How the Spirit Heightens the Intellect [Part 1]

By — February 06, 2018

Are you ready for some good news?

When you yield to the Holy Spirit, you don’t lose your mind! He heightens your intellect.

Today’s Text: “And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”” (Luke 24:31–32, ESV)

One true encounter with the risen Lord Jesus will transform your understanding of everything. That’s what happened to the disciples on the Emmaus road. The disillusioned Christ-followers had assumed that Jesus was dead, the movement was over and all was lost, but when their eyes were opened to the risen Lord, it changed everything. After walking with the resurrected Christ, all the scriptures came into new light as their hearts burned within.

That’s what happens when you experience Jesus up close. Spiritual experiences may transcend what your mind can comprehend by itself, but the things of the Spirit do not diminish your intellect. The Holy Spirit’s presence sharpens the mind.

I wish someone had explained this to me during my early years as a Christian. As a student who valued learning and wanted to strengthen my intellect, I was afraid that yielding to the Holy Spirit would require turning off my mind. I had heard a lot of well-meaning preachers say things like, “The reason you are experiencing more of God is that your mind is in the way.” I was genuinely concerned that I had to make a choice between the Spirit-filled life and the thoughtful life.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. When I first began to experience God’s Spirit in deeper ways, a thousand glad assurances all gently settled into my mind and the things that had worried me and confused me began miraculously to fit together one by one. My mind was opened up with greater clarity than I had ever had in my entire life.

God made you. He made your mind. The Holy Spirit is the presence of God, the Creator, to you now. He has no intention of diminishing your intellect. He is greater than you can imagine and His ways are above our ways, so, at times, He will transcend all your thought. But the One who made your mind delights in sharpening it. Don’t think you have to cut off your brain in order to be filled with the Spirit. He heightens the intellect. And that’s the Gospel!

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