(3) John Owen: Spiritually Minded Delight


This post is really focused on the converse of the previous post. When Owen writes about being spiritually minded, he is far more interested in what thoughts we should delight in, than in those we should grieve over. Consider the following example from chapter 6:

“A mark of spiritual mindedness is when the thought of complete freedom from sin brings delight. Even the humblest Christian who sincerely grieves over sin can enjoy the delight of such thoughts.”

or another from the next chapter:

“We should think about Christ’s Glory in heaven now. As a wonderful person, both divine and human, his prayers for his church cannot fail. When his church is complete, we will see the glory of his coming to judge the world. Do not misunderstand me. Spiritual meditation is not merely to recite these facts to ourselves. Spiritual mindedness means that we have a sense of delight in them.”

This is exactly the aim of Revelation Ch 4-5. To so fill the minds of Christians with such a glorious vision of who God is, and of Jesus’ present Glory, that one’s whole way of viewing and thinking about the world can not help but be transformed. In fact Owen argues in another of his books,Indwelling Sin, that to foster delight in heavenly things (Col 3:1-4, 2 Cor 4:17-18) is the most effective way to tackle “un-spiritual” thinking…

“Were our affections filled, taken up, and possessed with these things (Col 3:1-4)… what access could sin, with its painted pleasures, with its sugared poisons, with its envenomed baits, have unto our souls?”

For me, meditating on passages…   No…  DELIGHTING in passages like Revelation 4-5 help push all manner of less flattering thoughts from my mind. Why not read the Bible with one eye open for a passage or two that you can not only meditate on, but DELIGHT in. Think of the passage often, and let it (through the Spirit’s power) start to transform your thought life.


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