choosing between right and wrong of resisting the physical desires and obeying instead a higher spiritual law. In a word, man alone has the potentiality of developing righteous, spiritual character.
At creation, the God family brought into existence beings made in their form and shape, having to a limited degree their type of creative mind, and having the potentiality with outside help of developing holy, righteous spiritual character as possessed by God Himself. In plain language, God was beginning the process of reproducing Himself!
God was bringing into existence beings who had the possibility of acquiring the kind of righteous character which would ultimately qualify them to become members of God’s family, God’s kingdom. God was starting others on a road which would lead some to eventually share in the love, the wisdom, the glory, the power and the responsibility of the God family.
God has purposed to make of those of us, who are willing His glorified Sons, members of His spiritual family and kingdom!
Paul tells us: “For as many are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).Only those who are guided by God through His Spirit are receiving of His nature and character and are fulfilling the purpose for which they were born. And only such individuals are really Christians!
Notice! “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his” (Rom. 8:9). It is through His Spirit that God begets us as His sons and begins placing within us His characteristics and power. And His Spirit is the impregnation of eternal life. “But if the Spirit of his that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (make alive) your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11).
If you are to be resurrected and given eternal life, you must have God’s Spirit. But the universal need of God’s Spirit in this life is just as important. Its presence would completely solve the problems of frustration, anxiety and mental illness which are besetting our entire society!
The “fruits” or results of God’s Spirit are aptly set forth by the apostle Paul. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal 5:22-23). Is the world in need of more love? Of joy? Of Peace? It certainly is!
And every individual desperately needs every one of these characteristics of God’s nature. His character implanted within us through a begettal of His Spirit. This is the only way to joyous, happy abundant living!
We should also note that the last mentioned characteristics of God’s Spirit, “temperance,” is better translated “self-control.” God‘s Spirit gives us the will and power to control the self. This Spirit of self-mastery enables us to rise above the human plane and exercise the very character of God.
Another description of the characteristics imparted by God’s Spirit is found in II Tim. 1:7: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear or frustration or anxiety, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
Paul is speaking of spiritual power to overcome our problems and master the self. God’s Spirit gives us His love, a spiritual love that fulfills God’s law as summarized in the Ten Commandments (I John 5:3). And the Holy Spirit gives us a sound understanding of our real purpose and goal in life which will prevent us from “cracking up.”
Indeed, the very reason so many ministers and laymen are having mental and emotional breakdowns is that they lack that vital contact with God and the power of His Spirit within them. They all need God’s Holy Spirit, and the very “fruits” in their own lives prove beyond question that they do not have it?
And remember that God gives His Spirit “to them that obey him” (Acts 5:32). If you are willing to obey your Creator, if you are willing to surrender your will to “live by every word of God” and let the Bible be the Authority in your life, then God will certainly grant you His Spirit, His power in your life. Continue to seek God’s will, His way, His Spirit in your life. It is the way to everlasting joy and peace of mind. You need it as much as you need food or air to breathe!